How I Left My 9 to 5 Postie Job Behind And Moved My Family To France

Matt with kids

I’ve heard it said that we overestimate what we can achieve in one year and underestimate what we can achieve in five years. I’ve also heard said that there are no unrealistic goals, just unrealistic timeframes.

It’s true that most of us seem to struggle with the concept of setting goals and being able to achieve them. In my experience I believe that to be true for a number of reasons:

If you want to aim for the stars and achieve your dreams and goals, you need to be prepared to own it. By that I mean, becoming crystal clear on what you want to achieve and pursue that dream relentlessly without fear or trepidation.

This takes courage when you stand in the face of those that say it cant be done.

Your belief will be tested and your commitment will be challenged but with a strong, emotional connection to the reason behind achieving your goals and dreams, anything is possible.

Three years ago, my beautiful wife, Marisa and I decided we wanted to provide our family with a cultural experience that would enhance our outlook on life and the lives of our young children.

Through immersion, we wanted the family to learn a different language, be exposed to an alternative lifestyle and taste a new culture. In essence, an experience that would create a new sense of appreciation of the world around us.

Marisa and I had done this before in past lives but this time we would experience it through the eyes of our children.

Matt With Doughter

So in early 2015, we packed up our important belongings and put them in a storage shed. We sold the cars and all our accumulated ‘stuff’ and left the country with just ourselves and 3 suitcases to live the dream we had envisioned and planned for over the previous two and half years.

We landed in Paris on a Wednesday afternoon, exhausted and jetlagged but excited to begin our new adventure.

Why France? Honestly, it could have been anywhere as long as we were experiencing a different culture where the kids would be safe and could thrive in the new change of existence.

We understood enough of the language to get by and knowing we were moving to the land of superior cheese, wine and pastries made the choice all the more simple.

After 4 months of travelling around the French countryside spending time in Bordeaux, Lyon, Chinon and a myriad of other beautiful French villages, we settled in a quaint French village in the heart of the Loire Valley.

It was here that our hearts became addicted to the breathtaking backdrop of the region. It was here that we met friends that embraced us into their community and way of life. It was here that we chose to immerse ourselves and become the Aussie-French locals for the next 18 months.

With our limited knowledge of the French language and their convoluted procedures we set about organizing logistics to settle in to our new found home. Everyday things that would be normally be a simple process to organise back home were complicated and challenging.

We never lost sight of the goal though, nor the gratitude to be living our dream. Within a couple of months we had achieved so much including:

  • Renting a beautiful house (big enough for plenty of visitors)
  • Open bank accounts (and learning how to write a cheque again!)
  • Arrange home and car insurance (the French love their paperwork)
  • Organise immigration logistics to extend our stay (I’m the only one without a European passport)
  • Buy a car (an experience all of its own!)
  • Enrol our son into the local French school (that has a phenomenal curriculum here and it’s free!)
  • Continue to improve our French vocabulary (accompanied with plenty of vin rouge)

All the while, embracing this new experience by meeting locals, visiting castles, tasting local cuisine and feeling blessed to be living this incredible life of abundance!

Woman and child smelling the roses

The beautiful thing about this experience is being able to see it all through the kid’s eyes. There is nothing more satisfying to know that your children are not only embracing a new culture but thriving in it.

Without a doubt, this experience will be embedded in their DNA for generations to come, even if they are not able to remember every moment of the trip.

We are providing them with a life experience you just cannot find in schools.

  • They acquire tolerance and respect of another culture’s mannerisms.
  • They learn to adapt to different scenarios and challenges.
  • They trigger dormant brain neurons while learning a new language.
  • They discover the incredible array of pastries and chocolates available!

Above all, they develop into well-balanced, extraordinary people that will inspire many, using this advanced period of cultural growth in their evolution.

Others have been inspired by our so-called ‘bravery’ to pick up and leave a life that was already abundant and stimulating just the way it was.

To us though, it didn’t feel scary or intimidating. We knew we would return to our beloved Sunshine Coast and continue our friendships and love of the beach and outdoor life.

Right now was the time to simply embrace this opportunity we had created for ourselves through hard work, good management and a voracious desire to expose our family to environments we had never experienced before.

After all, we are only given about 4000 weeks on this earth and it’s so easy to consume that time with day-to-day activities just keeping up with the increasingly rapid pace of life.

Matt with family

In the famous words of Ferris Beuller, “Life moves pretty fast, If you don’t stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

All we had to do was look at how fast our kids were growing up to know that it was of utmost importance for Marisa and I to take a moment in time and work out what it was we wanted as a family and start initiating some focused and immediate steps towards it.

Property investing and the team of people we are involved with have given us the opportunity to live this dream. It all started with an intention though. A clear and directed question that centered on discovering our ‘why’.

  • Why are we creating passive income?
  • Why are we investing in property?
  • Why do we look to attain financial freedom and independence?

Like most people, we just wanted to buy our time back and once we had done that, it was about having the courage to start living that dream.

Unearthing our true ‘Why’ has been the single most important step to becoming successful property investors and choosing to live our dream.

I think business expert, Brendan Nichols said it perfectly when he remarked, “the enemy of a great life is a good life”.

Be prepared to own your dream and pursue it relentlessly with intention, clarity and consistency.

Surround yourself with inspiring, supportive and positive people and above all, be grateful for what you already have and the courage to strive for a great life that inspires others to do the same.

4 thoughts on “How I Left My 9 to 5 Postie Job Behind And Moved My Family To France

  1. Matt & Marisa, you guys are so inspirational!. Too often we get caught up in the business of our lives and forget about our dreams and aspirations…you two are a breath of fresh air and reading your life journey makes my heart sing. Love your closing words of wisdom, oh so true… “Surround yourself with inspiring, supportive and positive people and above all, be grateful for what you already have and the courage to strive for a great life that inspires others to do the same.” Enjoy the next chapter of your lives…I am forever grateful to have been a part of your lives…miss you guys.

    1. Thanks Helga.
      Know that you and Greg ARE actually part of our inspiring, supportive and positive people that we are so grateful to have around us. Looking forward to sharing the journey when we come back!

  2. Thanks for following the update. Well done and it’s great to know it’s worked so well and your all enjoying and thriving with the experience. You are an inspiration!

    1. Thanks Annemaree. The journey is showing us that anything is possible and loving that others are being inspired. Looking forward to seeing you at one of the meetups on our return 🙂

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