The other night at a carol service at church, I was talking to a friend when her husband walked up. We chatted for a minute and then he said, "So was France really that great? Or do you just make everything look great for social media?"
Ha! It took me totally off guard, but I loved it because it's a completely fair question. So much of what I see online makes me wonder: Real or Fake. Do you feel the same? It can be so hard (and sometimes so obvious!) to see what is actually a special moment... and what is just a show.
I assured him: Yes. We really did have an awesome time. The few days we spent in Provence will go down as a great trip in our books.
But I also wanted to make it clear: Our trip was actually very normal. We flew budget airlines to get there, we rented an economy car and drove everywhere. We brought our own snacks, tea and coffee, and we didn't go anywhere that cost a dime to enter.
Was it full of some beautiful moments? Sure. We were in Provence. Was it full of some totally normal, boring moments? Mainly, yes, because despite what we constantly see on Facebook- that is what life actually is made up of. A bunch of normal ordinary moments. Sometimes you just find yourself in a prettier place to do them, like we did in Provence.
You know what I liked so much about this vacation? The fact that we were just there. We just did what we liked, we didn't worry about what we looked like (didn't wash or brush my hair the entire trip!), and we mainly ate simple meals at the house. It was a relaxed trip that didn't leave us feeling stressed about overspending or being overextended to see it all.
So maybe my Instagrams glowed a bit more than usual, but that wasn't from the need to show off or prove how great the trip was, it was a reflection of what a few days of rest surrounded by your people in someplace that's great can do for you.
I've said it before and I'll say it now: Skipping hotels and renting homes/apartments is the BEST way to travel. You get more space, you feel more local, and it's always so much cheaper! The price alone is better than booking a hotel- plus you save so much on meals out when you have your own kitchen. We stayed at this sweet home, Chez Ella, with James Villas. It was really wonderful! (They have so many great properties in Provence and all over Europe!) Now... I just need to figure out how to get back when it's warm enough to lay by that pool.
*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy