After I lost my husband to cancer I existed for 2 years; I tried to live a normal life, go out, try new hobbies etc but nothing made any difference. I realised that, if I were to move on and find some sort of happiness I would need to make a really big change. I’m a huge fan of the American life coach Tony Robbins and he says “the path to success is to take massive, determined action so that’s what I did. I had lived my whole life in the UK but on 1st April 2016 I arrived in the South of France – the photo above is the first of many that I took and is the view from the apartment that I rented. There are typically 300 days of sunshine a year over here but when I arrived it was cloudy and rained for the best part of a week – sod’s law! My brother lives a few miles away but other than that I knew no-one, I was armed with only school girl french, I had never driven on the right, I didn’t know the area but I felt as though I had come home.
The first few weeks were tough as I had to do all the things that, in the past, my husband would have done for me and I had to do them in a language that I really didn’t speak very well at all.Trust me there is nothing that can look quite so blank as a French person who doesn’t understand what you’re talking about…..except possibly a cat.
However, gradually I began to find my way around, the sun came out, my French improved and then I began to make friends. In the UK I hadn’t wanted to really be around anyone and I had effectively forced myself into a kind of miserable isolation but I always had the safety net of friends and family. When I moved over here I realised that, unless I made an effort, I would be genuinely isolated and my ‘safety net’ would be 1000 miles away. I was so far out of my comfort zone that it was just a dot on the horizon BUT the worst thing that could happen to me had already happened, I had faced many fears but upping sticks and leaving the UK so I decided to just experience whatever life threw at me from that point onwards.
As a result I have been white water rafting, been to several circuits to watch friends racing motorbikes, driven a jet ski, been to several places in Italy including Rome and Venice and several in Spain. I have been on the back of motorbikes riding through the Alps, I’ve played tennis and badminton, I’ve been on hikes through the mountains and for miles along the coast. I’ve met so many new people and now have a large group of friends; with one exception they are all French or Italian (it’s really difficult trying to learn two languages at the same time!!).
No-one knew me when I came here so I had nothing to prove and the people I went on to meet had no expectations. In the UK I was the poor woman who had lost her husband, here I am just me and that’s enough………..