‘La Joie de Vivre’ is a motto one hears quite often on the French Riviera. This saying, that literally means ‘The Joy of Living’, expresses a cheerful enjoyment of life, an exultation of happiness referred to a mixture of enthusiasm, energy and spontaneity.
Walking around the picturesque towns of the Riviera, one can really perceive this sense of joy. You feel it at the bakery, where the pastry chef whistles disposing his croissants on the counter; you see it in the wineries packed with people indulging on champagne and cheese on a random Wednesday night; you see it on the streets, where everybody walks around with a warm baguette and a bunch of fresh tulips in their hands.
This sense of relaxed enjoyment seems to touch every aspect of life here, and when they see you blue, they remind you to smile quoting their favorite maxim.
In the last 3 years, Alec and I spent over 3 months in the South of France, trying to mock the locals and their buoyant attitude.
Our Joie de Vivre here consists of giving emphasis to the little things, the ones we often forget living our fast, fast life. Little things like losing the sense of time while shopping for fresh vegetables at the Provencal market; like getting lost among the spice vendors and smelling all their fragrances; like listening to French music while we play in the kitchen. But, more than anything, our Joie de Vivre consists of being present and living in the moment, enjoying what we have right now without worrying about the future.
To make sure we never miss a sunset, everyday at 5, we walk to the beach and admire the sun melting in the water. The crisp breeze of November tingles our faces; the fiery sky magnetizes our gaze.
We are there and in the moment with all of ourselves. And with this wonderful scenery…where else could we be?