Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Is Paris Home?

I'm darting around all over the place at the moment. After a splendid weekend in Berlin and an interesting experience with delayed flights and poor customer service at Tegel Airport, I'm now getting excited for my next trip. That's right. On Friday I am heading back to Blighty after over 3 months away. This got me thinking. I spend so much time trying to go more native than the natives and to have a comfortable life here, does that mean I consider it as home? Or at least do I feel at home in Paris? 
Stepping off the plane onto familiar land felt comforting after a weekend jam packed full of weird and wonderful new experiences. I forget how alienating it can be to be surround by a language you haven't quite grasped. At that moment, Paris felt an awful lot like home. It didn't feel like I was in a foreign country. I knew how things operated and what the people around me were saying. Suddenly, I felt a lot more relaxed. Sure I get this feeling when I step off the plane in the UK but I expect that. It was the shock of how comfortable I felt that really struck a chord within me. 
I suppose that this is what nearly 4 years living abroad gives you. A sense of comfort even if you aren't a native of the country. My little flat is my sanctuary and my Parisian neighbourhood is like a cosy blanket there to look after me when I'm feeling miserable. 
Home for me is a feeling more than a place. It feels like the cup of tea you manage to drink at just the right moment where is it perfectly brewed yet cool enough to drink and soulful enough to heal pain. Home is a long soak in the bath with the door closed to the outside world, scented candles, a glass of wine and a good book. Home is the smell of freshly baked bread as you walk on past the bakery after a long day at work. Home is the happiness of being surround by your loved ones. 
Do I feel at home in Paris? In short, yes. But do I feel at home in other places? Definitely. I feel at home in quirky caf├ęs found on holiday that you can't resist going back to. I feel at home when I'm curled up with my best friends while we put the world to rights. I get home-sick when I'm here in Paris but it isn't necessarily for being in a certain place. It is a desire to feel that warm, fuzzy feeling that is so difficult to describe but so magical when you feel it that only comes around when you have no cares in the world because at that very moment you are content in yourself and have the people you love surrounding you. 

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