Lessons from the French: Elevate Your Lifestyle
Ever since I was an infant, my family and I visited the South of France every summer. My father loved the Mediterranean Sea and any country that bordered it. Later I lived there for quite a few years. When it comes to living life to its fullest, the French — particularly those in the beautiful South of France,— can teach us all a thing or two. And the best part is you don’t need a caviar budget to take these lessons to heart.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
Living in France, I soon learned one thing the French know for sure: You don’t need a big reason to enjoy the simple, daily pleasures of life. In fact, “big” things can get in the way. Instead of waiting for something special to celebrate, the French focus on turning everyday activities into something worth celebrating in a meaningful way. Typically, that can mean something as simple and transformative as indulging in a unique item, such as candles to light during dinner, or super-soft sheets for your bed, or something really unique you find in a small out-of-the-way shop.
Scenes of French men and women browsing in outdoor markets brimming with colorful and healthy vegetables are among the most common images associated with French living. But you don’t have to go to France to have that same experience. Here in the United States, there’s almost sure to be a farmer’s market in your area, and most towns have at least one local patisserie — aka bakery — where you can enjoy a fragrant loaf of fresh bread, or maybe even buttery croissants. Not only will the food be fresher, but you’ll be supporting local businesses too. And if you really want to feel French, invest in a reusable net shopping bag (sometimes called a string bag or a fishnet bag), almost a necessity for most open-air market shoppers.
The French put a lot of stock into conversation — real conversation, about current events or other interesting topics. They recognize the value of meaningful conversation in creating and nurturing human contact. What’s more, they have conversations face to face, not just on social media. For most of us, tech — while convenient — has made our conversation skills just a wee bit rusty. To get back in practice, use family dinners and lunches with friends and work buddies to polish your skills. I grew up speaking French, but when out of practice it shows. Conversation, a two-way street, is a great way to practice a new language.
Cultivate your Own Style
The French fashion scene gets a lot of attention, but for most French people, their actual attire is a lot more practical and focused on comfort without sacrificing style. In Cannes and Paris, it didn’t take me long to see that the French aren’t swayed by fads; instead, they build their wardrobes around timeless pieces in top-quality materials that will look good year after year. The French take time each day to make sure they look their best because they know that helps them feel their best, too. French women tend to value a good, basic haircut that flatters their features — one that doesn’t require a lot of time primping, curling and styling. And they use one or two tasteful accessories to take a basic outfit from day to night without a lot of hassle.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make truly meaningful changes to your life. By taking the time to make even the smallest events more meaningful, by making the space around you beautiful, you can incorporate a little bit of the French lifestyle into you own corner of the world.
I love to travel and share exciting observations from many years of adventure. Hopeful you will see this translated into our Nabila K lifestyle line of exclusive line of cosmetics home goods, and travel itemssourced during many treks around the world.
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