Xenophile

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His life as a car salesman living in the suburbs seemed to be part of a strange dream he longed to forget, but he had indeed been that person once. Night had fallen upon Paris, but tourists and locals remained outside to savour the warm evening.

He stared up at the Eiffel Tower and took a photograph of it. It would be his last night in the grand city, and then he would soon be on his way to Spain. He walked further until he reached the Seine River. The magical reflections of the lights reminded him of his outlook on the future – bright. In his old life, he felt so empty and robotic. But here he was, newly divorced and still young. Ready to travel the world. To reach out and discover another part of life that was waiting to be lived. Something that carried more purpose to him than working in an office all day just to come home to a large house that he did not have the time to enjoy.

“Hey.”

Her familiar Scandinavian accent made him smile. He did not think that she would bother meeting him, but she had kept her word.

“Hey yourself. So, where’s this place you were talking about?”

He had met her while browsing though old books at a second hand shop. She commented on the fact that they both had silly yellow backpacks and then suggested that he come with her to buy a loaf of the best fresh bread in the area.

“Come on!” she laughed, taking him by the hand.

They reached a busier street and he took in the sights and sounds of a world so different from the one that he came from. He admired the girl that had taken on the role of his tour guide, and he adored France, but he had a feeling that no place would feel like home for quite some time. He felt euphoric at that uncertainty, at the knowledge that he would meet so many strange, interesting people in the weeks to come.

He craved the exotic and the unusual. Everything that the people in his old New York neighbourhood would tell him he should despise, including this blonde girl who shared his passion for exploring other countries.

Somewhere back home, his older brother and his parents still went through the motions of trying to reach the American Dream. But he had found his dream – to travel and experience as many things as he could before he returned back home. If he ever did.

– Sara Kjeldsen

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