winning the jackpot when it comes to finding a host family

Winning the jackpot, now wouldn’t that be nice. Though, I’ve come to realize that money doesn’t always mean happiness and that winning the so called lottery can actually refer to many other things in life, such as family. I really enjoy this quote as it’s been ever so true in my life so far here in Paris. The only reason that I’m even here is the fact that I essentially gambled with finding a family, not knowing what they would be like before arriving. In this instant I won but only because I made the decision to chance the unexpected in hope of hitting the so called jackpot, and here I am a winner.

I don’t want to sit here and boast about how amazing my life is here in Paris but boy, is it ever good. I’ve taken way too many things for granted in my life and being here is something I’m not about to let myself do again. I have the most amazing family here and am ever so fortunate to have found them or for them to have chosen me of all people to be apart of their family for the year. I’ve heard horror stories from other au pairs with their own situations resulting in many of them leaving which makes me that much more grateful.

This past Saturday, which is typically a day off for me, I was awakened by a slight knock on my bedroom door only to find that it was the father, inviting me to go to the supermarket with him to grab some groceries. Some groceries meaning 2-3 weeks worth. Of course I was more than enthused at this idea as it’s become a bi-weekly event for us, actually more like a language exchange date. We talk English on the way there so he can practice and than french on our way home for me. Following our expedition to Auchan we ate an Indian styled lunch that the father prepared and might I say was very proud about. That afternoon the family invited me to go to the cinema with them to watch Paddington, and I accepted the invitation of course. The movie was by far one of the cutest family films I have watched in a while, and being able to experience it with the three of them made it that much better, especially since I’m missing my own family over this holiday.

Yesterday morning, before I left for Paris the family asked me if I would be home for supper this evening and as the majority of Sunday evenings the answer is yes. They were more than thrilled at this response for some odd reason and therefore explained they would be cooking my favorite sweet potato fries which I haven’t had in 4 months, accompanied by a new red wine he had bought of course. This family has no obligation to do these small things for me, but gosh am i ever appreciative. The fact that they are making such an effort to make me feel as comfortable as possible in this foreign country is beyond what I expected when being welcomed into their family. While the mother did the nightly routine with Perrine the father and I enjoyed a bottle of red wine and had a pretty in depth conversation about the importance of spending time with your children. That’s one thing I notice with this family, is that they really focus on making the weekends family time with just the three of them.

It’s just the small things that really make the difference for me.

– Coming down stairs every morning to a fresh cup of coffee already prepared for me.
– the dad gave me his train ticket to London and back (okay this one is a bit more than a little gesture but very appreciated)
– they make an effort to make meals that they know I will enjoy
– after my showers at night there’s always a cup of green tea waiting for me in the living room
– they invite me to their family events and social gatherings as if I’m another member of the family
– they are never more than a day late with my weekly pay

It’s as if I was given the best of both worlds here; a good job and a great family.

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Don’t Skip the Museums in Paris

Flashback to a couple of months ago you would have heard me say “I have no interst in art or the history of paris, so why should i waste my money on museums”…. 

Boy was I ever wrong in saying that.

After four months of being abroad in Paris I am proud to announce that within the last 24 hours I have been to three museums and better yet, I enjoyed them! My host family was constatnly judgfing me on the fact that I had yet to expereince a museum while being here, so I finally bite the bullet and saw what they really had to offer.

Muse D’Orsay

The first one I went to was the Orsay located in the 7th arrondissement. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect when entering the building except the fact that it was well known and was a historical museum in Paris. Upon going through security I instantly knew that it was going to be an art museum and not so much focused on ancient history as I thought. I probably should have done a bit more research before just randomly choosing a museum, but I find the outcomes are always better when there are no specific plans.IMG_8102[1]

I now know that I am a HUGE fan of impression art which hung throughout the museum walls.

Musee du Luxembourg

The main reason that I went into this museum was because my host mother had proclaimed that the current exhibit was amazing. Let’s just say I was in and out within 30 mins, tops. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but I figured that it was bound to be good. I ended up having to pay 7.50 euros which was a bit much I thought considering it was only one exhibit and not a whole museum but nevertheless I did it.

