For those who don't follow me on Facebook, yes I have arrived back to Paris. However, the return has not been as smooth as I expected (if I ever expected that the return to Paris could be smooth) but petit à petit, day by day, I'm getting used to it and starting to feel better and at home.
The first days I didn't really have time to think about how I feel about being back in Paris, and in a way it was good; focusing on practical things instead of thinking about anything. As soon as I landed I was confronted by 99 different kind of small (or big, everything is relative) problems. I'm not going to bore you with details but once again I wonder how it is possible for things to be so complicated here. Very basics, like getting my new sim card to work, how can it require hours of queuing on the phone, two visits to a mobile shop and plenty of exhausting arguing with the client service and the technical service? I mean, it's just one sim card. At the same time when I was calling the mobile operator (a bit challenging if your phone doesn't work) and visiting them in their shops, I was running (or bicycling) from one medical center to another trying to find an available doctor (yes, doing all this being sick). By the end of my second day here I had finally done both: my phone works now and I'm on such high medication that I should be feeling better soon. So only 97 problems left... The rest of the time, I've been organising my apartment that looked like after a hurricane. So no time for jet lag or being tired, I've had other priorities.
On top of this, the attack in Nice shocked me, of course, I can't believe it is happening again. And I just wrote about that a couple of days ago: that in a way France is a lot more dangerous than Latin American countries because you can never know when something bad happens. You may be happily enjoying the National Day celebration when someone just appears from nowhere and kills you. I love France but seriously, will this ever stop?
The first two days I really felt desperate and tired of everything, like really considering making a turn back to the airport and taking the next flight to Colombia. Somehow, life there was just so simple and people kind and friendly. But I will get used to this. Despite everything, it feels good to be back. Running errands I already made quite a nice tour in Paris, bicycling around, even if I didn't really have time to think about it. It feels so natural being here. I don't get lost, I know where everything is and how things work (or don't work). It is my city and I'm stunned by how beautiful it is here. My parents and brother came yesterday to visit and with them I have been able to relax and take it easy. We have just been walking around in the sunshine and we've had great time eating out. Paris in the summer is pretty, lively (even if it is quite calm this weekend) and full of nice outdoor bars and restaurants. I know I really need to start dealing with all the challenges of coming back and starting a new life here, but this weekend I've allowed myself some time off. Slowly but surely, everything will be alright.
But still, I miss Cartagena and Colombia like crazy and it feels so strange being here. I greet people in Spanish. I walk on the streets and feel tired and think of just hailing a taxi or a motorcycle, and then I'm like no, it's not Cartagena, no 2€ taxis anymore. When I'm hungry I look around and don't see any empanada or fruit stands. I take out money from an ATM and I wonder why I get euros instead of pesos. And so on. The weather is very nice, warm but not too hot like in Cartagena. But in the evenings it is cold! I'm so not used to having to carry a long sleeve jacket with me that I've already manage to forget one to a bar.
I'm also on a break from taking pictures (because I have millions from Paris already), it is lovely to walk around without having to photograph every moment. Writing is one of my favourite pastimes and I have enjoyed active blogging during these past 7 months. I'm also very proud of myself that I really did it instead of just saying that I would write and then finding better things to do. If you have liked reading about my travels that is great and makes me very happy but also, these stories and photos are a souvenir for myself. When the autumn comes and I'll be busy with my new life here, I will sit down and travel back to the beautiful times spent by the Caribbean Sea. However, I posted something on average every 2,5 day so that is quite often. I'd say I spent some 15 hours every week on my blog (+ the photographing time), it was like a second job. Now I'm officially on holidays and it is very relaxing to just be and do things, without having to report about it later.
So keep reading about my Caribbean life if there are stories that you have missed (or if you had trouble keeping up, now you have time to catch up. ;)). I'll let you know when I'll be writing again.
Lot's of love and abrazos,
Ps. Posting a couple of pictures from Paris in sunshine, how could I not?
I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!