Emilie, who are you?
Emily, 33 years old. I love books that allow me to travel, to better understand the world and discover it. Marvel at new landscapes when I travel. I discovered with expatriation a new way of living outside of the “shackles” and the frameworks that we are required. I do not know if I am very clear in this last comment… So I explain: on leaving I realized that there were other ways to live that Metro-work-Dodo and even if expatriation and remoteness are not always easy to live it is a choice that I do not regret. I would love to be able to change countries every 2/3 years, but neither my spouse nor I have a career offering regular mutations….
We left because we wanted to be with family (in the sun-we come from Haute-Savoie, a beautiful region but where the winter is a little long.. !), spend more time together, see our children grow up, share with them the pleasure of discovering other cultures. Pass on values and open their minds and develop their curiosity through travel, offer them an experience that pushes them beyond when comfort zone, and give them a very important baggage for their future: bilingualism.
Where do you live?
Expatriated in Croatia near Zadar in a small and authentic Croatian village. We are from Haute-Savoie and we dreamed with sunshine. We wanted a new life, far from the consumer society to refocus on our family, and is a village still authentic, in “its juice” where there is still a real help and a real village life as before. Unthinkable therefore for us to settle down to the capital!
How did you get here?
Ah Croatia is a story that dates back about 10 years… It is a country that I discovered thanks to Job in France. I managed the press Relations of a tourist structure on the Croatian coast and I went there to know more about the product I was going to promote.
It was the first time I took the plane and it was a revelation… Travel and Croatia! The following year we went on vacation, then the following year and so on…! In 8 years we have travelled this beautiful Croatian coast! On our last family stay there, I had tears in my eyes, I didn’t want to go home. I told my spouse “I think our place is here, that’s where we have something to do and live.” A year and a half after we arrived in the middle of winter, it was the beginning of the adventure, a new life in life!
Did you ever live abroad?
Unfortunately no, this is our first expatriation, maybe not the last, who knows? I was someone rather domesticity… who had travelled very little. And suddenly I was stung by the desire to discover the world. It is a first expatriation that has given me the taste of discovery, of travel and living in 1000 countries…
How long have you been there?
Expatriate in Croatia for 2 years with 2 children: Hugo aged soon 7 years and moon little girl born on the spot who is 2 years old. The children adapt very quickly and very well. They learn with great ease the language… which is less my case. It must be said that by taking care of them and being at home to work, there is better to learn the language…! But it’s decided, I’ll take courses in Croatian, an intensive program (I started on February 12th!).
You have developed an activity: How did you come up with the idea? And why this theme?
When he arrived during the school year in Croatia, it was necessary to continue the French curriculum because Hugo had no place at the village school and it was important to occupy and structure his days. So we went to school at home and wanted to enrich his work sessions with more playful workshops. I launched on the Facebook group “expats Parents sharing experiences” A call to other expatriate families to allow Hugo to discover the world. We receive postcards, letters and photos from around the world thanks to other little “expats”! It’s just great for Hugo!!! I wanted to share this through a blog that quickly enriched itself to become a news website dedicated to the families “expats”. From thread to needle, or rather from readings in discussions on the Internet, I have integrated a platform of exchange between small “expats” French/Francophone and classes of Metropolis. It seems to me that it is a good thing for small expats to keep in touch with their “comrades” in France and also a great opportunity for students in France to learn more about foreign countries! What pleases me is that finally everyone gets rich thanks to each other in this relationship of correspondence! It makes sense!
Explain how you organize yourself between your business and your personal life?
It is far from simple… with a 2 year old girl at home (there is no nursery or daycare system in Croatia, at least not outside the capital) and a 6-year-old boy ½ who only has school in the afternoon (the school really only starts at 7 and Ava NT is a preschool program from November to March of 2:30 a day) and to whom I do the CNED in the morning… We enjoy the time of nap and calm of the children to work… not forgetting the evenings that offer a second day…! But I love this site project and this collaborative platform, I really care to make it known and develop it, I like to spend time there!
