AFTER living in Australia for the last fifteen years, French-born Karen Wilson has just returned from a two month long trip to France. Le Journal wonders… has the life-coach and author discovered the secret to joie de vivre?
What was the experience of living in France like?
Coming back home is mainly a family experience. The fantasy for me has always been Australia: the sun, the beach and the easy-going lifestyle. But it was so good reconnecting with loved ones, with the French culture. It’s always in my heart.
What are some of the biggest cultural differences between France and Australia?
I think Australian people are more outdoorsy and sporty while French people spend a lot more time sitting at the dinner table and talking for hours!
What do you miss the most?
Family, of course. And cheese and chocolate croissants, but not together.
How do you maintain your ‘joie de vivre’?
I always try to live in the present moment. Making the most of each day. Each moment is very precious, it will never come back and our life is a succession of these tiny moments. I make sure I don’t waste time thinking of the past or wasting time worrying about the future. I try living here and now. I try to help others doing the same through my teaching and writing.
Did you pick up any habits in France?
Not really, except a thicker French accent maybe!
Why do you think so many Australians are drawn to France?
France is really beautiful, the countryside, the little villages, the architecture, the cultural heritage…So many things to discover and learn. And the wine – I’m sure they are drawn to the French wines!
What do you enjoy the most about the So Frenchy So Chic experience?
The Frenchyness of it all. Good music, good atmosphere, good company, good food: that’s what joie de vivre is all about, isn’t it?
What’s the best advice a French person ever gave you?
Health and happiness are the most important things, nothing else is as important.
What would you say to anyone thinking about living in France?
Go to the south, it’s sunnier!
Karen Wilson is a teacher at Awaken Meditation Retreats, life coach, and author of 7 Illusions, Meditation Workout: 30 days/ 30 meditations and Awaken: Mindfulness Musings for the Soul. More