The Grand Escape Plan

Yesterday my boyfriend and I booked our accommodation in the south of France. Suddenly, this mad plan feels very real.

A year and four months. That is how long we’ve been talking about it. If it’s the first you’re hearing of it, sorry. But in our defense we didn’t really believe we’d actually do it until, suddenly, we are doing it.

So there we have it. On the 3rd of June, 2017, my boyfriend and I are leaving London, leaving the UK and heading to la Côte D’Azur.

And guys, we are staying in the most rustic, dreamy, hippie love-nest you could possibly imagine. Don’t worry – there will be so many pictures coming your way.

But why the south of France? I grew up in Brittany and can’t help but see France with rosie-tinted, nostalgia-clouded glasses. Plus wine. And cheese. But more than that, the French way of life is so much more relaxed. Ask them to stress over queue-lengths or walk at the pace of a shit-scared Iguana and they’ll just shrug and blow a raspberry. My dream had actually been to live in Paris, the bohemian mecca, but my boyfriend is training to be a pro cyclist and he requires lots of big hills. I’m such a great girlfriend that I agreed to swap the city for the beach – compromise is key, after all 😉

There’s another reason. My favourite writer, F Scott Fitzgerald, spent a lot of time in the French Riviera. There is actually a hotel in Juan les Pins, where he stayed and wrote many of his great masterpieces. If I need inspiration to make my own writing goals a reality, there’s none better than his dreamy prose and poignancy to keep my fingers typing away.

Of course, we can’t escape reality altogether. Being bilingual, I should be able to find a part-time job. Yep, that’s right, I am prepared to go back to waitressing, even though God knows I am the worst waitress that ever existed. But that’s how much I want this to work. I would rather be a waitress four days a week and a writer three days a week, than struggling in London.

I don’t think this move will be forever. We are buying one-way tickets but at the moment we plan to stay until the end of summer. And then who knows! But as long as I can finish a couple of scripts, and maybe even my book, I will be happy.

To say I’m a little scared is an understatement. Because it’s a big change. I’ve lived in London properly for 4 years but even before then I was working in the city at every half-term and break from university. A year ago, I would never have agreed to leave London completely – this is where my career is! Now I’m realising that’s crazy. In this day and age your career can be wherever you want it to be.

And London’s changed, its shine has worn off. It’s got harder, not easier, to justify living here; everyone is tense and alert, everything costs an arm or a leg, and there’s no respite from the hustling. Why do we want to live somewhere that idolizes busy-ness and stressing your tits off? I can no longer deny how much better I feel when I leave the city.

Since the start of 2017, the boyfriend and I have been counting down until we could hand in our notices and tell everyone we’re leaving. Now that time has come and I just can’t quite believe it’s happening.

We are doing it. We are getting out. And we have no idea where this decision will take us but I am so, so excited to see.

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