 

Musee  de Quai Branly

One word; GO! This museum was incredible and filled with so many ancient artifacts from all over the world.  The museum features the works of art from Oceania, America, Africa and Asia. The best part though? The information regarding the artifacts are not only in french but in English too so I was able to understand everything without having to guess at the possibilities.

Whats crazy is the fact that the museum holds over 450 000 artifacts but only 3500 can be shown at a time. I can’t even imagine more history put into one building.

I was lucky enough that they still had their exhibit on Tattoos going on because it honestly blew me away. My thoughts of tattoos has changed completely after learning about the history and importance of body art.

After going to both an art museum and one focused more on history and artifacts I can honestly say that I’m by far more interested in history than art. That being said I now have a new found love and appreciation for art in general.

We all need a break once in a while

Rest. A four letter word that isn’t frequent enough in my life. I come from a family of people that are constantly on the go so it’s just been instilled in me as being the way to live. Yesterday was a remarkable moment in my life. I relaxed and did absolutely nothing but watch some good old Netflix.

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Maybe it was because I was still recuperating from my trip to London or the fact that I’m sicker than a dog but all I really wanted to do was to shower and watch tv, another thing I haven’t done in the 4 months I’ve been abroad. If you know me well enough you will know that this is something I NEVER do. No matter how hungover, sick, bored, tired I am… I always feel the need to leave the house and wander or do something. I like to think I get this on the go demeanor from both sides of my family. I mean, good luck EVER reaching my mother at home or my 75 year old grandmother who doesn’t stop from 4am on wards when she’s starting her mail route. I feel so blessed to have such hard working women in my life as role models because I wouldn’t want to be any other way. I can say it’s defiantly made me more productive of a person but at some point you just get worn out and need to rest.

So what did I learn from taking a day to just reposée as the french would say?

That I need to do more of it. I feel rejuvenated and so much less stressed, even though there really shouldn’t have been any in the first place. I watched a whole series of The Mindy Project, baked muffins for tomorrows breakfast and did a load of laundry. The whole laundry is actually quite a big accomplishment considering it takes a whole 3 hours just for the washing cycle to do its process. Oh, and why I just decided today to get hooked on this amazing TV show is beyond me. Mindy, my friend you are one funny chick. Upon picking my girl up from school I realized how much better of a mood I was in than I typically am when rushing from Paris to make the train in time. Since I had the whole day to do what my heart desired all I really wanted to do when we got home was to entertain her, which hasn’t happened in a long time since being here. Today I’ve finally realized that while I’m constantly trying to be as productive as I can be with the time i’m given, sometimes the most productive things are actually done with the least amount of effort. This relates back to my struggle with perfectionism and always trying to be the best, make good decisions, and accomplish as many things as I tell myself i’m capable of doing. We often put ourselves such a high pedestal of having these unrealistic expectations of ourselves and then when we fail we’re disappointed. If we lower those expectations ever so slightly and accept that no matter what we do in the course of a day, we will not find perfection, happiness will be found.

Let’s just say, these whole rest days will be happening more often.

10 Reasons why london is better than Paris

I think I have come to the conclusion that I need to stop taking these weekend trips while living in Paris simply because it’s making me become quite negative about the city. Before adventuring to other parts of Europe I thought that Paris was “all that” but sadly in my opinion that’s not been the case. Don’t get me wrong I love Paris without a doubt and am so grateful to be living here for the next 8 months but boy did I ever underestimate the rest of the continent!

In comparison the two cities are pretty similar. They both have well known attractions such as Big Ben the London eye and the tower bridge in London, whereas in Paris there’s the Eiffel tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame. The temperatures are relatively the same with Paris being every so slightly warmer. I’ve put together some of the reasons why I fell in love with London to share with y’all.

1. The people are 110% nicer.
I can’t sit here and sterotype all of the parisians for being rude but i’ve had some pretty unpleasant experiences that have led me to believe so. Upon arriving in London, I didn’t have one person purposly bump into me and if they did ther was a sympathtic sorry to instantly follow. When paying for items at the stores you’re actually greeted with a smile as if they actuall care about their customers; so refreshing from France.

