At various times in our lives, most of us think, even for the briefest of moments, about upping sticks and moving to another country. The truth is though, that it’s such a big step, and the majority of people simply dismiss the idea and file it under ‘perhaps not’. Very few among us ever find the get up and go to simply get up and go.
For those that are intrepid enough to make the move, there are many considerations to be made before deciding on a specific destination. Most countries of the world have their own specific charms, but few have a strong enough magnet to attract significant numbers of émigrés. One of the more popular, however, is France, and here are five reasons why it’s a sensible option to relocate there.
The History of the Cities
This wonderful country has a rich heritage that dates back many centuries, and the pleasing thing for lovers of history is that a great many of the castles, churches, cathedrals, palaces and public buildings are still in existence, and are open to the public. It goes without saying that the largest concentration is in Paris, France’s iconic capital, but there are plenty in other towns and cities all over the nation.
The Beauty of the Countryside
Many parts of France remain idyllic and unspoilt, and seemingly unaffected by some aspects of 21st century life. The country is larger than many people realise (more than twice the size of the UK, for example) and there are rural areas which are a delight to explore. If you like nothing more simple than a walk in the countryside with the family at the weekend, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The Romance of the Language
One of the more pleasing aspects, and it has to be said one of the most challenging, of moving to a foreign country is the process of learning a new language. To the untrained ear, the French language may seem a difficult one to master, but in reality it’s one of the world’s easiest. And when you start to talk in French, even if it’s only the basics, the locals will appreciate the effort every time.
The Warmth of the People
The French have a reputation for being stand-offish, especially to outsiders, but the truth is that, as many newcomers have discovered, they just take a while to accept others. They are fiercely protective of their culture and their communities, but once they know you are there to add to the local landscape rather than take away from it, they are happy to accept you as one of their own.
The ease of getting around
There is an excellent public transport network in France, making it easy for anyone to get from A to B. The trains and buses are generally reliable and inexpensive, and of course in Paris there is the legendary Metro system to facilitate simple journeys across the city. Driving in France is easy, although it can get a little stressful in the cities during peak hours. If you don’t plan to rely on a vehicle all the time, hiring a car as and when you need it is a simple option.
David Showell is from the UK, where he works for a Nice Airport car rental specialist.