Reasons to be cheerful in France in 2022

If Covid has taught us anything over the last two years, it is to make the most of the good times. So, if one of your resolutions is to spend more time in France this year, then here are some things you can look forward to:

1. Markets and fresh food culture
Buying most of your food at local markets really does improve health both physical and mental. In this part of France, there is a strong culture of buying local, organic and seasonal produce so that’s a big tick in the better health box. But also, buying from local producers, talking to them face-to-face is the perfect antidote to all those zoom meetings and working from home. You get to interact regularly with local people, chat about the food, put the world to rights and remember the elements of everyday life that really matter.

2. Work-life balance
This is something that has been thrown into strong relief over the last couple of years, but the French already have this much better under control than most other countries. In France, you will find that, while people work hard, they also have clear boundaries and do not let their lives become consumed by their work. The French most definitely work to live and not the other way around.

3. Slower pace of life
While shops closing at lunchtime and on Sundays and having to queue while people write cheques can be frustrating, it does also teach you to slow down and remember that life isn’t a race and there is enjoyment to be found in taking one’s time and doing not very much. So, enjoy those leisurely lunches, the slow shopping at market and rambling Sunday walks and picnics; what’s the rush?

4. Excellent value restaurants
Talking of long lunches, you can still eat out in southwest France for incredible value; a three-course lunch with a glass of wine and a coffee is still available in most places for under €15 per head and you can take your time too; French restaurants serve between 12 and 2pm and only one service per table so you will never feel rushed.

5. Empty roads
Not something I really appreciate enough until I travel abroad, and I am shocked at how busy the roads are and how long it takes to get anywhere. Of course, we have jams around the cities here but, for most of the time, you will be cruising on empty roads and enjoying beautiful, unspoiled views, wide, open spaces and stunning scenery at the same time.


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