Not to sound completely ridiculous, but I desperately miss the South of France. This will be the first time in two years that I haven’t had the pleasure of heading to my favorite region off of the Mediterranean, smelling the fresh lavender soap, and listening to the cicadas flutter about the peeling bark of the plane trees. Two years ago, Jon and I got married outside of Paris and spent the week following our festivities holed up in the beautiful town of Gordes. Last year, I was lucky enough to enjoy ten days lazying about a pool in St. Tropez, devouring nuts and olives from the decadent farmers market, and sipping homemade piña coladas courtesy of a twenty-five euro Monoprix blender. It was pure summer bliss, and a legitimate upgrade from the summer days of my childhood which were spent in a Wildwood timeshare (though I’ll admit, those were good memories too!).
Since I married a citizen, I can technically visit France often as I like, but Jon and I have our sights set on new adventures to places we’ve never seen before. And as he grew up in the Provence region, I can hardly blame him for not wanting to spend his time exploring the same haunts of his childhood. The world has so many exotic locations to see. And I’d like to see them too. But I also can never stop thinking about the South of France.
Sometimes I daydream about renting a little cottage in the offseason or winter months, hunkering down with my laptop and, much like Colin Firth’s character in Love Actually, write a novel as I watch the local villagers go about their lives, tend to their vineyards, and sleep in late during the mistral. I can’t help but romanticize it – it’s a romantic place – and a region that has brought me so much delight and happy memories throughout the years.
And so, I must think about the little piece of my heart, the small earthenware hand-painted part, that has been left behind in Provence. It’s in the stone fountains with non-potable water. It rests on the hilltops with Roman ruins and breathtaking views. And it’s tucked into the mustard-colored zucchini flowers for sale at the market. One day I’m hoping to somehow retrieve it, but until then my chest will always be aching to return to the South of France again.
Images from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence after our wedding and back when we had no idea how to properly use a camera. Is there a place in the world that you absolutely love and always want to visit? Share with me in the comments below!