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picture 9 Jan 2003 @ 01:09, by Flemming Funch

I have the itch to move right now. That's how my family and I ended up in California 18 years ago instead of our native Denmark. It is not a terribly rational thing, just an urge that says it is time to move on to somewhere very different. Trying to make the best determination as to where that should be, but once you decide, it is pretty much closing one's eyes and jumping, and working out the details later. It feels like southern Europe would be the thing. First I thought Switzerland, but on second thought I think maybe France is better. Something like Lyon, the Rhône-Alpes region. Not as crowded and hectic and expensive as Paris, but a place with lots of culture and connections. And central, easy to get to other places. But I haven't been there, and I don't know anybody there, and my French is not great. I have acquired a stack of all the right books, and I'll go and explore things in April, and if it still feels right, we'd probably move a couple of months later. Not that any of this is smooth or easy. It is a big thing to move to another country, and we're a family of five, each with our quite different priorities and ideas about what we like. Do any of you know anybody in that part of France? Having some personal connections there would really be helpful.

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9 Jan 2003 @ 04:48 by istvan : The moove.
I have now for years had a desire to move back to Europe. The problem is multidimensional. Searching for a new country i have discovered that i love too many things about too many countries, too many countries to be able to make a dcision. If i was still young i would just take off, like i used to, but now it is not that easy. What i decided is to wait for someone to start a new country, a new civilisation,a new way of being human on this Earth and then i will make my move. You think you have difficulties?  

9 Jan 2003 @ 05:04 by ming : A New Country
Heheh, well, I was once thinking about a group collectively buying a south pacific island and figuring out a way of turning it into a separate country. Max Sandor (formerly Joachim Steingrubner) painted the picture in some detail: A few of the pieces were sort of already there, so it didn't sound all crazy. But I decided it would be some serious hard work for many years, starting a country on a desert island, and that it probably would be better for me to hang around and communicate where there's already infrastructure.  

9 Jan 2003 @ 05:05 by jstarrs : Moving...
Hey Ming! (You know, I'm in Toulouse...) Firstly, I think the Rhone Valley/Lyon is more of an industrial axe, concerning France, sure you can find some nice areas to the west of Lyon/Rhone but I firmly believe the south west to be the best in terms of climate, environment, although work opportunities are maybe slimmer.
From Toulouse, down to Spain, the country is beautiful and the rent/buying, still not excessive. In the Aude department there are many beautiful areas, in Ariege, near the Pyrenées, even down by the coast between Perpignan and Spain.
If you need a contact in Toulouse etc, I'd be happy to help out where I can.
Me, I took off during Thatcher's reign, self-exile and am so happy to be here in France - it's not perfect but at least there's space and opportunities.  

9 Jan 2003 @ 05:33 by ming : France
That's great advice. Yeah, you were the first person in France I could think of. At least after that little Parisian girl I was kind of fond of 20 years ago. Yeah, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of industry in the Rhone/Lyon area, so I wasn't sure how much that would sort of get in the way. Provence was kind of the first thing I thought of. But I guess my teenage kids wouldn't be happy if it is too rural, and I figured the Cote d'Azur might be too overcrowded and touristy. So I'm trying to find something that's both relaxed and pleasant and scenic and also fairly close to big city conveniences. I'm counting on that I can do the same telecommuting computer work for U.S. clients I do today, so the job market doesn't matter so much for me. Inexpensive rentals and easy transportation matters more. But I admit, I'm feeling around a bit blindly at this point, or rather, relying on books and websites with pretty pictures. I have really only spent a few of days in France (Paris, and driving down to Andorra and back). What made you go to Toulouse specifically?  

9 Jan 2003 @ 05:51 by jstarrs : France
I think with your skills, somewhere in the southwest would be ideal. You see, you're near large cities like Toulouse, which is one of the nicer French cities. You're also near the mountains (Pyrenées) and the sea & Spain.
Provence, I think would be a lot more expensive than the south west, being as you say, more touristy.
I first came to the south west in 1975, when my sister started to rebuild a shepard's hut in the mountains back from the coast, near Beziers. I visited her each year and gradually got a taste for the country. Language was a problem, at first, but it's really a stage you go through, even have to.
So, my base was the south west. As I mentioned, work is scarce there, in the country so I worked awhile on the vineyards, also in an small organic farm but eventually met up with some young people who were making tube amplifiers, in Toulouse and need someone to develop the export (english) side.
I'd never had sales experience but the fact that I'd always been involved in music was enough, so here I am!  

