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If you’ve ever taken a trip to a new destination and instantly fallen in love with a city – its skyline, its people, its energy – then you know that it can be tempting to consider packing up house and home and relocating to your new-found paradise. Except that it is not always that easy…

The problem is that vacation is not real life. Being a tourist and being a resident are not the same. Besides the obvious differences (like no work, no cooking and cleaning and unlimited rest and relaxation), even the most well-prepared and immersed tourist can only scratch the surface of what life is like in a specific location.

As a resident, you not only get to explore and enjoy all of the sites, culture and activities, just like a tourist would, but you can also eventually get involved in the community, join a local gym, see a doctor, hire a plumber, pay taxes and make friends.

On paper, a location might look like the perfect place to build your new nest. And if you’ve spent time there on vacation, loved the views, the weather, the food, the shopping, it might seem like the place is “it” and checks all your boxes.

But what you might not realize, even after an extended vacation, is that there’s no take-out restaurant for miles, the bus runs once a day, the town’s doctor is retiring, the local social scene is limited to a monthly pétanque tournament and it’s just too (fill in the blank – quiet, loud, boring, rural, urban, etc.) to make you happy on a daily basis.

So how can you tell if a town is going to be a good fit for you, long term? How can you be sure that you’re going to like it there even when the sky is gray, or when get to really know your neighbors?

Since the birth of Renestance, we’ve always been about authenticity, serving up the truth. We teach you how to thrive in real life in the real South of France. One of our key services for people considering a move to France is the Regional Reconnaissance program. We encourage all of our clients to plan a reconnaissance trip to test the waters before diving in.

In March of this year, Renestance had the honor and pleasure of welcoming about twenty clients to our very first Renesting in France Seminar. One of the major highlights of the weekend was our Real Estate and Real-Life tour offer. Three intense and insightful hands-on orientations, covering popular and diverse locations such as: Montpellier, Sète, Béziers, Pezenanas, Marseillan, Sommières, Uzès.

The seminar and the tour were tremendously enjoyable. Even more importantly, all of the Renestance people were so helpful, kind and interesting.
Russ, USA

Our aim is always to help clients master their French dream life: getting around, navigating the language and the culture, renting or buying property, enjoying life and getting things done like a local. Our Real Estate and Real-Life Tours have the exact same objective.

The 6-hour pedestrian tours included a visit to typical properties, local real estate information and insider advice, a lovely Mediterranean lunch, drinks, transportation, plus a written guide for reminders and notes.

As our entire team has been in the shoes of a freshly-landed expat, we know what it’s like to wander around, wonder, doubt and hope. Our bilingual staff and local expats shared insider tips on mastering life à la française. With our help, you get all the useful and up-to-date information you need to make your French dream life a reality.

On Saturday participants enjoyed a whirlwind tour with local expat/expert/Renestance Admin Specialist Nicole Hammond, who introduced them to life in Béziers, Pezenas and Marseillan. And despite the rain, (which by the way is the best way to determine whether or not you really love a city), the day was full of excitement, information and discovery, including a visit of a former Renestance client and fellow-expat’s flat.

The following morning, Dennelle brought tour attendees to Sète in a private van, to take full advantage of the day. After discovering the port town and learning the ins and outs of daily life there, the group then met up with Jennifer in Montpellier. After a lovely lunch in the city center, Dennelle and Jen lead the group on a real-world visit of several different neighborhoods in the Languedoc capital. Participants visited a property in the Ecusson area and got to ask its expat owner questions about her experience living, buying and renovating property in France.

One of our participants underlined the fact that they were able to see “the variety of different types of housing available and the amenities the different towns have”.

My favorite part was the walk back after the awesome wine that I’ve now fallen in love with.
Sète / Montpellier tour attendee

After an intense weekend, seminar and tour attendees had their heads full of new information, helpful hints and images of what their future life in France could resemble.

If you were not among our guests at the Renesting in France Seminar and tours this past March, do not fret! Renestance will be offering a new series of Real Estate and Real-Life tours this coming autumn. So, if you’re planning on being in the Languedoc Roussillon in September or October 2018, please register your interest with the button below.


Jennifer Rowell-Gastard

Jennifer was Renestance's Activity & Excursions Coordinator between 2015 and 2020, a bilingual American from Vermont who's been loving her life in France since 1998. She was passionate about sharing her knowledge and allowing you to discover all of the scenic, cultural and culinary wealth of the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

All articles by: Jennifer Rowell-Gastard

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