Musician Bobby McFerrin said it best with his hit song, “Don’t worry. Be happy.” And there’s no better place to find happiness than in France.

While trips tend to be jam-packed with sites to see, tours to take and fabulous meals to enjoy, in France there is the opportunity to slow down and relax. You CAN find your “happy place” – that place where you are “in a state of bliss.”

Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France, a perfect place to find happiness in France (Credit: Janice Chung)

Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France, a perfect place to relax and picnic

Happiness in many places

Having travelled to France many times, I have felt this “state” in many different areas of the country and while doing diverse activities.

Say you rented a vacation home in the south of France: It’s surrounded by sunflowers and the village you’re staying in is so small there aren’t any stores. Nor is there any noise at night. During your one or two week stay you visit the local market, relax with a coffee after purchasing your fresh produce, and then relax on the rooftop terrace of your home, drinking exceptional, local rosé wine.

Is this not truly bliss?

happiness in France

Poolside at the author’s vacation home in France (Credit: Janice Chung)

Courtyard at Ecole des Trois Ponts in France (Credit: Janice Chung)

Courtyard at Ecole des Trois Ponts in France (Credit: Janice Chung)

What about a leisurely bike ride along a canal in Burgundy and stopping for a picnic lunch by a stream? Your lunch isn’t just a ham sandwich though. The feast assembled in front of you has various French cheeses, baguettes, fresh fruit, various meats and wine, of course.

Bicycle tour in Burgundy, France (Credit: Janice Chung)

Bicycle tour in Burgundy, France (Credit: Janice Chung)

Perhaps you are into a learning vacation. Your morning is comprised of some lessons but the afternoon is free to sit under the willow trees and converse (in French, of course) with your classmates or work on your assignments

Gordes, a hilltop town in the south of France (Credit: Janice Chung)

Gordes, a hilltop town in the south of France (Credit: Janice Chung)

When you travel to France, the trip does not have to be “Go! Go! Go!”

When you are in France, you can truly slow down and relax, especially if you find your “happy place.”


What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?

  • Taking language and cooking classes
  • Enjoying a biking tour in Burgundy
  • Eating fabulous French cuisine and wines

Take note

  • It’s important to check the fitness level requirements for certain bike tours. Some routes are flat and some are very hilly.
  • Most often, French language classes are geared to absolute beginners. A placement test (oral and written) is often administered just before you start to determine what level class you should be in.
  • While you could bring a picnic to Luxembourg Gardens, you can buy food and drinks (including alcoholic ones) at Le Pavillon de la Fontaine.

IF YOU GO


Be sure to get the whole scoop on happiness in France (including four special places to “chill”) on France Travel Tips!

Finding Your Happy Place in France                                          

*All photo credits: Janice Chung (except lead photo)


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happiness in France