I was talking with a client recently who expressed her deep desire to move away from Calgary as soon as possible. It’s a common sentiment - not, I think solely for the city of Calgary, but for all places we call 'home.' My Parisian friend just texted me this morning telling me he couldn’t stand France anymore and wanted to move to Canada. You see how similar we all are? :) This seems to be our nature - interested in offerings unavailable in our own homes. I, too, have extreme wanderlust, and it shows. I have lived all over the world, all over Canada, I travel as frequently as possible. In the past 4 months I’ve spent time in both Paris and Hawaii. I plan to leave the continent again soon. But these are shorter trips now. From one who has moved since she was 18, now in my 30s, this is what I’ve learned - every place holds their bit of magic! And consequently, every city, country, space hold their pros and cons. When choosing where to live or settle (do people still do this?!), one really needs to understand this truth. We are always giving something up to gain something new.
Paris is one of my favourite cities. My time there is always magical. Paris is all romance, poetry, extravagance, whimsy, flirtation, and poise, with an elegance that caresses the senses. You can’t help but fall in love in Paris. I do every time. When I arrived back to Calgary from Paris recently, everyone kept asking, “How do you feel being back home?” “Was it hard to come back?” I now giggle a little at this. It’s a normal question, to be sure. But I fear that we seem to have an imagination that novelty is superior to familiarity. It’s not. It’s simply different.
Many people, including myself, find it surprising that I have ended up in Calgary, the place of my birth. A young city, largely unrecognized globally, still becoming, and therefore lacking in sophisticated and significant art, culture and diversity. BUT, I walked along the river today and fell in love. And not for romance, whimsy or elegance but for brilliant sun, breathtaking skies, crisp air, the outline of mountain peaks, the aqua blue Bow, the feeling of youth, community, possibility, innovation and growth. All places hold their piece of magic!
So, no, I, perhaps, surprisingly, was not sad to come home from Paris. I was happy to land in this city in the Canadian foothills. It’s not Paris, it’s Calgary. And she’s so good at being so.
And so, for the sake of falling in love with where we are, tell me, what magic does your home hold?