Sunday, November 1, 2020

Why Gay French Riviera?

The Gay French Riviera blog started almost 10 years ago on February 4, 2011. At the time I was still living in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada but was making frequent, yearly trips to France and more specifically to the French Riviera which I had first visited upon a suggestion by a French friend on my first trip to Europe in the early 1990’s. The Cote d’Azur was nothing but love upon first sight.

I remember very well the evening I started this blog. I had never written anything before for any kind of publication, I obviously had heard about blogs, yet really wasn’t sure where to start so thought I would just give it a try to see what would come of it.

It was dreary and raining outside on that typical Vancouver winter night and since I was constantly missing all aspects of the beautiful French Riviera and France, after searching around online I noticed there really wasn’t anything geared towards the LGBTQ community in that part of France.

There was random website listings of nightclubs, bars and beaches that you could tell no fact checking had been done to see if the places even still existed and apart from one small French blog that was also outdated, I gave it a shot and registered Gay French Riviera.

I had kind of mapped out a plan of what and where to write about at first to start setting things off as an introductory guide of sorts but overall, I wanted it to have a feel about what to expect on a first visit, current events, places, news items, whatever an individual or group might be want to experience.

Gay French Riviera has turned out to be a great way of spending some free time and back then a way to connect closer to France while I planned out my next trip there to what I now for years have called home.

The blog was never about obtaining the most online hits (although the numbers are substantial every month) or to make money, it’s truly just become a way to promote the French Riviera and France itself to not only those around the world who consider themselves to be part of the LGBTQ community...but for everyone who has an interest in the country.

Surprisingly, within three months of posting blog articles online, the Nice Tourism board contacted me as they were starting a big promotional push to also bring the gay community into the area as a year round destination and within a couple weeks of that, Cannes Tourism and Monaco Tourism also connected with me.

Together we had set out a plan for my next visit where I would be introduced to various hotels, restaurants and businesses who consider themselves to be gay friendly. Plus, I was given personal tours to explore parts of the cities and attend events during my time.

I found this thrilling to no end; I was always happy just to be in this place of the world I loved and now all these extras were coming my way which have been great to experience and in turn write about.

This also helped open other doors to various owners and managers of places whether they be nightclubs, boutiques and a variety of businesses that I thought may interest a member of the community planning a vacation in France.

Many of these people have become lifelong friends and since finally making the move here many years ago, in a sense this blog has helped establish not only myself but my businesses starting with ExperienceThe French Riviera.

I am consistently grateful and in awe of the chance to get to live in the French Riviera. For me there really doesn’t seem to be any bad days. There is a sense of freedom here no matter your sexuality and if you have dreams you want to accomplish; this is one of the best areas of Europe to be given it garners such a culturally diverse and extensive international audience.

No matter what happens in the future, especially in the time of Covid19 right now, I am forever in love with France and all it has brought to my life and others I know.

If you are hesitant about things in your life, don’t know where to begin, all I have to say is taking the chance on writing Gay French Riviera has been nothing but rewarding so go for whatever you have in mind, be consistent and make it happen.

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