Our 2009 Plans…

Following my last post, I’ve received lots of emails asking;

1. When are you moving back to Canada?

2. How can you possibly be considering moving away from France?

3. Are you going to sell your vacation rentals?

4. Will you still be blogging back in Canada?

Let me just preface my answers with the story of a warm summer evening back in 1991 when I was a fresh-faced 18 year old, and Franck a dashingly older man at the age of 23.

Franck and I had met only two months previously and were still in the first throes of our head over heels coup de foudre. We went for an evening walk in the vineyards just behind his parents’ house (and, incidentally what is now La Maison de la Vieille Vigne), and started dreaming out loud about our future. Despite the problems of immigration, finances, and language, it was a given that we would figure out a way to stay together.

Our fingers knitted together as the sun bathed the bright green vines in citrus light. Our life as a couple would have one foot in Burgundy and one foot in Canada’s West Coast, we decided (even though Franck had never even been on an airplane at that point, let alone visited Canada). We concluded that for as long as we could humanly manage it, we would decide NOT to decide between our two homes.

Fast-forward 17 years…so far, though at times not without struggle, we have managed to mould our lives according to that pie-in-the sky dream.

In the past five years here we have not only bought and renovated La Maison des Chaumes which will be our base here in Burgundy now that our family has outgrown La Maison des Deux Clochers, but we have created La Maison de la Vieille Vigne and Le Relais du Vieux Beaune that not only allow many adventurous travellers to get an authentic taste of Burgundy, but also give us a reason – practically and financially – to continue moving back and forth between France and Canada.

So, to answer;

Question #1: When are you moving back to Canada?

We’re pretty decided to take the leap around July 20-25th, 2009. From the end of July 2009 onwards, then, our house here in Burgundy, La Maison des Chaumes, will be available for rent whenever we’re not here. I’m currently working on getting some information posted on our website http://www.graperentals.com/

Question #2: How can you possibly be considering moving away from France?
Franck and I and our bevy love France. It is half of all of us, not to mention a large chunk of our individual and family history.

Nevertheless, Victoria is a pretty darn nice place to live as well, and it is the other half of ourselves and our life, and as such shouldn’t be neglected.

This is our fifth year living in France and for a lot of reasons Franck and I both feel that the time is right to move back to Canada for a while. However, just because we are living for the majority of the year in Canada does not mean France will not continue to be a part of our lives

Franck will be coming back on a regular basis to maintain the quality of our vacation rentals, do repairs, and just deal with the in-person stuff such as meetings with bankers and accountants, painting shutters, and trying out new restaurants for us to review!

As a family we’ll be coming back at least once a year, and staying at our house here, La Maison des Chaumes. When we come back to France we generally stay for a while – usually 5-6 weeks – and during that time we’ll not only be catching up with family and friends here in Burgundy, but also meeting guests, fine-tuning the decoration and equipping of the gites, and just taking care of all the stuff that needs taking care of.

So even though we’ll be based in Canada, France will continue to be half of our life, which is the way we like it.

Question #3: Are you going to sell your vacation rentals?
Definitely not! As you can read above, they grew organically out of our lives and are part of what make our lives make sense. We owned and rented La Maison des Deux Clochers, our first vacation rental, for several years while we lived in Canada, so a bit of remote management doesn’t faze us. Luckily we also have family, friends, and a network of tradesmen here who ensure that any problems are dealt with promptly and that the high quality of our places is maintained.

Question #4: Will you still be blogging back in Canada?

Time permitting, I sure hope so!

I have about a 5 page list of ideas for both Frenchitude and Authentic France Travel Tips posts, so I won’t be stopping those any time soon.

Moreover, I think that between our trips back and forth between France and Canada, our whole family’s readjustment to North American life, the remote management of our vacation rentals, and dealing with the lack of escargots in Victoria, I’ll have plenty of blogging fodder.

As always, a Grand Merci for reading, and Bonne Année!