Of all the places to vacation in France, why should you go to the provinces? Why should you rent out a cottage out in the middle of nowhere? Well, believe it or not this is the heart of French culture.
It’s easy to think that Paris, Marseilles and Leone are the cultural capitals of France. After all, they have all the infrastructure. They are very easy to get to because of all the transport links. They also have a lot of amenities and local traveler and tourist attractions. The Louvre, for example, is located in Paris.
However, in spite of all of that, if you were to truly understand the French soul, you cannot get a clear understanding of what it’s like to look at the world, smell things, feel things, taste and understand things from a distinctly French perspective until you get to the countryside.
The good news here is that the countryside is not some sort of primitive backwater. It’s not like there is some sort of black-and-white break when you go to the provinces. This is true in certain countries in certain parts of the world. Some places in the world are like back and white. You go to the city, and it’s nice and modern, but the moment you stray a few miles outside of city limits it’s as if you went back in time a few decades.
That’s not the case with France. Whatever creature comforts you may enjoy in the city, you are guaranteed to enjoy in the countryside. If you are into cable data, fiber connections, wireless connections, running water and other basics, you will get those at the same level in the country as you did in the city. That’s not the issue.
Instead, you see in the countryside French honest rural living. You see thatched roofs. You see French farmers and fresh ingredients. There’s just something distinctively simple about living in countryside. It’s not much different from the experience of Vincent van Gogh when he went to live in Arles.
Whether you’re looking at grain ready to harvest or you’re just looking at windmills or some basic stuff on the horizon, its simplicity of soul speaks to you at so many levels.
A lot of this, of course, boils down to your mindset. As the old saying goes, “If you want to see something, you will see it.” We, human beings, after all read into our realities. We interpret meaning from the things that we see from a purely personal perspective. Two people may be looking at the same thing, but walk away with two totally different interpretations because they are two totally different people.
However, in a French provincial case, there’s just a certain magic there. There’s a tremendous opportunity for you to peel back your preconceptions and just enjoy life interacting with French people to absorb their perspective. It’s one of those minor personal miracles that continue to give you blessings long after your trip.
So, do yourself a big favor and vacation in the French countryside. It may involve stepping back from top-notch comfort and convenience, but you can rest assured that whatever you give up, you are more than compensated by the immensely rich, nuanced and sublime experience you get. Nobody can make great memories for you. You have to step up and do it for yourself.