French Expat In Sydney - Interview With Mademoiselle Slimalicious

Published: 13 Nov at 7 PM
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Filed: Interviews,Australia
At age 26 Cyndie had successfully relocated to 4 continents, worked in France, Morocco, England, Japan and Australia. In 2011, Cyndie was awarded the “Young Expatriate of the Year” Award organised by Racines Sud and the region Languedoc Roussillon in France. Cyndie has since been featured in various media in France to talk about her unusual journey. She now lives in Sydney and travel the world whenever she can! She blogs at Mademoiselle Slimalicious (see listing here)


Mademoiselle Slimalicious

Here's the interview with Cyndie...


Where are you originally from?
Born in Paris from a Spanish father and a French mother, I grew up in Carcassonne, a small medieval town located in the South of France, surrounded by Mediterranean coastlines, vineyards and the Pyrenees Mountains.

In which country and city are you living now?
I live in Sydney, Australia.

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I’ve been living in Sydney for just over 3 years. I don’t know how long I will stay, probably another 5 to 10 years! Maybe more, maybe less – who knows?!

Why did you move and what do you do?
I first moved to London after graduating from University because there were no jobs in France and being young and adventurous I thought London would be a good place to start a career. After working three years there, visiting over 30 countries, falling for an Australian, and teaching French in Japan for seven months, I finally relocated to Australia in late 2009.
Now, I work as a project manager in Sydney for one of the largest Australian companies. In parallel, I’m finalising a book which I’m hoping to publish next year.

Did you bring family with you?
My fiancé is Australian and that’s the main reason why I am here today. We met in London in 2006. My parents and relatives all live in France.

Mademoiselle SlimaliciousHow did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
When I first moved to England, I really struggled with my English (I’m a French native speaker). The first couple of years where very challenging, I had difficulties to establish relationships at work and in the outside world. Luckily my Australian fiancé helped me through this challenging time, and being able to speak English fluently now is very rewarding.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
While I enjoy socialising with other expats from around the world, there is a down side to it: often they end up leaving, and you have to make new friends again! In general, I do not socialise with French people whom from my experience tend to form a group and speak exclusively French at parties (which doesn’t suit us, my fiancé not being fluent in French).
To be fair, I find it relatively easy to meet new people in Australia, many Australians are curious about where I’m from and every time I meet someone for the first time, I’m been asked a lot of questions. But while meeting new people isn’t so difficult, making friends is way harder! Most of the Australians I meet in Sydney already have their own circle of friends, from school, uni and work and also their family, so they are not looking at making new friends. We have lived in Sydney for three years and we can count our friends on one hand! It’s a little sad!

Mademoiselle SlimaliciousWhat are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
I recommend setting time apart to travel around Australia before starting work. Australia being so vast, you won’t have time to do it once you start working unless you take all of your annual leave for it – but from my experience you might want to keep your annual leave to visit family back home or to travel to neighbouring countries (ie: New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia).

What do you enjoy most about living here?
I enjoy the professional and career opportunities we are given, because of a stable (growing) economy. I feel like everyone can have a chance here. I’m also grateful for a high standard of life and for feeling safe. The weather is nice, the food is good, people are generally friendly – I really can’t complain! I’m a lucky girl!

How does the cost of living compare to home?
Life is very expensive in Australia, especially if you live in the city. When my French friends visited us last month, they were shocked to see that one tomato costs $1.50. In France you can have 1 kilo of tomatoes for that price! Luckily our income is higher.

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
In my opinion, the isolation/distance from Europe (and the rest of the world) is the only negative aspect of living in Australia. I miss my parents a lot and I wish I could see them more often (I haven’t seen them for nearly two years).

Mademoiselle SlimaliciousIf you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
No point in looking for a job in Australia from your home country. Things move fast here and there are plenty of jobs. Just make the move, you will most likely find a job in the first month!

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
I do get home sick sometimes, and not being able to call home (time difference) or jump on a plane makes it hard. I sometimes feel guilty for living so far from friends and family, but most of my family and friends back home can tell that I’ve never being happier than since I’ve lived in Australia.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
At this stage, I am not sure if I will be going back home. We would love to live in Europe again, but possibly not France. My fiancé doesn’t speak the language and the economic and political climate in France doesn’t appeal to us. The UK or Switzerland would more likely be our next home if we were to go back to Europe.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Don’t stay within your community, go out and meet people from different horizons!
  2. Make the most of your expatriation, visit the country, and learn about its culture!
  3. Don’t waste your time looking for a job in Australia from overseas, come and get it!
  4. Forget about politics, nobody cares here!
  5. Stop complaining and look at the positive side. If you are not happy, take steps to change things.


Mademoiselle SlimaliciousTell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My lifestyle blog Mademoiselle Slimalicious is a platform where I inspire people to live a healthier and greener life. There I share about my home country, France, and encourage people to follow a few principles French women do believe in especially when it comes to developing healthy eating habits and being naturally active.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
I can be contacted through my blog, Twitter: @MSlimalicious, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Mslimalicious or Email: Cyndie{at}mslimalicious-dot-com

Cyndie blogs at http://www.mslimalicious.com which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Mademoiselle Slimalicious has an ExpatsBlog.com listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Cyndie, please also drop her a quick note below.
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Comments » There are 2 comments

Leanne wrote 1 year ago:

Writing a book, well done Cyndie you inspire me with all your achievements and I love reading about your experiences. Looking forward to your next instalment.

Chris wrote 1 year ago:

Well done Cyndie. You are an inspiration to many I'm sure. Tell your fiance to work at his French. It's only fair...

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