Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ex Pat Lives - AW Consulting

Most of us ex pats here living in France are thrilled with ourselves when we discover that we can converse and be understood in another language. It's quite a buzz, the first time you have a decent conversation with a French person without having to resort to charades, gestures and high jinks and when you don't have to tell a long rigmarole of a story just to get a simple point across. 10 years later, I can speak French well, but I know that my French is probably riddled with grammatical faux pas (faux pas's? see what I mean? It's not easy!)
Anna Walmsley, in her mid thirties, speaks 4 languages fluently : English, French, Spanish and Catalan, flipping from one to another doing verbal gymnastics with her French Spanish speaking husband.
She moved here 2 years ago after spending 10 years in Spain ....
"Compared to the UK and Spain, we prefer the overall quality of life in France. There is more free time, more things to enjoy, a larger choice of activities for leisure especially for children, a good social life, far better food, great landscapes.  It is within short distance from Spain and has easy access to the UK with Ryanair offering many destinations back to England." says Anna, originally born in the UK 
"Compared to Spain we find France provides a very high standard in terms of education, childcare and healthcare.  This was our decision maker for taking the final decision to move here.  Our daughter and any future siblings would be in good hands."
"Although there are far better job opportunities in the UK and the main obstacle for me here has been the job situation, the overall quality of life is far superior in France.  I have more free time and more things to enjoy especially as the weather is so good.
However there are things that can be very frustrating.  You will not find shops open 24/7, there are many that shut from 12-2pm and close again at 7pm. The frustration of dealing with French bureaucracy is well known and is very true. Unfortunately, this is an inevitable part of life in France which you learn to live and deal with it.." says Anna
However, they have had a very positive experience so far of the crèche and their daughter’s child-minder.  It is not expensive and the quality of care is excellent.  Their daughter will be starting school this September so they have yet to discover the pros and cons of the ‘ecole maternelle’.    
"We go to Spain at least twice a month to soak up the atmosphere.  We love and miss dearly Spain and the people."
However, Anna has made many good friends here which she has found to be her saving grace, as she found it very difficult at the beginning, moving here.  
She enjoys running and swimming and last year took part in a mini triathlon.
"We have the perfect weather for it!  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my daughter Elisa, going to the beach, going out on bike rides or just having a lazy day at home by the pool. I also enjoy socialising with my girlfriends and popping over to Spain for the odd girlie weekend" she says 

Multilingual Anna Walmsley runs AW Consulting and provides all the necessary business support and linguistic skills (English, French, Spanish and Catalan) to help expand a business into new markets overseas. So if you are a startup or entrepreneur looking to set up a business abroad give her a call for a free consultation.  
You can find her contact details on www.annawalmsleyconsulting.com

1 comment:

  1. Great article Kaz. Thanks very much for doing such a grand write up!


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