Saturday, October 19, 2013

Second Lives as Expats in France, Part 3

Maryl meets Martine Whitelaw

Martine’s move to Provence is actually a return to her nation of origin. Like Maggie, some of her choices had to do with meeting a man. And like Nili she did some country hopping too. 

Martine started out in the family business, a large drugstore chain in Paris. When she decided to take a longer vacation in Mexico, she wasn’t planning to stay on until she met someone.  The couple moved to San Francisco and married.  But there's more to her first life. 

Martine's San Francisco's home

Martine's San Francisco's den
Martine settled into her new country and soon had a daughter, Delphine.  But storybook endings don’t always prevail, don’t you know. Newly divorced Martine returned to France with her daughter and reinvented herself with a career in merchandizing.  All well and good but she missed the lifestyle she had created back in San Francisco.  So back Martine went this time entirely on her own terms.  

Martine's San Francisco Patio
Martine's Collobrieres Patio

Martine now found herself in the food preparation business.  One night while preparing freshly caught albacore, she met Steve Whitelaw.  Soon after they married and Martine went into selling antiques and then real estate, a profession she continues with today.  
Life in San Francisco was good but now she missed and wanted a deeper connection with her homeland.  So back to France, this time Provence, where Martine and Steve bought their second home in Collobrieres.

Martine's Collobrieres Bedroom

Martine is easily at home in both countries where she has dual citizenships.   

Martine Whitelaw - her birthday party

Martine has lived half her first life in Paris and half in San Francisco. That was all practice for her second life where she now spends half the year in each country.  Second lives are truly the best.


  1. An aspirational life: not having to choose between SF and Paris.

  2. Lucky Martine. I hope that in the rich--in every sense of the word--second life she has created for
    herself she has found some time to give back. To my way of thinking, the importance of a second
    life not only involves finding meaning for yourself but adding value to the world by helping
    others. That is the true definition of personal happiness. Nice profile--and fab pix, Maryl.

  3. Gorgeous, et j'avoue que j'en suis jalouse... au moins un peu.

    I love thinking that we may get not only second lives, but third lives, if we are fortunate. Make mine French, please.