A brand new life in France YouTube sequence | EUROtoday

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Thousands of individuals each month watch the YouTube channel 'Growing in France' to see the newest chapter in a French renovation of a home that has sat empty for 50 years in rural French countryside. Jack and Becs readily admit that their method to the work is broadly certainly one of optimistic spontaneity, however that's the appeal that retains everybody watching and prepared them to succeed. After all, shifting to a international nation to renovate an outdated home takes perception and dedication; To achieve this whereas residing on website, sustaining a profession and elevating three younger youngsters, is on one other stage completely!

Falling in love with a French home

Back in 2019, the couple bought their dwelling in New Zealand to start out a brand new life within the Charente, with out even realizing the place they’d reside. They discovered their future dwelling inside just a few weeks of arriving, and regardless of falling in love with it instantly, the Eighties Maison de Maître was barely liveable, and the worth was greater than their complete finances. After practically 4 years they might lastly make a begin on the key renovations, which they’ve been documenting on video each step of the best way and sharing on-line.

“Having moved from Zimbabwe to New Zealand at the age of ten, then moving around a lot, I never really felt I had my own community,” explains Rebecca. “During Covid, I built up an online community through Instagram and many of those connections have become face-to-face friends. YouTube is another platform that allows you to connect with other like-minded people, regardless of where they're based. If someone's watching our videos, they automatically have a common interest or they're living through the same experiences, and I love that.”

Having began their YouTube channel late in 2023, the couple rapidly hit hundreds of views as folks everywhere in the world began to comply with their progress. One of the elements that their viewers recognize most is that Jack and Rebecca are likely to maintain a optimistic angle, even when issues don't go to plan. And they usually don't!

“I'm definitely not an expert on renovation,” laughs Jack, “I work in IT as a Product Education Consultant, I'm absolutely not a professional builder. The only reason I can do any of this is because Becs tells me that I can and she believes in me.”

“Well, sure,” Rebecca agrees, “but you always get it done, you always find a solution. So it's true!”

Even AI performs a task

One uncommon side to the renovation has been their use of AI (synthetic intelligence) to assist them plan and prioritize duties.

“Initially, we tried using AI to help us design a living space,” says Rebecca, “which was fun but it wasn't practical at all, because it never seemed to give us results that we could use. It was much better for making lists, though. Jack's really good when you give him a list, he needs direction.”

“That's true, it was so useful,” agrees Jack. “Faced with a project as big as this, it can be overwhelming and you get like a decision paralysis and don't know where to start. So I went onto ChatGPT and tried different prompts, like 'what are the steps to follow for replacing a staircase' and the lists you get are brilliant. There's a particular sequence you have to go through and those tasks were in a logical order that made a lot of sense. It can also be really useful to get the terminology right, you can ask 'what is the metal strip called that you stick on the edge of a carpet?' Then you at least know what you're looking for.”

Having already tackled exploding plumbing, putting in lintels and flooring, the couple proceed to make progress renovating the home, though the speed of progress very a lot depends upon the funds accessible.

“We haven't taken out loans,” explains Rebecca, “so the work we can do is dependent on what comes in. If the money is there we spend it. It comes in and then it goes straight out!”

Balancing work and household

“Jack works online and needs internet access, but when we first moved here, it took months to organise WiFi at the house,” remembers Rebecca. “In the meantime, I had to drop him off at the local fast-food outlet every day so he could use their WiFi. For quite a while, the kids thought Daddy worked at Burger King – which he did, in a way!”

Jack continues to work remotely in his IT position and Rebecca is a contract wedding ceremony photographer, however between their two careers, tackling renovations and working the YouTube channel, they’re additionally mentioning their youngsters: Vincent (8), Aurelia (7) and Elysienne (2) who have been born after their transfer to the Charente. The two older youngsters at the moment are in school, and their mother and father are completely delighted with how they're settling in.

“The village school is four minutes away,” says Jack, “and we're really lucky because the director is a saint, one of the best women we know, honestly. They made us feel so welcome and made us feel that everything would be fine even though our French was pretty basic. We only speak English at home, because we didn't want to pass on our accents or grammar mistakes, but the kids flick between languages ​​so easily it's insane!”

As for balancing their varied priorities, they are saying that you just should make it work.

“We really make an effort to balance everything,” says Rebecca, “so Sundays are completely off for both of us, we make a point of spending time together and doing family things. Also, whether Jack is working or renovating, he's still around the house, so it feels like we're all hanging out together.”

“I try to keep the video editing to the evenings when the kids are asleep,” says Jack. “They do sometimes get involved when I'm working on the house, or they're outside at the same time, so it never feels like we're separated. And as for 'couple time', you know, we have three young kids, so there's very little couple time! We don't have any relatives living nearby, but when they come for a visit, we do the most of it and accept their babysitting offers!”

Looking forward

Jack and Rebecca are clearly nonetheless besotted with the Charente and don’t have any regrets about shifting right here.

“In hindsight, I realised that emigrating was a big deal,” Rebecca admits, “but France immediately felt like I belonged here. Plus, it has much better weather than New Zealand, so much more sunshine.”

So far, the pair have solely labored on the longère that they reside in, and have but to start out on the principle home itself, which has been empty for half a century.

“When I first saw the house, I said out loud, that's it, that's our house,” says Rebecca, “after which I had a go searching and thought, okay, bye desires, I'm out! But you talked me into it, you mentioned 'we are able to do that', so actually it's your fault, Jack….”

“You know, my attitude is you never lose; you either win or you learn something. Win or learn, every time,” concludes Jack.

And it's that form of decided optimism – usually towards the chances – that makes their movies so compelling. We'll simply have to attend to see what they do subsequent!

Find Jack and Becs on Youtube at: youtube.com/@growinginfrance

A new life in France YouTube series