Our main philosophy at this website is to clue travelers going to France about the soul of France, and if you have ever spent any time in this part of the world, you would know that the soul of this country is not in the cities.

As beautiful as the cities may be and as great as they may look at some postcard or some Facebook selfie photo, the soul of this place lies elsewhere. It goes beyond the baguette. It goes beyond the croissants, the great coffee, the amazing poetry and the art. It goes beyond the River Seine.

Instead, it goes to the rest of the country because just like a massive cultural river, the river system needs streams. The small contributions add up to what we see and think and assume to be French.

I am, of course, talking about the countryside. If you really want to truly know what it’s like to be French and have some inkling or some vague understanding of what French soul is supposed to be, live in the countryside.

This doesn’t mean that you have to live hard. Let’s just kick that out of the way. This doesn’t mean that you have to let go of indoor plumbing or running water. This doesn’t mean that you have to kiss goodbye the idea of warm water or electricity.

Make no mistake about it French country living has all the creature comforts of modern civilization. We’re talking about Internet connections, wireless connections running water, electricity, the whole nine yards. However, you get a lot more living in French cottages because you get to smell the fresh ingredients growing that will go to that amazing French cuisine that you will enjoy. The best part? You pay a lower price, you breathe easier and, most importantly, your mind is open.

It really is an experience because real traveling is not just a question of getting from one geographic point to another. It’s not just a simple matter of getting from point A to point B. Instead, it is a tremendous opportunity for us to step out of our old selves, our assumptions and expectations and become different people.

It’s like being born again. You’re seeing the world temporarily from a new fresh set of eyes. These fresh set of eyes do not have preconceptions. They don’t have an agenda to pursue. They don’t have a role to play out. They don’t have a script to stick to.

Use this opportunity to truly rest your mind and become a whole other person. Maybe it’s the person that you are destined to be. That’s precisely what French cottage vacations can bring to the table if you allow them to.

The big temptation about being a tourist is the fact that you are spoonfed an experience. I know, I know. It sounds crazy. But it’s also true. If you think about it, if you were to travel a country based on a strict schedule involving a tight sequence of which place to go to, what to talk about, what to see, then you can see your memories dictated to you. Sure, it might seem open ended and there might be a lot of opportunities for side discussion and personal connections but there is something undeniably formulaic to all of it. As awesome as it may all be at the end… it isn’t real authentic traveling. The latter is something you have to do.