You don’t have to know me very well to know that Paris is my absolutely favorite place on the planet. I am writing this post from there right now – my first trip here since moving to Dublin.
I visited Paris for the first time in November 2000 but it wasn’t until my second trip in April 2002 that I really, truly fell in love with the City of Lights. I can’t really put my finger on what it is about this place – yes, it’s beautiful and historical, there’s amazing food, wine and culture. But it’s more than that. Somehow, Paris gets me. I was talking to a woman at dinner tonight who loves Paris and has visited even more often than I have and we both tried to define what it is about this city that makes us love it so, and we couldn’t. It isn’t something that can be put into words. I just know that when I am here, my heart is happy.
Paris is the city that first got me thinking about becoming an expat. I wanted to live the Moveable Feast about which Hemmingway wrote. When I decided to get my Italian Citizenship, Paris was the end game. When I started looking for work in Europe, Paris was at the top of my list.
But I wonder if living here would have tarnished Paris for me? I think about my transition when I moved to Dublin and how hard it was and I imagine what it would have been like to do all that in Paris, where I didn’t speak the language. I don’t think I could have done it. There’s a good chance that the banality of setting up a residence and a life could have ruined Paris for me.
So, I am glad that I ended up in Dublin. I feel it’s where I belong, and honestly, it makes my heart quite happy as well. I haven’t ruled out living in Paris someday – being here stirs up those longings even more. But for now, I feel like Dublin is where I am supposed to be. And I have the best of both worlds because the magic of Paris is a mere 90 minute flight away.