Cathedral Cove, Coromandel, New Zealand

After living overseas for a few years, I have come to appreciate my home country so much more. Don’t get me wrong – I have visited some beautiful places, but I think when you grow up somewhere you don’t really see it as a paradise but more an every day thing.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a few days off work, so I headed to the Coromandel with some good friends of mine. While we were there, we decided to walk the track to Cathedral Cove – a marvellous beach. It is a major tourist attraction and the beginning scene of Narnia was even filmed there!

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Paris, Mon Amour

I don’t know if its just me, but when I travel somewhere, I want to make the most of my time there and see as much as I can in the short period of time. But sometimes that travel book you spend €15 on can take up your time flicking through trying to find that one page you saw a few days ago.

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After recently moving back to Paris for another year abroad, I have come to realise there is so much more to this city than what is on these pages. The best way to see Paris is to get lost in it’s magical streets (but always have your map with you of course!), explore new areas and find the hidden gem’s that Paris has to offer.
However, spending the afternoon under the Eiffel Tower with a book, baguette, cheese, wine, and lovely company will never become old to me.

I am feeling so content with my life and the choices I have made. I cannot see myself living anywhere else in the world right now, than where I am currently.
Paris has this “charm”. It used to be a love/hate relationship between Paris and I. But I have officially fallen head over heals for the city of lights, love, hope, and dreams, and can’t wait to find out more about myself that I never knew.

At present, I am drawn towards the quote:
“Take every chance, Drop every fear”

I feel like if I try incorporate this into my daily life, I’ll have not a care in the world. I’d take each day as it comes and not look back and say ‘what if’ (even if its ‘what if i’d have had that croissant).

T Minus 17 Days

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like time has been flying by lately.
After a stressful past few months, I can finally say I have everything organised for when I move to Paris. I can now relax and actually start looking forward to all the exciting opportunities coming my way.

However, trying to pack my whole life into one suitcase has proven difficult. I know i’ll get there and wish I had something that I did not take with me, but I guess thats just part of the journey of moving overseas. But let’s not forget Los Angeles. I asked myself the question “Will I buy things in LA?”, what a silly question. For those of you who know me personally, you should know that I like to shop. And what happens when you take someone to LA who likes to shop? They buy things. This means that I have to leave New Zealand without a full suitcase to allow room for all of the items I buy while i’m in America. Wish me luck!

June has been a cold and gloomy month, with constant rain, and sunshine only peaking through the clouds for only a few minutes a day. This type of weather calls for coffee dates with my closest friends. Maybe a bit too much coffee, but a coffee a day keeps the doctor away, right?
I’m longing for the Californian summer sun – where my days will be spent on the beach. 17 days to go.

Travel Planning

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As my departure is coming closer each week, I am dreaming of picturesque places to visit during August.

Flicking through the pages of my Lonely Planet travel guide for France, I am falling in love with so many places I didn’t even know exist.
Despite the fact I am going to be on a tight budget until I start work in the fall, I am determined to visit a few of these magical towns I have discovered.

#1 on my list being COLMAR

To me this town looks breath-taking. It may be a small town, but the architecture of the buildings is grasping my attention and making me want to go and photograph this marvellous place.

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#2 MONT ST-MICHEL

An ancient castle on an island in North-Western France, who wouldn’t want to visit this?

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#3 CHATEAU DE CHAMBORD

This castle looks like something of a fairytale. It is the largest Chateau in the Loire Valley and was built in the 16th Century.

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#4 GIVERNY

Here you can visit Monet’s Garden, where he painted his famous painting of “Water lilies and the Japanese Bridge”.

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#5 STRASBOURG

Another charming town that has caught my eye and only a 2 and a half hour train ride from Paris.

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California, Here I come

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Today I booked my flight to Los Angeles. It’s hard to believe that in less than two months, i’ll be spending half of summer in Los Angeles, and the second half back in Europe!

I’m trying to decide what to do for the month of August. I’ll be flying back to Paris around the 3rd, but unsure what to do for that whole month! I’d love to be able to do some more travelling around Europe, it just depends on how my saving goes before I leave New Zealand.

I’ve started going through all of my things-  trying to decide what I can sell. I feel like i’m a clothes horder and I don’t want to get rid of anything 😦

Trying to get everything organised for my visa for France now, fingers crossed it all runs smoothly!

Wanderlust

It’s funny how one word can describe my exact feelings. The strong desire to rove or travel about. Wanderlust.

For me, it started in August 2012, when I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to move to Paris, and live and work as an au pair.
Coming from New Zealand, I was opened up to an entirely different part of the world.
Different lifestyles, different food, different languages, different architecture.

Living in Paris gave me the chance to visit a few of the close countries to France.
In the early period of November, I disembarked on my first adventure to the city of Milan, Italy. During the christmas period I explored London and Amsterdam. In May I travelled around the South of France with my parents. Then during the summer, I took part in a Contiki tour around Italy, and met my friend afterwards on Santorini Island in Greece for some rest and relaxation.

When the excitement of returning back home after one year abroad had worn off, I began to go “crazy”. Where I live in New Zealand, there aren’t many things to do. I had come back to the same job, moved back home with my parents, and tried to fit back into my friends lives that had continued on without me there. I began to feel like I was in a bit of a “funk” and wanted change.

After some hard work and dedication, I managed to save enough money for a trip back to France, to visit my friends and host family in March.
I spent most of my time in Paris, but I couldn’t resist a quick stopover in London. Despite being extremely jet lagged – as New Zealand is 13 hours ahead of the UK, I was up bright and early every morning, ready for some exploring and/or shopping. It was hard for me to refrain from shopping, as every single shop in the UK and Europe does not exist in NZ. Image
After 3 days in London, Paris was just a 3 hour train ride away.
Greeted with beautiful weather and some delicious pastries, I remembered my love for this city and realised it felt like home. I think after spending so much time in such a wonderful place last year, I had started to take it for granted. I spent my 3 weeks in Paris discovering all it’s beauty’s, and devouring too much unhealthy – yet delicious food.

I have come back from my trip, more certain than ever, that I, not want, but need to move back to Europe.
I’m not sure when or where, but I hope sometime soon.
It might be working as an au pair again in Paris, It might be picking fruit on an orchard in Italy, or I might be working in a hotel in London.
Whatever it is, permanent or temporary, I can’t wait to start. I’m ready to see and explore more of the world.

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