Enlightened by daughter on holiday

Posted on: August 25th, 2017
Categories: Financial Advice, Life Planning, Lifestyle Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Savings and Investments, Truth about Money, Young Investors

The alarm unceremoniously wakes us at 3:00 am; the annual pilgrimage to our house in Cognac, France has started!! It’s the chance for us all as a family to spend some real quality time together; chillax (my daughter’s phrase!) and maybe enjoy the odd glass of local purified grape juice, or two!!

We have an extra passenger; our daughter’s very excited school friend. As our daughter is 10, we thought it would be good for her to have a companion for the first week of the holiday; someone else to talk with; learn things with and just share the whole cultural experience. Hopefully, they will remember it for a long time.

Right, have we got everything, passports, bags, Euros and children!! Not forgetting the confirmation letter giving us permission to take our daughter’s friend through the Channel Tunnel?

It is evident to us that our daughter has grown up fast and with her friend, in tow, she is becoming far more confident and inquisitive. The questions during the holiday come on a regular basis, but they are very different to the past.

“Daddy”, does it cost more to live in France and why do they have different money to us?

Why do other countries speak a different language?

Do you prefer the house in France to our house in England?

Would you and mummy want to live in France when you retire?

Wow, we were not expecting this!! We also had many walks through the cohorts of vineyards around the house; observing buzzards and swallows soaring overhead, and this gave us the opportunity to expand on what she was thinking. She said, “I know I need to save for things I want, but I fancy living on the water when I get older; I want to paint and design things; sell them to passersby and online. How much would a boat cost to buy and how much would I have to earn to be able to run it?”

Spending valuable time with your family is so important and fulfilling, but having such insightful and enlightening questioning by a 10-year-old just reinforces the belief that communication is so important and that age should be no barrier for dreaming or contemplating our futures.

We had a fantastic two weeks immersing ourselves in authentic rural French culture; dinners with friends, including the local Marie (Mayor).

The children’s French has improved (mine too!!) and their general appreciation and education of what you can achieve if you share thoughts; plan properly and work hard has gone up in leaps and bounds. They are essential to living a more contented life.

The holiday was not without a few mishaps; a blocked drain (have you ever tried calling out a plumber in France in August?!!) and forgetting our daughter’s friend’s passport on the day we were meeting her mum at the airport to take her home after the first week.  Happily, both incidents, all resolved.

Ok, so our holiday is nearly at an end, but before we leave the land of baguette, fromage and Vin, we have an overnight stay at a beautiful Chateau closer to the channel Tunnel. Another history lesson for all of us, this time on how the Chateau and the surrounding village had been occupied by the enemy for four years during the Second World War, like many other great estates in France. We met other enthusiastic explorers and conversed about a multitude of experiences while enjoying more delicious food and wine supplied by our very engaging hosts.

Feeling recharged, we arrive home in Blighty; culturally enriched and ready for life’s inevitable challenges that lay ahead.

As with most people, this annual pilgrimage is a lifestyle choice for us and one we hope our daughter will always remember and continue to enjoy.

“Daddy’, one more question:

Can my friend stay for the whole two weeks next time?!


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