After he lived for 9 years in India, Loïc wanted to come back to France. He decided to settle in Dunkirk.
“My wife and I decided to forget about the clichés and enjoy this new experience like ex-pats. Lookinh at a town optimistically, without any bias, changes everything….“
Mr. Lecomte, what were the circumstances surroundingyour move to Dunkirk in 2016?
“At that time, my family and I had been living in India for 9 years. We wanted to return to Europe and wished to live by the sea. While we were still in India, I was head-hunted by a recruitment consultant who offered me a senior-executive post “45 minutes from Lille” as he put it. I quickly found out that it was Dunkirk, a city that I didn’t know. But I had a very industrial picture of it in my head. My wife and I decided to forget about the clichés and enjoy this new experience like ex-pats. Looking at a town optimistically, without any bias, changes everything”.
How did you find settling in? What about your family?
“We settled in the best possible way. From India, we were able to rent a house in Téteghem. Once the whole family had moved, we found the French Welcome Association AVF which helps new inhabitants to integrate by arranging meet-ups and activities. We made friends and got acquainted there really quickly. I invested a great deal in pleasure boating, after meeting Thomas Ruyant, the skipper from Dunkirk, and Le Souffle du Nord association. This has also been a factor in our integration. One year on from our arrival, we bought a house in Malo-les-Bains. At a party one evening, we took stock of the quality of the friendships built over just more than a year. What’s more, living two minutes on foot from the sea is priceless and every day it makes us happy to be living in Dunkirk”.
In your opinion, what are the advantages of Dunkirk?
“The excellent quality of life! Dunkirk has nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to its cultural activities. People often talk about the kindness and genuine nature of those from Dunkirk. After having lived in plenty of places, I can confirm that it’s completely true. Dunkirk and its hinterland also have
magnificent landscapes which my family and I have discovered on numerous walks. When I was in India, I used to post photographs of the scenery on social networks using #incredibleIndia, which is the official motto of the Indian Tourism Board. Well, I’m doing the same thing using #incredibleDunkirk and I help my acquaintances discover facets of Dunkirk that they had never imagined before”.