It’s a funny thing, regret. Personally I try to live my life without it. Not that I don’t have any, of course I do (Boy could I tell you some stories!), but I try to live my life without dwelling on them. I don’t see the point. We live, we learn, we move on.
That said, I do have a few regrets about my time in France; some big (like having a gaping four year gap in my career… this is what keeps me awake at night) and lots little. The little stuff is basically made up of things that I wish I had gone out and done and seen, but I always thought I had more time. That’s the thing about being my type of expat (as in an expat married to a local, type), I was here, like here-here. I wasn’t on a work assignment or a visa for a definite window of time, I lived here, indefinitely, and for all I knew I could have been here for the rest of my life, so there was always ‘later’ or ‘the next long weekend’.
For instance, I haven’t been to Versailles. Ver-freaking-sailles! Four years in France and I haven’t seen the Hall of Mirrors or those legendary whirly, twirly gardens. That’s definitely on the list for a future visit. I’ve never been to Bordeaux or Champagne either. Me never being to those two places is like a nun having never been to church.
I’ve always wanted to see ASM Clermont play a match at home. I’ve seen them play against Toulon in Marseille before but I’m sure that’s nothing compared to watching them run out onto the pitch at Stade Marcel-Michelin, cheered on by the massive Yellow Army. I’m sad I’ve missed out on that.
I’ve never been to Barcelona. I’m sure a bunch of you are thinking, “wrong country“, but Barcelona is only a five hour drive from The LPV… it’s closer than going to French Maman’s house. And Geneva, Switzerland is only four hours away, Pisa, Italy only six… AARRGGHH! I should really stop doing this to myself; squirting lemon juice in a paper cut would be less painful.
So sure, I missed out on loads, but what I didn’t miss out on was life. I’ve lived everyday life in Le Petit Village… I’ve made friends with my postman, boulanger and boucher. The barman always greets me with a kiss (of course he does) and the lady in the épicerie can finally understand my accent. Maybe I can’t cross off cities on my bucketlist, but I can cross off ‘being a French girl in a French village’ and that’s pretty darn special.