Reflect on 2015
2015 has been a wild one, let's reflect...
I've laughed, cried, travelled, quit jobs, got new ones, made friends and ate all the food. It's had lows and extreme highs, I think when I think back to 2015 I'll remember how much I travelled and challenged myself to develop and grow.
At the start of 2015, I returned to France to complete my second semester of my year abroad of my degree. With the gift of hindsight, I wish when my mum said to me at Christmas last year "You don't have to go back you know, we won't be disappointed" I should've said "thank god". Truth is, I wasn't worried about coming home early and disappointing my mum, I didn't want to disappoint myself by only doing half a year in France. For those who wanna know a little more, I moved to Brittany, France to a small city called Rennes to take the second year of my degree abroad as part of the Erasmus+ programme. I loved being abroad, I'm not much of a home body. I love trying new experiences and trying new things. I didn't speak French prior to moving to France, but I was keen to learn a language and experience a different culture. Long story short, the University I went to was pretty awful and I was the first from my home University to go study there (should've seen the warning signs from there). The organisation was nonexistent! I was studying on their English Program which meant my modules were taught in English but I did 4 hours a week of French language classes. As I didn't feel I was learning French as well as I'd liked in the first semester, I started doing extra classes at another University in the city, so I was doing 8 hours a week of French language classes. I had several problems with the University, which I'm not going to list off in this post; but if you see me around I'd be more than happy to discuss at length!
Although I didn't massively enjoy my second semester, I was involved in a car crash which has damaged my back and neck has stopped me from doing many things I love such as running (still can't run - cry) and I was on bed rest of 3 weeks; 3 weeks of classes I struggled to keep up with classes from my bed and missed out on being sociable with my friends. But luckily, I did make more amazing friends from all over the globe and cannot wait to see them all again!
The most stand out date in my mind from living in France for me was the Charlie Hebdo shooting, so many people reached out to check I was okay; which was so sweet. Although, I lived over an hour away from Paris there was a shift in energy even in Rennes.
Let's move on to February, after a few weeks back at school, we had a break! So I headed back to London, did some freelance work, caught up with friends and went up north to visit my friends and family. I started interviewing for summer internships and was offered a few, but in the end I wasn't willing to accept as due to the lack of pay. When will businesses realise it's beyond ridiculous to expect students to intern in London on little to no pay! I loved travelling to and from London during my year abroad, I can't tell you how many flights and Eurostar train's I've been on in the past 12 months! (Honestly, I tried to find all my tickets to count!)
We met Jamie in Amsterdam, (she's my Canadian angel) and went to see Nicki Minaj in concert with Trey Songz. Yeah, it was amazing. This was my 6th or 7th time in Amsterdam, it's my favourite city in Europe (I've visited so far!) and I would love to spend more of my life there! However, I've never been to Amsterdam at the right time of year to visit the Keukenhof Gardens for the Tulip fields. It was beyond gorgeous, and I'd 100% recommend visiting! If you'd like to see a travel guide, let me know!
I think May was were I'd really had enough of my time in France, and I couldn't wait to move home. I had a crazy feeling come over me one evening, and booked flights and hotels in Paris. I'd never travelled alone, but those 4 days I spent in Paris alone were the best therapy. I ate what I wanted, I went to sights I wanted to see, I went back to the hotel and lay down when I wanted, I drank as much vino and champers I wanted. I felt so liberated, it was bizarre but it was a defining experience.
I returned to Rennes and completed my final examinations before flying back to London - for the last time. That's it, my time in France was over. I was glad to see the back of Rennes, it's such a wonderful city to visit - just not to live in! Don't let me put you off visiting. My mum and sister whisked me off to Kent for a girly spa weekend away, it was exactly what the doctor ordered! Oh, and I went to Beauty Con London! I met some wonderful ladies and picked up some amazing products!
My summer is a blur, June - July - August were strange for me. Finding my feet again in London and working in a job I hated was awful. My highlight was my cousin from San Fran coming to stay, it was so nice to have her over and show her more of London. And before I knew it, September was knocking on our door! I changed job, started working for my favourite workout location in London and returned to University!
I turned 21 in October, I spent my birthday in Barcelona with my Family. It my second time in Barcelona - for the record, it was much warmer in October than November! I was able to explore much more, we ate in some wonderful restaurants and cocktails! I love Barcelona, it's really grown on me. The city/beach really is the best of both worlds!
4 weeks later, I found myself taking my 2nd trip of a lifetime (Thailand last year was my 1st!). I went to New York and Washington, D.C! I'd never been to America, I'd saved my pennies for this trip and it was a dream come true! I'll never forget how I felt when I sat down on my seat on the plane before we took off "hard work really does pay off"! I spent 7 days in America, a weekend in D.C. surprising my best friend and the week in New York with my family and shopping - of course! I plan on going back in 2016, as part of my #secretproject - I can't wait to tell you more and share 2016!
I have so many goals I'd love to achieve in 2016, I like to keep my cards pretty close to my chest but here's a few:
- Have better communication with my friends and family (I'm sorry for being the worst at texting back)
- Spend more time alone - not working, meditate!
- Don't be afraid to ask for help
- Love, laugh and dream more.
Thank you for sharing 2015 with me and reflecting. We've had an amazing blogging year together. Thank you all so much for reading, sharing, watching, subscribing, liking and commenting. It really means the world.