9 Jan 2003 @ 06:36 by shawa : Well, well!...
...If ever you get into a problem in France, hop to Barcelona, and we will pick you up and give you shelter.
Rhones-Alpes is rather industrial, the southwest sounds fine, except for work, as Jeff says. Do you speak French ???  

9 Jan 2003 @ 10:40 by craiglang : OK... long as the NCN web server works OK from there... :-)

But seriously folks, Each of us needs to pursue THE DREAM. I wish you well in whatever decision you make

9 Jan 2003 @ 10:56 by ming : South West
Ah, you're saying south WEST, now I get it. Hm, I'll study up on it. And it would be great to have some friends around.

And FRENCH, well, I had a year of French in highschool in Denmark. I can't say it all stuck. I realize how terribly important it is to speak French in France, so I'll have some catching up to do. I'm most concerned about my teenage kids on that account. Like, my son is 16 and still in highschool. A low standard rather useless U.S. highschool, and he's not doing well in it. And he doesn't speak a word of French. I guess I'll need to look for an international highschool.

Oh, and don't worry about the server, guys. It will probably stay right where it is. Which reminds me that I need to leave and drive down there. Its about 1.5 hours south of here. It might be down a little later for a couple of hours, while I work on some things.  

9 Jan 2003 @ 11:06 by shawa : CLONLARA ?
Have a look at CLONLARA Homeschooling Programme, they work through the Internet, too, - my eldest (24) has a high school graduation (CompuHigh Programme).  

9 Jan 2003 @ 22:48 by ming : Home School
{link:|Clonlara} sounds great. And similar to {link:|Oak Meadow} which I'm familar with. My daughter did that for the last two years of her highschool, with good result. There's an Oak Meadow school just a couple of blocks from where we live now, and she went in one day per week there, and studied on her own the rest of the time. My son is somewhat less self-motivated and more in need of social interaction. But certainly that is a possible avenue.  

9 Jan 2003 @ 23:02 by magical_melody : Flemming, go for it!!
When Max and I went out to lunch with you and your family and you were discussing the idea of moving, I really saw you doing it quite soon. I think I even said that. Well, here you are saying it just a few short months later. It really felt like you had already been letting go of your present home back then. Go for it!! Everyone will adjust gradually. At first though the kids may feel resistant and emotional about leaving their friends and activities behind. Yet, I feel that such a move will open their world to more opportunities, and that it will utltimately allow them the travel and the life choices that will support them in their adult journeys. Living in Europe will enrich their lives in many ways! Please give my best to them!! :^)
In harmony, Alana

****Question Flemming: Have you dialogued with the family anymore about this decision to get their true feelings? I think their input is crucial with such an important life change as moving to France, or somewhere out of the country. Peace, Alana  

10 Jan 2003 @ 05:38 by paquetse : If you're in Europe in May...
you might want to attend that BlogTalk gathering (Not sure yet if I'll be there, but Matt Mower, Phil Wolff, and Marc Canter will, and perhaps Thomas Madsen-Mygdal.)

And, you can write me in French if you want to practice. Or better yet, start a French language blog!  

10 Jan 2003 @ 14:35 by ming : Writing in French
Uarrgh, now I'm getting scared. Yeah, I thought about whether I could make that BlogTalk gathering. Particularly when I hear those guys are going. I'll be going to Europe in late March, to Denmark because it is my Mom's 70 year birthday. And that's when I had in mind exploring in France as well, picking the location. After which I'd think about moving ASAP, unless I unexpectedly change my mind.  

10 Jan 2003 @ 23:53 by ming : Toulouse
Jeff, I was studying up a bit on Toulouse, which actually looks like a great place on many counts. Only, slightly major, drawback I can see is that it doesn't yet have TGV train service, so it takes a couple of hours longer to get to other parts of France than it could. I gather that it is in the works for sometime before 2020, but that's a bit long.  

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