And if it was enough to leave to appreciate what we leave? In Barcelona, ​​some French expatriates are surprised to love their country of origin even more since they no longer live there. Testimonies in the light of a France far from the eyes, but close to the heart.

Should we leave the nest to love it better? In Barcelona, ​​French expatriates who have taken flight on the other side of the border sometimes rediscover a forgotten affection for their country. Idealization or nostalgia? Between the lack and the distance, some French people see in their origins the little nothings of yesteryear, which now do everything.

A southern accent, which is a pleasure to hear. Traditions like rugby matches at the stadium, with friends or family. And then, of course, ” the food “says Marine, a 29-year-old Toulouse girl. “It’s good tapas, croquetas and pan con tomate. But I like to come home for the refined dishes, the good pastries without added sugar, the cassoulet”. VSshe who has been studying in the Catalan capital for three years even comes to regret the “barbecues with a little Ricard, or a glass of rosé” by the swimming pool. Luxury of the French countryside, or timeless blue-white-red gastronomy. All the more appreciable with time.

‘Cause it’s true “only after six months to a year”the French often point the tip of their noses in grocery stores with national products, explained Marion Pyo, manager of Maison Puyvalin in the center of the Catalan capital, in another Equinox article.

Little forgotten French pleasures

“There are lots of things that I didn’t eat before in France and that I miss today”, adds Eric, 43 years old. After 15 years in Barcelona, ​​the entrepreneur from Béziers is even surprised by a passion for Orangina or beef bourguignon. A dish in sauce that he previously judged “too conservative” but now ” very classy “. In the image left to it by France, and the one it conveys internationally. As if going abroad made you the perfect foreigner. The one who savors the best while leaving out the less good.

“I think I like France a lot more since I’ve been at Barcelona, adds the southerner. Including aspects of everyday life that I didn’t like before. » Among others: the lack of festivities, the calm. While for three years, Eric is surprised to value the silence between the matches of Roland-Garros, the calm tone of the 8 p.m. news, the absence of frenzy which, on the contrary, sticks to the skin of Spain. And then also, its spaces.

I have never traveled so much through France”

Because if there is one thing that expatriates would not have suspected when leaving their country, it is to want to return there during their holidays. “I learned to make the most of the landscapes and their richness. I have never traveled so much through France since I no longer live there”, smiles Lou, 34. It’s been nine years since the young woman packed her bags for Thailand, first, then Barcelona. She does not intend to rest them in France. Question of general atmosphere and mentality. But she admits, like Eric, to be more interested in French regions than before.

Hiking mountain nature landscape sea Photo“Whereas when I was in France, they would have told me ‘go above Lyon, to Tours, Normandy or Brittany’ it was not worth thinking about it”, laughs the forty-something. He even adds, ironically: “And I’m not sure it appeals to me if I still lived in France.” Don’t we say that the grass is always greener elsewhere? So when the elsewhere is nearby, the compromise borders on perfection.

The advantages without the disadvantages, in Barcelona

“As we are at the border, we can bring back the best of France without the inconveniences”, adds Eric. Less insecurity, a more affordable life, just a few kilometers from home. Barcelona has this incredible asset which is its geographical position, for all these nostalgic French people (but not enough to return home). This is how Lisa sees it, currently in Berlin. At 28, she became unemployed with a view to settling in the county city. “I have the feeling that the things from France that I miss so much, I will find them in Barcelona. Or at least in part, explains the Agenaise.

In this end of Spain, she intends to recover a daily life between sea and mountains. Between skiing and beach. Between pleasant climate and variety of landscapes. Close to his native land, but far enough to be able, like many others, to be part of a minority of French people: expatriates and privileged to experience only the good things.