2. There are coffee chains EVERYWHERE.
When I say everywhere, i mean it. I can’t even count the number of pret a manger’s that I passed or the numerious hidden starbucks throughout the city.

3. H&M stores aren’t on every street corner. 
Don’t get me wrong I like a good shopping day at H&M like any other girl but the temptation in Paris is way too much!

4. It doesn’t smell like pee everywhere.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say this scent has something to be desired.

5. It’s clean!
The fact that smoking along the streets just didn’t happen was a blessing let me tell you. I’m not a fan of having people either blow smoke in my face or having a cigarette flung into my face. Another fact was that I didn’t see one person on the streets begging for money, this being said I didn’t experience the metro system so that could be a different story.

6. The museums are FREE.
Oh the magical 4 letter that makes me happier than the bees. One of the main reasons I haven’t made more of an effort to go to ones in Paris yet is because they cost money unless I want to attempt to enter on the first Sunday of the month.

7. The men on the streets selling chestnuts in Paris? Yeah I didn’t see any in London.
I’m sorry, but I really don’t enjoy men trying to pressure me into buying their hot chestnuts that they cook in a shopping cart. It’s dirty, annoying and plain weird.

8. People speak English, my mother tongue.
This is completely biased towards any English speaking people but it was refreshing to be able to understand everything.

9. There are free WiFi phone booths throughout the city.
These converted telephone booths saved my but a couple of times when I needed to connect to WiFi and better yet they were free!

10. I’ll take fish and chips over foie gras any day

The negative?
It’s god awfully expensive that’s for sure. Currently with the conversion rate between CAD and GDP is doubled.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the two cities!

Weekend trip to London via Eurostar

Day 1 – First train ride, Christmas Markets & fellow Canadians

The morning started off very hectic; between the daily task of getting Perrine off to school and trying to pack a week in a bookbag (leaving space might i add for purchase of course). I was actually pretty excited to take this trip. Thankfully the station for the eurostar is relatively easy to get to from my own train station which took no time at all.

Thank god I took my host dad’s advice and came to the station early because they allowed us to board 30 mins before we were supposed to leave. At this point I was feeling pretty confident in that fact that I had made it through immigration and to my proper quai with time to spare. I descended the stairs to the train and entered the first door i saw and found a seat with my number 21 on it. I was sitting for probably 2 minutes before a couple came and told me that I was in there seat. I showed them my ticket in annoyance with my seat number on it which they proceeded to show me that the word “voie” actually means something and wasn’t just an extra number on my ticket. Apparently there are different cars so I happened to be in 18 when I should have been all the way in 10. Whoops. Why I thought that there would only be one seat numbered 21 i have no idea.

Anyways, let’s just say it all worked out for the better anyways. Car 18 is actually for “business class “ members which apparently my ticket was for. Another whoops. I swear my blonde is showing more and more lately. so you may wonder why I have a business class ticket considering that’s so not my style but my host dad willingly offered me one of his tickets he gets through work. Another reason why I am so god awfully lucky to have such an amazing host family. Business class, consisted of only half of the seats being filled of english speaking businessmen and then there was me, a poor Canadian au pair; gotta love it.

Along with business class came the free food. My favorite part of travelling! Sadly because it was only 11am I turned down the free wine regretting it after the fact of course. The trip was a fast 2 hours and before I knew it we were there.

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Shockingly they do have buses like I’d imagined!

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What a beautiful view

IMG_0484  Yeah, he was a bit bigger than I expected!

Arriving in London I instantly knew that I was going to love the city, maybe not the prices, but the atmosphere was completely different. The people for one thing were NICE, which is refreshing to say the least when comparing it to my experiences so far in Paris. Once again I didn’t have internet access but I downloaded an offline map before leaving which was going to be my guide for the day. I knew that I was going to be alone all day which was honestly fine by me because it gave me a chance to walk and adventure the city by foot. I swear that I went into every store possible that I thought would have been the least bit interesting. Thanks to my grandfather Cress I have a HUGE love for running errands and am always running between shops to scope the best deals. There weren’t many “deals” but I sure did find some pretty neat things that I know I can’t get back home.

