We’ve touched on the concept of Euro-commuting at Degtev before. It’s a concept that has become more appealing since the new Eurostar terminal opened at St. Pancras International, and it is now possible to travel to and from France and land up right in the heart of central London with minimum fuss and maximum comfort.
Now it seems as though there has been something of an upsurge in the numbers of us Britons who want to escape all that is wrong with the UK, whilst still enjoying our jobs. For such individuals, the idea of becoming a Euro-commuter and living in France whilst working in the UK is very appealing indeed.
In this article we look at the realities and practicalities of the idea and speak to someone who is a real life Euro-commuter. An individual who is living the dream, i.e., living in France and commuting to a very nice job thank you in London! And if he can do it – why can’t you?
The factors driving more and more people to think about living abroad whilst maintaining a working presence in the UK include the following: –
• It’s easier than ever to commute to the likes of France from City, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, and from St. Pancras International Station.
• Property prices in France remain competitively priced.
• The cost of living in France is lower than in the UK.
• Wages for many jobs are higher in and around London than they are in much of France.
• The quality of life achievable in France is superior to that in the UK.
• The internet, email and teleconferencing facilities make working at a distance easy.
• It’s cheaper for an employer to have distance workers who only come into the office occasionally.
• More and more companies embrace the idea of their employees working flexible hours.
And according to a brand new study commissioned by Thomson and produced by Future Forum, up to one and a half million of us Brits will be living abroad and commuting to the UK to work by 2016.
Naturally, to be able to enjoy this much-envied lifestyle one has to have a very flexible working environment. It wouldn’t suit those working in a Monday to Friday, 9 – 5 office environment. Additionally, to cope with the concept of Euro-commuting an individual has to enjoy travelling – although the average British commuter living and working in the UK has to enjoy travelling too, considering that they spend on average one and a half hours getting to work and back a day!
It was, in part, this daily commute that drove one Euro-commuter to make the transition abroad. Now living in France, Pete Jones has found that he really can have the best of both worlds because he still works in his UK based job and enjoys the salary that goes with that as well as the status. What’s more, he hasn’t had to step off the career ladder, he hasn’t had to down size, he hasn’t had to undergo any of the stresses of integrating into a new work culture overseas, and yet he enjoys a fantastic quality of life in France!
Whilst you may envy Pete his fantastic lifestyle, what’s stopping you making a similar transition?
Pete moved to a region of France well serviced by train links and low cost airlines, he bought a property that cost a fraction of what a similar home would have cost in the UK, he works full time in his role as Director of a market research company, and because he is only in the UK occasionally, he has ironically actually reduced his overall monthly commute times!
If this all sounds too good to be true – it truly isn’t! Living the dream abroad and funding the lifestyle from a British job is possible – and what’s more, it’s becoming more of a reality for more people. Just remember what we said in a previous article about those who live abroad and lose out on currency transfers though. Because if you are going to buy a home overseas and then earn your wage in the UK but transfer it to France and into the Euro to fund your day to day living costs, you should make use of a foreign exchange broker’s services such as the one offered by Currencies Direct.