Tom Ritchford
1 min readMay 22, 2024


Sorry for the delay!

My father started teaching me French as a young child, I did French immersion in high school and 40 years later, it is miraculously mostly intact. The locals seem impressed by it and I can have a conversation without stressing. (People have been exceptionally nice here...)

My wife unfortunately spoke no French when we arrived, but she's learning quite fast. This will be her third language - she learned Dutch as an adult, and initially she was sure it would fail, but she got good at it, it's quite amazing.

Aside from that, we wanted a place that was affordable, had little corruption, and which had some resilience to the climate catastrophe. Northern France was pretty well it.

I always had a dream in the back of my head of living somewhere I could get integrated into a non-English language and French is definitely my best chance there.

We did a spomenik tour of Bulgaria about ten years ago, loved the place, but I can imagine it would be very hard not speaking the language. (I can make out about 100 words in Bulgarian from having learned A1 Russian a very long time ago, it's not really that useful...)