It’s about this time of year that people in the UK start planning (if they haven’t already!) their travels to see family over the Christmas period. I imagine this stands for many other parts of the world also… For some, whose family are far-flung, migration “home” would be more easily facilitated with wings, as illustrated above! For others, gratitude may abound at the thought that family are too far to necessitate the annual pilgrimage (or penance?!)

The flocks we observe migrating for the winter may echo our own thoughts as they reach across the miles to return “home”. Personally, my yearly migration would be to France. My childhood was spent in West Africa, but while I have returned there in adulthood, I’d find a yearly return too taxing on my emotions (after all, a yearly return would equal a yearly departure), but I could reach out to France on a yearly basis, to satisfy my “homing instincts”.

France represents my childhood home to a certain point, as this was an old French colony, and the official language of that country reflected this. My connection to France deepens as I remember my year spent there during university, absorbing all I could about pastries, baguettes, long lunches, good wine, and enjoying an abundance of cheese. This represented one of my first experiences as an adult sojourner… a traveller in my own right, the transformation of a childhood identity into an adult one. France is freedom and leisure to me… and it calls me “home”.

To what part of the world, or to which people, would you migrate this season? Would you return yearly? Or would one return visit suffice to quell the “homing instinct” within?

















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