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Changing their lives, they did it during confinement and have no regrets

Changing their lives, they did it during confinement and have no regrets

CHANGE YOUR LIFE – On the roads, in the provinces, abroad, at home, confinement will have overcome their passions: they have decided to make a 180 degree turn and put passion before reason. And they were right.

While nearly 65% ​​of French people who left their jobs during the health crisis regret it, “Ni remorses ni regrets!” is the motto of these women and men who had told on The HuffPost their change of life at the end of last year, when the health crisis and the last confinement were behind us. Today, more than 6 months later, we have contacted them again so that they can come back to their journey.

Émile the flea market: tired, but happy!

Today, the days of this former Parisian project manager are more intense, he works to run and develop his flea market, design and thrift store from Monday to Sunday, but says he is “more in tune” with himself and the world around him. “I have gained in quality of life, the setting is more pleasant, our pace of life is more in line with nature,” explains the shopkeeper.

If he misses Paris? Maybe that’s what he wouldn’t have believed. “I thought I needed it a lot more,” he admits. For his partner, currently teleworking, the marks are longer to take. “She sees fewer people, I work more and our distribution of tasks suffers, but I am more flexible”. Ultimately, it’s all about adapting to the needs of this little family.

Go back and reconnect with your hometown? Émile absolutely does not envisage it. “It would be a failure to leave today without converting the try,” he said. He is categorical: “It is unthinkable to find myself in the pollution, the tension of Paris!”, he proclaims.

Besides, what could be more beautiful than seeing the sea whenever you want, waking up to the chirping of birds and doing everything to ensure that your children know these simple pleasures, but of incomparable luxury. “Our life today has more advantages than disadvantages,” he concludes.

Marjoram: slowly but surely

Same story for this former teacher now converted by passion into an embroiderer. “I would say that I feel more serene, I feel more like I’m in my element and finally doing something for myself again,” she says.

If her project evolves slowly, and despite a lack of self-confidence, Marjolaine gains from it. “I have a lot more time to devote to my children,” she explains, between two orders and the exercise that she still considers difficult: selling herself. “It’s quite complicated to be both in terms of creation and communication/sales! And it’s a big weak point for me, I really struggle to communicate and advertise myself”, she admits.

As she resumes an activity very dear to her family, the impostor syndrome resurfaces from time to time. Her job, Marjolaine learned it alone, despite the help of many videos and contacts on social networks. “Despite everything, I still have a lot of trouble believing in myself and telling myself that it will or can work,” she regrets.

But the mood is good for this mother of three. “Each order received is a little extra happiness that I didn’t have before, and it feels good every time!” she concludes.

Caroline and Xavier: a small pied-à-terre but always with their feet in the air

Their change of life, Caroline and Xavier had it in the back of their minds. It is therefore always as enthusiastic as they continue their adventures aboard their motorhome. “We are very enthusiastic, completely addicted to traveling the roads and always more eager to discover other countries”, they explain.

For them too, it’s time for projects. “Invest in a vehicle more suitable for very long journeys, and for this guest house project that we were already talking about at the start of the adventure. A small pied-à-terre, with a vegetable garden, orchard and animals and something to go on an adventure when we miss it too much”, they envisage.

When the couple take a look in the rear view mirror, they are honest: “It was a stage of life, which contributed to our construction but more difficult, more expensive, which made us slaves to needs that are not there” , they admit.

Despite soaring fuel prices, “the only thing that could stop us”, the two lovers are still filling up on simple happiness. “We are even more convinced that living more simply in our needs is very positive,” they continue. Today, minimalism is the secret of their happiness. “We find the joys of life in a good piece of cheese, a night in the middle of the mountain with the bells of the cows singing”, they finish.

Gabrielle: no remorse, no regrets!

