Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide


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Disclosure & Image Rights:  The tourist office of Brittany has taken over our costs for flights, accommodation and meals during various research journeys. Image material was created with a camera provided free of charge by our sponsor Olympus, which we checked as part of the test until it was unusable.  Image location: Le Conquet - Ouessant, France.

Many dream of getting out, but Chantal Cuijvers-Van Kesteren dared to do it with the whole family: the former secretary is now a lighthouse guide in Brittany. How does such a complete life change work?

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

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From the big city to the lighthouse

Cuijvers-Van Kesteren comes from Antwerp in Belgium. Then she decided to emigrate with her family from the stressful city to Finistère, to the end of the world, where the clocks tick a little differently and where everything is a question of perspective - and Chantal became the guide at the St. Mathieu lighthouse in Breton Le Conquet village.

"Do you know Antwerp?" answer the question why she lives in Brittany today. “This is air pollution. This traffic - every day it took me almost an hour and a half for 20 KM to work. And here .. "she says and takes a deep breath" you can drive freely. "

Previously, Chantal was a secretary in a shipping company in Antwerp, today she receives tourists in a lighthouse. Lighthouses are one of the landmarks of Brittany and given the many cliffs and rough seas a necessity.

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A technical marvel

Many ships are already known off the coast, as Chantal reports. At the same time, however, St. Mathieu is a technical marvel: the lamp on Leuchtturm has just 52 Watt, but 55 KM can shine far.

"Spiegelthat reflect and bundle the light make this possible, ”reports Chantal. Until 2006 there was a lighthouse keeper in St. Mathieu, today the lighthouse is fully automated.

For love of the sea?

The love of the sea seems to run like a thread through Chantal's life. "Oh nonsense, that's a coincidence," Chantal dismisses. She owes the fact that she lives in Brittany today to her husband's job.

He worked at an international Company with different factory locations: So the family lived in England for two years and in Salzgitter for two years, so she and her family speak several languages ​​- certainly helpful for the job. And just two years to Brittany, where the family returned when their husband retired seven years ago.

At the end of the world, but not quite

Because the family fell in love with Finistère, the westernmost department in the French region of Brittany, straight away. "The people are friendly, there is no stress, but the ocean and a great landscape," says Chantal and enthuses about the long walks with the family: "You can do this particularly well on the many hiking trails along the cliffs."

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The fact that it sometimes rains and rains, she says, doesn't matter to her, that's just part of it. But then she admits that the weather can sometimes thwart the plan: In the first four years in Brittany, the family lived in Le Conquet right on the sea. "But the wind was unbearable, we practically never could go into the garden, so we finally moved."

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

Tip: Text as PDF (please read the instructions!) Download or for a little more Book on the topic with discount or eCourse book. Actions or news via Newsletter!

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

Life change to dream job: from secretary to lighthouse guide

All a question of consideration

For her two daughters, the 15 and 8, when the family emigrated, Brittany was the most beautiful place to live: there was no aggression as in the big city, but there were plenty of recreational possibilities like cinema, bowling or different youth organizations.

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“To do this, we had to drive the two of them everywhere by car. There is always a negative side, ”Chantal admits with a smile. Ultimately, everything is a question of consideration.

The end, which is a beginning

The name Finistère comes from the Latin "Finis terrae" and literally means "the end of the world" and at least here is the end of the European continent. In Breton, however, the department is called “Penn ar bed” and that means “beginning of the world”. So everything here is always a question of consideration.

And so at the very end of the world, St. Mathieu is also not: 28.000 tourists visit the lighthouse every year, there is a car park for buses and a four-star hotel directly opposite.

An hour to buy a bread

Chantal finds this pleasant, she needs contact with people. In winter, she says, it's almost a little too quiet here for her. In this case, she even regrets not living directly in the city but in the small community of Saint Renan 20 minutes northwest of Brest. But her husband says she has horses - "and then you have to make compromises!"

After all, there are advantages: “In such a small town you meet the same people again and again,” says Chantal. For example, on Tuesdays there is a market - “and then it takes me an hour to buy bread because I constantly drink and chat with people,” she shows that the clocks tick a little differently here at the end of the world. "That wouldn't work in a big city."

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  1. Katrin

    Very nice story, I'm just thinking about emigrating to Brittany, great suggestions. One thing I have to get rid of: If all bloggers would put similarly good content on the net, the Internet would be much more useful.

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