Gazing out of the small window on the plane to Paris, the enormity of what I am doing and the significance of this day dawn on me. Today I am going to France, not as a holiday or as a visitor but as a ‘resident to be’. I may return to Scotland a few times for practical matters but from now on France is home. There is a deep shift in my mental geography and sense of belonging by doing this.
Only a few days ago I returned to Europe from Cambodia and the importance of this French trip had not dawned in my mind with much gravity until now. I am having a canal boat built this year and had initially thought about staying in Scotland with it for a few years before moving to France later on when I was settled and comfortable using it. However, the pressing crisis of Brexit has pushed me to go for French residency under the old carte sejour system in all haste.