Paris firmly remains my favourite city. This is a big call, considering the many amazing places I have been fortunate to visit since I first went overseas 12 years ago.
But there is something about France that has always drawn me in. When I was younger, I remember being fascinated by the country, learning French, and the romantic notions Paris conjured up. So when I visited in 2001 my expectations were high – yet they were exceeded – and I have always dreamt of going back. In fact, a good friend recently recounted that one of the statements I made early on in our friendship (some eight years ago) was my draw to Paris, and how one day I intended to live there.
This day has arrived.
Over the years as I have looked back upon the decisions I have made in my life; the people I have met; and the circumstances that have arisen; I have often been struck by the synchronicities that have been present. This tale is no different. Last year when I met a Parisienne girl whilst on a yoga retreat in Goa, India, I would not have thought this meeting would prove to be instrumental in obtaining a long-stay visa for France, and in enabling me to secure an apartment in the heart of Paris to live in some 12 months later!
I think that in life if things are meant to unfold, it is a matter of timing to enable them to come to fruition. And in taking action with a clear and unwavering intention.
As I sorted through photo albums before I came away, I noticed that since I first returned from the UK and Europe in 2003 I have had a framed picture of the Eiffel Tower in my home – looking at it daily, and subconsciously dreaming of the time when I would return.
Interestingly, as I packed my bags to leave Melbourne after finishing work in February, I hesitated when it came to packing this picture. Although I was yet to have my appointment at the French Consulate in Sydney to apply for the visa, I felt I no longer needed the photo as soon it would be my reality. I did not pack it. Luckily, I was right!
And so now I sit in a typically Parisian apartment in the 18th arrondissement; the dome of Sacre Coeur visible as I glance up the street just around the corner; the artists’ district of Montmatre also just a stone’s-throw away; French cafe’s and patisseries on every street corner; the smell of freshly baked baguettes wafting from the many boulangeries; the classic architecture of the buildings with the wrought-iron balustrades on the Juliet balconies……..
Paris, it’s good to be back.
I am unsure of exactly what I am seeking to find, however, I know the time is right to be here…..and that the experience is going to be a joie de vivre. And that I am following my dream.