Have you ever experienced a calling to a place…maybe to a city or a far off country? It starts as a little voice at first…. ‘I’d love to visit there someday’….. but it’s a thought that gradually grows, getting louder and louder until it seems to fill your every thought? So often with desires, we find so many reasons why we cant do something. Frequently it’s time or money or simply the logistics of taking yourself or your family away from the day to day routine. It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of fulfilling a desire with seemingly sensible, logical reasoning. But I truly believe that it’s our inner desires that hold the key to a more fulfilled life and that those little voices often guide us into new wonderful adventures taking us to unexpected and truly magical places.
The South of France was calling me! Loudly. It’s somewhere I have never been before but in my head it is filled with Lavender fields, small cobbled streets and long expanses of gorgeous beaches. There was literally a list as long as my arm for why it wasn’t a good idea for me to go at this exact moment in time. After 3 days of fighting with myself, I decided to ignore them all, booked a flight and flew out 2 days later. I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life!
We travelled from Nice down the Baie Des Anges to Antibes staying inland at Villeneuve-Loubet at first and then in a modern apartment in the lavish Marina further down the coast. I booked everything last minute through AirBnB and would recommend them to everyone, as getting to know our French hosts, was one of the highlights of our adventures.
In Villeneuve-Loubet we stayed in a converted Mill right on the banks of the River Loup in the centre of a National Park. There are actually 2 National Parks along this stretch and both are worth a visit but if you fancy a stroll along the Parc Des Rives Du Loup, the riverbanks and pathways literally explode with the most beautiful wildlife.
Cagnes Sur Mer and its amazing Marina is also worth a visit where you’ll find some of the most fantastic seafood restaurants nestled alongside the giant superboats of the rich and famous!
However, beautiful Antibes was perhaps my favourite. If you ever find yourself wandering through the streets in the old town, then I would recommend you find La Rue James-Close. It’s the most beautiful street packed with interesting shops and its where I found the sculptor Lui Ho, standing outside his studio molding a clay head oblivious to those who stopped totally mesmerized by his talent. I would then recommend you take any side road from there and get totally lost in the cobbled maze of narrow alleyways and arches until you find a quiet café to escape the sun. Then sit with a cappuccino, smell the flowers from the nearby shuttered windows and lose yourself for an hour! It’s what I would have done if my 7 year old wasn’t complaining about how far we’d walked!!
So if I can leave you with any thought for today, it is to pay attention to that small voice inside you. Where is it telling you to go……or to do? Just maybe if you listen, it will take you on an adventure beyond your wildest dreams!