Come and Experience Life in France

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This is kind of a strange post because I have lots to say. I receive many emails and messages from people who tell me how much they love the blog, thank you, and also how they love visiting France through my eyes because it is their dream to visit but they think they most likely never will and this set me thinking.

And I’ve been thinking for a year now and discussing with Roddy, throwing out ideas, and making a plan. A lot of people think they will never come here because they are single and have never travelled to France before and the whole thing is rather scary. I fully understand that, let’s face it, I think most of us here are not 18 year olds taking a gap year and excited to embark on a backpacking trip to far flung places. This is what I have been working on, finding a way that perhaps people can visit on their own and come and stay in our guest cottage.

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We are really excited to let you know of our plans to offer individually tailored one on one vacations (or two on one, if you are a couple or two friends). We will quite literally ‘hold your hand’ all the way, we’ll help you with travel arrangements and we will even come and meet you at the airport if that is a concern. Because I know, arriving in a foreign country, where everyone speaks a foreign language is nerve wracking. Finding a train, navigating the metro or even a taxi is enough to put one off even contemplating such a trip. But we will be there, we will meet you and accompany you back here to our home, if you want us to. We will treat you like an extended member of the family, we will show you around, we’ll share aperitifs and family suppers, we’ll chat and find out what you want to do but we will also respect your privacy and you can be as independent as you want to be. Imagine sightseeing, taking a village walk, visiting brocantes.

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Or simply enjoying a cup of tea and some home-made scones in our farmhouse kitchen.

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Well now the dream really can become a reality. I like to think of this as “hold my hand” travel, because that’s kind of what we would be doing. We would want you to feel as if you are visiting a long lost friend and we will do what you want to do.

For others, who want a break but like to be busy, we are offering long weekends and mini breaks that resemble a retreat more than a holiday. Cooking workshops and Nature Tours here in the Charente Maritime.

If any of this interests you, there are a few more details on our website www.ourfrenchlifestyle.com or alternatively send me an email at frenchlife17@gmail.com and we can chat further.

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Basically, we live a very ordinary life, but we are lucky to live it here and we want to share it with you. Yes, we are busy, days never have enough hours and I know I am guilty of almost biting off more than I can chew, for the simple reason that I am so enthusiastic about everything. I want to be able to do it all because there is so much to do! I am only talking about simple things, for ours really is a simple lifestyle. But this simple life is so fulfilling, the pleasure from growing and gathering vegetables from our own garden and then eating them all together.

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Laying the table, even if it is just the family and just a simple Saturday lunch. It is so much fun to gather a few twigs and leaves, cut some rosemary and ask the children to help me. This weekend the weather has been incredible. October days when we are in shorts and t-shirts. The doors have been flung open, the laundry drying on the line

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and the puppies and their mum enjoying the sunshine. Saturday morning we had just three left at home. By Sunday we were down to two. One who we are keeping and one who has a fabulous new home in the UK and so will stay with us for another month before he departs. All of our puppies have the most incredible homes, their new owners have sent us photos. I am so happy we’ve made some people very happy and also that our four legged babies are well loved.

 

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And this is Pixel who will be a permanent member of our family, so I am sure you will see a lot more of him!IMG_1679

It’s been a town and country weekend.IMG_1611IMG_0666

And also an active one. This was October Rose, a run or walk of 7kms just for girls to raise money for womens cancer. Over 7000 people took part, I did it with our two daughters who are at home and we had a fabulous evening. A wonderful atmosphere and what’s more, over 35,000 euros was raised. Three cheers to Rochefort for organising this.P8210777P8210841 copy

On the way home we passed the edge of the Marais. The coolness of the evening after an incredibly warm day meant a mist had formed low over the land.IMG_1801

One final word before I say goodbye. Perhaps like me you are starting to think of the holiday season, maybe you are even super organised and beginning to look for gifts. I know I am trying to, every year I tell myself to buy early and avoid a hectic December! To give something back to you we are offering some special gifts with purchases in our Etsy shop. For every order over 250 euros we will give you a FREE French Market Bag and for every order over 500 euros we will give you a FREE white Ironstone tureen. Just click here. Hopefully this means you can treat yourself and your friends and family during the festive season.

And on that note I’ll say goodnight. Autumn here in the Charente Maritime really is the most perfect time of year. Hope you have all had a great weekend. xx

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40 thoughts on “Come and Experience Life in France

  • I am so excited!!! I was trying to think of something for my daughters 50 th birthday!!! This sounds like a plan!!! Love this idea!! What are the costs? We will probably come in the spring.. Is that ok? Merci Gayle

    On Sun, Oct 13, 2019 at 1:58 PM Our French Oasis wrote:

    > ourfrenchoasis posted: ” This is kind of a strange post because I have > lots to say. I receive many emails and messages from people who tell me how > much they love the blog, thank you, and also how they love visiting France > through my eyes because it is their dream to visit but t” >

    • Hi Gayle, what a lucky daughter you have, that sounds as if it would be the most fabulous birthday gift. We are already now fairly heavily booked for the spring, but I am going to email you separately and then we can discuss further. It would be such fun to welcome you and your daughter here. xx

  • Susan, I know that anyone who takes you up on these offers will have a wonderful time! Your photos are lovely and inviting as always. I’ve not been back from France for an entire week yet but in the way of vacations, it’s seems as if I never left. 😦 It rained almost every day of the three weeks, but as the Franche-Comté is about three months behind in needed rain, I didn’t mind too much and the day we went to the mountains was perfect. I hope your fall is going well.

    janet

    • Thank you so much Janet. It has indeed been rather a wet autumn so far, but gosh we needed the rain. But, we have had incredibly warm days interwoven with the wet, the last two weekends have been in the mid 20’s, so I guess we can’t complain too much xx

  • Susan, I have followed your blog for a couple of years but never commented. Your life in France sounds simple and perfect and I think visiting and staying in your guest house would be wonderful. I’ve often thought exactly that and amm hoping it can be worked out at some point. Thank you for sharing your life and pictures with us!