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Toffee infused vodka!
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The beautiful Christmas Markets

I arrived at the hostel 6 hours later than when I arrived at the train station so needless to say I was tired, cold and in desperate need for some type of alcohol beverage (sorry mom!) I was in a room with 13 other people who turned out to be an amazing crowd mostly Americans to be honest. When I was walking down the stairs to the bar I saw someone wave to me outside the doors which through me for a loop considering I had just arrived and knew absolutely no one. Turns out he thought i was someone else but hey! he was Canadian and i ended up spending the whole evening with him and some Australian ladies I met! When I first entered the bar I was alone but if you know me well enough i’m not the shy type or haven’t been lately since being abroad.

I saw a group of 4 girls who looked about my age laughing and drinking, kind of making me jealous more than anything, so what do i do? Grab a drink and introduce myself as the Canadian who’s actually living in Paris but travelling in London. Introductions are always interesting that’s for sure. Their response to my spontaneous action? “you know what girl, I like your confidence”

Confidence.. something that I recently just acquired. I mean, I’ve always had a hint of it but for different reasons. Growing up I used my ability to play sports as my confidence booster but once those days ended, I kind of lost myself for a while. Since arriving in Europe I’m learning who I am again, what makes me happy and how to simply enjoy life, all because of my new-found confidence. I’m not afraid to try and speak french and be wrong or make decisions that may not be the best choice, but that’s finally okay with me. Perfection is invisible.

Day 2 – Hop on hop off Buses, pee breaks, and cards

I woke up around 9:30 thinking that I was going to be late to meet my friends Julie and Courtney who had arrived at midnight the night before. Come to find out London is an hour behind Paris, who knew. After having a horrible breakfast of toast and ham, (shame on you belushis) we met our other friend Katie in the lobby to plan our day. The girls found this hop on hop off bus that happened to be 10 pounds cheaper than what the hostel was offering but it wasn’t the easiest procedure thats for sure. We each bought the tickets on our dying cellphones and then had to forward the tickets to the hostel staff where they thankfully printed them out for us. Next task was to find the closest hop on stop, which was only 10 mins down the street; go us!

I’m going to admit that when my friends told me that this is what they wanted to do I was hesitant. First off because it was 23 pounds which is $44 in Canadian dollars. Secondly because the route was the same landmarks that I had seen the day before on my walking trip. Fast forward to a couple hours later you would’ve heard me saying how awesome I thought the bus trip was. Needless to say, if you’re in London splurge a little and get the bus ticket! They take you to all of the popular monuments and areas of the city while providing a audio playback of history and facts throughout the journey. We jumped off by Hyde park but were starving so instead of hitting the Winter wonderland we took a stroll which ended up taking almost 2 hours to find a place to eat with seating. After stuffing our bellies we went back to Hyde Park thinking we were going to be drinking mulled wine and eating chocolate all night only to see how insanely large the lineup was changing our plans a little. Okay a lot. We caught the bus again and headed back to the hostel.

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Winter Wonderland!

I swear I have the bladder of a pregnant woman. I knew as soon as I hoped on that bus there was no way that I was going to be able to last the hour ride back without having to go. About 20 mins of suffering later I had left my friends on the bus and I hopped off at a random stop to find a bathroom. Stupid? Probably but when a girls gotta go, nothing is stopping her. Needless to say finding another bus wasn’t all the difficult and before I knew it I was back at the hostel joining my friends.

So what kind of shenanigans do 4 young girls do on a Saturday night in London? Oh boy, prepare yourselves …. We played rummy, drank cider and ate food in the hostel bare. I know, pretty crazy right? This is what happened when you’re an au pair and work all week! On the weekends you just want to relax which was fine by me last night considering I was recovering from my karaoke session the night before and I had a lovely cold. We called it a night around 11:30 and parted our ways for the night.

