Dabbling in Jet Lag
It’s no secret that I love France. I mean what’s not to love? From the magnificent scenery to the indulgent cuisine, France is a country that has it all. I’ve been living here for a combined six years, and I never get tired of peering into the bakeries or admiring the enchanting castles.
No matter if you’re visiting for the first time or are planning to stay long-term, it’s easy to fall in love with France. Of course, there are negatives to living anywhere, but the pros of living in France far outweigh the cons.
So, today, I want to share with you all the things I love about France. This is not a pros and cons list. It’s all the reasons why I genuinely love France and why it’s the country I call home.
Table of Contents
11 Reasons Why I Love France
1. Good Work-Life Balance
The first thing I noticed when I started working in France was the good work-life balance. The French value spending time with their loved ones so regulations are in place to make that possible.
In general, the standard work week is 37 hours. And, while there are some jobs that have longer hours, most people have a normal work week.
There’s also plenty of vacation time. On average, people have 25-30 vacation days per year plus 11 paid national holidays! That’s far more than most other countries offer! And it doesn’t stop there.
In France, Saturday and Sunday are considered full days off from work. You’re not expected to do any work on either day. In fact, many shops and businesses are closed on the weekend. For me, coming from the United States, this was very surprising. But it creates a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.
2. Tons of History
France has a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries. From famous painters to elegant architecture, there is so much to explore in this country. In fact, history here can be found in every aspect of the culture. One day in Reims alone will take you on a journey through time. From the room where Germany surrendered in World War II to the cathedral that hosted coronations, it’s a small city with a wealth of history. But no matter where you are in France you’re surrounded by history and culture.
3. Excellent Healthcare
Of the reasons to love France on this list, healthcare is number one. The system is funded by social security, so everyone contributes to the system. It’s undoubtedly the best healthcare in the world, both for its quality and affordability. On average, the cost to see your family doctor, or médecin traitant in French, is €0-7. Prescriptions are also covered and are, usually, free. Specialists might cost more, but, if you have a referral from your family doctor, it’s no more than €7.
4. Beautiful Landscapes
From vibrant lavender fields to towering mountains, France has no shortage of natural beauty. Each region offers something unique and awe-inspiring. And it’s all within reach.
If you’re visiting France on vacation, you can see vastly different landscapes in one trip. Imagine visiting Paris in summer, jetting off to hike in the Alps, then soaking in the sun on the beautiful beaches of Sable de L’Onone. It’s a dream vacation that makes France worth visiting. And no matter where you are you’re surrounded by stunning scenery!
5. Diverse Demographic
As an expat, I like knowing that I’m not the only foreigner. It might seem silly, but it’s one of the most important things I consider before moving abroad to a new country. And France has a very diverse demographic. Not only that but there’s more than one city in France for expats. You don’t have to be in Paris to find other expats. In fact, France is a country with many different cultures, religions, and languages. The language in Paris might be French, but you’ll hear English, German, and Spanish everywhere. It’s this diversity that makes France so unique and special.
6. Stunning Architecture
Whether it’s a Gothic cathedral or a sleek Art Deco skyscraper, there’s no denying that French architecture is impressive. Each building has a story to tell and represents a piece of France.
The ever-impressive Eiffel Tower and Chateaux Versailles are some of the most well-known buildings. But if you stroll the streets of Eguisheim, you’ll find half-timbered houses that’ll leave you mesmerized.
In fact, I often travel to cities just to look at the architecture.
7. The Language
There are countless reasons to love France, but for many, the French language is a big part of what draws them to this amazing country.
From the moment I started speaking French, I knew France would be a permanent home. Once I could talk with French people in French my perspective changed. I developed a deeper connection with the culture. And I was no longer a tourist or an expat. I was French.
French is also a beautiful language. In fact, it’s even considered one of the most romantic languages in the world.
8. There’s a City for Every Lifestyle
France is well-known for its beautiful countryside, but its cities are equally impressive. From small towns to cosmopolitan cities, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for cities that don’t sleep, Paris and Lyon can’t be beat. They each offer a wealth of history and culture along with countless restaurants and bars to choose from. There’s always something going on. But if you prefer endless coastlines, then, there are cities like Nice and Mention.
I love knowing that there is so much variety in one country. Of course, I love living in Strasbourg, but I also enjoyed my time in Paris. There’s no one best place to live in France, they all offer something different!
9. The People
One of the reasons why people dislike France is the people. But I would argue that French people are a reason to love France. Like any culture, there are stereotypes that often give way to negative assumptions. It’s not uncommon for the French to be perceived as rude and arrogant. And, while I initially agreed with these, I discovered they were far from the truth.
Now, I would say that the French are some of the nicest people I’ve met. My work colleagues helped me learn French and my French friends are without a doubt the most loyal. They are the reason I fell in love with France, and they are why I stay.
10. Delightful Markets
There’s nothing quite like browsing through a French market. The sights, smells, and sounds are all part of the experience. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce or handmade goods, you’ll find it at a French market. Not only that but it’s often cheaper to shop at the market than at the grocery store.
Most cities have a market once per week, but in larger cities like Paris, there are many. It’s honestly one of my favorite things to do. And I look forward to browsing the market every week.
11. Amazing Food
The food in France is one of the many reasons why I love living here. From fresh baguettes and savory dishes to decadent desserts, French cuisine is some of the best in the world. And each region has its specialty. A small town in Alsace, like Colmar, has tarte flambée on the menu while in Lyon you’ll find quenelles de brochet.
But it’s not only the recipes that stand out, it’s also the quality of the food. French chefs pride themselves on using only the finest ingredients. The produce is fresh and often bought locally, so you know you’re getting the best of the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a lover of France called?
A lover of France is called a Francophile.
How do you become a Francophile?
You become a Francophile by loving everything French. That includes the language, history, and culture. I recommend starting with the language as this is the easiest way to connect with French people. Then, I would visit France as often as possible and learn about the culture. Of course, you don’t have to do all these things to become a Francophile, but it’s the best way to get started.
How do you live like French?
One easy way to start living like the French is to eat French food. Fresh produce, meats, and cheeses are all a big part of the French diet. And mealtime is as important as the quality of the food. The French take their time and appreciate both the food and the people they are with.
The next easiest way to live like the French is to practice a good work-life balance. The French are masters at optimizing their time at work so they can spend it with their families. Granted not every culture and job allows for this, but if you can, you should.
From awe-inspiring scenery to buttery pastries, there are so many reasons to love France. Of those listed above, if I had to pick one reason to love France, I’d say the language. It’s connected to so many aspects of the culture and once I understood French, I understood France. This diverse, beautiful country never ceases to amaze me. It’s my home away from home. And if you’re thinking of visiting, or, even moving to France, I hope that I’ve shown you how magnificent it is.
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