  • Having spent 2 short weeks w/Susan & Co. last spring I can heartily & personally recommend & endorse all that Susan offers here in this posting! The entire family plus furry friends will make your stay most hospitable & rich. There is just a real genuineness about this family, the French way of life, the small village which is so welcoming, and the warmth that wraps all of this bundle up into a holiday never to be forgotten. Put your fears aside & embrace this wonderful opportunity w/an open heart & mind. We can’t wait to get back.

    • Thanks so much Sandi, it was just the best thing meeting you both and when you left knowing we had made firm friends for life, it was a wonderful experience for us too, and of course the stories, I could listen for hours to your tales. We are all so looking forward to seeing you both again xx

  • A great idea!! Would love to take advantage of it but right now am saving to visit granddaughter in Spain. Hopefully soon. Love the pictures you have taken. The area looks beautiful. Can almost smell everything!!! Thank you!!

  • Sounds heavenly. I travelled to France last year, on my own as my husband wasn’t keen, and even though I speak French and caught up with family a few times, I was pretty lonely several times. Next time I would do things differently and find cosy nests like this.

    • Thanks for briefly sharing your experience. Well done you for coming on your own, that was brave in itself, but yes I can imagine at times it was lonely, I think I would find it mostly in the evenings when I would want to chat about and share the new things I had seen. This is what we can offer and why I wanted to do this, so we can talk and laugh and listen and make the trip even better xx

  • Oh Susan, you temptress…how I would love to spend a few days in your guest cottage. I would sell my soul to the devil for that opportunity. And can I just say, little Pixel is beyond adorable. I can practically smell the puppy breath. 🥰

  • Your idea is great. We did a similar thing before we moved to Mexico but by a bit more formal route. We went with an organization owned by 2 Canadians called Focus on Mexico, stayed in a fabulous local hotel and every morning they brought in experts on health, immigration, investment, housing, etc, all the things you needed to know before moving to another country. We ate lunch at a different restaurant each day and every afternoon saw local sights, then had a few spare hours to do whatever, then each evening a different restaurant for dinner and at the end of the week went to a party at the home of the owners of Focus on Mexico. This experience led us to move to Mexico the following year (8 years ago). It makes it much easier when you have someone ‘holding your hand’ Go for it!
    Joan Wright

    • Hi Joan, I can imagine that was incredibly helpful before you moved there, you must have learnt so much, had questions answered etc. Hope you are now still really happy there and no doubt enjoying some lovely warm weather xx

  • Staying in your guest house would be a dream come true. I’m going to look to see where you are and when I might be able to come. Everything you show us on the blog is so inviting — so thanks! And best wishes with your new venture.

  • I can easily imagine a book that tells the story from the opposite point of view of a woman “of a certain age” that always wanted to go to France but things stood in her way. Then she mistakenly stumbled onto your posting and she took that trip that brought her world into technicolor. I think you would do a wonderful job of writing that book!

  • Local life of last week has simply been too complicated for me to manage reaching blogs I love . Look what a wonderful post was there to read ! Susan, I’ll make it yet ! And, coming from how far I do, I’d love to disappear into your home and village for a whole fortnight so I can just forget about all outside world ! Would love to see 3-4 friends in Western Europe first, and then, no doubt ‘worn out’ come into a home I somehow already know 🙂 ! I have often wondered how much contact would be possible twixt myself and the family . . . you have made that clear! And I am clapping my hands. Susan, I do not need to have my hand held . . . my French belongs in a schoolroom or restaurant but with a few other languages and well versed in hands-knees-and-bumpsadaisy I would not dissolve into tears if I did get lost 🙂 ! And I well know what ‘privacy’ means . . . On the other hand a bus pickup nearby (have already gotten within a few kms to you on paper), perhaps a possibility to go fill my fridge when you are going shopping, a glass of wine a few times at twilight or, indeed, hearing ‘Eha, we are going to some brocantes – feel like tagging along?’ would make this a perfect getaway . . . we’ll talk . . . loved the post . . .

  • I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and vicariously spending time in France!

    I’ve started to kick around the idea of spending a month working remotely from somewhere in France. I have a job where for at least a few weeks I could get by with just a good internet connection from anywhere. I was thinking of a larger city such as Rennes where at the end of the workday I could just walk out the door and enjoy the city, on the weekends use rail connections to do either daytrips or weekend trips. I’ve traveled on my own in Brittany & Normandy before so I’m not too worried about that, although I’d like to do this trip without having to rent a car for the duration. While not exactly what you are discussing in this blog post, do you have any ideas on how to go about researching actually doing this, finding a place to stay, etc?

  • What a fab idea. I`d love to come visit sometime and I could drive. I live in Bavaria so it`s not too far and a very pleasant scenic drive along the way. We drove to Normandy this summer and love everything that France has to offer. Would be great to have a contact there as I don`t know anyone in France. Also, do you still have one of your gorgeous puppies to give away. I`d love to come visit and take one of your puppies home. Only if your looking for a home for them.

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