Change of life, 8 out of 10 French people dreamed of it, Gabrielle did it! And she did it well since since the launch of her business of guided tours of Paris, things have evolved. “With my collaborator Victoria, we offer immersive historical experiences rather than guided tours and develop interactive treasure hunts for leaders who are fans of team building”, she explains to the HuffPost. In parallel, also, in anticipation of guided tours in Spanish and the release of a book.

But if there is one criterion of which she had not presumed strength, it is that of the networks. “I am realizing the strength of professional networks and recommendation networks, I had not anticipated this source of income at all. Likewise, I am in the process of forming partnerships with event agencies, and I had not anticipated their strike force”, she is surprised.

And even if being self-employed requires constant presence, “that’s not enough to make me regret my decision to start a business!” exclaims the young woman. Even admitting a weakness for entrepreneurship: “it’s an addictive activity. Seeing the concrete results of his efforts is extremely gratifying. I have no regrets!” concludes Gabrielle.

samuel, born to be wild

If this liberal nurse has not changed his life, he has changed his philosophy. “The tape of my life has been changed and a new tone resonates, persists: a thirst for adventure, a desire to explore, near home, far from home, accompanied by a brand new motorcycle”, explains this enthusiast of two wheels.

Attentive to inflation, however, this biker is considering camping rather than overnight stays in hotels or rentals during his travels. “This idea of ​​sleeping under the stars has always fascinated me but also intimidated me. We’re going to have to try!”, he laughs.

On the program, a tour of Mont-Blanc via Switzerland and Italy is planned, as is his thirst for swallowing up the miles. “I’m increasingly feeding the idea of ​​leaving Paris to go to Turkey via the Balkans,” he predicts.

Beyond the freedom offered by motorcycle travel, Samuel remains realistic. “In my job, I am confronted with care situations which sometimes violently remind me that our existence hangs by a thread. I wish you all not to forget to live, because life is beautiful!”, he hopes.

Christine: when the planets finally align

This young quadra has not changed her life during confinement. However, it was the health crisis that made him realize that the life of a digital nomad had limits. “When the borders close and you realize that you have no ‘home’ to return to, you have to find a solution compatible with your need to travel. This is what we did at the end of 2020”, she explains. From now on, the small family has a fixed base in Bulgaria.

After her first testimony, the mother of the family feels even more serene, and many testimonies received confirm her in her choice of life. “This long-term nomadic lifestyle has taught me to adapt to situations, to put things into perspective in the face of certain unforeseen events. No longer depending on a place to live and work allows you to let go of the future,” she says.

What hasn’t changed? Freedom. “When something displeases us, we can react easily and change our place of life overnight, according to our needs, our moods or external events!”, she continues.

By plunging quickly into the past, Christine admits to having wondered if this adventure should not have happened earlier, before changing her mind. “It was not the right time. We first had to go through some painful experiences to be able to make this decision”. In conclusion, no regrets. “I can assure you that I don’t have one!”

Rudolph, Carpe Diem

This traveler at heart hit the road a year ago, in July 2021. And today, the road is still going strong. “We have found a life balance. No pressure, take the time to live. To see his children grow, evolve”, he sums up.

If the family has not grown, it now sees further. “We are leaving for Morocco in October for 6 months. We made the choice to invest in a motorhome”, explains this retired Air Force.

Between comfort and adventure, Rodolphe, Noémie and their 3 children have chosen. “We tasted freedom without comfort for a year, now it’s time for motorhome life”, he justifies.

And when he looks back on his old life, he congratulates himself for having lived it. “Our life before was necessary to live that of today”, he continues. It will be understood, nostalgia or regrets are not part of the adventure. “Let’s live in the moment! The one we chose and not suffered”, he ends.

If changing your life has been a dream for most French people since the health crisis, taking the plunge and finding your way, realizing your dreams is an adventure specific to everyone. Whatever the projects, the situation or the results, these families were able to give new meaning to their lives.

See also on The HuffPost: The change of life, a “complex phenomenon” dissected in the magazine “Les déviations”

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