Expat Living and Real EstateLiving in ProvenceRebecca Ronane

It Takes a Risk Taker to be an Expat in Provence

The Old School Expat

The word expat has always made me feel uncomfortable. It conjures up in my mind an old-fashioned view of a person. Someone who takes tea with the best china in their adopted country and then proceeds to whine about their surroundings. I am no doubt generalising, but of course, there are people like this. There are those who think that the choice to live or work elsewhere is not a patriotic one. I remember reading a remark on Facebook from a relation who works in education that the UK divorce from Europe shouldn’t be bothersome for people who didn’t even live in the country!  He is misjudged, as an expat can sometimes be annoyingly more patriotic than ever.

The word expat is defined as someone who is not living in their own country, usually for a short time. Interestingly that makes the majority of us here immigrants, who by definition will want to stay much longer. Personally, I’ve never considered myself a fierce patriot. Instead, I’m a wanderer of the world where I can learn objectivity of not only where I find myself, but of my own country. It is on reflection not surprising that I married a foreigner and have now lived in Provence for 23 years. Additionally, I’ve worked in the travel industry for 34 years. As a child who always wanted to travel, I’ve walked my talk!

Expat Risk Takers Network Provence

Expats in Provence

A couple of weeks ago I had a monthly meeting with a group I created called Network Provence and noted that amongst the thirty ladies who attended there were thirteen nationalities, this to me was pure bliss. Awesome women each with a story to tell, as to why they were in this part of the world and what project/business they were involved in. Our cosmopolitan collective insight, our unity, our risk factor, our energy, and yet our individuality pulls together much more than what might be generally considered an expat.

We’ve made, for most, a choice and taken a risk to be out of our comfort zone. Entering into another life where it won’t be necessarily easy.  I expect if you’re here you’re not looking for the easy option. Instead, you’ll be creating your dream-life in a sunny place where the light is mesmerising, the food mouth-watering, the history inspiring, and the scenery breath-taking. Once you’ve settled in, the challenge to make social contact and work in a country which doesn’t speak your language kicks in on so many levels. This process indeed is not for everyone, this is for risk-takers!

Expats are Risk Takers

In the last four years, I find myself dazzled by women who have taken a risk, often by themselves to come here and follow their dreams. Typically is Raina Stinson who retired from her nursing career in the USA to follow her photography dream.

Communicating in French doesn’t come easy. Working out the rules and regulations can be a mine-field, yet the spirit of discovery is fierce and compelling. Nothing lands on the plate especially if you never leave your cosy armchair. However, each baby step takes you nearer to achievement for firstly yourself and then others. This for me is the expat!

If you are toying with the idea to come and live in Provence, blog sites such as Perfectly Provence have plenty of  inspiring articles to help you enjoy the amazing lifestyle we have here, my networking group Network Provence will give you all the creative connections you need, and if you need support and motivation I’m a life-coach too. Contact me at www.rebeccaronane.com.

Image credits: Rawpixel

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Rebecca Ronane

Rebecca Ronane

Rebecca Ronane has made Provence her home. Born in the United Kingdom, she describes herself as a happy wanderer and an adventurer. Rebecca has explored many career paths over the years and continues to lead guided trips in France, Spain, Italy and other destinations.

“Personal development and alternative health medicine have always intrigued me and starting in my early twenties I began studying Tai Chi. I followed that with a certificate in herbal medicine, but my adventuress spirit took over, and I followed a career of a life in travel instead."

"However, my interest focused in a different direction a few years ago, when I discovered Life Coaching, which for me became Life-changing. Studying and consequently certified, I now have my own Life Coaching business, consisting of Forward after Fifty (dedicated to women who want to reinvent themselves) and
Holiday Retreats in Provence.

The retreat program is a result of 18 small group workshops dedicated to exploring life topics such as values; people pleasing, boundaries and time management. After sharing many of these with small groups, it seemed a logical step to combine my coaching and travel experience into Retreats in Provence.

Rebecca launched Networking in Provence in February 2015. The group now includes over 150 international women who meet regularly in several locations in Provence. Here is the link to the website. Please contact Rebecca if you would like to join the Networking Provence Facebook group.

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