It's the spontaneity (and of course, my wonderful travel companion) that makes this one of my most memorable experiences.

When I was living in Paris, my friend came for a visit and on a whim we decided to drive to the South of France. Besides naming the Gorges du Verdon as our destination point, we chose to improvise our itinerary. Off we went with the Eiffel Tower in our rear view and Provence three days away.

An unplanned journey through France yields many fortuitous findings: medieval towns, beautiful forests, fields of wildflowers, and unexpectedly breathtaking wrong turns. We came upon numerous vineyards; one of which happened to be closed, but in turn provided the warmest hospitality we received on our voyage. We had the whole vineyard to ourselves, the best table in the house, and an elegant feast of fresh cheeses, charcuterie, baby greens, and two of their namesake bottles of red.

We developed a routine of stopping in each town we passed, following the signs to Centre Ville, and sticking around to explore or have a meal if the town proved interesting. When we didn't feel like continuing on, we would find a hotel or a bed and breakfast. This was a great opportunity for me to practice my French. "Est-ce que vous avez une chambre pour ce soir?" to which they would usually reply in English.

Our journey's peak, the Gorges du Verdon, is considered to be the Grand Canyon of France. I haven't been to the latter, but this place is truly a beautiful sight. Visitors are permitted to paddle boats on the almost artificial-looking baby blue water, which offers a fascinating view of the canyons above. It happened to be raining the day we went which only added to the adventure. We found little caves to take refuge in when we wanted to hide from the storm. Eventually the sun came out, providing warmth and allowing us to take a swim in the turqoise waters.

Though now distant, I'm filled with unphotographed recollections. A few laughably bad meals, a failed driving lesson (turns out there is no hope teaching me to drive a manual), strolls through Provincial towns, and blissful drives up long winding roads.

I believe it's these impulsive instances, sights, and experiences that make life worth living. 

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