My wife and I have decided we want to fulfill a dream and spend a year somewhere in Europe with our 3 daughters. We plan to do this in a few years when the girls are 12, 8 and 8 respectively. I can work remotely for my employer in the United States, and my wife will try to find work. The girls will spend a year in school wherever we go. So, the big question is-- where should we go? Below are some considerations and we would so appreciate input from others:
1) Language - we live in close proximity to Montreal, and travel there often. Since we are doing this we feel we should all learn a language while we are at it. So, French does make the most sense. We would start language classes at home 1-2 years before we left so we had a good foundation. To me, this means we limit ourselves to France and perhaps Switzerland or Belgium.
2) Daily life - we are looking for affordability (which makes me think Switzerland won't be the best option). We would rent our home and then seek to rent a furnished apartment/home wherever we go. With the girls going to school, we would need to consider public v. private schools, which likely may depend on cost and also where we end up. Ideally, I'd prefer a small city with good schools which allows us to live in the heart of the action where the girls could walk to school or have easy public transport, and I could work from home but be able to walk for work supplies, printing, coffee, etc.
3) Skiing - we love to ski and living in Europe I feel the girls would be blown away, so I'm hoping for ski access that is accessible not only for weekends but for me to break away every once in a while for a quick day on the slopes
4) Beauty - we want to live in a beautiful place, obviously.
5) Safety - first and foremost, I want my family to be safe, and for the girls to have a welcoming and full and amazing experience in school and in recreation.
So, some initial thoughts I had were Lausanne, Bern, Geneva, Marseilles, Toulouse, and Lyon. I'm admittedly doing this not based on much more than the language consideration, geography, consideration of being able to get into and out of a major airport (as I anticipate having to travel back to the States every 8 weeks or so for roughly one week), and just overall fee.
So, where should we go and why??
Thank you so much for your time!
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