Do I Regret Moving to France?

We might as well jump head first into the deep end. I don't like living in France.

I spent a few months denying this to myself. I told myself that I wasn't approaching the situation with the right attitude; that I wasn't giving the country and the city I live in a chance. I wrote during study abroad about choosing happiness after all, and I fully believe that a shift in perspective can help you leaps and bounds. But it's been a year now and my opinion on the matter hasn't changed much.

Let's get real. France is a gorgeous country. Stars dance across my eyes when I take a trip and see the variety of landscapes that the country has to offer. But ask me to dodge human pee and dog poop every time I walk outside, or stand for 30 minutes in the rain waiting outside the Prefecture for the 3rd time in a month in hopes that they might be done with my residence card (that I applied for a year ago), or listen to my racist landlord who condescendingly corrects every french noun that I use the wrong article for... and you could say I'm over it.

Of course there are cultural differences at hand. People like to think the rules don't apply to them here and drive mopeds on busy sidewalks, exploit labor laws, and pass responsibility on to others when you're just trying to ask for help. There's less individualism, meaning less competition between peers. And yet I'm an avid fan of rules, and it's still hard for me to wrap my head around someone NOT wanting to be the best at what they do or the hardest worker.

But just because I can respect the culture, doesn't mean I have to enjoy it or like it. And that's just the thing.

Living in France is not for me.

Do I regret moving here? Absolutely not. If I hadn't packed my bags and two cats to come here, I would have spent the rest of my life wondering what would have been. I'd be living, breathing, and sleeping with rose-tinted glasses about a life I never got to live.

But I've done it now and marked a huge thing off my bucket list. 

Is this somewhere I can see myself spending the rest of my life? Naw man, I'm good.

Regan Shorter

42000 Saint-Etienne

Regan is a freelance photographer and travel blogger.