Sunday, December 29, 2013

Expat Experience: Chrissie in Nice, France

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Chrissie, an Australian living and working in Nice, France. Like many of my compatriots, I headed off to discover the world upon completion of my university degree and ended up here in the sunny South of France. That was back in 2007. When I first arrived I was offered an administrative position with an English company who supply fine wines to the super yachts which invade the Mediterranean each summer. I’ve been there ever since, and thanks to further training (and dedicated tasting) I now have a very fulfilling wine sales role.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

It all started in 1998 when I’d just finished high school. My big sister was already living in Nice and suggested I defer university for a year.

Instead I could come and live with her and enroll in an intensive French course. I didn’t need much convincing! I fell in love with Nice straight away and always hoped to return at some point. When I finished university I travelled on and off for about 18 months before ending up back where it all started! It helped to have family around, although my sister has now returned home to Australia after 20 years here. I also have a French passport, thanks to my mother, which I’m more than grateful for. Without it I would never have been able to stay.

What challenges did you face during the move?

I guess I was lucky as I left Australia in my mid-twenties with only my backpack and a desire to see where the wind took me! I didn’t have to worry about moving a family and issues such as finding schools or appropriate housing. A return ticket to Australia was booked so I knew that if my new life in France didn’t work out I could simply use that ticket to head home. I still don’t know how, but somehow I found a job and a room in a flat share within a week of arriving in Nice. I haven’t looked back since!

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