I come from a small town in the north east of France called Châlons-en-Champagne. I was born and raised there, in the Champagne region. Even though it is what I call HOME, I am sure that you have never heard of it – and that’s OK.

In a way it is funny for me to talk about HOME. If you would ask my friends and family, they would say I am never home. They always wonder why I am still calling this tiny part of the Champagne region in the middle of France, my home. In fact, I am so French, I can’t even spend a day without eating cheese or bread, loving wine and champagne. Abroad I am always the Frenchy, but at home I am not so French anymore.

Which place do you call HOME when you're always on the go?

A few weeks ago I found myself on a bus between Firenze and Milano, and I just started to think about the Christmas holidays. I always go home in December and as soon as I have a break from my busy schedule, I head to France. The longer I kept thinking about going home for Christmas on that bus, the more I realized just how weird my image of home is. My friends, who are at home in Châlons-en-Champagne all the time, tend to escape during the holidays and travel to exotic and far-away places. For me, home is where I head to during the holidays. It’s the place where I spend all my free time, a place that I like to go back to.

HOME is where I see my friends from high school, and my family. Where I go shopping with my mum, and where I go to get a crappy beer and a shitty coffee at La Licorne, despite the fact that they are crappy and shitty. They are HOME.

HOME is where I go for a walk in the forest. Where I spend the afternoon asleep on my grandparents’ couch next to the fire place. Where I go get a brownie from the corner bakery during the circus street festival.

HOME is where my cats are. Where I sleep the best and where all my childhood memories are neatly stowed away in boxes.

Being at HOME means spending time at my best friend’s house talking about life. It means going for walks around my hometown and falling in love all over again – every single time.

HOME is like going on holiday. 

I’m away travelling so often that going home is my way of resting. Between Iceland, Boston and New York, Scotland, now Italy and in a month Austria, going HOME is necessary for me to put my feet back to the ground.

My home might not be as impressive as the famous cities and far-away places I travel to – but the champagne makes up for some of that. Home is just my place – where I grew up, where the people I love are always there for me – even if I am 3,000 km away. Home is my comfy place.

 

And just like that I have ended up with a declaration of my love to Châlons-en-Champagne and Bussy-le-Château. I love my HOME. And I will always go back.

 

This article is part of our AT HOME series featuring stories from and about the meaning of ‘home’.


This is a guest post by Léna Bovière.

image1-2 Léna is a French traveler and a cognitive linguistics student who shares her adventures and what makes her happy on Instagram (@leeintheairplane). She is found of mountains, hikes, snow, languages and food. Mixing studies and travel at the same time is not an easy way of life but she makes the most of it!