2015: A Year of Wander

2016 has arrived and everyone’s looking ahead  to new beginnings, fresh starts, and wish lists for the upcoming year. I am too - but I’m a little behind, and I can’t fully move on until I take a long pause and reflect on all that 2015 was before I catch up with the rest of you.

Some years slide by us, and as the calendar flips to January, it just marks the passage of time. Then there are some years that are so life-changing and momentous and exhausting yet exhilarating all the same that as that last digit changes, you try to peer out of the wild haze you are surrounded in, wondering aloud, “Did that just happen?” That was this January 1st for me. And because of that, more than anything I need to recap it all for myself so one day in the future I remember what was built in the tumultuous year of wander that was 2015.

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Posing with Pictours Paris

Moving is hard work. There is the physical aspect of sorting, sifting, donating, and packing stuff. There are the administrative tasks of booking plane tickets, canceling services, and coordinating the check-out with the landlord. And then there’s the work that most of the time, we don’t even acknowledge much: the emotional process of mental preparation.

When I moved to Paris, I never would have imagined the real estate this place would one day take up in my heart. We moved initially with the intention of using Paris as a European home base to travel the continent. We would be residents, but the extent to which we would “live” there and be present remained to be seen.

As you probably could see, if you’ve spent any amount of time following our story, is that we grew to LOVE Paris. We would travel around and cherish the ability to explore Europe, but we would become homesick - not for New Jersey, but for Paris. We would eagerly anticipate the end of a trip because it meant we were returning home, to our city.

As our departure date loomed ahead of us, the inevitability and finality of the move to the US slowly felt more concrete. And while I couldn’t pack up my favorite places and take them with me like I wished I could, I decided to do the next best thing - to coordinate a photo shoot with a photographer to capture us in some of our special corners of the city. The fact is that photo sessions aren't just for wedding-related festivities. It could be for mother-daughter trips, family vacations, or a solo traveler looking to document an adventure. Or for two people who love Paris who wanted to bring home a little piece of the city.

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My Corner of the Marais

Bon lundi!

I’ve decided that Michael and I have a shopping problem. It’s not with online shopping, and if you are familiar with our fashion sense, you know it’s not related to clothes or shoes. It’s French wine.

Somehow, on that last night in Paris, we had quite a challenge in front of us. 20 bottles of wine, a bottle of champagne, and a magnum were lined up before us, waiting to be distributed between four checked suitcases. The result of the remains of our wine cellar, compounded with visits to 6 different vineyards during our Tour de France, left us in a bit of a pickle. And if you want to know how it ended, the laws of physics won. (Thank you to our friends who are safe-guarding our stash until our next visit!!)

Thankfully, not all of our souvenirs from our time in France took up such space and weight. One of our most precious tributes to our time living abroad didn’t have to be lugged back in our baggage. That’s because it is a digital souvenir -  the images from a photo shoot we went on that included some of our favorite spots in Paris.

Introducing this week some of our favorite spots in Paris! Starting with this special street, of course...

I’ve shared a few peeks from our photo session on Facebook and Instagram, but I’ve tried my hardest not to saturate the feeds with our faces. This week though, I’ll open up the floodgates and share all of my favorites from our morning stroll with Pictours Paris. If you want to see more, come back later this week for the reveal! 

Our photo session was a perfect way to channel my little corner of the Marais to my new home, wherever that ends of being ...

Do you have any souvenirs you like to bring home with you from your travels? Or do you have more self-control than us?!

In Those Last Days

[If you're new here, I just moved from Paris to New York City just over a week ago. There will be many more posts about Paris in the weeks to come, but for today, this is a quick peek at our final days living abroad.]

When Michael and I moved to Paris, the plan was initially to stay until the end of 2013. As we set out on this adventure, two years of life abroad loomed ahead of me. It felt like it was going to be a ton of time away from home. But as you might gather, being that it’s mid-2015 and solid year and a half past that date, that time flew by. And for as quickly as that time passed, the “extension” period came and went in a blink of an eye.

Paris is an amazing place. I never knew I would fall so in love with this city (or any city for that matter), or that leaving it would hurt so much. But even in those last few days. after three years of living here, I still learned new things about Paris and re-learned some truths I had been taught along the way. 

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