My First Trip Away From Paris

This weekend I have to go on a last minute trip to the USA to help out a family member with something.  I will be gone for two weeks and have the time and freedom to do this.  I currently do not have a 9-5 job, my first month of French class will be over, and the follow up French class in February is already booked up.  I’m happy I can help, but I realize I actually don’t want to leave Paris.  It took so much to finally get here amidst the pandemic: numerous covid tests, quitting my job, sorting out movers and cleaners for my previous residence, getting rid of many of my belongings, the rules enforced between the UK and France that almost forbid this move to happen, my pets’ health certification.  I left everything to come to a city, where I only had several acquaintances. 

In the span of 1 ½ months, I finally have gotten into the rhythm of things in Paris.  And I don’t want to leave.  True it’s probably the worst month weather wise here in the City of Lights.  Yesterday it topped 1 degree Celsius (this is 34 Farenheit), and I will be travelling to sunny southern California, where currently it is 20 degrees Celsius (around 70 degrees Farenheit).  But it’s almost as if I don’t want to miss any moments of Paris.  My visa is for one year.  I am 6 weeks into my stay, and I have two planned trips to America in the upcoming months.  All of these are for family obligations, and I do want to be there for my family for these beautiful moments.  But I also want to be here. 

Recently, I have spoken with an expat who has moved here.  She has plans to travel various parts of Europe while here. I realize for the first time in awhile, I don’t want to go anywhere.  I actually just want to stay in Paris.  Perhaps this is because, I have lived in the UK for 8 ½ years, and have visited 50 countries.  Now that I’m here, I don’t want to leave.  As I write this, I am aware that this may be an indication of something.  My heart may want to stay here longer than one year.

It’s interesting how quickly we can make a city become our home.  Yes, I’m still learning the language, and probably make an embarrassment out of how I pronounce words daily.  I live in a 290 square foot apartment, which I downsized massively from a four floor house.  I go to the market every other day, because my fridge is the size of one in a college dorm.  I am slowly building friendships, which take time to develop.  I am trying to build community, and reaching out to different organizations in ways I have not done in years.  I’m inching further with my book, going back and forth with additional edits for that final proposal, which will be pitched any moment to publishers.  Things are not perfect here, but I am truly enjoying the days that have occurred.  I have a one year visa and I am trying to savor every moment that passes, as one wants to linger on the tiny bites of a salted caramel macaroon.  

As I return to America for two weeks, it is as a visitor.  Paris is my new hometown.  It feels familiar, but also simultaneously mysterious.  It’s already beckoning me to return.  After I get my two weeks in the sun, I can’t wait to see what the remaining months have in store. 

“America is my country and Paris is my hometown.”-Gertrude Stein

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sadhna Shanker
    Jan 31, 2022 @ 08:50:30

    home is a fascinating concept!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: