by Melinda Gallo

Shifts and perceptions regarding my home

Soon Iíll be celebrating my nine-year anniversary living in Florence. Itís hard to believe that nine years have gone by already. So much has happened in my life in that time. Ever since I moved to Florence the first time in 1997, I have considered Florence my home. Even though I returned to the US for a few years, Florence was still blazing in my heart and I knew that I would call it home again.

I spend my time between Florence and Paris. At first, it was because of work and now itís because of love as well. I live with my beau outside of Paris, which is my home with him; however, my true home is and will always be Florence.

While I was in Florence last week, I saw a few expats that I havenít seen in a long time. They already knew about my life changes and that I now live between Florence and Paris. I could feel their distance when they talked to me. As if they wanted to keep me at bay. They are not people with whom I am close with, so I understood. Sometimes expats donít want to get close to people who, as they say, ďwill just be leaving anyway.Ē It wasnít until I told a few of them that I am in the process of buying an apartment in Florence that their attitudes shifted.

For me, nothing has shifted yet because of my buying a place in Florence to secure my roots in my beloved city, but maybe I will feel different once I have my piece of Florence that I get to enjoy, live in, and call home.

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