Today marks the second year I became an ex-pat and moved to Cannes, France. It has been great, but candidly a challenge. Primarily the language barrier, especially when it comes to all the administrative details for not being a French citizen. Unfortunately, je parle un peu français!
Why Cannes? Since the late 80’s I had visited the area numerous times and fell in love with the Mediterranean lifestyle – outstanding weather, great food and art. All of which I have experienced since I moved here. New learning: A.) This city is amazingly managed compared to any American city I have lived in (for the record five). The mayor, David Lisnard knows how to put taxes back into the city’s infrastructure which in turn creates jobs – new bike/running paths, wider sidewalks, expanded public exercise areas complete with cardiovascular/strength building equipment, a newly refurbished public football stadium with Astro turf. The city economy relies on tourism, so it invests heavily on security, as well as keeping its parks clean and well-manicured – jobs, jobs, jobs! B.) Living here has been different from when I used to visit. Starting with the language. As a visitor, I knew enough food French to go to market or order in a restaurant. But now I have to deal with rules (e.g., bank accounts, long-stay visa), plus I had the misfortune to experience a major medical situation which now has me in France’s dossier system; paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork.
Recently I posted Simplicity vs. Complexity and stressed the benefits of developing a lifestyle philosophy. The simple daily Mediterranean lifestyle I enjoy has outweighed all the speedbumps I have endured these past two years, plus validated words of wisdom I have learned during my adventure:
- Japanese violinist Daishin Kashimoto, concertmaster (since 2009) with the Berlin Philharmonic often recognized as the world’s finest orchestra:
“Taking risks means, of course, that there are times when we come up short. No risk, no fun!”
- Twyla Tharp American dancer, choreographer, writer:
“The better you know yourself, the more you will know when you are playing to your strengths and when you are sticking your neck out. Venturing out of your comfort zone may be dangerous, yet you do it anyway because our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable.”
I am looking forward to year three.