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The Number One American Dream

A smaller, replica of the Statue of Liberty found in Nice, France

This week I was interviewed by a journalist for The Local who was asking about the feasibility for retired Americans to move to Paris (or France, for that matter). “We are looking to advise our readers on the steps they should take before making the move,” he wrote in a preliminary email.

As a Brit, he was completely unaware of the mass exodus we’ve seen out of the U.S., particularly in the last two years, since the beginning of the pandemic, and in spite of the pandemic. I can attest to the onslaught because in 2020, I performed twice as many consultations as I had in 2019 and in 2021, that number doubled again! So, in two years, our clients’ interests in moving to France has quadrupled. Those are some serious numbers.

I have always joked that “the number one American dream is to live in France”…but this has been immortalized in a cartoon from June 19, 2009 by Wiley Miller as part of his Non Sequitur comic strip. A man is sitting at a bar talking to the bartender and he says, “I stopped pursuing the American dream when I found out it means I’d need to move to France.” (I can’t legally reproduce the cartoon without paying a licensing fee, but you can view it here)

So, you see. I’m not the only one joking about this, but it’s not really a joke!

Several readers forwarded over an article in the New York Times by Paul Krugman about the success of France’s economy “having a good pandemic.” According to Krugman, France is the “star performer of the pandemic era” in its handling of the economic damage from Covid-19. When an outsider looks in, one might see 35-hour work weeks, five weeks paid vacation plus 14 paid holidays and think the country can’t possibly be productive! And the press over the years has been negative, snubbing the American nose at France, in spite of data that doesn’t support the bad press.

Screenshot of the opinion piece in the New York Times by Paul Krugman

Krugman wrote, “Still, at a time when Republicans denounce as destructive ‘socialism’ any effort to make America less unequal, it’s worth knowing that the economy of France—which isn’t socialist but comes far closer to socialism than anything Democrats might propose—is doing pretty well.”

America is always looking for ways to support their own ideology, especially when it’s up against a socialist democracy such as France that places other goals above getting individually rich. The New York Times article supports this viewpoint, citing that “France, however, not only managed to avoid a huge plunge in employment but has also surpassed its pre-pandemic level.”

While hanging out at home with France 24 on in the background, I couldn’t help but see Donald Trump back on the campaign trail. In Arizona at a rally at which thousands of his supporters gathered, he lied once again and with great zeal, that the U.S. presidential election was stolen from him. And they believe him. One attendee waiting to get in to the rally told reporters that she had come to hear “the truth” from Trump. “He always gives the truth about everything. The economy, the state of the world, the United States,” she said.

Uh-huh. This is her American dream.

Screenshot of Trump speaking at an Arizona rally

Thursday I head to Los Angeles for 11 days, “God willing”—if Covid-19 or this cold doesn’t get me. Saturday late afternoon in an instant my nose started to run…and kept running. Panicked that Omicron finally had gotten me, meaning my trip would be cancelled, I took an antigen home test. It recorded negative. Not trusting it, because the home Covid-19 tests have a higher chance of a false negative than a false positive, I trekked out on Sunday to the 24-hour pharmacy at Place de la République for a professional antigen test. Negative again. Yeah! (According to, when taken within 3 days of symptom onset, home tests correctly identified 96.2 of Covid-19 cases.)

Beautiful, tall palm trees in Los Angeles, California

So, it’s just a typical cold and I’m doing everything I can to get well, including staying in and boosting my immune system as much as possible. The long list of vitamins, herbs, homeopathic remedies and drugs I am taking is impressive, including regular steam inhaling which I find to be the best remedy of all.

I’ve been planning this trip for quite a while—my only real chance to visit with my daughter in between our own individual travel schedules and work responsibilities. The week off is down time desperately needed as a result of our quadrupling business. I will be taking the week off from writing these Nouvellettres®, too—but we will reprint some memorable issues, so your inbox won’t be void of missives from me and the Adrian Leeds Group. And we’ll continue to talk about the American dream…the one I always had: to live in France.

Adrian Leeds and friends lounging on the lawn at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds wearing a red baret and red scarf with a black leather coatAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. If you are considering a property purchase in or a move to France, don’t do it lightly. Let us help you make the smartest decisions to ensure you make the best investment you can. Contact us to learn more!



  1. Melanie Curtis on January 17, 2022 at 9:26 am

    Have a great trip and fun visit with your daughter! My daughter and I enjoyed your Escape to France seminar in Nice very much!

  2. Laurence M Tepper on January 17, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    As a devoté, Francophile, Adrian Leeds-ophile, would love the chance to meet you when you come to Los Angeles! I live in Beverly Hills (12 years) now, Greenwich Village (decades) transplant, Dentist ..hold not against me!…….long to return to both Menton-Roquebrune……and of course Paris…..and wish list includes ” un rencontre présentiel” …..What say you?…….Laurence M Tepper

    • Adrian Leeds Group on January 18, 2022 at 5:03 am

      Thanks so much! Adrian always enjoys meeting her fans. This trip is devoted to her getting some much-deserved R&R. Perhaps another time? Or, make plans to join us in Paris sometime at Apres-Midi.

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