I begin to write this with a glass of red in my hand, as I reflect back on our 3 months spent in sunny Provence in the south of France. It was a surreal semi-dream come true to be moving to France, yet in a pandemic, our fortune didn't last as long as the crates of wine we bought home did.
I lost my job, like many many others, to the pandemic. I worked in the travel industry, which undoubtedly suffered from the stay-at-home orders and the inability to travel. Thanks to my own inability to sit still, I applied for a role in the south of France, which to my delight, I managed to get. Before I knew it, my boyfriend and I were driving down to Provence with our small suitcases, wondering if we were the luckiest people in the world or down-right idiotic.
Our morning run to the local boulangerie to buy a fresh baguette was equally welcomed into our new way of living, as was a midday espresso and an afternoon apéritif. Socializing was focused on food and drink, and I was more than happy with that. Fashion was another thing that becomes extremely important, as we watched with glazed eyes at the effortless style of men and women walking past.
Moving abroad at first was a delightful distraction from the miserable restrictions. We had to wear our masks everywhere we went, but with olive groves, vineyards and rustic old cobbled streets to explore, we found ourselves eager to get out and experience what we could. Restaurants and cafes still spilled out onto the streets, and sipping on a glass of wine whilst people watching become my new Saturday afternoon ritual. Cheesy, I know. We spent the weekends exploring local towns, heading to the sea and the likes of St. Tropez, Cannes and the famous Calanques. Slowly but surely we were falling in love with the idyllic new French life that we found ourselves in.
As the first couple of months drifted past, the pandemic started to grow worse again. The bars and restaurants, otherwise known as the life and soul of Aix-en-Provence, all had to close and a curfew was set. The future didn’t look promising as the idea of starting a new life, meeting new people and trying new things became further out of reach. If it wasn’t hard enough to move abroad, try throwing a global pandemic in the mix.
Our short but sweet adventure in Provence had to come to an early close. Although we left with heavy hearts, we also left with new memories and experiences we wouldn’t have otherwise dreamed of making. I guess what I am trying to say is that nothing bad can come of giving something a go. As the wise saying goes, you rarely regret the things you did do, only the ones you didn’t do.