My name is Michel van der Schelde, and together with my wife, Sabine and our 3 sons, Björn, Brent and Boaz, we have loved coming to France in the summer for years. I like mountain biking very much, so I like to do it during our holidays, sometimes with the boys, but sometimes alone. Sabine is more for the sun. And so we talked about moving to France for many years, even when the boys were very small. But still… after every summer vacation we put it off and we soon got back into the rhythm of the Netherlands, the work, and the unstable weather. The children grew up, and then the moment came, the point where we thought: If we do it, then we would like to do it as a family, with the children. So we have to do it now, the boys were 17 at the time and two were 14 years old. The beginning was not easy for them, they were not behind it, but we wanted to give them an experience, a life lesson. And it worked! They have become used to it, have gained a lot of experience and they now also see the advantages of living in France.
I started working as an independent plumber and installation technician, the first year in the Creuse, where we rented our first house. Surroundings of La Souterraine. And now for almost 4 years in the Corrèze. Here we ended up after our first year in the Creuse because of the new training of the boys. We have had a rented house for 3.5 years, and now we are about to move again; we have bought a house. From a house…to a home, we really need that now.
Were they easy years? New. Were they challenging years? Certainly. We ran into many issues, especially the administrative part in French. I still find speaking French difficult, that’s why I work a lot for and with Dutch and English people, but I understand almost everything, so I would like to do more projects for French people too.
Would I want to go back to the Netherlands? No….it taught us a lot, especially being flexible, being creative, and thinking in solutions. And above all have a lot of patience. The work I do here is very varied, challenging at times, but I really enjoy starting a new project somewhere else, and I drive through beautiful areas. I would also like to thank my customers for the trust they have in me and for the great cooperation.