...Oh Boy! Little did I know, back in 2009, when we arrived in Paris, that it would be a life-changing experience on so many levels - apart from the gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower from our living room of course! ;-) We arrived in Paris in Winter and I experienced hail and snow all at once...and while it felt super romantic at first, I am not a fan of winter anymore! :) I am a sunshine girl, I need all the warmth, literally too! The flip side being the fashionable winter coats and boots, for sure! :D
Paris will forever be special for me (not only because it is a romantic, beautiful city) coz Baby Girl was born here! She is our biggest blessing and God chose to give her to us in Paris! :-) The health care system in France is amazing and they took care of me and my precious child at every point and made sure she was healthy, happy and beautiful and gave her safely in our hands...I am ever grateful for that. They also ensure that the mother is well taken care of, and is able to spring back to good health. Serendipity??!!
I must admit, it was a quite a challenge communicating with the doctors and hospitals due to my limited linguistic abilities a.k.a French!
France is often known as the "land of cheese and wine" and it truly is....while I didn't really acquire a taste for cheese or wine, I did acquire the nation's obsession with fitness and exercise! In these 4 years in Paris, both S and I are a lot fitter and healthier - when you see people jogging at noon or even at 10 at night, we had to take it seriously too! I exercised throughout my pregnancy, even til before I was going into labour - and it made the entire process so much faster and easier...I will ensure that it continues even after we go back to India, the elliptical at home, for sure is an investment!
We have traveled to some absolutely gorgeous countries in Europe (I can't believe we have been to 16 countries so far!). S had told me long back that I should take him on a Europe trip on our 10th anniversary! I made it all come true even before that! :P
Jokes apart, we are truly blessed to be able to travel to so many beautiful places and the beauty is etched in our memories forever...we both love travelling and living in Paris gave us the access and comfort level to plan ahead and have a good time! ...and we had a lovely vacation ever so often, whenever we could get away...
I have acquired a few "forever friends" with whom I had fun times - learning new things, sharing our different cultures, thoughts, aspirations and I have felt as loved and understood as I would, with some of my best friends! Our different backgrounds didn't really matter - deep down, we all value the same things and seem to have the same common problems! We may be across different parts of the world - but I am sure we will stay in touch and visit each other often ( hopefully! - Catrin, if you are reading this, this is specifically directed at YOU!)
On a more serious note, I think I have also matured in my thought process - I have learnt to accept people as they are - I tend to judge someone instantly, I don't do that anymore! I have learnt that its unwise to judge someone unless you have experienced it yourself!
When you live alone, especially abroad in a country where the language and people are alien....I have realized and feel grateful for all the love, family, support I have - both physically and emotionally - never take anything or anyone for granted!
All said and done, "home is where the heart is..." and I am excited about moving back to India too and can't wait to take Baby Girl to meet all my friends and family, and we will all live happily together wherever we are - she will go to her own home and her own room - ALREADY! She receives a lot of love and affection across the globe, and she is truly a blessed soul in that sense :-)