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Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? Learning the Ropes of Social Life in Rural France

But now, in a small village where no one locks their doors (and everyone is up by 8am) I realized that I was effectively living in an open house community, where neighbors pop over at any moment to say hello, ask for a favor, or just chat because the mood strikes them.Edu Grande

When I moved to the French countryside two years ago, I knew that it would be a major lifestyle change, but I didn’t know what would change the most. Living in a house, with a garden, in the calm of the Cher valley among the vines and forests of this beautiful region I knew that I would lead a more quiet life. I soon learned that the countryside was calm indeed, but this calm was not free from interruption.

But now, in a small village where no one locks their doors (and everyone is up by 8am) I realized that I was effectively living in an open house community, where neighbors pop over at any moment to say hello, ask for a favor, or just chat because the mood strikes them.Annie Spratt

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Posted in Travel | 1 Comment »

City vs. Country: From Paris to La Loire Valley, Pt I

City Life vs Country Life. On moving from Paris to The Loire Valley.

Anne Arnould

It had only been a few months since I moved to the French countryside, but my city life already seemed like a distant memory.

City Life vs Country Life. On moving from Paris to The Loire Valley.

Emily Dilling

In exchange for a Parisian apartment, I now have a house in the Loire Valley. I also have a dwarf goat and a giant goose in my yard, a basketful of freshly harvested walnuts and farm-fresh vegetables in the kitchen, and 150 bottles of Gamay juice fermenting in an ancient stone shed in the front yard, slowly becoming my first batch of wine.

City Life vs Country Life. On moving from Paris to The Loire Valley.

Emily Dilling

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Posted in Parisian Living, Travel, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Erica’s Weekend away from Paris: a Country Cottage in Normandy

montage French country cottage Bed & door detail NewMy French Country Cottage in Normandy – Photos Erica Berman

It can be hard to get Parisians out of Paris for a weekend. We think we want to go somewhere, but when push comes to shove it just seems so complicated that we prefer an apéro, a resto, or a leisurely dinner with friends. We save our energy for big trips to exotic and far away places. Also, being snobs, we think that anything close to Paris won’t be interesting or worth the hassle of the drive.

French Country Home Normandy BikesBikes by Sharon’s French Country Home

This weekend I managed to make an exception to this rule. The lure of a French cottage in Normandy, a walk in the forest and a few early morning flea markets was calling me since Sharon, the cottage owner, promised all of this at less than an hour’s drive from the center of Paris. Could it be true?

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Posted in Homes, Parisian Living, Travel | 13 Comments »