Why Elizabeth and Stuart Came to France

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When I met Americans Elizabeth and Stuart, who have chosen to spend their retirement in France, at a get-together of the Loire Connexion, I was immediately fascinated by their story and wanted to share it on My French Life as an inspiration for other Anglophones who would like to live the French dream.

Sunset on the Loire, photo by Stuart Byrom
Sunset on the Loire, photo by Stuart Byrom

We’re at ‘The Shaker’ on l’Ile d’Or, the little island in the middle of the Loire River, with its stunning view of Amboise Castle, at the monthly meet-up of the Loire Connexion. Two newcomers arrive. We start chatting and I learn that Elizabeth and Stuart, both retired Americans, divide their time between their small apartment in Paris where they’ve been living for four years, and their bigger and more recently acquired house in Amboise. Read more


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5 thoughts on “Why Elizabeth and Stuart Came to France”

  1. It’s great that they can do what many of us would love to do but how do you leave behind family, grandchildren?Not sharing their birthdays, holidays etc is what keeps me from my life long dream of living in France. So I have no choice but to be content w/ frequent visits to my adopted country. While I envy them their choice for retirement, I know that the pull of my grandchildren’s smiles is too strong for me to live out that dream.

    1. I shall ask Elizabeth and Stuart to answer you themselves, but I entirely sympathize. My daughter is still living in France at the moment, but is intending to move to New York with her Dutch boyfriend (whose parents, I gather, are not keen on the move) and my son is soon to leave Australia where he’s been for the last two years and work in San Francisco, doing a six-month stint in Berlin on the way! So I don’t know where my future grandchildren will end up.

      1. Hi Rosemary!
        I’ve been reading your lovely blog for some days now and I’m finally catching up. (I found you on MK’s blog)

        One of the reasons I don’t want to move to France permanently is just that, family. It would be so hard to be away from everybody but what a dream it is at the same time!

        For now, I’m happy to plan short escapades as much as I can but it’s not easy when you have a steady job.

        I’m enjoying your blog very much, and what an incredibly beautiful place Blois is. Wow.


        1. Hello Sylvia.

          I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog (and thank you to Mary Kay!). The family question is difficult isn’t it? My son is moving from Australia to San Francisco via Berlin and my daughter is off to look for work in New York so goodness knows where they’ll end up.

          Blois is a great consolation though …

  2. Strange as it may seem, Stuart and I now spend more time with our grandchildren per year than we did when we lived in the States. Before the move, we lived and worked in North Carolina while our daughter Andrea and her family live about two hours away in Virginia. Between their schdules and ours, we got together about one weekend every six weeks or so. Now, Stuart and I go to the States twice a year, for Christmas and in the summer, spending two or three weeks each time. Andrea and her family come to France every other year. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it is to share Paris and Amboise with the grandkids! They love it! Technology also helps close the distance. Our French phone service allows us to call the US for free, and we Skype fairly often. For birthdays, we send a package with presents for the honoree, plus small gifts for other members of the family, and treats like homemade confiture and French chocolates. Stuart’s and my way grandparenting isn’t for everyone, but it works for our family.

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