In this series, we are interviewing members of our club, so that you can get to know each other a bit better. Today we talk with Arvis Liepa about his life and work in the region.
What brought you to the French Riviera? How long have you been here?
I was dreaming about traveling around Europe from a young age. And after my first, not really successful, trip to Germany I went directly to the south of Europe.
First it was north of Italy and then straight down to Nice, Côte d’Azur. I fell in love with this place immediately when I arrived at the Belle Époque Nice train station.
I was heading directly to the beach. But first a quick stop to the little local shop. To grab a bottle of wine and some snacks before reaching the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. It was late evening and it was quite busy around the city.
I still remember today the smells of the sea. Mixed with blooming flowers scents in warm air. Such relaxed vibes and it was still early spring.
Everything was different, I felt like I entered another world.
So I stayed here for more than a year. Learned basic French, worked a bit of casual jobs. And also traveled around Europe on short trips to see other places too.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
After quitting France I traveled and worked in the UK and a couple of other places. After a while I decided to go back to the South of France with my family. Basically to make a shortcut in my life and career instead of working and making business somewhere in Europe or working for big companies.
Particularly in the UK, I felt it was easy to make a great career if you are ready for it. I was thinking and questioning myself why spend my most dynamic year of my life somewhere in the northern country and then to come here to enjoy French cuisine, the sun, the sea and nature, and spend a lot of money to be part of this another world.
It was in 2009 when the economy crashed I took the opportunity and started to do business for myself mostly online.
I was inspired by the idea of how France has functioned for centuries with a vast variety of little artisanal commercial activities and deep cultural history and traditions.
The rich history of France led me also to deeply learn the alchemy and laws of nature.
With my almost two decades experience working and studying online, today I work as a business communicator – marketing, branding, photography & videography and as a life-mentor with motivated people, with the intention to help them find their true purpose in life and earn for living with their unique talents.
I have faith that everyone is a genius, just sometimes we do not recognise our strengths and full potential.
What would be your best advice to others thinking about living or working on the French Riviera?
With my half-life experience in France I can advise those who come to be expat in France and particularly the South of France to try to integrate yourself as deeply as you can so you can experience this another world whatever you do. Long-term travel, working for someone or doing your own business.
France is very controversial in many cases and culture could be very different with multicultural communities and dimensions.
Not everything is easy to absorb and comprehend but you don’t have to. We hear this a lot, even from French themselves: ”It’s France or those are French.”
If not, overtime you will over-burn yourself with a lot of non-positive emotions and leave this place or you will make yourself very unhappy which could seriously impact your quality of life here.
So firstly for your own sake, you need to define your life quality expectation and be ready to enjoy this multidimensional another world with its opportunities.
Fun facts about Arvis Liepa!
Since when do you live on the French Riviera?
Where are you originally from?
What is your favourite wine?
I have various wines I really enjoy, difficult to say which is my favourite …
What is your favourite spot on the French Riviera?
Cap d’Antibes – Juan Les Pins!
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