Three years after my move to the US, I have now returned to Europe for a mixture of personal and practical reasons. Not without some lingering regrets. Living in New York was the sustained highlight of my life, a late opportunity I never dreamed would be possible, and one which has enriched me on so many levels. But the downside of being a migrant – because that’s what I have been for a good part of my life- is that you always miss people and places, and that sadness is always there in the background, just as it was when I moved to NY and left family and friends behind.
This sense of dislocation and sorrow has been elegiacally captured in the work of Jhumpa Lahiri, or more recently in the adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn, and anyone who has lived in another country will recognise it well. Some cultures have a word for it.
Someone * once said it is important to travel so that you can look at your own country from outside. So that is what I am going to do now that I am back in Europe. And because I am in Italy, I will start with something foodie.
- “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton