When I arrived in Paris I rented a room in a flatshare from a friend who had recently moved in with her boyfriend. Before I moved in, she had given her room over to a girl named Chloe who would be staying there long term. Chloe was backpacking through Southeast Asia for the summer and came back home on Sunday. I thought about finding my own place but then another idea popped into my head. I could find another flatshare or sublet in Paris OR I could use the move as an opportunity to find a new adventure. Can you guess which path I chose?
In May 2006, the year before I moved to Paris, I went to Italy for the first time. I was there for 2 weeks and I loved every moment and everything about Italy. Taking a wine tasting tour and cooking class in an ancient villa in Tuscany,
floating along the breathtaking canals of Venice, getting lost in the tiny streets of Florence, meeting an expat friend in Pisa for a massive dinner with her Italian in-laws that lasted 4 hours. But when I got to Rome… wow.
I felt completely in my element, it felt like home. It’s that feeling that drives us expats from our native homes, friends and family to live in a foreign place, overlooking the fact that you don’t know a soul, don’t speak the language, can't really know what to expect… simply because something inside compels you and you just HAVE to be there. The last time I got that feeling was when I visited Paris.
I only spent 4 days in Rome and knew I didn’t want to give up on Paris just because I happened to have a fling with another city. So I kept the original plan and moved to Paris—which turned out to be an amazing, wonderful, unforgettable experience (naturally). But in the back of my mind, I knew I had to get to Rome one day. Even if for a short period of time, I had to live there. Experience the food, people, language and culture as a local instead of just a tourist. And on the 27th of September, I’ll finally get my chance to do that. There’s no real plan: I’ll be taking Italian lessons and working on some projects and ideas that will hopefully allow my gypsy nature this sort of independence permanently.
And so, that brings me back to my move to B’s. Originally I thought it would be a great idea. I’d have a free place to stay for 3 weeks before I move to Rome; B’s apartment was practically my second home anyway. But I didn’t realize we’d be struggling with how to manage being “just friends”, imagine throwing “living together” into the mix. Our saving grace is that he works all day and I have a pretty full social life so hopefully our paths won’t cross enough to cause conflict (though it's looking like, in his opinion, that may be the very source of the problem). I’ve already alerted friends that I may be coming to crash on their couch if things get out of control Chez B.