To Chateau or Not to Chateau?

Kanira Shah

Running doesn’t get much better than this! I have been in Fonty at my new home, Chateau Fleury, for three days and it’s sunny and pretty warm for January so I decided to go run around the grounds. INSEAD officially kicks off tomorrow but I have already met so many lovely people from all around the world during the last few days, and I believe INSEAD is the perfect spot to start my new journey!

When I got the acceptance call - after a few (failed) somersaults - the first thing that crossed my mind was that I had to live in a Chateau no matter what. When and where else could I possibly take advantage of INSEAD’s Fonty location? For a split second I did wonder if it wasn’t wiser to get another 20 minutes sleep and stroll into campus instead after hearing plenty of lack-of-sleep stories doing the rounds.

Practicality didn’t win as what is 20 minutes when you have a taxidermied alligator in a fireplace, the promise of legendary parties and beautiful starry nights to accompany them. Besides, after living on and off in London for 12 years, I could finally put my driving license to good use…my parking skills however are currently non-existent!     

For anyone wondering about accommodation, I’d highly recommend chateau living:

  1. Yes, you need a car but it makes weekend travel that much easier :)
  2. Yes, when you take the exit to get to Fleury, especially if you’re a city person like me, after seeing fields and horses and pretty much nothing else around, your heart will skip a beat but three days in and I barely freak out now.
  3. Yes, you might get jealous from time to time of the others who live a stroll away (hasn’t happened to me yet) but they don’t have an alligator hanging about.
  4. Yes, the first few days you will spend your life and money at the ginormous Carrefour in the nearby village but at least you have the car…..or maybe that’s the problem?
  5. Yes, it makes for great socials.
  6. When else really?

So for me, it’s definitely ‘to Chateau’…Oh and you will get warnings about not straying from the path as the owners do go hunting in the grounds! Safety and all…