Home - The Loveliest of Words - Carla Coulson
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Home – The Loveliest of Words

Photo Copyright Carla Coulson

Where do you call home? I have thought about the concept of home all these years that I have been kicking around Europe.

Each time I pull up in a new Italian town or walk up beautiful stone steps on a new Greek Island I ask myself ‘will this be my home’?

Then there are moments I forget about it,  live in the moment and that’s all that matters.

The question has popped up again as I am about to leave for Australia.

You all know about the calm before the storm but do you know the phenomena called ‘the calm after the storm’!

That is exactly where I am right now. The eye of the storm has moved, the tornado has passed, the debris has been cleaned up and I am almost ready to get on the plane.

The past two months have been the busiest two months of my life, lots of great photography, writing two workshops and preparing two presentations and finishing a book. I have worked 7 days a week for as long as I can remember and now its all done, my bags are packed, the house is quiet, my kitty is on my lap and I am an emotional wreck.

I know this phase well, it always happens when I go home. It is almost two years since I last was in Australia and the comings and goings to Australia are always joyful and painful. There is always someone I can’t wait to see and someone I am leaving behind.

Yesterday I was on the metro, an old man got on with a piano accordian and started playing a Christmas tune. Within seconds I had tears streaming down my face, blubbering about leaving Francesco, Avedon (kitty) and the nostalgia of not having seen my parents and family for so long.

I long ago learnt that home can be anywhere in the world, for me it is a spiritual place and as long as the people I love are with me that is my home.

So my dear cyber friends I will be tuning in from Australia (my other home) shortly and can’t wait to share my adventures with you from the other side of the world.

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you”.  Chistian Morganstern

All my love


  • Sarah

    I wish you a safe journey and a wonderful time in Australia with your family.
    Your writing inspires me every day and after meeting you I know you are as fabulous as your writing! I’m so excited to hear there is a new book on the way.
    Enjoy the gorgeous Aussie sunshine and best of luck with the workshops in Sydney.

    November 27, 2012 at 10:36 am
    • Thanks Sarah.. I can’t wait

      November 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm
  • Yes, Australia is far – I have never been and probably will never be – and I know what you mean by having to leave Mr Italiano in Paris
    Have safe travels, enjoy the trip, wishing you great workshops
    and .. can’t wait for you to be back home (haha) here or there..
    bon voyage , le vent en poupe !

    November 27, 2012 at 11:53 am
    • Thanks Anni,, Yes leaving Mr. Italiano is heartbreaking but the good news he is coming at the end of Dec.. Shame about Kitty..Have a great xmas. Carla x

      November 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm
  • Kym

    I wonder how it feels for you when you arrive back in Australia these days? And again when you leave?

    Wishing you many a joyous reunion and I hope you can also enjoy the pangs of separation, the longing to be reunited with Francesco and Avedon. The beauty of the bittersweet.


    November 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm
    • Hi Kym, I am sure it will be great to be Oz.. It feels familiar but new. I love it.. xx

      November 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm
  • Anita Rivera

    Oh Carla, I SO UNDERSTAND. I was born and raised in Los Angeles California, but grew up with my husband as a couple in Boston, Massachusetts. We now live in Minneapolis Minnesota where we have grown as teachers, have a beautiful home, and are venturing out into another phase of our lives. For me, HOME is where ever I GO and take my ambitions and of course, where my husband is.

    I wish you well on your way back to Australia and look forward to hearing about your adventures!Anita

    November 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    • HI Anita, I love your words and sounds like you live a similar life.. You know the feeling.. x

      November 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm
  • Stacia Wright

    Hi Carla. While living in Paris must be soooo…. good,even more so with your lovley husband Francesco and furry friend Avedon, coming home to Australia will be sensationa!I think there is something in bred into each one of us from our roots that binds us, but it is always good to have home to go to, wherever that may be as it is more a feeling than a place. Stay safe, enjoy the journey and savour the moment. Stacia xx

    November 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm
    • HI STacia, thanks for the lovely words.. You are so right, flying across desert and looking down on Australia has me sobbing long before landing.. Hope you and Warren are great. xx

      November 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm
  • I completely understand your words and now after so long living away, I find it so incredibly difficult to go home to Australia ….I can’t face the goodbye at the end. Last time there were so many tears on the eight hour drive back to Sydney, mine, those of my children, my family. As my father said at the time ‘ I can’t go through that again’…and I’m not ready to either. Such a happy time and yet such a heartwrenching one too.

    November 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm
  • Thea

    Tears sprung into my eyes when I read this Carla. What a time you’ve been having, you must be exhausted. Bon voyage and I can’t wait to see and read more of your inspiring images and thoughts here from down under. Good luck with the workshop and send my love to our dear friends over there. Come back soon. Lots of love Thea xx

    November 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm
  • HI Carina, you said it better than I did!! The tears they start long before you arrive and long after you leave and in between.. There has been many a time I think the customs guys at Sydney airport thought I needed sedating!! Heartwrenching is the perfect word. Carla xx

    November 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm
  • Thank you yet again Carla. Your beautiful post….and that final quote is me on the plate! Enjoy the trip and just give in to all the emotion. It’s what we’re here for….Un abbraccio jxx

    November 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    • Thanks Janine.. It will be fabulous I know. Living the rollercoaster of emotions that is life.. xx

      November 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm
  • Brad

    Have fun in Australia Carla!
    We are spending Xmas and NYE in Dubai with friends here and we just decided to go to Australia for my 40th birthday to have a party in Port Macquarie with all of our family and friends there. So it’s a fast trip but looking forward to it.
    I wanted to ask you did you have availability for your workshop in Aus still and if so what are the dates?
    I had initially ruled it out as I didn’t think we were heading there but turns out maybe the dates coincide.
    Safe travels, Brad x

    November 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm
  • Brad

    PS – love your “take” on home and completely relate to being abroad and having that torn feeling when you do these trips! Nicely said.

