For years, I had a subscription to an app that allowed me acces to hundreds of magazines. I had about half a dozen favorites that I could download and read offline, which was great for car trips. Then the app went the way of rotary phones. I really missed it and didn’t think much of the alternative that Big Brother suggested. So, I started looking for alternatives.
I’ve followed Sharon Santoni’s blog and Instagram account (@sharonsantoni) about her life as an ex-pat in Normandy for quite some time. She’s extremely entrepreneurial; you can also join her on small group antiquing or lifestyle tours of France or sign up for one of her themed subscription boxes. When she came out with a print and on-line magazine, My French Country Home, I dropped a hint to my hubby. He was probably so busy serving me breakfast in bed at the time that he missed my delicate hint. (He really does serve me breakfast in bed every day, though, so I’ll keep him.) When I got back from France, I decided it was time to check it out.
The bi-monthly magazine comes in both print and online versions. The print version costs US$59.99, which is pretty steep for a magazine, but it also comes with online access, plus two additional digital subscriptions to give to others. That could be a lovely way to share France with like-minded friends or family members. I went for the digital only subscription at US$36.99.
I really like the content. The photography is beautiful and the articles are either about places I know and love or ones that I’m adding to my to-visit list. It’s also pretty substantial at over 120 pages. I’m glad to support Sharon’s new venture. I don’t, however, love the platform she uses for the magazine, www.joomag.com. Getting my account set up was a bit of a mare’s nest and I have to be online to read it. (If there’s a fully downloadable way to read it, I’d love to know, but it’s certainly not a user-friendly system.) I’m no computer scientist, but I can usually figure things out, and this process was a bit frustrating. I’m hoping that either Sharon switches to a new platform or that Joomag gets a lot more user-friendly. But tech grumblings aside, if you’re a francophile, I think you’ll enjoy leafing through the pages of this magazine, either literally or virtually, and armchair traveling to France.