A Home Away From Home

You lose a piece of yourself when you choose another city, let alone another country, to call home. You lose touch, you miss most of it, you forget.

The Louvre
The Louvre

First, you’re in denial, then you’re depressed… It’s a bit like grief, whether you admit it or not. You grieve your old life, the distance, the feeling of security, and the warmth of your loved ones.

Finally, you muster all the courage you can find, and you take a deep plunge into the unknown. Reality hits you hard, and a few months later, you romantically call it “adventure”.

Such did my adventure begin. I had been planning for it for as long as I can remember. “I shall go to Paris for my higher studies”, and to Paris I went. Although I had alternative plans in mind a few months before my final decision, it has always been Paris.

Seven years ago, I had the opportunity of visiting the city during a school trip. As soon as I arrived, French literature classes and history lessons kicked into full gear, and all that was left to do was let myself fall in love with a city many have loved before me.

This time, I was determined to get to know it better. My higher studies were as much a master’s degree in Big Data, as a discovery of Paris’s cultural scene. I have certainly made a sizable dent in my student budget, but oh was it worth it: museums, monuments, art expositions, opera, theater, ballet, cinema festivals, fine cuisine, you name it! Along the way, I was lucky enough to meet kindred spirits and beautiful souls who, despite our different upbringings, nationalities and religions, shared my passions and interests in all things.

As to personal development, I was able to fulfill a 5-year-in-a-row new year resolution during my first months here. I have been shocking myself with a hidden taste for cooking and indoor gardening. I am enrolled in diverse artful and spiritual activities. And finally, I have scored a great great internship.

You lose some, you gain some. But what you think you lost is never truly lost… only a plane ticket away. As to what you gain… plenty, and then some!

To those of you coming to Paris, do discover Paris. There is so much more to it then the Eiffel Tower. Learn French, eat French, live French… I assure you, it’s a mind-blowing experience.

-J.

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