Welcome to Episode #22 of Profiles in Franceformation. I’m your host, Allison Grant Lounes. In this episode, I spoke with Geneva based therapist, Kristin Duncombe. Kristin followed her husband, an Italian Argentinian doctor with Médecins Sans Frontières to East Africa and then to Paris, where she began a thriving therapy practice, counseling other trailing spouses living in France for their partner’s career. After 10 years in Paris she relocated again to Lyon and now lives just over the border in Geneva, Switzerland. She is the author of two memoirs, Trailing: A Memoir about her time in Uganda and Kenya and Five Flights Up: Sex, Love and Family from Paris to Lyon.
In this fascinating conversation, we also learn about:
- A dramatic moment Kristin experienced while living in Kenya and how France felt like an escape hatch after arriving in 2001
- How she prepared for a nightmare of a day when needing to register as a travailleur indépendant at URSSAF and was delightfully surprised with the reality of being in and out of the appointment in fifteen minutes
- What Kristin did to get her name into the community once she received her right to work and how her private practice took off
- The challenges Kristin experienced shortly after starting her own private practice in France in terms of social charges and taxes
- Kristin’s perspective on raising her children in France, including her experience sending her children to public schools in France
- Her move to Lyon from Paris and why she says she was dragged there “kicking and screaming”, and eventually how she moved to Geneva, Switzerland from Lyon
- The cultural differences between the rigid, negative attitude one can find in France and how this can be challenging to adjust to as an American
Be sure to check out Kristin’s website here: https://www.kristinduncombe.com/
If you are considering moving to France like Kristin, Foolproof French Visas can help you navigate the path toward finding the right visa for you. It can be purchased here: http://www.yourfranceformation.com/books or in paperback on Amazon.
If you would like to pursue your own Franceformation, you can also request a free 30-minute clarity call with Allison to review your visa options and decide how to move toward creating your ideal life in France: http://www.yourfranceformation.com/free-call
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