The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living

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The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living




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Oct 8, 2015

It’s a long way from California to the west coast of France, especially if you’ve never visited before. Daniele and her husband Mike made the big move after Mike got a job opportunity in the French city of Biarritz, one of the surfing capitals of Europe.

Although something of a culture shock Daniele has so far enjoyed the tradition – swapping the business suits of her former life as a lawyer for the running shoes as she enjoys a more relaxed lifestyle in France.

Today we talk with Daniele as she discusses the culture shocks of France, how travelling opportunities have opened up from her new European base, and why the French have mastered the art of living in a way that is both challenging and refreshing to enjoy.

You can follow her and what’s happening in Biarritz at

What I learned from Daniele’s interview:

  1. Biarritz is part of the Basque region which shares more in common with northern Spain than it does with the rest of the county. It’s important to appreciate how strong regional cultures are in the part of the world and to be respectful to the independent nature that many of the locals may have
  2. There are some very affordable pockets of France even within cities. Biarritz is a popular tourist area yet it is still possible to live comfortably for around $2000-$2500 per month as a couple. The quality of life is good and the summers mild although Biarritz can be cold when winter rolls around.
  3. You definitely need to adapt to a slower pace if moving there. Long lunchtimes are common with many businesses closing down for up to 90 minutes at a time. The French love life and live for holidays with more holidays per year than Daniele was used to in the US. Long weekends are something that occurs regularly and with some attractive locations including Spain just a couple of hours way, weekend trips is definitely something to savior and enjoy!
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