Michigan natives Kristie and Jim Worrel moved to Paris 21 years ago when Jim worked for Total Petrochemicals. Jim’s contract was for five years but rather than leave their adopted country, which they had grown to love, Jim sought another job, and the couple successfully stayed on in France permanently. But it wasn’t until five years ago, as retirement neared, that the couple finally began the search for their dream. “It had always been a lifelong ambition of ours to buy and renovate an old historic house…
Most tourists give Paris’s 12th arrondissement a miss. But a lack of showpiece landmarks and museums doesn’t mean lack of character. East of the Bastille, this mostly residential neighborhood offers an intriguing taste of Paris without the clichés. Stretching from the Bastille to Place de la Nation, Faubourg Saint-Antoine is one of the 12th’s principal shopping streets.
A night in a mid-range hotel can cost $300, and if you want to stay awhile, then renting a 645-square-foot apartment will set you back around $3,000 to $4,000 a month. But there’s another way that I’ve discovered. It’s easy, it’s free, and you can do this anywhere. It all started over a year ago and many miles from here. In the midst of a year-long volunteering adventure in the Philippines…
A Boulevard St-Germain landmark, Café de Flore is one of Paris’s most hallowed literary cafés. I adore art deco elegance, but it isn’t somewhere I’d frequent regularly. Not after seeing the prices—$6.86 for a cafe crème, $8.45 for hot chocolate, $11.22 for a small beer. If it’s the hangout of the next Simone de Beauvoir or Picasso, I’d be astonished.
- Escape the Rat Race and Enjoy a New Life in France
Posted on May 10, 2012 by Barbara Diggs
When I first moved from New York to Paris, France people told me all the time how lucky I was. I understand why everyone thought that. I worked as a lawyer for a prestigious firm and lived in a beautiful apartment a stone’s throw from the Louvre. I traveled all over Europe for business: I would be in five-star hotels in Milan one night and Frankfurt the next.
“What do I wear in bed?” mused Marilyn Monroe. “Why, Chanel No. 5, of course!” Perched in the hills above the Côte d’Azur in France, Grasse has been the world’s perfume capital since the 17th century. The countryside around this Provencal town is where the jasmine and roses that go into the country’s famed luxury fragrances are grown and harvested.
Six years ago, I received a birthday present worth over $70,000. No, I’m not friends with Oprah. We had recently fallen in love with—and bought—a crumbling, pigeon-infested, 150-year old maison bourgeoise in northern Burgundy, France, only two hours away from our apartment in Paris.
Day-glow sunrises and sunsets over the River Seine, fresh breakfast croissants on your private balcony overlooking Notre Dame Cathedral, public transportation practically at your doorstep… Try retirement in Paris, France; it’s as romantic and magical as you imagine, and it’s easier than you think.
Getaway breaks to the French Alps town of Annecy are the stuff of dreams—majestic mountains, fresh air, flowery lanes, a crystal-blue lake, and a canal-filled medieval old town rivaling romantic Venice. Jim and I have retired to Paris, France, so places like this are on our doorstep.
Sally Stone was searching for superb scenery and a relaxed pace of life when she bought a small stone cottage in Brittany, on the Atlantic coast of France. At the time, Sally was working as a director in a marketing company; the Breton cottage just a part-time retreat. But a year later, in 2002, she lost her job to cost cutting and needed to find something else.
If you have to ask: What’s so special about walnuts?, then you’ve never visited the Dordogne. Noix (walnuts) grow in abundance in this tranquil area of south-west France. It has a special walnut route, and the nuts are brand-protected by an AOC appellation just like French wines. Near the chateau-topped village of Castelnaud, there’s even a museum devoted to walnut culture.
Wednesday is market day in Piégut-Pluviers, a town in the north of Aquitaine’s Dordogne département. A French country market is a gastronomic Garden of Eden, so leaving these stalls of foie gras, saucissons and cheeses feels like being cast into the wilderness.
- Eating in Lyon: Food for the Soul in France’s Second City
Posted on June 20, 2011 by Eoin Bassett
Paris is the destination of choice for most visitors to France looking for culture, good food and that special joie de vie (“joy of life”). But while there are good reasons it’s the most- visited city in the world, don’t be blinded by the City of Light.
La Bruyere is one of those dreamy, remote French farmhouses that make you ache for your own place in the sun. You get exposed stone, terra cotta roof tiles, and an idyllic rural location with the restaurants and shopping of Bergerac just a stone’s throw away. This sort of house makes you want to ask the owners, “How on earth did you find this place?”
- Finding Real Estate in Paris: What You Need to Know
Posted on May 4, 2011 by Adrian Leeds
One thing to keep in mind when searching for properties, which we find true primarily in such a competitive market as Paris: properties advertised on websites, in magazines and even agency windows have either been sold and have not been yet removed from the advertising or have been on the market a long time…for good reason.
- Ecuador’s Hidden Valleys–Right on Quito’s Doorstep
Posted on May 2, 2011 by Suzan Haskins
“As we descended into the valley the netherworld fog that enveloped Quito melted away revealing gorgeous green foliage and multi-colored flowers of every shade and hue. Brilliant flat-leafed bromeliads, silver-hued orchids and bright, tiny orange geraniums lined the road,” writes Suzan Haskins in the May issue of International Living magazine.
Tired of the over-the-top folly of Monaco, the star-spotting excesses of Cannes, and the fashionable frenzy of Saint-Tropez? The south of France has long been synonymous with glitz and glamour, but it’s only a tiny sliver of a wonderful region.
- IL’s Weekly Wrap-Up Video: Fun in Panama City…The Best Place in Belize…Bargains in Brazil…and The World’s Healthiest Place to Live
Posted on February 24, 2011 by Dan Prescher
See the video, where Dan Prescher reports from Ecuador with your weekly wrap-up of International Living postcards for the week ending February 19.
The healthiest country in the world is France. That might surprise you about a country that places such an emphasis on delicious food, savory meat dishes, creamy sauces, delicate cakes, sweets and pastries, fine wines and barrel-aged brandy.
- Cover Story: Corsica–The Affordable French Island You’ve Never Heard Of
Posted on January 26, 2011 by Steenie Harvey
The luminous hour before sunset is special. Every bay is a brilliant turquoise. Villages take on a honeyed glow; vineyards are dusted with gold; mountain crags flare orange. Out to the west, rocky islets change from dusky pink to a deep blood-red.
Teetering above the north-west coast, the villages of the Balagne region in Corsica, France, have a grandstand view of white yachts, silver sands and luminous blue sea. I spent one day of my October trip driving between these settlements.
- Corsica: The Best of France and Italy in One Enchanting Island
Posted on January 19, 2011 by Steenie Harvey
Fresh air, fish stew, red wine. I’ll sleep. Tonight’s lullaby is the murmur of waves and the tinkle of masts in Macinaggio’s harbor. Earlier I’d walked the village’s Sentier Douane, a seashore footpath once used by customs officers hunting for smugglers. Views are spectacular: the turquoise Mediterranean, a crumbling Genoese watchtower, the tiny trio of Finocchiarola islets.