Explore: Travel in ProvenceKeith Van Sickle

The Questions Americans Ask About Provence

Google knows a lot about us, A LOT. We ask it billions of questions and it keeps track of every one of them, constantly tallying what we really want to know. For example, a few of the top questions that Americans asked last year were, “Where is my refund?” (tax day), “Can dogs eat apples?” (yes), and “Is Europe a country?” (time to go back to school!)

Google uses its vast database to aid us when we pose a question, using autofill to complete what it thinks we are going to ask. So when we type “Why is”, Google might complete our question with “the sky blue?”—another of last year’s most popular queries.

This means we can use autofill to find out what people really think about a subject. As an American who lives part-time in Provence, I was curious what my fellow citizens ask about this magnificent corner of the world. Here are some of the questions I asked and what I learned.

What’s A Provence?

“Provence” is one of those funny words, similar to “province” but not at all the same. This makes a lot of people wonder what the heck it means. No matter what the language is, we want to know!

Geography

Questions Americans Ask about Provence

Now, where is this place, we wonder? It’s in France, right, or maybe Italy? And what is it—a city or something? Americans are famous for being less-than-expert when it comes to geography and we can see it here. We also see that the recent French terrorist attacks make safety a constant concern.

But Why?

Why Visit Provence

Now we want to know what the big deal is. Why is it popular, why is it famous? And what’s with the hot weather?

The Weather

Questions Americans Ask Provence

Naturally, tourists don’t want to deal with inclement weather, either too hot or too cold. Still, it is surprising to see that many people apparently think it snows in Provence. And while that has been known to happen, it is highly unlikely during the summer tourist season and not something to worry about.

It’s All About The Lavender

About Lavender Provence

Perhaps there is nothing more famous in Provence than the lavender that blooms every summer. And Americans want to be darned sure they know when that happens. Check the Google and book our flight—we’re going in July!

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Keith Van Sickle

Keith Van Sickle

Keith is a lifelong traveler who got his first taste of overseas life during a semester abroad in England. But it was the expat assignment to Switzerland that made him really fall in love with Europe.

After returning to California, he and his wife Val dreamed of living abroad again but couldn’t find another expat gig, so they invented their own. Now they split their time between California and St-Rémy-de-Provence, delving ever deeper into what makes France so endlessly fascinating.

Keith is the author of One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence, and Are We French Yet?, both available from Amazon.

You can see all of Keith’s blog posts at Life in Provence.

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