I get emails all the time asking advice on how to set fire to the cubicle and walk away from a fully formed life. Truth is I never know how to answer. This ain’t no how-to manual, simply the tale of one woman’s wacky attempt to live a different life with no promise of a happy ending.

My situation is unique. No kids, check. EU passport, check. Ready and willing Neil, check. But the key to creating chaos like this is all about the money baby.

I don’t have any debt but only because I worked like a dog for 15 years to pay back the $130,000 it cost to have a big string of letters after my name. While I don’t have a big wad of cash I do have the proceeds from the sale of my house and everything in it however this won’t go far in France. Apparently I have landed in the town with the most expensive houses in Burgundy. Of course I have. Anywhere else would have been downright sensible and that, it seems, isn’t how I roll.

The secret, so far, is to simply spend less. Since September I have purchased French lessons, a portable CD player for language CDs, a sweater, 2 workout DVDs, a cure for red lesions, hair gel and, my big splurge, a few books for my Kindle. The only other expenses I have are insurance policies and one charity that I support monthly. Neil, god love him, pays for food, lodging and tampons.

The real trick though is not to spend less but to want less. You knew there had to be a catch. It’s not easy. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want anything as long as I stay home. I never know I want grey suede boots until I see them walking past me on a super chic French lady.

I thought I’d be safe here in the village. And I was until I stumbled upon Amazon France. Oh very dangerous territory this. I now have access to English books (freezing the credit card may be the only strategy here), English DVDs, every European boot, shoe and bag produced (burn the credit card) all with free delivery right to my riverstep. Mon Dieu!

See now that I can actually get anything I want, I want one of everything. I’m pretty sure I don’t really need a gold sequined clutch but it could be here in 3 days, delivered by the post lady who flies about the village on a bright yellow bicycle. Oh sweet seduction.

My rambling point is this journey is all about trade-offs. To make this work I have to be willing to give up stuff that I occasionally think I still want. I just need to remember that Amazon doesn’t sell the experience of a lifetime and that, my friends, is what it’s all about. Well, that and jewelry.

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