1. The story of starting a boutique tour company, me & France.

I spend the summer living with my in-laws.

When I leave the story at that, I see the depth of human compassion, I mean, people can almost make Mother Teresa seem like a slacker.

The initial shock of hearing my statement often gets people in touch with their religion. After they exclaim, “OH MY GOD!” they tenderly shower me with empathetic and morale boosting comments ranging from “poor girl” to “I would die if I had to do that: you are amazing”. And sometimes, I really need that…

But, you may as well know the truth. My in-laws live in France.

I’m sure you’ll agree, that it puts a whole other spin on “I spend the summer living with my in-laws” when you add “in France” to the end. –Mind you, the statement still elicits a gasp of “OH MY GOD!” but the tone somehow isn’t quite the same and the comments that follow are more in the vein of “lucky girl!” and “I would die to do that.”

I have to face it; I wouldn’t feel sorry for someone spending almost every summer for the past two decades in France. Would you? It sounds more like a fantasy than a reality. But it is reality. My reality.

Really, who would complain about that, right? Complaining about spending summers living in France with your husband’s relatives is more obnoxious than bragging! (Unfortunately, I only came into this wisdom by having the audacity to make the mistake. –No one is perfect, right?)

This lesson has taught me that life is all in the way you look at things: you know that old proverb about the glass being half-full or half-empty?

I live with an amazing French guy who is not only a well-loved and published French professor but who also knows how to fold laundry and load a dishwasher like he was born doing it. I spend every summer in France. Let’s face it, a crystal stem glass half full of shimmering honey-colored wine fell out of the sky into my stumpy little fingers. And instead of enjoying it, taking the time to appreciate the fragrances and savor the feel of the sweet liquid slipping over my tongue, I was thinking “the bastards didn’t fill it up to the brim.”

Fortunately, the better I get to know French culture, the more unappealing a full glass looks… especially when life presents you with an opportunity to drink a wine like, oh let’s just say, a 1945 Montbazilllac. (That isn’t a random example, but I’ll come to that much later). In France, a glass is considered “full” when less than half its capacity is occupied with wine. And, I’ve come around to see things that way both literally and figuratively. –Sure, it may have taken a couple of major earthquakes and a nuclear incident to bring me around, but I now adopt the “glass half-full” view of life.

I’m blogging to explain how a simple Swedish-American girl from Ohio (who not only didn’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Beaujolais but was also more preoccupied with sake than wine) wound up falling in love and then adopting French citizenship, the French-lifestyle, the “glass is half full” perspective on life only to wind up starting her own boutique French tour company. Because, let’s be honest, life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan… sometimes it is better. When we look at things from the right perspective, that is.

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19 thoughts on “1. The story of starting a boutique tour company, me & France.

    • I’m really excited to unfold the story for you. It has been sooo much fun –perhaps in part because sometimes it has been a bit scary. I just never know what to expect around the next corner!!! Thank you for following me!
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • What a nice note: thank you. It is very unsettling to put your life out there in a blog and not know how people are reading it. Getting a message like yours makes all the difference to a new blogger like me! I can’t wait to make my next post. I plan to try to do it every Sunday. I’m grateful that you took the time to write. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m clueless about wine and unsure I’ll ever acquire a taste for it. Also, I know a woman who just moved from Philadelphia to Paris to live with her fiancee. They are getting married in Senegal this Saturday. I’m sure she didn’t imagine that for her life either, but she’s very happy.

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  2. I admire you. Not only have you moved to a country where you have to learn a completely different culture, but you are also starting a new business! I am a housewife, and also never planned to be one. It just sort of happened. There are so many things I would like to try, but am TERRIFIED of failing. LOL… I know, I know… You can never succeed if you never even try. I’m working on it! I’m enjoying reading the chapters of your life!

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    • I’m flattered and happy to find a kindred spirit in another accidental housewife! 🙂 I used to fear failure too… but now I almost “love” it. I have finally accepted that it is an inevitable (if bothersome) part of the process of almost every success. I guess I’ve learned to embrace failure because I learn so much from it! But, my favorite thing about failure is that my failures make my successes taste sweeter. I think the main thing you need is a dream and persistence (and a little luck doesn’t hurt!) Is there a project you are thinking of starting?

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      • My husband told me something similar just recently, which is why I’ve been pushing myself to start doing things I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Blogging was one of them. I just never felt like I had anything important to write about, even though I love to write.

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