Monday, August 10, 2015

Lady Angela's Second Annual Report

Due to the fact that I first came to France for the longterm on August 1, 2013, this month has become a time when I reflect on the accomplishments of the past 12 months and foreshadow those of the upcoming year. When you make the rather drastic decision to relocate to an entirely different country, you generally have in mind a vast amount of dreamlike fantasies, filled with love, magic and grand adventure. Some of these are fulfilled right off the bat whereas others fall by the wayside or are in fact crushed into microscopic morsels of despair. Though there are always astronomical ups and downs, most are magnified and heightened to a profound degree, and while the ups are infinitely greater, the downs can't really go too deep when you have the Eiffel Tower watching over you.

Now, two years into my European escapades, I have come to learn quite a lot, still have even way more to learn, and am positive I know even less and more than I ever did before. I spent about 8 months going to French classes on and off, essentially trying to gage just how much I could get away with, since trekking across town to listen and learn more grammar in French for two hours and yet still have very little in the way of actual conversation is not my idea of a fun 9am treat. I finally got a job that, while not necessarily consistent, certainly allows a much higher income while retaining flexibility and prestige. I of course am adored and respected by my bosses and fortunate enough to have a plethora of continual opportunity. 

In terms of travel, I think I managed to outdo myself this time, starting last August with a third trip to Ireland, focusing on the Aran Islands, Galway and the ole faithful Limerick where Dancer Friend continues to reside. That expedition was quickly followed by a 3-city triumvirate, hitting Budapest, Vienna and Prague with Hot Blonde Cousin. That trip was specifically significant because it led to friendships I still have today, both in cyberland and miraculously in realtime as well. After that I met my dad and stepmom in Barcelona, headed home to the States for Christmas, and returned to Scotland for Hogmanay once again with HBC (Hot Blonde Cousin). In the spring, she and I went on yet another trip, this time to Pisa, Florence and Venice, and the latter I returned to within months to hit the Greek Isles on a cruise with my amazing high school friends. I even managed to sneak in day trips to Bruges, Brussels, and the Loire Valley. And of course amidst all of this were endless visits from my brother, sister-in-law and nephew over Thanksgiving, a 10-day visit from my friend in Bangkok, and another 10-day rendezvous with my father and stepmother. Several other friends dropped in here and there, and of course the infamous Gentleman Caller. I have to admit that when I ramble it all off like that, it is little wonder I am chronically broke, have terrible financial karma, and never seem to get any real work done.

But even so, I have managed to keep up with my blog, took some dance classes, some guitar lessons, and have my sights on a few more creative ideas for the upcoming months. I am considering such folderol as a wine tasting class, a web design course, and always in search of that oh so romantic ideal, love. I already know that I will be back in the States twice, once for the holidays and once for a wedding. There is of course no doubt that I will fit in some more travel, as much and as often as I can possibly squeeze in. And since next year my visa status must change, much of the year will be spent in pensive contemplation (or rather feverish anxiety and avoidance) about how that might work out and whether or not staying in Paris after a solid three years is what I want. 

But to begin it all, I rest in Paris during August when almost every Parisian has decided to flee to the South or whatever other warm climate they can muster. I myself will head to Aix-en-Provence next week to hang out with a good friend at her family house, relax, enjoy the sun, and visit as many fun local spots as possible. We shall see what the next 12 months has in store and I shall once again be grateful for the insane amount of support and love I receive from friends and family world-wide. And now Lady Angela takes her leave, your humble servant.

No comments:

Post a Comment