Moving to France Archives

A new year, a new adventure!

Welcome to 2014:

Life can bring so many surprises.

They don’t necessarily come at the beginning of the year. For me, 2013 came with an overload of revelations, with a catalogue of wonderful memories and special events.

One such event, was reaching my 50th birthday and having my precious children organise a surprise party in London.
Yes, I cried with emotion, realising that the people around me truly make my life complete.

Another such event, was falling in love. At 50!!!

It can happen anytime. You see, the year before, I separated from my long-time partner of 17 years. It came as a “surprise”.
Living the French dream had taken a slight deviation. A distraction, if you like.

… but in 2013, however I met a beautiful French lady and the chemistry just worked. Another “surprise”.
So, what have I learnt?

I guess, that no matter how much you plan and organise your life and business, sometimes these little “surprises” will pop-up and possibly change the rest of your life.

The lesson I have taken from this realisation is:
“Embrace the ‘surprises’ and recognise how to benefit from them, whether they seem good or bad at the time”.

SO for 2014, I do hope you have “surprises” and learn to benefit from them – massively!!!
I continue to be amazed how life can unfold through time.

Have a great 2014

Take care


Like ·  · 26 De

100TdFWith the upcoming 100th Tour de France eyes will be on France.

The race offers a magnificent show-piece for this most amazing country,
showing the incredible diversity of the landscape.

We may watch in awe as the riders tackle the extreme Cols of the Alpes and Pyrenees, whilst sipping a fine Bordeaux wine. We may even admire the trials and tribulations of the teams as they navigate through the sharp bends of the Corsican villages or streets of Paris.

What ever reason you watch this amazing spectactle – enjoy the moment – If you can be in Paris on the final day, let me know. I will be there – hopefully watching a repeat of last year where a Mark Cavendish takes his six win at the Arc de Triomphe.

Let me know if you are in Paris – may we can catch up for a drink! Fellow Internet Marketers.

I love the new Google image – how apt.

What a day indeed?

….. For British Cycling, pedal fans and all sports enthusiasts across the World.

(SIR) Bradley Wiggins,
The “Gentleman of Sports”
was aptly rewarded with one of the greatest sporting prizes
of all time.

Bradley, gracious as ever, accepting his prize, appreciating the supporting crowd and of course his awesome
SKY team mates.


  The lead-up to the finale was intense.
The energy pumping out from the cyclist,
tearing around the Champs-Élysées
was as hot as the Sun. Not even the cobbled stones could prevent
Mark Cavendish breaking away for his
fourth Paris win.
An amazing achievement in itself.

Bradley Wiggins 2012 winner of the Tour de France – still can’t quite believe it.

As I was lucky enough to be there, it made perfect sense to add some photos of the day on my site. Click here to view just a few.

Paris is a beautiful city at the best of times, but with the climax of this great race and baking in glorious sunshine, it seemed that this great City was elevated to the outskirts of Heaven itself. What a day indeed?


It’s all downhill from here. The hard slog has been done. (Well, maybe?)

Sit back and enjoy, probably the best down-hill, speed cyclist of all time, Fabian Cancellara.

Quite unbelievable. Note the speed in the top right-hand corner. Scary, really.

Learning French

This task, by far is our greatest challenge. Learning FRENCH!!!

I can speak a little Welsh and some English, but French is another thing. All the words seem to merge into each other when you hear a native French speaker. It may sound musical, but still, impossible to understand.

It doesn’t matter how much hand-waving you do, if you want to have a meaningful conversation with the neighbour over the garden fence or debate at a dinner event, you have to learn the language to a greater depth than GCSE ‘Français’. No choice.

The kids at school seem fine. As they are totally submerged in the French culture their grasp of the language has come to them with amazing ease. They even sound French – quite annoying, but, I guess gratifying at the same time.

For my partner and I, we struggle. Nous avons du mal à parler français – as they might say en France. To overcome the issue we adopted a number of approaches.

Our early approach, which seemed fantastic for subliminal learning and helping with the accent was to adopt a
BRAINWAVE TRAINING PROGRAM. Just let the audios do the work for you. It gives you confidence and appreciation

Nevertheless, you still need to get a grasp of the structure and especially the conjugation of verbs. Absolutely essential.

