Taking 2017 head on

I’m jumping on the “end of the year-happy new year” bandwagon a bit late but believe it or not I was busy spending quality times with loved ones. And eating. Of course.

2016 is over… It is a relief for many who want to see the new year in an optimistic light. I really want to be optimistic too. But truth be told, I’m tired. And nostalgic.

The year 2016 will go down in History as the year of Brexit, the absurd election of a 70 year old child. The year horror went on in Syria and the year horror crashed our shelters.

And yet, I look back on 2016 wondering what I can do in my life to make myself as happy as I was then. Because yes, 2016 was the happiest years of my life. I enjoyed every second of my life in Paris where I made the most movie-like memories, finding a direction thanks to an invaluable internship at Le Fooding, encountered the most interesting people from chefs to writers and photographers. After 4 years of long distance relationship, Julien finally moved back on the same continent as me, and so did many of my best friends who had chosen to study so far away.

I never travelled as much as I did in 2016. Visiting my family in Vietnam after being gone for over 4 years, exploring more of France, crossing the Atlantic ocean one last time to see my loving boyfriend in DC and discovering more of the East Coast. I explored Italy with my two best friends. I saw tulips in Amsterdam and ate Pasteis de Nata in Portugal. I travelled back and forth on the Eurostar between my adoptive and my favourite cities. Jumped on a train to Cambridge to finally understand what all that Oxbridge rivalry was about…

2016 was a dream.

I had to wake up.

And in October, reality’s alarm clock rang. It rang loud. It rang hard. It kicked me in the butt so bad I had to battle with my body to at least make it through Oxford’s dreaded return-of-the-year-abroad term. Since then, I’ve just been tired. And in my worst breakdowns, I wondered where it all went. The restful nights of sleep, the super active days bursting with energy, the free time to meet up with friends, the exciting walks with camera in hand, simply smiling for no reason. It was so easy to have it all when I lived in Paris for some reason.

And I realise I can have it in London, even in Oxford ! It’s going to take more work. But I need to make it happen.  I can’t sob in the staircase anymore, hoping it will all magically come back. It won’t. I have to make it happen. Or I won’t make it till July 22nd. The day I finally graduate. And leave Oxford student life with its best and its worst behind.

I don’t think I’m bad at balancing work and life. But my body is. It let me go 2 months ago and I’m still dealing with the remains of whatever that shitty virus did to me. I need to gain back control over my body, and thus over my life. I need the energy that fitness and wholesome eating used to  bring me in order to fight the stress exams will bring upon the next 6 months. And then deal with the abyss of the question: “What next?”.

But one challenge at a time. The finish line is mid-June, the day I jump in that river covered in confetti after I complete my very last exam.

Whether 2016 was a great or horrible for you, let’s make sure 2017 is a good one and let’s do so by taking control over it and all the things in our lives that try to step in our way.

Happy New Year everyone !!

Instead of one picture, I thought I’d share now some of a little review of the highlights of 2016 as seen on the blog.

Kicking off 2016 with some cold winter Paris



My trip to Vietnam



Many water colour Promenades sur Seine
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Exploring Bordeaux



Exploring Nantes



Eating the world’s best cupcakes in Georgetown with my other half



Discovering Philly



Falling in love with Venice



Missing a train to Florence !



Walking 20k steps daily in Rome



Amsterdam during tulip season



Seeing some castles outside of Paris: Sceaux

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Watching the best sunsets from my dear friends’, Maia and Andrew, flat before discussing Game of Thrones



Les eaux nocturnes de Versailles

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Landing a job at Le Fooding



Visiting the most beautiful French castle: Vaux le Vicomte



Time travelling in Paris during La Traversée



I said goodbye to this daily view



Hello Portugal !



Cambridge, finally !



My Pentax K1000 thanks mother nature for blessing us with beautiful seasons



Landing back in Paris where this incredible year started