Live Work Abroad Interview With Saski Ford

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in expat interviews | No Comments

Saski is at the beginning of a fantastic journey building up a business in France as a provider of Fitness Retreat Holidays.

1. Where are you from originally?

I was born in Lewisham, London but raised for my childhood years in a little village called Wardington just outside Banbury, Oxfordshire.

2. Where do you live now?

We have just moved to a lovely commune called Bussiere Poitevine in the Haute Vienne.

3. What first attracted you to your new home? Did you try anywhere else on the way? Did you move for work or for lifestyle?

We were initially looking for a house we could run a business from so we started looking on the internet for big properties at good prices. And when my mum stumbled across our house now online she said “That’s it!” and the rest is history. We knew instantly it was meant to be.

4. What kind of property do you live in now? Will you stay here? What’s your ideal place to live in within your new country?

We live in a beautiful house behind the church in Bussiere. I want to say Maison Bourgeois but I’m not sure if that’s the correct term, it was definitely a house of some standing in its day. It has the most wonderful walled mature garden but alas the house and garden all need a lot of work doing to them, to bring it back to all its glory, but it’s definitely a keeper. We absolutely love it here.

5. Are you speaking a new language? If so, how did you learn?

I am having lessons at the moment with a lovely French lady called Emilie, I still struggle with conversing fluidly but it’s fun and it will only be a matter of time. I can grasp the idea of a conversation from picking up a few key words and lip reading – the french talk so fast! But phone calls…forget it! I’m lost completely.

6. What do you do for a living? Where do you physically work from? Do you work with clients/customers back in your home country or your new one?

I am a Personal Trainer and Sports Massage Therapist, my place of work can be flexible depending on what the client is happy to do, although I do suggest working from my house as I have all my kit here. I do not work with any of my old clients back in the UK although I am still in touch with all of them. I take my role as fitness and nutrition coach very seriously so I like to be on hand should anyone need my advice or help.

7. Do you work online? If so, what is the internet connectivity like? What software do you commonly use on day to day basis? What would be your top tip for online working from your new country?

I am online a lot at the moment and the connectivity is great although I am in the centre of the village so that helps I think. I use many software programmes, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Pages, Excel, 1Password, RapidWeaver and lots of different fitness apps daily.

My top tip for working online in general, and not necessarily from my new country would be to sit up straight! Modern day living plays havoc with our posture on a daily basis but sitting slumped at our computer is huge problem and causes lots of back issues.

8. Are you paid in your new home currency or in pounds/dollars/euros? Do you exchange money often? If so, what service do you use?

I will be paid in both currencies. Somebody gave me a great service to look at with regards to transferring money and that was called TransferWise so I will be looking into them in the future.

9. Do you have children? If so, how did they adapt to the move? How are their schools? Are they bi-lingual? Are their good future career opportunities within your new country?

Yes I have a 7yr old daughter, I can not believe just how quickly she has settled into life here. I couldn’t be more proud of her. The school is great, it was one of our biggest worries having come from a fantastic school in England but she seems to be doing very well and we make sure we put the effort in when it comes to homework, as I think that is such an important element in bringing along a child’s education in school. Support for her learning at home comes above everything else. She’s 7 so who knows what she will end up doing or where she will go in life. We can only do our best to provide her with the love, support and best education we can give her, then the rest is up to her. We have a very entrepreneurial family, she will thrive I’m sure.

10. Did you bring any pets with you? Or leave any behind? How did this work out?

Yes we brought our dog Lolly she has her pet passport and jabs all up to date and then just travelled over on the ferry with us. She loves it here too! So much more space.

11. Is your life better than it was before? If so, how?

Absolutely, we own our house here so no more rental property, it’s so nice to be able to do what you want to your own house without having to ask for permission. There was no way we were able to get on the property ladder either in England it’s just impossible plus we never would have been able to afford a place like ours here in the UK. And do I even need to mention the weather. Even though it’s cold at the moment you just know the heat is on its way.

12. What are the best things about living in your new country? Has the move been good for the whole family?

The people are great, exploring is fun, learning about our cultural differences, lots of things really. I think moving here is one of the best decisions we have made for a long time.

13. What are the most challenging things about moving to and living in your new country?

Learning all about the business systems here and dealing with the bureaucracy. I know everyone says that, but it is true.

14. Are you here for good? If so, why? If no, why not?

Who knows, I thought we would be in Bath forever and now we are here. I think we have inquiring minds and we most definitely seek the heat. I would like to buy a holiday home in Spain near where my daughter was born. It’s good to explore. It enriches the soul.

15. Any partings word to people thinking of moving to your country?

Don’t think about the why’s, think about the why not’s.

saski

Bio

My name is Saski, I live with my mum and my daughter in the Haute Vienne. We are at the beginning of a fantastic journey building up a business here in France as a provider of Fitness Retreat Holidays. It seems like a beautifully untapped resource for runners and fit pros alike and I cannot wait to finally start bringing clients here. Check out my website for future updates and my blog of the ongoing work we are doing in preparation for the launch. Or to get in touch about the packages I offer for Personal Training and Nutrition.

Web: www.limelightretreat.com
Email: saski@limelightretreat.com

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