Known as “the golden years” – this is the time when we are supposed to finally live life to the fullest and, most certainly, fulfill our dreams! If not then….then, when?
As it turns out, I am living my “azure years” on the French Riviera – not a bad place to call home, with my American friends having referred to it as “paradise.” So, what is it like living here – achieving my personal “Solitary Desire”?
When I first moved from the U.S., I lived in Nice – indeed the “Queen of the Riviera,” with the big draw being the climate, the food, and the slower pace of life associated with the South of France. But, is it worthy of royalty status?
As the fifth largest city in France, Nice is a thriving metropolis and a visual dichotomy: read Old Town and the Acropolis/MAMAC. With its active daily life of buzzing scooters, city buses, and crowded Promenade des Anglais, Nice has it all – and more, as the international airport is the central travel hub for the Côte d’Azur. What I find is that the daily life dichotomy of Nice is reflected by the “let’s sit, relax, and have a glass of rosé” vs. the aggressive hurriedness of locals, experienced especially when getting on public transportation and with drivers, in general. These two ‘sides’ are divided by the famous Promenade des Anglais, with lazy hazy days of summer reflected on one side and the city pace of zipping traffic on the other – like walking a tightrope.
Like in any large European city, everything is outside your door in Nice, or easily accessible by foot or bus, a valuable consideration in the “golden years,” especially for having access to medical care and facilities. But, what if you are not a city person and your gold-color life dream is to live in a quaint, typically French village?
Both have their advantages and disadvantage, of course. “One man’s poison is another man’s pleasure,” so best to do your homework, some soul searching about health considerations, and an honest self-assessment of your personality, before making a decision.
Life in the south of France is indeed good living, with its Mediterranean climate and an average of 300 days of sunshine, panoramic sea views, and a multitude of activities (both land and water-based) to satisfy your needs. Nice, in particular, is the second most expensive city to live in (after Paris), so it’s best to plan ahead in calculating expenses and in counting your centimes. Thankfully, public transportation is extensive and affordable, to allow for easy travel within and outside the city limits, since Nice is a main hub for train and international air travel. There are many beautiful towns that are a day’s trip away from Nice, the Queen and heart of the French Riviera!
No matter where you chose to live YOUR “golden years,” may they be rich in love, health, and happiness in YOUR paradise – the true joie de vivre!
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