I also use LiveMocha, which is brilliant. Give it a go.



Why set-up an AE?

The French are renowned for their bureaucracy. Their lack of innovation and stuck in the mud ideas. The Government wanted to change this and encourage more entrepreneurship, small businesses to help prop-up the flagging economy.

Hence the arrival of the AE system. This still has bizarre regulations, but it seemed fairly easy to apply for when starting out in France. The option to change your business structure is available when you reach certain revenue thresholds, I can go into this later.

You also need to consider what type of business the AE is going to be. This effects where you make the application. Again, I will discuss this in more detail later. There is so much on this topic.

The question is why set-up as an AE?

For me: Simplicity, limited bureaucracy, ease at getting up and running legally and access to the French Health System (it’s good too).

Why move to France?

It’s a big decision and can be life changing.

Certainly for my family and I the experience has been dramatic.

So what lead us to move from a comfortable suburb of London, steady job, good schools for the kids and a common language? None of us could speak French that well.  We must have been crazy – surely? We are not one for making rash decisions.

There were a number of reasons, but the over-riding desire to improve our lifestyle was compelling. France seemed to offer a lot of what we were looking for. The ‘cost of housing’, climate, culture, history and just the extra ‘space’ excited us. We had visited the country on holiday numerous times before, of course, but were conscious that it would be easy to get swallowed up in the ‘romance’ of moving to warmer climate, basing our decision on holiday experiences. This is a BIG DANGER.

My partner, went to task and started the research and planning. This cannot be emphasised enough. Plan, plan, plan. It pays dividends later on. Trust me!

We were discovering that plenty of ‘BRITS’ go over to France, buy a house in the country to live the dream. The house is often bought for a song, but generally requires some loving DIY – ALARMS BELLS should be ringing!

There are so many cottages (like mansions), houses and  gîtes in rural France that even today seem amazingly inexpensive compared to the UK, but do need considerable work. It’s a MONEY TRAP – beware!!!

Note: The cost of doing a house up can be more than the original house price itself – it’s not cheap. It may also take a couple of years to complete the project too.

We had read several accounts of where ‘Brits’ had expended plenty of resource and hard-earned cash into their houses only to find that their new found palace was in the middle of nowhere, completely isolated from the rest of civilisation.

Part of our plan was to integrate with the French, learn the language and be part of the community as quickly as possible. We wanted to be in a circle of French friends as much as join the ‘English bubble’ that exists in rural France. Rural France is a big place and as we have found out recently, can be inaccessible in the height of winter. It gets bloody cold. Really cold. Br prepared.

Ok – so we opted to live in a town. A place where French people live. The possibility of meeting people being so much higher than in the middle of a field where no lights could be seen on the horizon. We cracked it!!!

Ahh! another nagging question. How were we to make a living?
We have two sons to support. They’re lovely kids, but expensive.

The Internet gave us the answer. We were running a couple of online businesses at the time. There seemed no reason why we couldn’t run them from another country. A couple of tweaks here and there and away you go. In reality, the principle of running the businesses has been consistent with very little upheaval. The Internet is a joy. We have gained business rather than lost customers during the transition.

However, operating out of another country does means some changes with the Tax laws and filing accounts. I can discuss this later. (i.e. I have gone for an AE – what they call an Auto Entrepreneur. Once you have a SIRET number other entitlements are made available to you (e.g. Health)) It works for me.


It was late 2010 when we made to decision to GO FOR IT! The plan was in its infancy, but nevertheless it was crystalising very quickly. There was so much to think about, so much to actually do. Our questions were being answered as we continued our research.

Our adventure was about too begin. One thing for sure is that without the Web we could not be here today.

I will be sharing with you how to build an internet business so you can have the choices to be and work for yourself. I will include wisdom from some of the very successful Internet Marketers who have transformed their own lives by doing what I do today.

This blog is a collation of ideas and experiences where you will be able to draw on as a resource to help your own business.

Please feel free to contact me, if you have queries on eBay, building an online business or even moving to France and setting up a new life.