Les Hautes-Pyrénées

There are many pros and cons to living in a tiny, remote village in the south of France:


 I live in the south of France
I live in a valley surrounded by stunning mountains, which are currently snow-capped
I live so incredibly close to Spain; it’s only a two hour drive to the border. This allows for impromptu Spanish weekends.
The staff and students at the school where I teach English are all very polite and friendly, and because of the proximity of Spain we have many Spanish students.
Apart from the English teachers I work with, hardly anyone speaks English. I choose to see this as a pro because it means I am forced to improve my French.
The people here are so welcoming and friendly. Whoever said the French are rude, smelly and stuck up were wrong (or perhaps just talking about the North).
I am not alone! I have a lovely French roommate of the same age who comes from Bordeaux. We get to share different parts of our cultures, practice French (and her English), and we continue to learn so much from each other every day.
·         I am not the only assistant! There are others from Mexico, Columbia and Germany. We’ve got a nice, little international club goin on. 
It’s warm and sunny, like all the time
The students go skiing every week and need volunteer supervisors – aka I get to ski for free every Wednesday
·         I have become good friends with many of my colleagues who are sharing so much of the French culture and lifestyle with me. They welcome me into their homes for parties, full weekends spent with their families, and they feed me endless amounts of fantastic food. I am so lucky.
Wine and cheese are CHEAP


My village has a grand total of 3500 inhabitants. There is zero nightlife… well not much life in general.
 It is extremely lacking in the way of shops, bars, restaurants, a gym, galleries, etc. BUT plentiful in boulangeries. And sheep.
The town is isolated, and with no train station and buses that decide not to run (when you have to get to the next town to catch a train to Paris) it is a bit tricky to escape from.
Likeways, it is also difficult to get to. You must take a train to a nearby town and then the bus to my village, which stops running around 6:00pm, a taxi, or if lucky enough have someone pick you up. 
I see my students EVERYWHERE
It’s January and there’s no snow on the ground. Need I say more?
I don’t have internet in my apartment. Writing this makes me want to cry.
It is too easy to get bored.
Many of my friends live in other towns or Toulouse, which is a two hour drive, or longer on the train.
Because the town is so small it doesn’t have the possibility of taking a cooking class.
I will probably be fat by the end of my contract.
At some point, I am going to run out of money.


  1. I love your blog. (Just in case I haven't mentioned it before). I love reading it and catching a glimpse of your mind, and I feel like I am right there witnessing what you are writing about/feeling!! So that being said, I am glad you continue to analyze everything and weigh out all options- you will a) never get fat, and b) somehow find the one nightclub in argeles where you won't run into students.. or at least make it a goal :) Please see my email and fb message (sounds like I am harrassing you) and lets skype soon! How is your thursday looking?

  2. haha yes indeed I do continue to analyze everything and I make lists like it's my job. Unfortunately this town doesn't even have a club where I could entertain the possibility of bumping into my drunken students, which btw is always a laugh.

  3. I love this post, I gave a great snapshot of you experience so far and the goods outnumber the bads! I will admit I was initially disappointed because from the form of this post I thought you had written a poem! Where are the rhymes? Sorry to hear there is no snow in the streets, I'll be sure to make an extra snow angel next time I frolic! I love the mention of cheap wine (obviously) so next time you drink a CabSauv and a stinky yet divine cheese (likely tomorrow?), think of me!
    Already anticipating a french inspired diner party, and I can't wait to for you share your newly acquired skills!

  4. i second (or third?) anna and megan's comments- definitely a great snapshot into your experience and daily life! Haha people that don't know you would be confused why no snow in January would be in the con list. To make you feel better, we've barely had any here as well! Although Alliston usually seems to be ahead of the game so I'm guessing it's seen a bit more. Solution to the lack of nightlife? Open up your own club right in your apartment! You could call it Bryson's- it would be the hot spot of Argeles!