After a month of living at the heure française in my hometown of Nantes, we are getting ready to go back to Canada. And as usual, I can’t help wondering if I would be able to “fit in” again in France as a resident. We were short-term travellers there but I did spend 18 years of my life in France after all, and Mark and I have dual citizenship, French and Canadian.

Some aspects of life in France are lovely (the usual clichés—food, cities designed for pedestrians, history and culture, etc.), but others get on my nerve. Deep down I know that it’s best for us to see France as a “holiday destination” and a place to explore rather than a place to live in. There are many reasons why I chose to leave my country and ended up adopting Canada and I certainly don’t regret the move. From a practical point of view, Canada is a better place for the three of us.

And after all, why should we have to choose? We belong here and there too, we are citizens of the world!

Here are the latest snapshots of the People of Nantes series.

Waiting for the FNAC to Open
Under the Rain
The Newsagent
Going to the market
Unoading the Van
In the Tramway
Man at Work
Shadows of Nantes
Down the Street
Going Somewhere
Waiting for the Tramway
Delivery Daredevil

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  1. barb July 24, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Salut Zhu,
    Coming back to one’s roots is always fulfilling. It lasts a moment, we stir up our memories and have good times and then we return.
    A complex and beautiful mechanism that all “transplants” know well.
    I enjoyed your photos during this trip. Have a smooth return trip to Ottawa!

    1. Zhu July 24, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      You mailed it… and of course, as an expat, you know exactly how I feel!

  2. Holly Nelson July 24, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Wow – the people of Nantes seem to be a little more romantic than any of the other pics you have taken so far! I love the one of the man reading on the steps!

    1. Zhu July 24, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      French are romantic at heart 😉

  3. Lily July 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I guess I have the same feeling. Often I miss homeland and I was so happy this year when I went back to see my families, went back to my grand-parent’s place and walked on the beaches I spent all my summers at when I was younger.
    But I know I just couldn’t live in France anymore. Actually, I coudn’t even technically live there since entrepreneurship / freelancing is just so coslty, almost “punished” in France (Did you see what they did to the “auto-entrepreneur” status?).
    Their is a ton of great things in France, but Canada (or Ottawa?) matches better my way of life I guess. Including being in a mix-couple.See what I mean? 😉

    1. Zhu July 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      I know exactly what you mean! Coming “home” is comfortable the first week… and then you realize that nothing changed and there were reasons why you left in the first place!

  4. Pingback: People of Nantes, Winter Edition

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