Designing our Environment – From Montreal to Montpellier

Interior Musings : Tain l'Hermitage








The decision was made for me, really…

The second I set foot on those warm Antiguan beaches, surrounded by palm trees and the smell of salt in the air, I knew my life would change.

We spoke about weather, schools and medical systems as a basis for our preferred location for our future move abroad, and changed our minds frequently in those first few months…

Valencia, Spain was our first choice but we settled on a couple of options in the South of France to make our first transition less abrupt. We didn’t want both of our children to hate us forever by throwing them into a school where the language was not familiar to them – not at first anyway…

As the months passed and those “maybe”s turned into “likely”s, we chose to visit our two options in the South of France to make our final decision. 

As anyone would do, under these circumstances, we decided to have a last-minute Halloween wedding to seal our 14-years and two-kids relationship – partly for the papers and partly to have a great big bash with all our friends and family as we jumped into this grand adventure.

Montpellier Palm TreesThe honeymoon (sans-enfants) went all too quickly. It involved a lot of moving around, a lot of beer stops and nights out – ah the taste of freedom for just a short week… We returned with what we decided would become our future place of residing – Montpellier, France. A beautiful city, with a high student-to-resident ratio and a nice proximity to Mediterranean beaches.

The following months are a blur – they involved a combination of deciphering French bureaucracy, the release of any attachment to all of our prized possessions and a regular interval of panic attacks and nervous breakdowns… it wasn’t an easy pre-move 6-month period. Between the parental disapproval, the pouting pre-teen and total anxietal exhilaration, we finally shipped a single pallet of our belongings (no furniture) and boarded the plane with one large, overstuffed, suitcase each –  trying to convince ourselves that we had made the right decision.

We have been in Montpellier for around 8 months now, and are fully and completely ecstatic with the decision we made. We know Montpellier is not the city we want to settle in permanently, but we don’t regret a minute of what have chosen to pursue and what it has brought us as a life experience.

We made the conscious decision to:

Design and transform our lifestyle and surroundings into what we WANTED them to look like

…and this has given me the confidence to take the reins and pursue any or all of the things I hope to experience in my life.

Xine in Nîmes

Fear was a part of it all, it always seems to be omnipresent in my case… and honestly, I have begun to recognize these moments of anxiety and panic as a guide that I am headed in the right direction.


I would love to turn the table and ask you now: Where, in your life, can you transform your surroundings? Is it moving abroad, changing neighborhoods or simply creating a “You” space in your home that allows you to experience what you WANT to manifest in your life? You are strong and have total control over finally making that move towards a lifestyle that is better-aligned with what you value.

Post anything you want to share, in the comments below… I would LOVE to hear all about how you are taking charge!




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