    November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm
  • Ahhh… the freelancer’s life = 24/7
    Holidays when others are working
    Working when others are on holiday
    Plus the added bonus(?) of being an expat
    More on that to come!
    BONNE CHANCE Carla :)))

    November 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm
  • PS I bawl whenever I hear those Russians playing in the Metro hallways usually at Concord
    Go figure…

    November 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm
  • Oooh Carla, I am there in the middle of it right now! I am so beyond thrilled that my Mom, Sis and my Mom’s companion pooled together so that I could come home for Thanksgiving but in being here, there are a LOT of emotions coming up! Yes, including missing my honey and Golden Ben at ‘home’ in France…all part of the expat life we lead. We get the best of both but also have to pay the price of being torn…sending good energy your way for safe travels but also to enjoy your time in Oz as well as fill up the tank for rest and inspiration!

    November 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm
  • Ahhhh………….you need some big hugs Carla which I imagine you will be getting in spades soon. This trip sounds timed just about right and I am sure you are excited to get your class going, think of all that inspiration you will be spreading……why it will be like giving all your students the best Christmas gift ever. then Francesco will come and rescue you (you know what I mean) , you will be with your family for the holidays, it sounds so wonderful! I would be crying with happiness, which is what I think you might be doing Carl. Big hugs and will adore hearing everything about this trip……every minute. XX

    November 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm
  • A foot in each culture is a blessing and a burden. The chance to experience another is thrilling and challenging, yet unsettling because one does not wholly belong to either. Have a fantastic trip and we look forward to every beautiful post. 🙂

    November 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm
  • Arms around you + home is where the heart is, Carla it can be in as many places as you desire. Safe Travels to you dear one. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    November 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm
  • Safe journey!I just finished the GIOA book!LOved it!YOu captured the ITALIAN culture spot on!As I type with THEODORE on my lap (CAT)I have to tell you I did a post today and mentioned you and your book!I hope that is okay!!!!!!Enjoy your time at home.We all look forward to your photos and stories.

    November 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm
  • Oh Carla, I so relate to your emotions. Maybe it’s this time of the year, but I feel so emotional lately–a song on the radio can take me back to the first time I heard it, a movie about graduating high school reminds me of driving off with my parents to college and taking one last look at home as we pulled out the drive…Hoping you have safe travels home and a wonderful time while you’re there!

    xoxo Mary Jo

    November 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm
  • Kylee

    Hi Carla,

    You are going to love being back in Australia. It’s 6.40am, I have just been down the beach for a quick swim now getting ready for the day. Enjoy that ocean swim, sand between your toes, barefoot around the house, arvo drinks on a balmy Sunday afternoon – welcome back to Australia!

    November 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm
  • Corrina Tough

    Hi Carla, words I needed to hear! We are contemplating an international move which would involve selling our home of the last 20+ years that we literally built by hand (mudbrick), all my children were born and have been raised under this roof, we have the most spectacular jacaranda trees in our front yard that we grew from seed and my little ones climb and sit in the branches now. But home is much more than that, things change, but family and the memories you make together will be woven into the fabric that becomes your family/home story. Last night I watched an episode of a new series on tv similar to “who do you think you are”. The show tracked the history/family tree of three prominant Americans. One guys family on his father’s side could be traced back to the 12th century India and there were ancient scrolls that are kept and entrusted to the family group- he immediatedly felt a stronger connection to India even after never setting foot in the country and the tears that flowed from his eyes – very emotional. I guess I am rambling but hopefully you and the readers get it… Home is wherever you are with those that love you. When you hit Australia you will be home and when you get back to Paris you will be home- you are more blessed to have such a variety of HOME! xxCorrina

    November 28, 2012 at 2:15 am
  • I love your sentiments about home, Carla. I hope your time in Australia is wonderful.

    November 28, 2012 at 2:32 am
  • Very beautiful post, Carla. Wishing you a most wonderful and successful trip and joyful reunions.


    November 28, 2012 at 8:23 am
  • Dear Carla,

    There is something truly heart warming about that feeling you get when you touch down on Australian soil, isn’t there? I swear it never gets old. I hope your Christmas in your Australian home away from home is filled with love and sunshine (and not forgetting the odd packet of Tim Tams). We’ll be swapping countries in fact, as I’ll soon be flying over to Paris to spend a couple of weeks with my Italian boyfriend. I’m moving my life (and photography business) over to Paris in 2013. I only recently discovered your blog and with our stories being rather similar, your books will make for perfect reading as I discover all that my new city has to offer. Your beautiful work and honest words give me the inspiration and strength I need in these coming months before the big move, so thank you! Bon voyage and I look forward to hearing all about your Australian Christmas adventures.

    Katie XO

    November 28, 2012 at 10:49 am
  • I know that feeling well, but I never lived as far away from home as you do. HAPPY happy holiday dear Carla, may you have a wonderful time. Look forward to hearing and seeing more,

    November 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm
  • I couldn’t agree more. So much emotion so many layers of life. Mixed feelings, great joy and a rocky foundations. What a great thing though to be able to experience all this and know you are safe within yourself and have a family and friends who love you. Enjoy every moment! x

    December 3, 2012 at 4:10 am