Savoir-Vivre: “Savoring Life”
Your summer may not look like what you had planned. Regardless of where you are and what you’re doing, we definitely can all use a break. “Les grandes vacances” refers to the extended and sacred summer holiday that the French take in the summer months. Let’s look at ways to unplug and recharge at home and implement the French art of “savoir-vivre” during our vacations.
The summer is for vacationing
The French are guaranteed at least 5 weeks of paid vacation time throughout the year, in addition to 11 paid national holidays. The French work hard throughout the year and then savor their “grandes vacances” during the summer. While we may not have the luxury of over a month of paid leave, we can still learn from the French and save up our vacation time. We can work hard for most of the year and put our accumulated time off toward a longer vacation.
Reconsider your holiday’s structure
The French are far less likely than Americans to check email or bring work computers on vacation. Vacation is the opportunity to leave behind the daily routines that we are used to. A complete disconnect from work can have a huge positive impact on our work and personal lives, so consider leaving your laptop at home on your next summer break.
Holiday Hack: Cook your own meals
The cramped kitchens of Paris prevent most Parisians from cooking elaborate meals, so vacations are the time to rent out a space with a large kitchen. Skip the impossible search of finding an open table at a packed restaurant and opt to stay in and prepare a home-cooked meal. Visiting the local butches, grocers, and bakers can help you discover local specialties and buy high-quality ingredients to make those recipes you’ve been meaning to try for months.
No matter where your vacation is this summer, keep the French work-to-live philosophy in mind. An open schedule, a silenced phone, and a new favorite recipe will make this vacation the best yet.
For more tips on how to Frenchify your vacation, visit AFAR