I write this blog about ecotourism because I have a big interest in this topic and I do think it can make a difference. I want to share what I find/think interesting about it.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cross Travelling: Where Is Home?

Lille, France : Place Général de Gaulle, also ...Image via Wikipedia

Recently I have been through a weird experiment: greeting my family where I live now (London) and going back home (Lille, France) with my American girlfriend. And that has been a very interesting experience.

First because greeting my relatives in a town I have been living in for almost a year was like putting myself back in my own shoes the first time I came here in London, 10 years ago. The way they looked at things and the comments they expressed were, to a certain extent, the one I had before.

On the other way around, showing my hometown to my girlfriend made me realize all the good things I left behind, even small things. But I also became aware that I am a stranger to it. The place has just changed, my friends are somewhere else, to some point it is not the town I used to know.

So where is home now? Well to be honest I have just been away for a full year (even if I left the place 5 years ago now, getting back there for a few weeks now and again), but I feel it is still a form of home. I have always refused to be called expat as you do not really feel that way in London when you are French (especially with the Eurostar that puts Lille at 1h20 from London), but I feel I am slowly drifting away from it. Home is mainly Lille and a bit London, but lines are moving very slowly.

Now I do understand how hard it is for any immigrant to leave his homecountry and live in another place thousands of miles away. I wish everyone could live one or two years away for his home country, it would probably completely transform the debate on immigration.

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