Parallel lives

It’s been three months since we returned from Quillan. We’ve now been back as long as we were there, and although the time has gone fast, paradoxically our experience already feels like a lifetime ago.

In fact, it feels like another whole life time. It’s quite surreal to think that, only three months ago, we were living in France, the boys attending school, operating completely in another language.

I’ve recently been reading a book written by an Australian woman who took her young family to live in France, initially for several months. Now they spend six months of every year in France, with the other half back in Australia.

I love these books and will never tire of reading them because they remind me that such a life is possible – if you want it enough. This is the life I would love. It’s just a question of whether I want it enough to make it happen.

I’ve been contemplating for some time that we are already living our lives in parallel. On the one hand, we are very much present in our lives in New Zealand – and yet we always have half a mind thousands of kilometres away in a French village. We find ourselves randomly rambling in French at odd times of the day. We dream of baguette and croissants – fresh, warm and crusty from the boulangerie.

287 Wellington city and harbour.

So imagine my surprise when I realised that we really ARE living our lives in parallel – on the 42nd parallel to be precise. The Aude is on the 42nd parallel North. Wellington is on the 42nd parallel South.



5 thoughts on “Parallel lives

  1. margaret21

    Interesting thoughts. When we were in France, the one option we considered but rejected out of hand – for us – was half a year here, half a year there. We felt that the community-involvement we seek would be less avalilable to us as ‘part-timers’ in both places, and that we wouldn’t have a true home in either place. Also, which half of the year to choose? A too-hot summer in France and a too-damp winter in England, or an unpredictable winter in France against an unpredictable summer in the UK?! But it works for lots of people, so if it’s right for you, definitely go for it.

  2. Jennifer Andrewes Post author

    Very good point Margaret. That’s certainly something I’ve deliberated on too as community is also very important to me. Not sure I’ve resolved the answer but at least for now the full commitment long term to France would not work. Possibly later on. Of course we would have no such dilemma about which season to choose, coming from the southern hemisphere – eternal spring/summers have instant appeal for those of us who get the winter blues!

  3. graceandgusto

    Wow that is an interesting read for me. We’re 30 days away from heading over for the year and already thinking about coming back! Will we want to? If we don’t, how will we stay? I should just be focussed on packing 😉 thanks for sharing, hope you’re all well 🙂 KP

    1. Jennifer Andrewes Post author

      Hi Kate, I’ve been thinking about you off and on, wishing I had the whole year ahead of me, not behind me! I hope the big move goes well and will be looking forward to hearing more about it all. Jen


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