Live abroad solo? Go for it!

Have you ever visited somewhere and said to yourself: “I’m going back to this place someday.”

It happened to me four years ago when I saw Uzes, France. It was a magical moment when I knew that spending just one day at the Saturday market wasn’t going to be enough for a lifetime. I would have to return.

Now I’m making the dream come true. I live in Uzes!

The short story

When I took a vacation visit to Uzes, I had no idea that I would be picking up and moving there in less than three months. The original plan was for me to stay in Uzes for three weeks, spend three more weeks traveling south to Spain, then to return home to Beaufort, South Carolina.

It didn’t happen that way. I couldn’t get enough of France.

So back to South Carolina I went.

I sold most of my 40-year collection of “stuff”, packed up the rest for storage, shipped off boxes to France, and moved to Uzes to start a new life. Alone.

Follow the solo adventures

The Barefoot Blogger began as a guide for women (and men!) who want to travel abroad alone. It follows the planning stages of the holiday trip to Uzes and includes visits to other places in the south of France. Reading the earlier posts will give you a lot of information and stories I hope you’ll enjoy. More than that, you’ll see how the “vacation” turned into a chance to fulfill a lifetime fantasy.  You’ll see how and why things changed.

Follow me every step of the way. From selling household goods and clothing to applying for a long-stay visa. From leasing an apartment in France to buying furniture and setting up utilities. All, and more, took place in less than three months’ time.

Did I mention? I don’t speak French!

Please join me and feel free to write comments and ask about things that interest you. I’m on this journey alone, but it’s so much more fun knowing you’re traveling with me. .

33 replies »

  1. Hi Deborah, it was great meeting you with Paula and Rich, love your home. Enjoying reading your blog very, very much. Please let’s stay in touch.
    Big hugs, Tracy xo


    • So glad to meet you and Howard, too, Tracy. You had good guides to show you Uzes. Now you know why I love it so much! Yes, please let’s keep in touch. Want to hear more about you!


  2. So enjoyed meeting you on wonderful Bald Head Island, North Carolina. I will be following your blog.

    Joe, my husband, has done some travels over seas but he love all the adventures in the states, from skiing to flyfishing. I caught the big ones also.

    Had lunch with Ricki today and hope to hear more about you from her.

    So glad you visited our “special Island” in North Carolina.


    • So happy to meet you, too! Thank you for looking up my blog. I hope you will enjoy following and maybe, you’ll come to visit. Hope you’ll help pry Ricki away from BHI to come to France.


  3. I hope you and cousin Judy have a wonderful time. I’m sure she’ll have great stories to tell on her return home to Arizona.


  4. Just found your blog 7/20/15. We are traveling to Nîmes in late October, and also maybe to Uzes. I read of your new home and life with extreme interest because you are living the dream! The food at the Uzes restaurant looks délicieuse. For a month, four of us are traveling together, one former Parisian, Bruno, and his wife, Sally, who moved to Paris not speaking French, and my husband Andy and me. Now we all live in the gold country of California—Bruno wanted to move to an “exotic” place.
    I can’t wait to explore your exotic new area!


    • Joan, I’m so happy for you to find Uzes! You are going to love it. If you’re looking for places to visit in and around Nimes and Uzes, let me know. There are several posts on the area if you want to search on the site. Be sure to visit Marie Carres in Nimes and view the film. It’ll give you a wonderful overview of the times when Romans lived in “Gaul.” Your friends will be great guides speaking French, although everyone is so willing to help tourists. Send me a note when you’re in Uzes and perhaps we can meet!


  5. Deborah, I just stumbled upon your blog and am loving it. My husband and I just bought an apartment in Uzes and will live there full time beginning next year. In the meantime, it is unfurnished in the French style–even down to bare hanging light bulbs. Great adventure but overwhelming. Do you have a furniture source for the basics–beds!!? Someone to manage details from a distance–I’m in Boston? Hope to meet you someday!!!


  6. Hi Deborah, I have just discovered your blog and am enjoying the read. My husband and I are Australian and retired to France fulltime last year. We live on the Dordogne River between Bordeaux and Bergerac. We spent a month near Anduze a couple of years ago and also discovered Uzes. Such a beautiful town so I can understand why you chose to live there. Have you been to Lussan to see Les Céramiques de Lussan ? There is a tiny shop in Uzes with their wares but it is interesting to visit the atelier. As we are also non EU and therefore share some of the same issues with living in France, I’m looking forward to following your experiences and you are very brave to do this on your own. Bon courage.


    • I know the les Ceramics de Lussan well. In fact I have a noir y blanc chat on my bedroom windowsill. I love it! I was hoping to visit the shop owner for a story for the blog, so visiting Lussan to do it would be a great idea. I have visited her daughter-in-law in the store. Thanks for following the blog. It means so much to receive your note and good wishes. Keep in touch, please!


    • That’s an interesting question and part of the reason I return to the US during the year. I have Medicare and a “Medigap” insurance that covers me in the States and 60 days after I return to France. I buy travelers health insurance that covers me in France and on the go outside the US. I researched a lot of insurance companies in Europe for coverage, but discovered that travelers insurance is the best deal. Mostly I depend on going to doctors while I’m in the States for regular checkups, etc. The travelers insurance is for emergencies. I’m experimenting with whether to buy a policy for prescription drugs in the US. Fortunately I don’t have many health issues, so I’m paying out of pocket for prescriptions in France. It’s much cheaper than in the US. Hope that helps!


  7. I have just come across your blog. Loved this post. Love those styles! I am so excited to read your blog from the beginning!! Having become obsessed with France a few years ago, and having lived abroad when I was younger, I have a feeling it’s calling to me again – the expat life… For now, I can immerse myself in your adventures. Merci!


  8. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!


  9. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already
    😉 Cheers!


  10. Hi Debby
    Where are you today? I am still in Vallérargues near Uzès, wearing the nice clothes we’ve bought at the same time in the PAREO boutique. You remember? The Swiss translator and lentil’s vendor… Take care and hear you soon,


    • Hello, yes I do remember! How are you? I am in Sete and will return to Uzes next week. I will be there for awhile. Hopefully we can meet up again!


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