British Expat Living in France - Interview with Christopher

Published: 10 May at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,France
Christopher GJ Cooley has lived in Malta, Spain and the UK. After graduating from University of the Arts London with a BA Hons degree in Magazine Publishing he moved to La Línea de la Concepción in southern Spain to commence a job at The Gibraltar Magazine. He got fired after 3 days and following a brief stint in jail in Spain for reasons unknown he returned to London. There he worked in content marketing onboard the HMS President an anti-submarine Q-ship from the First World War.

If you want to know a little bit about him and his new life as an expat in Bordeaux (France), then read on... Christopher's expat blog is called Drinking it all in... (see listing here)

Here's the interview with Christopher...

Where are you originally from?
I was born in the port town of Plymouth in the South West of England.

In which country and city are you living now?
At the moment I am living in Bordeaux, 'the port of the moon', in the South West of France

How long have you lived in France and how long are you planning to stay?
I've been here for roughly six months now. My plans are always slightly fluid, slightly up in the air, but at the moment I think I will stay in Bordeaux until October / November 2014. I will stay in France but move to the mountains, The Alps, to work the ski season.

Why did you move to France and what do you do?
I moved to France to learn the langause. I wanted a new challenge, and I have to say that it is challenging!

Did you bring family with you?
No I came on my own. My sister has been out to see me though, and my mum will come soon and we will visit some Châteaux and sample some wine together.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
The transition was fairly easy. I managed to find a job in an english based company so they dealt with most of the paperwork. Apart from the language the culture is not hugely different to the UK, its still Europe at the end of the day.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I was lucky in finding a flatshare with a couple of cool French guys. At my work there are other expats who I like a lot. But I mainly socialise with locals.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
There is a lot to be said for Bordeaux. The wine. The weather. The proximity to the beach. The world class cycling infrastructre.

What do you enjoy most about living in France?
Bordeaux has a great buzz and ambiance, it is a vibrant, youthful and energetic city but relaxed at the some time.

How does the cost of living in France compare to home?
It is actually quiet expensive to live in Bordeaux. Before I was based in London for 5 years and its not as pricey as that but for sure it is not cheap.

What negatives, if any, are there to living in France?
Mosquitos. I hate mosquitos!

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to France, what would it be?
Buy a bike!

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
The language learning, and staying motivated to keep trying.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I am not sure I will finally return home. If I do I'm sure I will have a good reason to do so and will cope easily enough!

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Be adaptable
  2. Try to learn the language
  3. Be prepared for the French love of paperwork
  4. Drink red wine
  5. Cycle
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I've tried to create a blog that isn't too open-ended and that is useful and interesting for people interested in the same things as me. I try to stick to three main subjects, which are:
Drinking (wine),
Cycling and
Language Aquisition.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
On Twitter or by leaving a comment on my blog!

About the author

Expat Blog ListingChristopher is a British expat living in France. Blog description: A blog about learning French, cycling and drinking wine in Bordeaux
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