For The Love Of France

13/05/2016 Off By Deborah Welsh

Lost In France…and fell in love with it! 

Tuscany, Italy

There’s a feeling I get sometimes after a holiday that unsettles me. It’s a strange sensation that takes over my brain, my logic, my work and my every waking moment. Have you ever come home from somewhere you’ve liked so much that you start looking at flights the minute you get back in the house? Or in my case, the minute I have wi-fi again! This has happened to me with two countries. Until this week, it had only happened to me once. I don’t believe in past lives but after I had spent my first holiday in Italy, I had to question this belief. Perhaps it was simply déjà vu but after I first strolled along the Italian countryside as I gazed upon rows of cypress trees standing majestically against the sunset I was hooked. I knew this was a place I had been before; there was no other explanation. My love for Bella Italia simply grew as the years flew by and the more holidays I took up and down the country. Every nerve in my body tingled as I took a morning stroll in the piazza, listening to the babble of the locals chatting to each other and the peel of the church bells calling the faithful to prayer. The sound of church bells on the continent is something that still moves me. 


It has been a number of years now since I holidayed in Italy. Something I did annually with my family. As my son got older, our needs changed for that two-week escape and we ventured to very different destinations, namely Florida and its dizzying array of thrills and spills. Sure, I enjoyed the place and we still go there for all the same reasons but I never got ‘the feeling’. I never had the ache in the pit of my stomach as I headed back to the airport for the flight home. 

Grenoble, France

Recently, I had the good fortune to visit a new country. France. A country that had always been on my radar and knew I would probably like but had simply never got round to ticking off the list. I didn’t expect ‘the feeling’ to happen again. As the saying goes, lightening doesn’t strike twice. Or does it? Wham! Like a bolt from the blue, there it was. I even managed to recall a huge chunk of the language that had been locked away in my memory bank since taking my O level French. I knew more than I thought I did. I even managed to slip in a hint of a French accent when I was simply ordering lunch! As I write this blog, I have been home for 24 hours and I still feel like I’m there. The sounds, the sights, the shops, the cakes and the wine! I usually work in silence but today I have a French radio station playing as the soundtrack to my day. I listened to this station in my little holiday apartment and the joy of the Internet has allowed me to hear it in the UK, courtesy of my Sonos system. Qu’el joy!

I think when you feel like this, it’s a sign it was more than a holiday and more of a spiritual experience. We all holiday in different places and some will have more of a profound effect on us than others, or maybe, just maybe, you have been there in a past life. When all is said and done, holidays open our minds and souls to other cultures and in doing so, open up the world to us. It’s just waiting to be explored.


  • Deborah travelled from Edinburgh to Grenoble with easyjet and stayed in the Citadines Apartments, Rue de Strasbourg, Grenoble.
  • Flights to Grenoble from Scotland are seasonal and operate around the ski-ing calendar. However, more options are available.
  • Lyon is a good alternative airport and takes around 1 hour transfer time. There are good rail links from the airport.
  • Flights are also available with British Airways from London and from Manchester with Monarch UK.

Deborah Welsh, Content Editor at talkholiday.