Distant Francophile: 6 Years Of Creativity, Joy & Friendship

First visit to Paris Distant Francophile

It’s almost impossible for me to believe, but Distant Francophile turns six this month. 

Six! Six years of creativity, joy and sharing one of our favourite things – France and our experiences of French culture – with people all over the world.

Why Did You Start A Blog?

I’m often asked why I started Distant Francophile. And many people are surprised when I share my answer. You see, I started Distant Francophile in an attempt to bring more balance into my life.

At around the time I turned forty, I assessed my life and realised that I had an amazing career, but no life. I was working seven days almost every week. I had no hobbies – which was a big contrast to Scotty who had (and still has) heaps of interests. I was endlessly counting the days until our next French vacation. Then there was the fact that my role as a mum was downsizing. Our son – who was almost an adult at that point – was starting to living his own life. And it became clear that I’d been filling up that increasing space with my day job. 

I realised that this was not what I wanted my life to look like. And as a result, I started working with a coach to help me build more ‘life’ into my life. It took some brainstorming to come up with the idea for Distant Francophile, but the building blocks were pretty basic. When I was a kid, I liked to write. As an adult, I loved France. And then there were all of Scotty’s beautiful photos from our visits to France that I really wanted to share. Suddenly, I was the founder of a blog.

Pleasingly, Distant Francophile did its job and was the starting point for balance and creativity (something I’d completely repressed) returning to my life. But interestingly, whilst I’m incredibly appreciative to have a creative outlet, it’s not actually the biggest gift that Distant Francophile has delivered.

Distant Francophile – What I’m Most Grateful For

While I was looking for balance, creativity and potentially joy, I didn’t consciously set out to find community. And I certainly never expected to make so many fabulous new friends. But thanks to Distant Francophile, I’ve met inspirational people with amazing life stories. These friendships often started in the virtual world but increasingly they’ve shifted into real life (whenever the stars have aligned and we’ve found ourselves in the same part of the world). The generosity of my new friends in terms of the stories they share and the advice they offer (about France and life in general) is definitely a benefit of blogging that I never expected. But I would easily say that these friendships are one of my very favourite things about starting Distant Francophile.

In a time when the world is feeling deep anxiety and experiencing uncertainty and social distancing, I wanted to say thank you so much for being a part of my online life. I genuinely love sharing my French perspectives and experiences with each and every one of you, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity. 

Please stay safe and well, wherever you happen to be in the world.

And until next time – au revoir.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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7 thoughts on “Distant Francophile: 6 Years Of Creativity, Joy & Friendship

  • Françoise

    Dear Janelle,
    So good and comforting to read you this morning in such an unexpected weird and stressful time.
    As my dear country is locking down it’s good to think about better days when our true “social” and welcoming tradition can fulfill our lives.
    Take good care of yourselves.

    • Janelle Post author

      Hello Françoise – it is so lovely to hear from you. You are very much one of the friends I had in mind when I wrote this post. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe through the lock down, and we will look forward to visiting your beautiful country again soon. Warmest, Janelle.

  • Patricia

    Hi Janelle
    So affirming to read your blog this morning. I’ve been counting the days and weeks till we go at the end of April to spend our holiday in the south of France and Paris. We are now in the process of trying to cancel everything. However that is nothing compared to what is happening around the world. I feel for all the people who this is affecting so much. Over the years, our travels to France have introduced us to so many lovely friends and I am staying in close touch to know how they and their villages are coping. It is a strange time. France will always be there in its glory. I am hoping that the experts who are working so diligently are able to find the healing method very soon. Take care and stay healthy. I so enjoy your blog…you found your perfect hobby !
    Patty (in Vancouver (the one who saw “her dad” in one of your photos !! )

    • Janelle Post author

      It’s such a shame you have to cancel your trip Patty – I hope the process goes well for you. And you are right – France will be there waiting for all of us when these strange times pass. I’m sure we will all enjoy her even more when we can all travel again. Take care and thank you for being here xx

  • Taste of France

    Congratulations! May you blog for many more years. I truly enjoy your posts and Scotty’s photos.
    France today is surreal. The Monday morning rush hour non-existent. Like a combination of a holiday and a Sunday, quieter than quiet.