So you’re a very busy “Mompreneuse”?
I would be a “Mompreneuse” when I get to live!!! For now I’m working hard for this project to offer me a nomadic career. Looking for advertisers and partners who share the same values, realize the content of the site and make it known is not simple, but I work there and I have good Hope… Things are starting to move in this sense, it feels good and the many messages from expatriate families that I receive encourage me a lot and push me to continue!
Can you share your lucky moments of the sack?
See my children grow up, spend more time with them, pass on knowledge to them. All this is the expatriation that gave it to me through another culture, another rhythm of life. I’m proud when I see and I hear my son reading! I am very proud of him when I see him speak Croatian with friends as if it were with his buddies of France!
With the expatriation, there is a small side holiday every weekend: we leave to discover a village, a city, a region in the vicinity. That’s great! We’re also just going for a family stroll along the beach in front of the islands. We finally found moments of simpler happiness, less overrated by the whole consumer society… it’s just what we wanted!
You care a lot of children, a small Home-made to share?
The correspondence with the expatriate children. For the rest it’s over here.
It’s great, the kids love it and the parents too! Drawings, photos carved captions, small text written by children. It’s very playful and they love to receive mail! It is a real exchange that allows to open them to the world, to introduce them to geography and to work French and writing the air of nothing!
In addition to being “Mompreneuse”, what are your favorite cultural outings of the moment alone or with the family?
I must say that we are more nature than culture but the house is filled with books for young and old! As a result, our outings are mainly made by bicycle to travel the Croatian cities and wonders, on foot for small walks in the middle of olive groves or boats to sail and marvel at the 1000 and 1 islands off the Croatian coast. If Croatia tempts you, I would be delighted to give you good plans (accommodation, visits, beaches, Resto etc)!
Cultural moment: Can you quote me one of your favorite paintings or books?
So right now I’m very philosophy and positive pedagogy! I read and adored “Your second Life begins when you understand that you only have one” by Raphaele Giordano. It is a novel that will speak to women (and also men) expatriates because it is a question of change of life, of personal and professional fulfillment, of conquest of his dreams and all in a speech both very romance and very pragmatic. The author delivers a lot of small techniques and things to do on a daily basis! I’ve adopted some of them!
And for expat children, in the same register I advise the Panda Familie. It is an ex-expatriate who created this series of books and it is really fantastic for children. These are activity books to help them grow well! You can find out about our article on this link.
Is there a cultural event right now in your city/region that you would advise?
Throughout the summer in our small village, the town hall organizes gastro-ethnic events. I love!!! Everyone participates, especially the elders who put for the occasion their beautiful traditional costumes. You can see the grannies that arrive with their wheelbarrow and make the local specialties for a whole evening. I love this authentic side, true, traditions, folklore…
In a nutshell can you tell us about the art of living in your country of expatriation?
Here it is a bit like in Spain or Italy. It is a Mediterranean country where it is good to live and where we take the time to live… People start working early in the morning and finish at 2pm/3pm. So parents can take care of and enjoy their children. It is very nice to reconcile without too much stress his life pro and his personal life. We are fortunate in addition to living on the side, facing the sea and the islands, it adds a “holiday” atmosphere on a daily basis, it is more than appreciable! The Croats are very open and friendly people who like to welcome guests, foreigners and tourists. In addition to our small village of LA, many speak a few words of French because this is where the 1st Club Med was created (it still exists but the structure became independent, bought by a local after the war).
As I explained, here the traditions and folklore are very strong again (the country was communist until 90…), the war that blew up Yugoslavia is still in all the heads, it is a people who cares for its identity, its flag and which is very Proud. It is also a people very attached to the belief, to the religion: I do not even count the number of public holidays where I see the processions in the streets of the village! Speaking of religion, know that here also football is a religion, it is incredible this excitement for this sport in this small country!
Education side the child is king… The boy even more. You will not often see a mom take her boy for his behavior…