That night I just couldn’t sleep, probably a mix of the temperature of the room and my growing sickness. I decided not to waste the day and headed out exploring before my friends had even gotten out of their rooms. Once again I spent the day walking the city and finding things that I hadn’t seen the day before. It was drizzling but that wasn’t going to stop me from seeing things.

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Chocolate tools at the market!

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Tea Testing was a must!

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The covert garden market- A must see!

7 things you must try at a Paris Christmas Market

When going to a Parisian christmas market prepare yourself to be surrounded by a lot of food, and not your typical baguette, cheese and macarons either. Of course there’s wine but not just any wine, it’s hot! The markets are filled with many traditional Christmas dishes from other surrounding European countries such as Germany, Norway, Sweden and there’s even a Brazilian bar just in case you want a different scene. The problem isn’t finding food to eat because there’s plenty of it to go around, but to avoid the temptation of everything! Thankfully there are stand which offer free samples if you ask so you can try everything!

What you must try at one of these markets

1. Mulled wine.

This is definitely the most common item that you will find this at most stands throughout the market. It’s a typical Christmas drink in Europe and consists of red wine mixed with spices and heated and then served.

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2. Sausage. 

I am not typically someone who would even think twice about eating a raw sausage but they were giving out free samples and there’s nothing better than FREE. So, truth be told the samples did what they were set out to do and sold me on them.

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3. Raclettes

As i’ve mentioned before the smell is nothing to go telling your mother about let me tell you, but apparently they are a must here in France. They involve cheese so of course it would, right?

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4. Sausage and Sauerkraut

These bad boys cost 12 euros but don’t think you’re getting short changed. They are HUGE and so tasty but plan to wait in line for a while especially if you go at night because there is always a crowd surrounding these booths!

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5. Gingerbread cone with melted chocolate

I had never seen this before so I was a bit apprehensive of chocolate being on top of gingerbread, where as I’m used to eating it with whip cream but I gave it a try. One word, AMAZING. The gingerbread had such a wonderful flavor and accompanied with chocolate was just to die for. The cone factor was also a great choice so I could continue on my way through the markets with it.

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If you’re not into the chocolate factor than be sure to still get your hands on a fresh load of pain d’epices or gingerbread as we would call it!IMG_0357

5. Canadian Treasures.

I stumbled upon this stand randomly and was thrilled that my country was being represented in a completely different continent. I ended up talking to the girl who was working the stand for more than 10 minutes and surprisingly she even knew where Nova Scotia was! You can find canadian beer, maple cookies, syrup (of course), maple butter and even some baking mixes!IMG_0318

6. Chocolate covered Fruit

I’ve obviously had a candy and caramel apple before but never a chocolate one, let alone other fruit dipped in chocolate. They literally took anything they could, stuck it on a stick and dipped it in chocolate! I have yet to try the chocolate coconut or pear but i’m determined to before the christmas markets are over.

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7. Foie Gras

I’ve already tasted foie gras as I’ve been here for 3 months now and my family has pretty well forced me to try any and all of the french cuisine. The whole duck liver really isn’t all that appealing to me but if you haven’t tried it than the Christmas markets would be a great place to check it out!

IMG_0343I hope if you make it to a Christmas market this year in Paris you get a chance to taste some of the yummy goodies they have to offer! Merry Christmas from Paris !

 

Birthday Celebrations in Paris

Last Night I had the chance of attending birthday celebrations at the father’s house of my host mom here. Notice how I said celebrations and not party because it wasn’t a celebration just for one person but yet all of the family members that were born within the last 6 months of the year. The family holds this get together twice a year and I thankfully was invited to meet the rest of the family members and also experience my first birthday party in France.

I was literally in shock; culture shock that is. 

Initial thoughts were:

1. Where are the decorations!?

2. No cake?!

3. Okay,where is the bowl of chips and dip hiding!

4. hmmm, so what about the birthday song along with candles?


