Merry Christmas, everyone!
I hope your celebrations have been going well and that you've been able to experience joy with your loved ones this season, even in the midst of what feels to be a particularly strife-ridden and loss-filled holiday this year (to me at least). Cheers to a season of new beginnings and new hope!
As I've been home for Christmas break and celebrating with family and friends before heading back to London for a new year and new term, one of my biggest realizations has been that...
The adventurer in me has been awakened!
Not sure when it occurred or why exactly, but I'm seeing a deep desire within me grow to explore the world and experience it, in all of its majesty and grit. More and more, I'm realizing how much time and energy I've spent focusing on work and my future aspirations that I've often lost sight of enjoying the present. Thus, I'm trying to make it a practice to place myself, in big and small ways, in situations where I'm pushed to conquer my fears, get out of my comfort zone, and enjoy life. To explore the world and who I am.
Within the next year, among other European countries, I'm trying to visit Spain, Italy, and maybe Iceland. I've heard that the sights, food, and adventures offered in these places are phenomenal. The Icelandic volcanoes, hot springs, and Northern Lights sound incomparable. To see Venice, the "Sinking City," before it's gone is a definite bucket list item. And I've loved Spain and studied Spanish culture for ages. So why not, right?
In addition, I'm starting to plan a summer trip to Vietnam and maybe Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore, pending I finish my master's thesis in time. It's in the early stages of planning and I have yet to pull the trigger, but I'm really excited about potentially traveling and enjoying the sights, tastes, and smells of Southeast Asia, wandering around the motherland, getting in touch with my roots, and going spelunking! (If you don't know what that is, you should definitely look it up.)
Yep, a lot of exciting things are brewing... I'll be sure to keep you all posted! Be on the lookout soon for a more serious piece I wrote after being prompted to reflect upon my personal narrative and the identities I hold.
For now, though, I hope you enjoy these highlights from my trip to Paris from last month. Feel free to ask me what it was like to travel solo and be in a country where I didn't speak the native tongue; to visit historically and spiritually significant landmarks; and why I almost punched an aggressive Frenchmen/hustler!
Au revoir and until next time!
One Weekend in Paris:
(Yes, the food in Paris deserved its own album. It was that good!)