I LOVE living in France. It honestly feels like a dream. Every time I walk down the old cobblestone streets, sit at an old cafe, or just walk in the countryside, I feel like my heart is going to BURST in happiness. A bit dramatic, but c’est vrai.
Here is a non-complete list of everything j’adore about La France =)
- French cheese. Alphonse calls me Miss cheese de France lol. I have become quite the cheese snob haha!
- Speaking in French. It’s such a beautiful language!
- Greeting everyone each morning with double kisses and a bonjour. Our village is tiny and everyone knows each other. They are all SO nice.
- Hearing TJ speak French. It’s SO COOL.
- Our bread truck that comes every morning with fresh bread. Make that fresh bread EVERYWHERE. The French take their bread very seriously lol!
Champagne at lunch….pourquoi pas?
- How much slower life is here. 3-hour lunches? People actually sitting down and talking to each other instead of being on their phone? Oui et oui.
- No wi-fi at most places. See above. At first, I was annoyed….I wanted to work while TJ played at the bouncy place, or I wanted to bring my laptop with me to a cafe and some work done…but now I appreciate the fact that I’m not always connected, that I have to slow down and actually appreciate the moment. I can bring a good book with me while I drink my cappuccino and actually relax a bit =)
- The driving! People actually follow the law lol! It costs over $1,000 to take the test to get a license, and the test is HARD. So people take driving seriously, and it’s so much easier to drive here than in the states.
- Roundabouts. So practical!
- Travel! It’s super easy to get EVERYWHERE. We are an hour from Germany, an hour from Luxembourg, 3 hours from Belgium, 3 hours from Paris, 4 hours from Italy….and flying is way cheaper here. If we want to get on a plane and fly to Africa, it’s $500, instead of $1,500 (like it is in the states).
- REAL CAFÉS. I haven’t seen a single Starbucks in France. I think the French would drive them out lol! I love the atmosphere in each café, they are all different and serve quality coffee =)
- Quality over quantity. The food here is GOOD. It’s fresh, local, and yummy. The portions are smaller, but you’re satisfied with less. And it’s way cheaper. Our grocery bill is more than half of what it is in the States.
- Chocolateries. Going into a specialty chocolate shop is common (and I go often haha!), and the chocolate is GOOD. So much variety. No Hershey bars here lol.
- The history!!!! There’s so much to see and do!
- Our crémerie with the sweet French man who let me sample all of the cheese. The french take their food seriously, especially their cheese! He explained each one and cut me off a little chunk of each one so I could see what I really liked.
- French parties. Seriously, though, they like to celebrate everything! With champagne! I love the joie de vivre =)
- How active everyone is! You don’t see very many overweight French people (lots of factors play into this, I’ll have to do a whole other blog post lol). But on a sunny day, EVERYONE is out walking as a family, or biking.
- Wine. It’s local and it’s CHEAP. You can get a great bottle for less than $2.
- We live 2 hours from the Champagne capital of the WORLD. Hence, champagne is cheap.
- We’ve been to the perfume capital of the world too, in the South of France! I LOVE the perfume I got there.
- How the French eat. Lunch is literally a 3-hour affair, starting with champagne and an hors d’oeuvre, with several courses, each served with a wine that pairs well, followed by cheese and dessert. They always eat together at the table. Again, no smart phones, they actually enjoy each others company.
- 6 weeks paid vacation each year. The French maintain a very good work/life balance and there are actually laws in place to prevent employers from emailing employees on the weekend.
- CHEAP medical care. Thanks to the Carte Vitale, you have to pay very little to see the doc. Even without the Carte Vitale, seeing a doc is only $25, and they actually spend time with you, instead of the standard 8 minutes in the states. And if you want to have a baby, France will PAY YOU $1,000. And if you need to have In Vitro, France will pay for it.
- Most everything is cheaper here, and the quality of life is way better. The fear of having a major catastrophe (like a medical one in the states) that will take away your entire life savings doesn’t exist here. Most everyone is taken care of, happy, and live with minimal levels of stress.
- Quiches. Give me ALL the quiches lol!!
- How the servers don’t rush you, and you don’t have to tip. At first, I was annoyed, since I was used to fast paced life in the States, but you can actually relax a bit, order more if you want, the pay when you’re done.
- Day care is CHEAP. Half days are free, and if I want him to stay the full day, it’s $10 (that includes lunch).
Ok, je pense que c’est tout pour l’instant =) I think that’s good for now lol! If you want to get a behind the scenes look at our life here, be sure to follow me on Snap! Add me: rachelngom =)
Would you ever want to live in another country? Come visit me in France? =)
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