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 Sara Serenander about her life and work in the region.
What brought you to the French Riviera? How long have you been here?
What brought me down here in 2020 is not one of those happy, cheerful stories that you would like to hear. As I ran away more or less from a “not so happy” situation further north in this beautiful country. I packed all my bags and loaded my motorcycle in a rented van. And drove down here from Haute Savoie to a rented flat to start over. You are your own hero.
But the reason I chose Cannes specifically at that time was because I came here as a child with my mom and dad. My dad was an entrepreneur and graphic designer. And during 12 years, until 1989, he worked for the Cannes Film Festival. My mom and I stayed in Cannes during May at Hotel Mondial whilst he was at work. This was before the age of six. But definitely some of my happiest memories I have from my childhood was during those visits.
He worked so hard on set during these years. At one time he was invited to the red carpet to actually attend the festival! We are not from a rich and fancy family. So this was a big deal!
He turned up but unfortunately his shoes wasn’t up to standard so they turned him away and he wasn’t allowed in. He still talks about this at the age of 84, but now with a smile.
Could you tell us about your professional career? What do or did you do for work?
I’ve worked in the Tourism industry for a very long time. I started as a deckhand when I was 15 years old in Stockholm.
After eight seasons with boats I moved to London. There I started my journey in the airline industry. First on the passenger side and then with cargo.
Ten years later (and a pandemic) I finished my position as Operational Manager for North Europe for Airfrance-KLM.
I’ve done everything from scrubbing deck, to work as a cheese monger to take care of fifteen airports!
For a very long time I knew I wanted to start my own company. One step led to another and I created ‘Get Me Lost AB’.
What does the company that you work for do?
Get Me Lost is a travel concierge service one might say!
I arrange fully all inclusive travel arrangement for my clients. I only work with France (and a little bit of Italy) as a country. And I specialise in finding the best, exclusive and personal experiences for you.
Get Me Lost works with a concept called “Secret Travel”. Which means that your whole itinerary is fully build around you, your hobbies and interests, likes and wishes. Every day during your stay you will find out what is planned for you the day after. Announced in little letters given and numbered for you.
I do fully fitted packages for you with everything from transportation (private jets, helicopter, cars, motorcycles, yachts), accommodation (most private villas or apartments), restaurants or private chefs, activities and excursions to anything else you might require for your perfect stay in France.
My clients can come from any part of the world and I focus on adults only.
Holiday, Wedding, Birthdays, Company events, friend groups or a romantic couples holiday. You decide! I’m here for you.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I wanted to work for me, build something, create something that would make people smile.
I have worked with tourism and/or sales and high-end service my whole life and I truly love it.
For me it’s a win-win-win situation, I get to work with what I love, give someone the best moments and put a smile on someones face and at the same time live and work in this fantastic part of the world.
In a few years, looking back on this entreprenurial journey, it might not (most likely not) have stayed with what my original business idea was, it might have changed and form to something else, but that is ok! It’s a living thing and it will grow with me and my clients! I’m really looking forward to this!
What would be your best advice to others thinking about living or working on the French Riviera?
DO IT! It is hard to move (country/city), it really isn’t a walk in the park, but it is extremely rewarding when all the little pieces fall into place.
You find a place where your heart is at rest, your brain is quiet for a second and your worries might disappear. You will find new friends and learn the language but you will need to but in an incredible effort to do that and to get to that stage.
I am from Stockholm originally and grew up in the countryside with chicken and goats. I’ve lived in six cities in four different countries, I’ve worked in seven countries but I have colleagues and friends all over the globe.
Moving away is what will make you grow up and grow stronger mentally, no matter the age or the phase in your life, because it will test you to levels you didn’t think was possible.
Creating a business, no matter in what country you do it will also test you, your discipline, your patience, determination and your relationship with everyone close beyond what you ever could imagine. Yes, it’s worse than a trip to Ikea. BUT DO IT!
And pick a place where it’s beautiful to live, like the French Riviera, it makes it so much easier to recharge those batteries when you’re running low.
Fun facts about Sara Serenander!
Since when do you live on the French Riviera?
I live on and off since 2020
Where are you originally from?
Stockholm, Sweden (grew up on an island called Färingsö)
What is your favourite wine?
I love a good Sancerre!
What is your favourite spot on the French Riviera?
As I’m a biker, I have to say the GORGEOUS costal stretch between Théoule to Saint-Raphaël is something I will never get tired of!
What French word, expression or sentence do you find very difficult to pronounce?
OMG, there are sooo many! Jeez! Today I made a knot of my tongue while trying to pronounce ‘Chirurgien’! Even with a B2 level this language is incredibly impossible!
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but don’t hold back.
You only (as far as we know) have one life so make sure to live it to the fullest. Do everything you want, meet anyone you like, taste everything you find and see all the places you can think of.
My ONLY motto in life is that when I am old and grey and sit in my rocking chair I will NOT be able to say “Oh, I wish I would have……”
You don’t know if you can fly unless you dare to jump. Cheesy, I know, but true.
And “I only drink Champagne on two occasions – When I’m in love and when I’m not”…
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