Two years ago, I was on a beach in Queensland, north of Cairn, camera ready to shoot at one of the most amazing spectacles of Mother Nature: a solar eclipse. It was not my first time in Australia, but it was the beginning of the Journey, the one defining experience of my life, and from the moment I stepped out of the plane, my head was set for a full on discovery of the world around me, and what better experience to begin this adventure than seeing, along with a beach full of people, the marriage of the Moon and Sun?
One year ago, I was on my second road trip to New Zealand, this time driving our way from North to South. We were actually just arriving on the Southern Island, visiting wineries on the road to Abel Tasman National Park, where one of my many firsts was waiting for me: the next day there was to be a parachute with my name on it.
This year, I will be celebrating my fifth month living in London. When I came back to Paris after 14 months of travelling, I quickly realized that, even though my social life was thriving, Paris was no longer enough for me. The world was my oyster, I needed to live outside of the city that I grew up in and that I still loved. I needed to find again the thrill experiencing living abroad. At first, the idea of going back for another year of working holiday visa in New Zealand was reassuring, but I figured that I needed to find a real job in Europe first before trying to move back in that part of the world.
What would have happened had I gone back? I have no clue. I might have worked in a winery like so many backpackers, I might have tried to find a real job, that would only have lasted six months due to the visa restrictions. I would definitely have come back to Australia, and done what I missed out the first time. I would most certainly have travelled to the Philippines, which have been on my To Do List for quite a while now. In an ideal world, I would have found the perfect job in New Zealand; got a working visa, planned my next five years in the Long White Cloud, learning how to navigate a boat around the coastline of this wonderful country, and finally would have found my place under the sun of Australia. That would have been a good plan, but only in an ideal world.
I love living in London, for so many reasons. First of all, obviously, people here speak English most of the time, and I have always loved hearing and talking in English. It’s actually more than love. I’ve always told myself that I was born in the wrong language. When I speak English, I am another version of myself. I dream in English, think in English my most crazy thoughts and fantasies. Second of all, people kept telling me about all the events, but I would never have imagined being blown away that much. Up until now, there hasn’t been a month without a theatre matinee, with big names on the scene (Martin Freeman, Kristin Scott Thomas, James McAvoy, Ralph Fiennes…). And even when there is no theatre, it is impossible to stay idle, if you don’t want to spend your weekend on the couch.