Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted in Life, Travel | 27 comments

Going with the Flow and rediscovering myself in Provence

Going with the Flow and rediscovering myself in Provence

Sometimes travel can do so much more than broaden your horizons.

For me, holidays open a door to my childhood – away from work, away from technology (I was a child of the 1970s after all). A door to that opens to reading, sketching, doodling, writing, playing with words and lines, experiencing as well as being, creating as well as doing.

It gives me a frisson of excitement to push open that door and all at once ideas come tumbling through as if they’ve been waiting there impatiently to be let out.


It brings into stark relief the dichotomy of me – the black-clad-art-school-wannabe and book-obsessed-almost-English-degree-student (my art teacher wanted me to apply to Central St Martins and my English teacher despaired that I didn’t do enough A Levels to go to Cambridge!) versus the uber-organised, planner-obsessed ex-PR dolly with the Mulberry handbag, big hair and social media compulsion.

The 'blling' me

The 'PR' me

I suppose I’m all those things… and more.

Last week on holiday as a guest of James Villas in the South of France I discovered Flow, the magazine of paper lovers, which at £10 a pop isn’t a cheap read – although as Leigh from Headspace Perspective pointed out to me it does only come out four times a year.

Flow magazine

It’s beautifully designed and full of delicious creativity that the artistic joy-seeker in me just lapped up, savouring the inspiration from interviews with Keri Smith – author of the cult classic Wreck This Journal – and articles about giving and receiving and being more playful in our adult lives. (So much so that I subscribed as soon as we got home and ordered a back-issue covering happiness.)

Flow inside

I read most of Flow in the car on the way home, actually, holidays with two little ones being more about us-time than me-time (and rightly so).

Family time on the beach

It appeals to the ‘other me’ – the sit-and-colour-for-the-pure-pleasure-of-it me, a me that’s been a bit neglected recently in planning and preparing work with my clients.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my second career as a pro-blogger and I’m working with some fantastic companies – I should be black and blue from pinching myself! Yes I work hard, I work early and late and whenever else I can (hello to working in the car while the Little Man naps) but it’s a form of play for me I suppose and I’m so grateful for it.

My office space

But just as it’s nice to leave The Barn, our new forever home, to explore pastures new, it’s refreshing and invigorating to take a break from the ‘work me’ and rediscover life unscheduled and unstructured. To feast on fresh-from-the-oven French baguettes and mozzarella drenched in olive oil, creme au glace and deliciously crisp white wine (my wheat intolerance had to take a holiday too quite frankly!)

Delicious food in Provence

Perhaps it was the weather, the scenery, the change of pace, the lie-ins and everything else that’s magical about a villa holiday in Provence that led to me remembering those other parts of me and, in a way, rediscovering myself.


But I wish I could bottle that sunny feeling of potential, of creative possibility, so that I can lift the lid sometimes, later on, when life becomes routine again and take a big, deep breath.

Do you rediscover yourself on holiday? How do you keep that magical feeling going when you return home?

Linking up with Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum, All About You at Mama and More


  1. Gorgeous post Michelle. Isn’t this what holidays are all about?! I’ve never been one for beach holidays with the girls, I’m always after an adventure, to learn something, to discover a new part of me or indeed an old part. It is incredible what a change of scene can do for us. For me it’s always pretty magical. Now if we could only recreate that sense of self discovery at home… 😉 X
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…HOW TO KEEP YOUR LIGHT BRIGHT (WHEN ANOTHER WOMAN SHINES)

    • Thanks Katie, I used to love beach holidays before the little people but now, like you, seeing the world through their eyes is an adventure and they’re on the go so much that chilling out reading a book with the waves lapping the shore will have to wait a few years I think :)

  2. I’m not sure you can hold on to it. Well I know I don’t seem to be able to. And how can you read in the car? Urgh haha, I get sick after half a page. Really wish I could, would make travelling so much better. But I too do a lot of things when on holidays that I don’t seem to find the time when at home.

