Hello FE Community from Tara. It’s October! By the time you read this, I will be settling myself in France. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here on Fruitful English.
I thought, though, that I would share something I wrote on my personal blog about our move in response to the commonly surprised response we received from family and friends when we announced that we would be relocating with less than four months notice.
WHY ARE YOU MOVING TO FRANCE?
Many people have asked us this as it seems as if we just got ourselves settled in Japan. Three years living in one country seems short to most people, but it seems to be an average length of stay for my husband and both of our feet were starting to itch.
So, in short, two words explain our move: Brexit and COVID19.
FIRST, WHY FRANCE?
France has been our “next phase” (aka retirement) destination. We don’t say ‘retire’ because that suggests that we won’t be doing anything productive, but neither of us are likely to pass the days away leisurely – or at least, we can’t imagine that yet.
However, my husband has always wanted to have a vineyard and some land to putter around on in the French countryside. We have talked off and on about having a larger place to offer yoga retreats or conference centers or some kind of service-oriented type side business.
Either way, I fell in love 殺 with the area when I visited in 2015 and agreed that it was somewhere I could happily spend the next phase of my life in. Despite my general dislike for the French language, I started to study it via the Duolingo app so that I would not be completely lost someday in the future when we moved there.
Besides, France is a great spot to launch from for travel as I have not done that much traveling through Europe as I always knew I wanted to see it when I could afford to enjoy it and not experience it like the typical backpacker.
Back in 2016, when the world started to go a bit crazy, we did not know what the effects of Brexit would be in a practical sense. It seemed for a while as if nothing would change, but then finally dates were set and actions were taken to declare that after December 31, 2020 British citizens would no longer be treated as EU citizens in France.
When we heard this, we began conversations around going sooner than later. However, in the beginning, we weren’t necessarily rushing to go as we understood that we could still move there, though there would be more paperwork involved for the immigration process.
THEN, THERE WAS COVID19 –
The world went into this surreal state with no one really knowing that it was going to continue to an unknown future date. With the enforced and encouraged social distancing measures that have led to us both being able to work from home using video-calling programs and online systems, we realized that we could be doing this in our own open space, poolside, without neighbors within arms reach outside the windows, and just a train ride or car’s drive away from getting away from the ‘mundane’ things more freely (and cheaply).
OTHER DRAWS TO HAPPINESS:
Now, don’t get me wrong. Some of this is possible in Japan, and we have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Tokyo. I admit that this time I have had the best time of all my stays in Japan because I have been able to see it through new eyes.
However, it felt like this was the right timing and it all feels right. Japan was never meant to be for forever, though we did think that it was going to be for a bit longer than it’s turned out to be.
It’s just that we are both ready to live in more familiar lands where the culture and mindset are slightly more Western than we have been in since we met. There are seemingly small things like language barriers, cultural clouds, and a sense of transience that we face regularly here that will still be experienced in Europe, but at a much smaller scale.
We are looking forward to visiting the local boulangerie, making friends that we can invest time and energy into knowing that we will be around for a while, taking side trips to neighboring countries, and putting down some real roots together. .
So, we are off to a new phase and starting the next part of the adventure of our lives! Stay tuned for photos and more about life in France. Until then, au revoir Japan.
starting to itch
– This idiom describes the need to move your body or ‘feet’ to scratch the itch that is stimulating them to move or travel.
e.g. Her feet were starting to itch as she hadn’t traveled for over a year.
– This is another idiom that describes the slow movement of a vehicle to enjoy the scenery. We use it for our activities and movements when we go slow.
e.g. My father loves to putter around the farm even though he isn’t growing anything seriously.
to launch from
– An idiom that refers to rocket launches or places that serves as a starting point for movement.
e.g. We can use this idea to launch from and continue to build the ad campaign around it.
– This adjective describes a state of being that is bizarre or strange or very different than an expected norm.
e.g. Salvador Dali is known for his surreal artwork that mixes reality with fantasy.
アメリカ育ちで日本で９年間英語を教えた経験あり。日本以外にもAbu Dhabiでも英語を教えていたベテランの先生です。 ヨガを教える資格も持っていてとてもアクティブで、「諦めずに頑張って」とモチベーションをくれる指導スタイルで人気。
座右の銘は「We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit」。