Trading in a Life for One in Provence

Trading in a Life for One in Provence….Jumping The Picket Fence

 Jumping The Picket Fence
Lydia Dean (co-founder of Only Provence) writes about leaving their lives in the US for a simpler one nestled in a quiet village in the South of France.  In this beautifully balanced mixture of travel memoir, business-building and soul searching, she shares high and lows as they tend grape vines, renovate Mas de Gancel, build a small villa business and raise a young family in Provence. Neither of them knew in the moment, that the lessons they would learn during these years would offer the foundation for so much more…


In 2000, Lydia Dean finds herself at the top of her game professionally, yet on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Quitting her job and convincing her husband John to join her on a more meaningful path, the family takes a leap of faith, moving to the South of France where they rediscover themselves and the benefits of time and simplicity.
Reconnecting with her with early childhood dreams of humanitarian work, Lydia’s adventures then take her further from the comforts of home as the young family travels extensively to areas lacking access to education and opportunity.
Join Lydia on a fearless, inspirational path around the world-into shelters for children across India, through the jungles and back roads of Costa Rica, Southeast Asia and Venezuela, and to China where the Deans adopt their third child. Motivated by the simple ideal that small personal actions can make a difference, the family returns to the US where Lydia and a passionate team build a non-profit organization-GoPhilanthropic, supporting vulnerable women and children.


From magical and entertaining to painfully raw and unsettling, Jumping the Picket Fence shows us how to put fear aside, peel away all that insulates us, and listen to our inner selves. The book ultimately becomes less about what the author has done in her own life and more about what each of us can do to explore our own dreams and jump our own fences.


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Jumping The Picket Fence
               Jumping The Picket Fence Walk
A distinct collection of luxury villa rentals and real estate for sale in the South of France

- offering all comforts and amenities - pool, housekeeping, and chef services.

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Jumping the Picket Fence Light Through the Cracks

Only Provence co-founder Lydia Dean writes about their experiences raising a family, building a business in Provence, and later combining the love of travel with giving back in "Jumping the Picket Fence”. In 2021, she published “Light Through the Cracks,” a continuation of her journey, much of which has been based in Provence. Both books are available Amazon,, and Amazon.Fr.