    Thanks for linking up to All About You & have a great week!
    Alex recently posted…May’s Favorite Five – What I loved last month

    • To be honest I never used to be able to read in the car as a child but as I get precious little time to read now I grab any spare moment with both hands!! :)

    • Awww thank you Debs! Wouldn’t it be lovely eh? We’ll just have to take more holidays instead 😉

  3. It’s been awhile since we had a ‘proper’ holiday like this and after reading this, I know that I really need one!
    Sara | mumturnedmom recently posted…The Prompt: To be a…

  4. Just beautiful darling, your words, you, the way that holidays and any breaks allow you to free ourselves from the every day and release our inner child and to catch our breath and open our mind, I always, always feel that way when we go away or even when I shut that laptop and just dream a little. You rock gorgeous lady x
    HonestMum recently posted…Moreish Mediterranean Platter

  5. What a lovely feeling! Reading this post it just oozes of happiness as I am sure you do too at the moment. Great post x #sharethejoy
    Emma’s Mamma recently posted…Toddlerhood

  6. Ooh there really needs to be a way to bottle that pure bliss of vacation feeling and revisit it when you need it most.
    Julie S. recently posted…

  7. Oh I wish I knew how to hold onto this feeling! If you come up with a way let me know will you?

    I think holidays are wonderful for remembering who you *really* are. Great post hun. xx
    Morgan Prince recently posted…Home Exchange Membership Giveaway

  8. I’m still in love with that photo with the laptop and starbucks mug! A great post, I have lots of different me’s and that’s the way I like it. #sharethejoy
    Mummy Fever recently posted…The distracted mummies guide to hydration

  9. Hold on to that feeling for as long as you can. We just had a quick overnight without the kids a few days ago. Its good to recharge the batteries every once in a while
    jeremy recently posted…Past Lives of a Preschooler

  10. Beautiful post, Michelle. I can totally relate to your sentiments about rediscovering that dormant side of you during holiday. We get so bogged down on the tiny details of our days and routines sometimes, that we bury what we’ve known to love (like writing or doodling, or reading). I think being in a different environment and away from the constraints of a schedule and work truly lets use loose a bit. And though the control-freak in me might resist, it’s only a matter a time before she gives in too. I’m so glad you got to rediscover this part of you during your time away. It’s always so nice to be free and do what you want when you want to for once, isn’t it?

    Thank you for sharing and for hosting us on Share the Joy this week! Wishing you a wonderful week :)
    Maria recently posted…

  11. We’re fresh back from holiday ourselves, and there is nothing like it for breathing some fresh air into our lives. We visited the Pembrokeshire coast, and it brought back lots of memories from my childhood, making me feel everything is possible! 😀
    Dawn of the Dad recently posted…Crazy Baby Names

    • I know right? I love coastal holidays and you’re right they do bring back childhood memories – fish and chips straight out of the bag for one… yum!

  12. I can really relate to what you’ve said here Michelle. I too have had many different me’s over the years…although it has to be said that I’m relishing this one, mummy/blogger/writer.

    I took a full technology break whilst in Greece, and absolutely loved it. Defo need to pencil time in for it more often! Flow sounds interesting xx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…Get Race for Life Ready with Kiqplan

    • Oh me too – this version of Me is definitely one I’m enjoying! Glad you had time for a break, it’s so necessary x

  13. Sounds lovely! So glad you had a good time! We’re off shortly and I’ll be going off grid so I get a proper break
    Mrs Tubbs recently posted…Not Staying In. Going Out

  14. Vacations/holidays are indeed a wonderful way to recharge. Now that I’m retired I’m on perpetual holiday. As my husband likes to tell people; we take two vacations a year, each six months long. I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to do more of the creative things I love. It’s important to keep connected to ourselves in whatever way possible. I makes for a happier person, which makes the people around you happier.
    Jackie recently posted…

    • Haha love this comment and you’re so right it is very important to reconnect and I’m glad I got the chance to on this holiday x

  15. This suddenly miss the part of me who enjoys holding a pencil to sketch! I miss my creative side. I can always get lost in time when I am doing sketches and watercoloring. I just dont have the drive to do them now. #pocolo
    Merlinda Little recently posted…Through Sebastian’s Eyes

  16. It is fantastic to rediscover yourself on holiday x
    Ninjacat recently posted…

  17. Oh this was such a lovely read – I felt like I was in a villa in France for just a moment there! I always have high hopes of holidays providing the big reveal on my path in life etc. This never happens. I have three young children. But the break from the routine certainly helps shake things up and release some creativity. ‘Flow’ looks like a fabulous read, I will be purchasing! Hope you manage to retain that holiday feeling! xxx
    Jess Paterson recently posted…If – For Mums

    • Oh Jess thank you for such a lovely comment. Like you the break from the routine is usually all I expect (and not even that sometimes!) but it was lovely to reconnect with myself this time. I think you’ll love Flow! X


Leave a comment

Awards for Bod for tea


Post archives