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Poser ses valises

What I have learned from my own experience as an expat, is that these years of expatriation can belong to the most rewarding experiences in a lifetime. Or, they can just turn into a nightmare, if you aren’t prepared to discover the culture and to adjust to your new environment.

Have you ever heard the French set expression “poser ses valises ?” One of the possible way of translating this idiom could be, I would like to “unpack one’s luggage”, in other word to settle down, and to feel home.

First, it is important to highlight that to be an expat is the result of a choice. It may be the choice of a company as a result of a strategy, the choice of your husband, the choice of a whole family, or your choice!

To integrate into France is the result of a process.

There are two ways to consider the way you want to go through it. Either you consider you had no choice but to follow your husband, to positively answer to the strategy of a firm, to behave a “gentle spouse” or you consider you can benefit from the situation and have an impact on what arrives to you.

How about reversing the trend which consists in saying you had no other choice and how about feeling involved in the situation and considering this can be the start for creating your own new story?

The true question is then, what are the little steps you can make to put your belongings at their place, to start controlling your new life in France?

  • What is the stage of your integration process?
  • How do you evaluate your integration level in France?
  • Do you have the feeling, you are in a position to “undo one piece of luggage” and make choices on your own?

What I have learned from my own experience as an expat, is that these years of expatriation can belong to the most rewarding experiences in a lifetime. Or, they can just turn into a nightmare, if you aren’t prepared to discover the culture and to adjust to your new environment.

Somehow, it is up to you to define what you intend to do in France.

The question is, are you in a position to find your way on your own or do you need help and where can you find the support you are looking for.

Lyon à la Carte and Grand Dire are offering services to help you weave your own way into France.

Just ask.

Monday 16 September, 2013 | Françoise Pera Berthier

Postscript

Lyon à la Carte Expats - simplifying global lifestyles

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