We started the “gouter” around 4pm with an assortment of appetizers but don’t think it was your typical veggies & dip, chips and pepperoni. There was a quiche, an onion and olive tart, baguette (obligatory), salmon slices and a bowl of tuna dip. Oh and don’t let me forget champagne and wine of course. We all took a little bit of everything and sat in a circle and chatted about random things in life which seemed to be similar to our parties at home. Typically we would than sing happy birthday and the cake would be brought out with candles but that was not the case here. Two tarts were brought out, that had already been cut into, along with a bowl of clementines. There was no singing, no candles, no wishes in sight but hey! there was dessert! All in all, I’m so glad that I experienced this celebration because that’s the main reason I came here to Paris was to be immersed in a unknown culture. 

I have to admit that the tart was delicious but boy am I ever missing those storebought pound cakes with the rich icing on top! It’s not even that they are all that good but it resembles home and comfort which is lacking here that’s for sure.

 

Have you found any traditions abroad that are different than your own? 

Wine Tasting in France – Check!

When your family offers you tickets to a wine testing expo, take them! Apparently yore suppose to just “taste” the wine than spit it out but what fun would that be? Julie and I left around 3 and were feeling a great sense of intoxication by 4:30, but thankfully there was not only free samples of alcohol but food too!

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It was a little bigger than I had imagined 

So the real question did I buy anything , me being so fugal with everything?

Yep! I caved and no not because I was intoxicated either. We ended up coming across a stand that wasn’t on my list of “must taste” wine , generously given to me by my host dad. A63 was the number , and it’s probably one j won’t forget. The man selling the wine was an older gentleman but took a different approach when trying to pawn off his wine. He proactively asked us to try t for one which didn’t happen at any other places . This being said we were two young girls who many people would assume weren’t going to pay money for a good bottle of wine; we sure showed them. Anyways after we explained our life stories, or quite frankly why two Canadian and Danish girls were at a wine expo, he started pouring wine into our glasses. After a quick swish he dumped them out. Here I was thinking , what a waste but he wanted to make sure we tasted only his wine. Then he started with his cheapest wine and so forth until he got to the one named Louis.. Which we found out was named after his son. IMG_7140

oh aren’t we just the cutest!

His wine may not have been the so called “best” wine there, but the way he chose to make his sale to us was enough for me. I really don’t know how anyone can say one wine is better than another anyways considering we all have our own preferences with taste.

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I’m having a hard time deciding if i’m now a red wine lover, because the white there was amazing!

After we felt like we had enough wine and champagne we headed to the food area where of course there were free samples. Julie and I are pretty much champions when it comes to snagging free things or so it seems. If you liked foe gras you would have been in heaven, for us not so much.

I give Julie credit for carrying around 5 bottles of wine, when I only had 2 because they are not the lightest accessories that’s for sure. We than headed to my first Danish Christmas market and tried typical danish Christmas cookies and boy were they ever good! They reminded me of our gingerbread men that we have at home, but smaller and even spicier! 

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My favorite Dane 

We ended our Saturday a lot earlier than we normally were, but that being said we had a very busy day full of lots of laughs and A LOT of wine. Finally after three weeks I’ve been at the camps d’elysses at night time to see the amazing lights that everyone has been boasting about! They are AMAZING and really prove the fact that Paris is known as the city of lights. I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight. IMG_7164

Even the best fall down sometimes… some more than others

Waking up this morning reminded me of why i don’t drink often let alone during the week when i have to work at 7 the next morning. Let’s just say trying to dress a kid, brush her teeth and feed her while working on 4 hours of sleep is not an easy task. No regrets of course as I’ve learned to take every opportunity possible and last night I sure as well did that.

Unlike the majority of people suffering from the morning after a night out or simply a “hangover” I decided to try and make it a good day. I made myself a huge bowl of oatmeal, a cup of coffee and found an Advil before setting off for Paris.

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Thursdays are the day i usually put aside to roam Paris alone because like everyone I need my me time.  Every week I will pick a station that I haven’t been to before and get off and wander the streets to see what I can find. Today, I hit the jackpot; literally a bakers heaven.IMG_7058IMG_7061

sprinkle heaven!
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covered passages 

I’ve decided that I will be enrolling in an advanced business French class for the next two semesters which is a whopping 1100 euros, kill me now. The plan for today was to go to the school to pay and save my seat for the course which I successfully did, only to find out after that there are only 2 of us enrolled right now and the class will not run unless there’s at least 6.

