Sunday, 17 June 2007

In the Beginning

So... Why start writing and contributing to the never ending stream of blogs ??

Well I've been living in Montpellier, France for almost 2 years and let me tell you first and foremost I am writing to share with you my experience of frustration, the necessity to communicate in my mother tongue and hopefully paint a clearer picture about 'the Flip Side' of jumping on a plane and living in another country. There are many plusses don't get me wrong but one has to be fully aware that over 60% of the English folks that move to France return to the UK within a relatively short period of time.

I had a distant but good friend come to stay with me last week, Peter Close (I didn't realise just how many things we had in common and I don't think either of us realised just how strong our friendship was), I read with great interest his blog, Etape or Bust, that details his preparation for an attempt to complete the most difficult stage of the Tour de France 07; in the Mountains of the Pyrenees. It was a sporting challenge laid down to him by some of his medical colleagues and as an individual who doesn't like to say no; he accepted it with open arms. He's now cycling to raise money for the Prostate cancer charity so take a peak at his blog via the links - it makes for a very interesting read and if you can please consider making a donation.

So I thought to myself... How can I create a blog that people want to come back to time and time again ?? What can I discuss that people will find interesting, different or stimulating ?? Is there anything I can share ??

And I thought... And I thought... And I thought and I thought..

And then it dawned on me that by sharing my experience of transferring my life to another country perhaps I could help people take a more balanced approach to living in another country. The flip side to 300 days of sunshine and 40 degree + temperatures for me are too numerous to mention in one simple swipe but I can guarantee there are plenty of them regardless of which country you choose to relocate to. I've lived in both Italy and now France so I think it would be fair to say I have a reasonable understanding of how challenging transferring one's life can be.

My intention with this blog is to detail some of the experiences I have found really challenging, keep it light hearted, make it interesting & varied, share things about what makes French life attractive and basically detail the Flip Side of living abroad. Plus I'll be aiming to capture some slightly off the wall pictures to spice it along.

Today, it's fathers day, we have 30 knots of wind, slightly cloudy and it's about 27 degrees. Not ideal if your a sun worshipper however, as a keen kitesurfer that's pretty AOK for me. By comparison to living in Northampton; Montpellier is based 8 clicks from the Mediterranean, so on the flip side I could argue that this location is far more suited to my passion for water sports.