Living in Nice: 5 things the city has done for me

lever de soleil nice

I’m starting this article with a superb coffee shop in East London called Ahaba Coffee, undoubtedly one of the best coffee shops I’ve discovered and just a 10-minute walk from my home. I find it so warm and cosy, I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better place to write this article. The music they play brings out certain emotions and easily takes me back ten years

As you know, I’ve been in London for a month and a half now and this break gives me a chance to take a step back and reflect on my experience in Nice: what I’ve learnt, what I’ve gained from it, what I haven’t, what I’m taking back with me. As I looked out of the window, I said to myself that I was going to write an article right away, very spontaneously

I’m simply telling my story, my experience, which is unique but which I know will speak to some people. Before getting to the heart of the matter, it’s best to recontextualise my background. I was born in the Paris suburbs and have lived there for almost 30 years. I did all my schooling and studies there and then started my professional career. So I grew up in an environment where performance was everything, where you had to aim for the top, where showing the slightest emotion was seen as a sign of weakness… So for all those years, all I thought about was being the best, or at least being one of the best, I studied, I got my degree and I joined a big digital agency in Paris. My ego is at its peak… And yet I’m not happy. I feel that everything is just ‘image’ and ‘appearance’. I feel that my body and mind are saturated with all this conditioning that doesn’t suit me. To find out more, you can listen to the podcast I did with RDV sur la Prom

In April 2013, I had the opportunity to leave the Parisian life I’d always known to move to the Côte d’Azur and live in Nice. Although I hardly knew anyone, I didn’t think about it for very long, accepted the offer and moved to Villeneuve Loubet on 2 August 2013. I left my golden prison surrounded by family and friends for a completely new life in the south of France. It’s a life experience that will last 10 years and will be marked by moments of solitude and introspection. Moments that were sometimes very hard to manage emotionally but which, with hindsight, were extremely necessary for my personal development

As a result, I’ve gone from living an ultra-dynamic life in Paris, always surrounded by my family, to living like a hermit in the South of France. There are 5 main things I’ll take away from this incredible human adventure that I decided to live on my own

1. A connection with Nature

I’m no longer chasing after the glitz and glamour, the Parisian social evenings and the over-the-top ‘fancy’ places in the capital… which characterised me until I arrived in the region. Living in Nice has allowed me to connect with simpler things and moments like Nature and the Sea: a walk along the seafront at Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat, a hike in the Mercantour, a visit to one of the many villages of the French Riviera, an ice cream in Vieux-Nice, a book on the beach..

All these examples over the last 10 years have had a strong impact on my development and have helped me to gradually break out of my Parisian pattern. I’ve simply learnt to make do with simple things and simple moments

2. Physical and mental well-being

I’m by nature stressed and emotional after all those ultra-stressful years in Paris, and living near the sea and nature has helped me to calm my anxieties and doubts on a daily basis. For the last 3/4 years, I’ve been doing sport on a daily basis, particularly fitness and yoga. I like to practise yoga by the sea, especially at sunrise. After reading about the miracle morning, I set up this little morning routine in Nice: meditation, yoga, reading and writing. It’s a routine that keeps me focused on my physical and mental well-being

If you too are a fan of wild sunrise yoga, Marie blanchet, better known as a.yoga.story, offers morning classes from 7am in Nice

3. A spiritual awakening

Living in Nice

has given me one of the most mystical experiences I’ve ever had, and I can’t help realising that many people around me have had the same kind of experience. I couldn’t have had it anywhere else but Nice. This city had everything I needed to experience a particularly intense awakening of consciousness. I lived on the Corniche Fleurie in Nice Ouest, with a panoramic view of the sea and the Col de Vence, in an extremely bright and spacious flat

To explain a spiritual awakening in a few sentences is a bit complicated, I’d really have to write a book to recount this period of my life, which was one of the most significant. I would simply say that you experience a kind of realisation about yourself as an individual and about the world in general. We realise that we are more than a body and that we are part of a Whole, the cosmos. As a result, our perception of the world and society evolves and changes, as do our interests and relationships. We’re looking for deeper relationships. I had to stop certain friendships, it wasn’t easy but it was OK, I accepted the fact that it was part of the process. Then other people came into my life, people with whom I feel more in tune spiritually. I’d also say that it’s easier to accept life’s trials. We take everything that comes our way with a certain distance and detachment

In conclusion, this experience marked a turning point in my life. There was clearly a before and an after

4. Sincere and caring friends

The south has a reputation for being very closed-minded and having a rather peculiar mentality. After 10 years in Nice, I can confirm that there’s an ambient atmosphere here. It’s not my thing at all and it’s had a profound impact on my mood over the last two years. I’d even go so far as to say that living in Nice has allowed me to meet some of my best friends – people who are sincere, genuine and caring. I feel very lucky and grateful to be surrounded by such people

5. Heels dance

Who would have thought that one day I would discover heels dancing in Nice with Maeva Gomez! This dance, which is more famous in the big capitals, is enjoying a revival just about everywhere in France. I have to admit that this activity literally changed the game during my last year in Nice. I was beginning to saturate myself and no longer find anything to stimulate me. Heels, and dance in general, gave me a new sense of meaning in my life as a southerner and, above all, contributed greatly to my departure for London, where this dance is extremely popular and the classes are just incredible and enriching.

About me
love-ly-south.com

Welcome to Love-ly-south!
Ex-Parisienne settled on the French Riviera since 2013. In love with the region, I share with you all my discoveries, my good addresses, my life experiences in Nice and the French Riviera
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