Friday, May 04, 2007

Et moi loin de toi...

English-speaking expats in France come in two categories: those separated from home by an ocean, and those separated from home by the English Channel.

The latter hop back to see their family for long weekends. They take low-cost flights, sometimes only paying less than 75 euros round trip -- taxes included. They don't deal with a significant time difference. They are really no further from home than a Parisian living in the South of France.

Ocean-separated expats live a different experience. We never go home for a long weekend. We save money for a very expensive trip every year, or even every few years. We try to extend our stays as long as possible, which may pose career or family problems. The time zone difference and ensuing jet lag make the trip a major undertaking.

An ocean, for all its wide open space, remains a formidable barrier.

Tu es à huit heures de moi
Je suis à des années de toi
C'est ça être là-bas...

(Extract from the song "Lettre à France" by Michel Polnareff . He wrote the song about his exile in the USA, but it can work both ways...)

This post was inspired by this week's Sunday Scribblings prompt: "ocean."

For more "ocean" posts, click here.



8 comments:

Bongga Mom said...

I feel your pain, my husband and I are also oceans away (two different oceans, actually!) from the lands of our birth.

colleen said...

Hope your not homesick!

InlandEmpireGirl said...

I can't imagine not being able to go visit family on a long week-end. I am sure you really pack in the quality time when you make the visit across the ocean once a year. I loved the ocean topic!

Patois said...

You've described my British-born husband quite well. He so needs to be able to hop home for a weekend, but he can't.

Tammy said...

I can't even imagine!

b said...

If your family is still on the west coast, that makes such a huge difference too. France to New York is one thing but France to Seattle/Washington is another. As accessibile as the world is today, there are still considerable barriers (namely time, money, responsibilities) to traveling and then there is the not-so-pleasant aspect of traveling in general.

Yet, I still look forward to that next trip to France! :)

Betty C. said...

Thanks for all the comments on this post. "Homesick" is not really the word - -I've just learned to look forward to the long summers! Fortunately my job does allow for me to have the summer off.

Jennifer said...

that is beautiful, I can't imagine what it would be like to have an ocean between my family and I. My niece is on a 2 year mission trip and I haven't seen her. It's so hard to deal with the ocean gets to keep her and I don't. Je suis à des années de toi
just a year left....