CHANGE, i hate change.

 

I left the school not on a particularly happy note being forced with yet, more decisions.IMG_7054

Christmas trees are so tiny here!

THEN, if it wasn’t bad enough the first time when I got pushed down in Paris, It happened yet again but this time my phone flew from my hands and the screen… shattered. Happy Thursday to me. There I was in tears over a phone in the middle of Paris. Yes, I cried. My iPhone has become such a central part of my life so seeing it completely broken didn’t go over too well. Then I got harassed by a man who had the nerve to tell me that I shouldn’t have my phone out in public.

Thank god I still had the ability to call people because I needed to talk to my parents, bad. Thankfully I have the most amazing father and mother who were able to calm me down even being in another country and reassured me that life will get better.My phone = my communication with my family therefore an essential part of my life here.

Here I am ranting about something that really is so minor in life when I should be thankful I even have a phone in the first place or the fact that I’m living in Paris. Theoretically my day was not that bad at all to be honest compared to what it could have been, but it was out of the norm which really throws me off. I feel so selfish now about my reaction to this day, it’s thanksgiving for gods sake and I have so many things to be thankful for in this life I’ve been given.

Above everything, i’m so thankful for my family and how much support they have provided me with throughout the years. We often bypass the importance of a strong family bond but it’s essential in my opinion. They’ve put up with my nonsense as every parents do but more than that they’ve created a vision of who and what I want to be someday. My father and my mother are the top two role models in my life (both for different reasons of course) and I’m just praying I turn out half as successful as they have been.IMG_7068So the real question is how do you do starbucks?

Happy thanksgiving my american readers!

Decisions will be the death of me

I’ll admit it, i’m a perfectionist. I always want to know what i’m doing next and hate change. Of course, I’ve had to step outside of my comfort zone a little bit, okay A LOT, since being here in Paris. I am never 100% of what i’m doing from one day to another which has been a huge change for me, but definitely a much needed one. As I’ve learned the hard way, life isn’t perfect as much as I would love for it to be, and for everything to also work out as planned.

Here I am with about eight months left of my time here abroad and i’m already thinking of “what’s next”. This could be a negative thing of course because when I think, i tend to over think which leads to stress and as we all know, stress is never good. Logically speaking I should at least have an idea of where I want to go when I’m finished, let alone what I want to be doing there. There’s so many questions and decisions to make and yes, I realize that I still have a long time until I make the final move, there’s a lot of preparation that needs to happen in order for some of those choices to even be possible.

Up until today I was dead set against taking another semester of french lessons after Christmas. For one, they are 500 euros every 10 weeks, secondly,I didn’t feel that I’m learning enough in my classes as it is. Of course there’s always something that will make you second guess your decision.  Today in class we we were informed of a professional french class aimed at students that want a more advanced class leading to a certificate in the end which is recognized worldwide. Considering I have an education in the finance industry this could be extremely helpful, but is that really what I want with my life?

How am I supposed to know.

Stats show that people change jobs 5-7 in their lifetime so at least this gives me hope that even if it’s not what I “want” I’ll eventually get there.

Maybe I’ll go back to university or open a bakery but the unfortunate thing is that the only person that can decide that is simply me, and I have no answer. I need to keep my head up and my options open because I am not going to let myself fall back into the stressful life I was living, when really there was no stress needed at all. I tend to get caught up in trying to always make the right choice, which I’ve learnt is not always possible because who can declare the correct choice in any given situation anyways. I have dreams as does anyone, and yes some are unrealistic but this path i’m on currently had definitely given me faith that when you let go and just live, you’ll find happiness which is what we all should want in the end. I’ve grown up watching so many people around me living their lives in an atmosphere that they aren’t happy with and I’m determined not to let myself fall onto that path.

So my decision? I still don’t a direct answer which must mean that I have yet to find what I came here for. Time will tell all.