Contemplating a move to the south of France
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Sep 8, 2012 4:27 AM Last Post By: Onegirlarmy
Aug 19, 2012 3:06 AM
Contemplating a move to the south of FranceBonjour tout le monde! :)
My fiancé and I have been living in Barcelona now for over 10 years and due to the spiraling depression Spain is finding itself in and the unlikelyhood of things improving any time soon we have been thinking about possibly moving to the south of France.
My fiancé is 39, Maroccan nationality, 20 years legal residency in Europe (8 years in France and 12 years in Spain), speaks fluent French, Spanish, Arabic and some English and Catalan. He is a carpenter/cabinetmaker by trade and has his own tools and car.
I am 41, Dutch nationality (EU), speak fluent French, English, Dutch, Spanish and some Catalan. I am a surreal artist (Masters' degree in Sculpture) but I do have many real world skills: welding and metal work (but no welding certification), construction, translating (Dutch, French and Spanish into English), tourism. I currently run a small but popular bed without breakfast in Barcelona, via Airbnb. The house I am doing this in is rental and the lease is up next year in May, so before that we need to make a decision.
We like the Mediterranean climate and would still like to be somewhat close to Barcelona. We have two dogs, a workshop with tools and a lot of other stuff, so we would be interested in looking for a big(gish) old house/farm/smithy (as economical as possible) or somesuch in a small village or town, ideally with or near some type of cultural life (art, music, etc) / airport, where we would be able to find work, and make a positive contribution to the community.
We are heading to the south of France for the first week in September with this loose itinerary:
(31 aug-2 sep) Music festival /camping in Lac Montbel, in the French Pyrenees.
(3-4 september) Perpignan and region, visit foto journalism show there.
(5-6 september) travel though Languedoc-Roussillon towards Montpellier, where my fiancé has some cousins he hasn´t seen in years.
(7 september) back to Barcelona
If my fiancé finds any job opportunity during this trip he will return to France with car/tools soon after that, get a room, go through the bureaucracy of the carte de séjour and such and start working, while I remain in Barcelona and run the bed without breakfast.
We would love any tips and suggestions.
Aug 19, 2012 11:31 AM
1have you thought about buying a property where the both of you can 1. run another B&B and 2. have a workshop? don't know about your ability to fund such a place, of course. in france the economy is also having problems, but probably a lot less than in spain. i am running a 2 bedroom B&B myself, south of amsterdam, which is popular with cyclists, and by coincidence found a great forum for people with chambres d'hote, B&B's, holiday rentals or plans to start one.
i really have no idea if this is feasible for you, but with both your skills and those of your fiance, it seems a bit obvious to me (except for the investment part). the forum is www.laymyhat.com, you can sign up in seconds and ask your questions at the forum. the website is also full of very good advice for beginners, from experienced people 'in the hospitality business' and all of them are locally very well informed. there is a separate part of the forum: 'france'.
en ik ben ook nederlandse ;-)
veel succes met jullie zoektocht!
Aug 19, 2012 11:50 PM
thank you for your advice! I will check out that website, that sounds good!
Another b&b is an option, but it would a long term project. Even if we found a good fixer upper we would still be spending a good deal of time and money before being able to receive guests. It took 3 years for the place in Barcelona (formerly a lamp factory) to get up to par. It is going well at the moment, but it is summer now. This winter looks like it will be a hard one.
We have very little savings at this moment due to the crisis and the lack of other work coming in... this is why we would need jobs in France to start out with.
Aug 20, 2012 7:47 PM
Sep 8, 2012 4:27 AM
We just returned from visiting the south of France and had a great time. We first spent some time in the French Pyrinees, by Lac Montbel, near Chalabre and spent a few days there. Then we drove in zig zag over little roads direction Béziers and Montpelllier and ended up a good amount of time in le Gard. Found a fantastic camping/winery called la Domaine d'Anglas in Brissac and stayed there a few days. Loved the region around the Hérault river system. Drove back over Gruissac and then back through Pyrenean wine country, stocked up on wine and drove back to Barcelona.
I was shocked to see how many woods have burned by La Jonquera, blackened stumps for kilometres on! :(
Mokummer, I really like that website, thanks! :) This is the bed-without-breakfast in Barcelona I am running currently.
redwhitewine, I had the website redone, with mixed results... but see for yourself
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night