Anticipating France


Anticipating France

I’m one of those lucky people who enjoys the lead up to a big event almost as much as the event itself.

I’ve been like it since I was a child. I adored the lead up to Christmas, and literally could not sleep on Christmas Eve because I was so excited. And you’ve got no idea how impatient I was…it was all I could do not to open presents under the tree (even presents that weren’t destined to be mine!).

Right now, I’m anticipating France. It’s around six weeks until we head back and I am starting to taste that delicious flavour of excitement.  My mind continually gravitates back to our coming trip  and every now and then I get butterflies in my tummy when I think of all the amazing things we will see, do and eat!

So what does ‘anticipating France’ look like for me? 

  1. An ongoing countdown. At least once a week, I’ll count the days to our next trip. I’m always excited when the time to the trip is shorter than I expect. Pretty soon I know I’ll find myself counting working days – and no, I don’t feel like I’m wishing my life away.
  2. I start seriously thinking about my packing list. And I start pulling the clothes that are definitely coming with me out of circulation. I either launder them myself, or take them to the professionals in readiness for the trip. Same goes for shoes – in a couple of weeks, my favourite boots are off to the cobbler for a pre-holiday overhaul.
  3. An increased interest in exchange rates. We’ll need euros at some point soon and I always like to think that I’ll get best possible rate. I rarely do. But I enjoy the thrill of the chase.
  4. My internet browsing becomes really, really focussed. I’ll write about it soon, but I’m a huge believer that a really fabulous trip is all in the planning. Yes, you need some room for spontaneity but without structure some French adventures can become a little bit aimless. At the moment, I’m purchasing train tickets, booking restaurants and pencilling in visits to sights and shops.
  5. I’ve already been to my doctor for a quick health check and to make sure all my prescriptions are up to date.
  6. I begin organising all of my paperwork (even if it is electronic) and I start thinking about which carry-on bag will be joining me on the trip. I also consider exactly what will be in that carry-on bag to make my flight more comfortable. Ditto for my toiletries bag – I’m already stockpiling my favourite products in mini-sizes. And I’m making sure I’m taking Claire’s recent advice.
  7. I’m thinking about what I’ll be reading and writing while I’m away. I’ve pre-ordered a couple of books (French themed, of course) and I have a list of topics for articles that I’m planning to write for MyFrenchLife™ .

Now, I know I’m not the only one who adores that sense of anticipation. I’d love for you to share what anticipating France means to you in the comments section below. 

Until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that every woman can bring French style and joie de vivre to her life, no matter where she happens to live in the world. She only needs to know a secret or two to be on her way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll learn the style and grooming secrets that will help you to dress with the confidence so many French women seem to have.


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8 thoughts on “Anticipating France

  • Claire

    How exciting – I’m even getting excited for you reading about it.
    We were looking on line for accommodation over the weekend. That starts to make our Christmas trip more real. Once the accommodation is booked I start visiting on Google Maps and getting to know my street and how far away we are from various things.
    We start the count down with the kids. In 3 months we will…. In 8 weeks… In 2 weeks… this time next week… tomorrow… right now we are going to the airport!

    • Janelle Post author

      Your place sounds remarkably like our place Claire. The only count down I’m not sure about is the one where I say ‘In 11 weeks we’ll be home’ – which is the one I could say today! But then I remember all the fun I’ll have while I’m away and I feel a whole lot better!! Good luck with the accommodation booking. Christmas is an amazing time to visit Europe!

      • Claire

        The sad thing, I find, is it is all over so quickly. You count down for months, organise and plan for so far in advance and then count down for weeks.
        And then the actual time away is over in a blink of an eye, your home again and think, ‘that went so quickly’.
        The only remedy for that I’ve found is to start planning the next one.

  • Kathryn Bechen

    So happy for you to go on your trip Janelle and have fun! Looking forward to reading about it and you always offer nice tips. Like you, I am a mega planner when it comes to our trips and I do many of the things you mentioned here, and since we have taken so many trips over our 36 years of marriage, I learned early to plan, plan, plan! Years ago I made up my comprehensive travel checklist tailored specifically to us, and I don’t do everything, every time, but it’s there as a memory jogger and really helps not to forget something important. I plan ahead at home and I find that helps me have more fun on the trip since we have a “loose itinerary” and list of possible restaurants etc. that I put in a 3-hole folio with our hotel confirms etc. and then we can choose what we want to do from the list once we get there, and use our iPhone now to find the places etc. Here’s my travel checklist:

    http://media.wix.com/ugd/17abf6_8fe7aa8229be429f8a6e0dc803a16432.pdf

    Also, Rick Steves is the Euro travel KING and he has great articles and checklists on his site for planning before you go and things to do and avoid once you get there too. http://www.RickSteves.com.

    Have a wonderful trip!!

    • Janelle Post author

      Thank you for your kind wishes and your generosity Kathryn. Your travel checklist is fabulous. I use one too, although I must say that yours is far more comprehensive. Like you, I don’t always need to follow the checklist to the letter, but it does save me from forgetting the essentials. I’m also a big Rick Steves fan – he has provided us with a great many tips over the years. So, so, so looking forward to sharing our upcoming trip with you.

  • Jan Leishman

    As a ‘bookophile’, it broke my heart to do this, but I bought a kindle and downloaded books to take with me. It’s not the same as a book, but SO convenient! I found myself reading book reviews in French newspapers, checking if they were in English on kindle, then buying them if they were. There is nothing so frustrating as being enticed into a French bookshop and realising it would take me ages to read even one book. I am practising though! Also, I take far too many cosmetics in my carry-on. I always think I’ll use them, but I never do! Just moisturiser – and BIG sunglasses – is all you need.

    • Janelle Post author

      Ah Jan, I’m with you on the whole Kindle thing. I swore I’d never move away from my beloved books – but did so in the blink of an eye when I realised just how much reading material I could carry in one lightweight device. And I’m also a fan of the big sunglasses…I gave up on makeup years ago, but never travel without my ‘sunnies’.