Return to Paris

Cyclic nature of travel. It was really nice to have an anchor to return to before flying home… somewhere that I could call ‘stability’ in reference to the mind-state I was in on commencing my journey abroad and that which I would leave from. Very strangely, some may say, I was excited to go home. I had been dreading my journey coming to a close – but as I boarded the train from Germany into France the knowledge of a certain cycle in my life having started really began to sink in. This wasn’t the end at all – I knew it. Travel is hard to save for, organise… but so is the rest of life. Anything can be possible if we allow it to be.

As I sat on the train, passing by this stage through Belgium, I began to write again – small fragments of poetry (this is how my journals turn out – I’ve learnt to accept it now) and thinking about a plan for when I returned to Sydney. On this blog I try not to speak too much about personal and work life but here I will. I was stuck for about two years before travel and didn’t even realise it at the time. My life wasn’t in a state of flow and ease (not that life is easy – equally it isn’t meant to be difficult!) – there was a certain insecurity following me around in everything I was doing and while away, I had granted myself permission to dream big. I wanted to make a change and so that is exactly what I did. While on this journey I had begun to think big and to plan an audition to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to study composition which I prepared for on returning to Sydney and thankfully… was accepted into! It was the one thing that really drove me forward and make all else in my life make sense and I am so grateful to have had the time, energy and space to allow this to happen. Coming back to Paris at the end of my journey was a cadence point to close all that I had learnt and enter into a new chapter of life. I felt so connected to Europe and knew that I would return… but for now, the focus was moving inward to my music compositions, studies and health.

One of my old high school teachers happened to be in Paris at the time and we met for coffee and a catch up on life, the universe and everything. I told them about my plans to change from my current university (in fact leaving the course I was doing) to go and study at the Sydney Conservatorium and they were so supportive. It was really nice to see a familiar face from home while in Paris – at this short catch up we were each at the end of a journey and simply enjoying the tranquility of Paris in late summer – sitting by the Seine in a cafe and talking about life.

This whole trip has made me really aware of how important it is to live in the present moment. So often we worry, allow ourselves to be stressed and simply close our eyes off to the world around us because it is easier that way. It’s no way to live and travelling somewhere new made me realise how beautiful even the most banal moments can be. Waiting in a train station while in the south of France and seeing a piano to play, listening to opera under ancient trees, exploring cliffside villages with fellow travellers… so many memories – and all of which spent away from my phone. I allowed myself to be “bored” while moving from points A to B – to look vulnerable at times sitting alone in cafe to eat when another traveller would join me and talk (which I can guarentee would not happen with a head on a phone screen!) leading to the most fun adventures I have ever had while abroad. These times and moments have shaped how I think in so many ways and I hope to integrate them into my daily living at home and soon… in my new degree! Ciao for now… more posts to come soon.

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Paris: lovelock bridge near the Notre Dame de Paris
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Paris: evening walk in the Jardin de Luxembourg
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Notre Dame de Paris
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Paris: La Musée du Louvre
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Paris: Catacombs
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La Rochelle
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AIX en Provence and its beautiful vine covered streets
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AIX en Provence… sorbet to survive the afternoon heat
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The Luberon: lavender fields
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Sunset over Positano
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Beautiful life in Positano
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Firenze: Ponte Vecchio
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Firenze
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Vineyards of Chianti
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Chianti: vine to the glass
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Munich: botanical gardens under the rain
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Fantasia Land
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Fantasia Land
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Final evening in Düsseldorf
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Bookstores and flea markets
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Ceiling art – food for thought while thinking about food
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Chocolate dreaming…
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Bliss: we spent about 4 hours in these chairs
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Excellent way to spend a final evening in Germany
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Street art dancing in the late summer wind
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My wonderful friend and fellow dreamer – such bliss to spend this time together!
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Giant cathedral of Cologne
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Thoughts: returning to Paris
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Final evening and happy socks
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Last night in Paris and the soft glow of the Eiffel Tower

Travels in European summer 2014

A short re-cap collection of memories as well as some pictures from Paris at the beginning and end. Beautiful time for reflection and spending the last few happy evenings with wonderful friends. For those who are wondering I made it into the Conservatorium! Such an exciting year ahead!!

 

“happiness is only real when shared…”

Christopher McCandless

 

 

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