The Day That We Decided To Go To France


The day that we decided to go to France

In the words of the renowned story-teller Meatloaf…. ‘I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday…’

I’m talking about the day that we decided to go to France. Scotty finally agreed to travel to France. 

I’d been working on becoming a Francophile for around 7 years by then. (If you haven’t read that story, you can check it out here.) I had started collecting French books. I’d read every word in the 2007 Gourmet Traveller French issue about 1,000 times. (Can you believe I still have that now very dog-eared issue sitting on my bookshelf?) And I asked Scotty at least twice a week if I could please book a trip to France. If I’m being honest, it really was getting to the point where I thought we might never go. Or if I did get to France, I’d be travelling solo.

So anyway, on Monday, November 5th, 2007 (oddly specific, I know, but please refer to Meatloaf quote above) we were sitting in the sun at the Spotswood Primary School sports carnival. Our son didn’t end up being particularly athletic until he was an adult, so there was no harm in the fact that I was more interested in the newspaper than I was in kids running and jumping all over the place. 

My attention was captured by an Emirates Airlines ad, spruiking return flights from Melbourne to Paris. Looking back, I don’t think those flights were particularly cheap, but they were affordable enough for us at the time. And they were for travel dates almost 11 months away, which I figured would give us time to get ourselves sorted. So I looked across at Scotty, who was sprawled on the other half of my picnic blanket and floated the idea that I’d floated hundreds of times before.

“Emirates are having a sale….do you think we could go to France next October?”

And Then It Happened – We Decided To Go To France

And who knows if Scotty had been possessed by aliens or was just overcome with excitement over the Grade 3 hurdles. But after screwing up his nose at the idea so many times in the past, on that Monday in Spotswood, he said ‘yes’. We’d done it. We’d finally decided to go to France.

Now these days, I would have had those flights booked in 37 seconds flat. And I would’ve turned the moment into an Insta Post. And a Story. Gee, I might have even made a Reel I was that thrilled with his response. But remember, this was back in the days when mobile phones didn’t do much more than act as, well, telephones. (Although, you probably guessed that by the fact that I was tempted by an ad in a broadsheet newspaper.) And as it was, that particular Monday was the day before a public holiday in Melbourne. Which meant I couldn’t stalk the travel agents until the Wednesday. 

Let me tell you though, I never once questioned Scotty’s response in the space between his affirmative answer and my paying for those flights. No correspondence was entered into. Not one single piece. I had my yes and I was running with it. And I went straight into full on planning mode for our very first visit to France.

Do you remember when you first decided to go to France or any destination that had been on your heart for a while? I’d love you to share your memories in the comments section below

And until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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9 thoughts on “The Day That We Decided To Go To France

  • Virginia

    Oh this resonates. I cannot remember the exact date but it was March 2010 and I had already been to France but wanted my husband to go as well. I too saw an ad for flights that were for 2011 and I too got an afirmative that now he wouldn’t mind going. I was off and running and within days (more or less) I had it all mapped out and booked. Upon arriving in Paris for the first time my husband was enchanted and could not believe he had been so reluctant to visit. we walked a lot. Until last year we have been back every two years exploring a different part of France and always at least a week in Paris. I could weep that we can’t go now. It gets into your blood and I cannot explain why.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing your story Virginia. Scotty hadn’t been sure he would like the flights. But he liked Paris and the South way more than he disliked flying…thank goodness! It definitely gets into your blood, and like you I can’t believe that we can’t travel at the moment. It has been two years this week since we last jumped on a flight to France. I know for sure that I’ll appreciate travel even more than I used to once this is all past us x

  • Denise Linkson

    Hi Janelle, it took me quite a few years to talk my husband into travelling to Europe & we actually travelled to Italy first in 2006 & loved it so much we made France our next destination. My husband actually stood in front of the colosseum & asked me “how long has all this been going on?” Seriously!!!
    We left for France 20th September 2007 so we nearly bumped into each other!! We travelled there with friends spending a week in Paris then caught a plane to beautiful Nice for a week taking in Montpelier, Carcossone , Monaco & a few other places & also staying in the village of Agde as well, which turned out to hilariously be close to the biggest nudist colony in France!! Boy have I got a couple of funny stories about Agde lol! We moved onto the Rhone Valley for a few days(stunning), then the Champagne region (again stunning) then back to Paris. I’ve been a francophile ever since!!!

    • Janelle Post author

      You made me laugh out loud with that Colosseum story Denise. That’s too funny! Your first trip to France sounds truly awesome, and had a similar itinerary to our last trip, although we did manage to skip the nudist colony. I’d love to hear those stories one day – I love learning about everyone’s travel experiences. The stories are always great fun xx

  • Nemorino

    I was about to graduate from college when I received a letter from an elderly relative whom I barely knew. She wrote: “I hear from your grandmother that you would like to study in Europe but you don’t have the money. Can I help?”

  • Nemorino

    I was about to graduate from college in New York when I received a letter from an elderly relative whom I barely knew. She wrote: “I hear from your grandmother that you would like to study in Europe, but you don’t have the money. Can I help?”