“Are you around?” he wants to know. “Can you take care of this?”
I receive the text message while jogging through a field of bright yellow rapeseed flowers. A famous pop star has renewed her wedding vows on the Eiffel Tower and the guy on the phone, my client, is a Paris-based wedding planner. He wants me to whip up a press release discussing the top places to renew marriage vows in Paris.
Still jogging, I grin to myself. Nope, I’m not around. I’m just outside of a tiny picturesque village in Burgundy, France. It’s only two hours away from the clamor of Paris, but it feels much farther. Here, I am surrounded by gentle curvy hills blanketed by golden blossoms and emerald-green grass. Behind me, the village, a cluster of stone houses and a 16th-century church, waits quietly.
Before me, a thicket of pine trees lines the horizon. Glamorous pop stars on the Eiffel Tower couldn’t feel more distant. But in the end, it doesn’t matter: I can still get the job done. As a freelance copywriter, I can work anywhere.
It’s just as well because I’m often “not around.” About six years ago, my husband and I bought a 150-year-old house in a little village in northern Burgundy. Since then, whenever possible, we make the two-hour trek from our apartment in Paris to soak up the peace and beauty of the French countryside.
Our little part of Burgundy, belonging to the Department of Yonne, isn’t well known to either tourists or Parisians. I hadn’t heard of it until my husband and I were driving around, house-hunting in the Loire Valley. As we drove, the landscape became increasingly curvy and the colors more vivid, as if someone had injected a bright dye into the surroundings. Verdant hills…cobalt blue sky…the rich brown of tilled soil…the black ribbon of road disappearing into the valleys. It was stunning.
Pulling out a map, we realized that we’d left the Loire and entered Burgundy. Smitten by the beauty, from that day on we focused solely on looking at homes in the Yonne. Years later, we remain enchanted by the incredible landscape.
We later learned that the Yonne is dotted with medieval towns, villages and castles, most of which remain uncorrupted by mass tourism. We stock our wine cellar with excellent Burgundies from small, local vineyards. And we’ve become addicted to Époisses, an extraordinarily creamy and luscious regional cheese. Even after all these years, we have barely scratched the surface of the area’s charms.
I feel so fortunate that copywriting helps fund my life in the Yonne and allows me the flexibility of exploring the countryside whenever I wish. After I returned home from my run, I sat down to start my latest copywriting project. My window overlooks the gorgeous fields and hills that I had just run through. Spellbound, I stared at the scenery for moment. Then, I turned on my computer and plunged into the world of pop stars, glitzy weddings and vow renewals in Paris. It’s not a bad life.
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