To be honest, I didn’t want to like France. It feels like an American cliché to love Paris and all things French. But as much as I resisted, I fell madly in love during my first visit and have returned several times since. I even lived there for about a year.
The French lifestyle is not dramatically different than the US lifestyle, but at the same time, I find that the vibe is totally different. In France, there is an air of unhurried calm, a joie de vivre (which translates to enjoyment of life), and a leisure in the way everything is done. The French believe life is meant to be enjoyed, so why not light another cigarette or order a tarte aux pommes (apple tart) for breakfast? Or better yet, why not spend the day lounging in the park with a bottle of wine?
This pleasure-driven lifestyle is only complemented by the food — a course of cheese after a meal, bread everywhere, and tiny, glazed tarts that are almost too perfect to eat in patisserie windows. Tomatoes taste extra good in France (and so does store-bought pasta for some reason), and everywhere you look, people are sitting down to truly taste and enjoy their food.
And, of course, there’s the café culture, quaint seaside villages, theater and museums, the Alps, the French Riviera…I could go on and on and on.