A Personal Note ~ A Happy New Year from LucyWillShowYou
January has flown by and I’ve been meaning to pen some thoughts on this year just passed. January 2016 began with a rocky start from me if I’m truthful. Frankly there were plenty of tears. We’d travelled to join 10 friends in Normandy and life had been busy in the weeks leading up to the Christmas break. With all the talk of a New Year and being around our loved ones for Christmas, I just couldn’t shift my sadness of mine and E’s lives in two different countries. I couldn’t see how either of us were going to be together in one place. All that festive love had me in a bit of a tizzy. Take the 2nd January 2016 for example, where without a moments notice I just melted into tears during a very long lunch of 15 people. Not being able to understand the conversations and stories which passed across the table were and still are my toughest moments. I’d perfected the knowing nod (not always knowing what anyone was talking about but trying not to look so constantly clueless). Things have improved since then though!
This time last year, my life was in London, but my heart was in Paris. The bi-monthly trips to France were beginning to take their toll on my emotions and my bank balance. Friends would always quiz me, so is he going to move to London?! I just always thought, why would he want to leave his life in Paris? His friends, his social life, his cars, but on the other hand, I thought, well Christ how am I going to move to Paris? I can’t speak French?! I can’t leave my friends, my job, my things?!
Well it turns out, love will encourage you to take leaps you never thought you could manage. Look at our situation. Two years of long distance, and one late night telephone call in March changed it all. “Just come now” he said. “I’ll come and get you…”. The following morning, I had 3 tasks. Leave my job, my apartment contract, and just run it by my family (was I being insane?).
By 9.15 the following morning, we decided I’d move to Paris in 3 weeks time. My apartment was re-leased 2 hours after it was listed and the rest just fell into place. E crossed the channel with a rental van and we filled it with life’s most important necessities. The rest went back to Somerset until we moved to a bigger apartment at the end of the Summer. Now everything is here, and it turns out, home is where your heart is.
I’ve been in Paris 10 months now, and life has never passed by so quickly. My French is slowly improving (I went against everyone’s advice and enrolled in a school for 2 months which was hopeless, no surprise) but I’m getting by. It’s been a big step, but life is good. Moving into a new home in the Marais was a wonderful new chapter for us both (we moved 2 floors down in our building, so French). Our first home together, you can imagine my heart exploding at the prospect of decorating my first Parisian apartment. The high ceilings, full height French windows the hexagon tiled floors, a thick marble fireplace and, wait for it, a bath. I can get to the boulangerie and back for our croissant run in less than a minute.
Other personal moments we shared and got through have made me realise many things, but most of all, everything here is just fine, I’m having the time of my life, finally we’re living our life together. So my New Years wish from 2016 came true.
We’ve been so blessed to travel so frequently this past year. The front page of my website holds a quote by Ernest Hemmingway, “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love”. Now if there is one thing a long distance relationship has taught me, it’s the art of ‘weekending’. With very little planning (E not being one for booking in advance) we’d whizzed ourselves to some of the most beautiful locations over this past year at a moments notice. I hope this section can offer some inspiration for your year ahead. With the help of some super handy hotel booking apps (booking.com, late rooms.com, hoteltonight.com) we found ourselves some real gems.
Highlights? St Tropez off season, visiting the rose harvest in Grasse in April, Venice blew my mind, exploring Provence and Avignon have become our ’no brainer’ weekends. The TGV’s in France are a dream, and offer so much opportunity. We discovered so many beautiful guest houses and hotels in the South this summer, we just jumped on a train or short haul flight, or just hopped in the car letting the Michelin restaurant guide show us the way.
For the further afield the Bulgari hotel in Bali was incredible, I only wish we had longer in Bali, and hotel hopping in Los Angeles in August was pretty mega, I completely fell in love with the terrace at the Petit Ermitage. It was a dream come true to stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I also took my first flights in Business Class this summer, 5 long haul ones in a row so that’s us screwed for life now.
So to my hopes for 2017. Well wouldn’t it be wonderful to be typing my hopes for 2018 in French next year! I’m sure I said the same thing last January. My work life here in Paris holds a very different structure. Working from home comes with an enormous amount of self restraint and concentration. I had to mop the floors, put on the washing and fold all my jumpers before I could sit down this morning.
I have so many travel plans to look forward to this year. Spain, Africa, Japan, Switzerland and India are all ready for me plot and look forward to.
I hope you made your own 2017 wishes. Travel more!