For this Christmas holiday, I travelled to Papeete, Tahiti, and because it’s on the other side of the world, I had a 10 hours stopover in LAX (Los Angeles airport / still trying to figure out what the X means). My biggest phobia is probably to miss a flight (already happened / not funny / not easy), so there was just no way I’d go wander around the city and miss my correspondance to heaven.
I really enjoy long distance trips and the first 12 hours from France to US went super quickly! I talked to one of the cabin crew about traveling, his fav destinations, LA and he said I could not possibly stay 10 hours in Los Angeles airport, especially since I’ve never (ever ever) been to the United States!
As we were landing, I realised I was already super enthusiastic to be in America, so much that I had a chat with every person I could run into (immigration man, transit staff persons, baggage crew). There I was: I HAD to pay a visit to Hollywood to fully enjoy my Tahitian holidays.
So I just jumped on a yellow cab and asked where was the most convenient place to drive me to. His answer: downtown L.A. As a complete ignorant I trusted him but quickly noticed nor he was helpful or nice. When I asked him to drive me to Hollywood Boulevard instead (didn’t like where he took me) (did see that coming though), he just said there was nothing to see there (except for stars?!?), so I thought I’d better go there myself. I took the bus, without a dollar in my pocket, explained the driver I got lost, which he totally understood. Got lost again somewhere close to Beverly Hills, and took another bus, and finally another taxi who I knew was my man. We had these long conversations, or rather he had a conversation with himself that I was listening to. Tony was half Italian half Ethiopian. He obtained the green card easily back in the days while he was studying in New York. He once had a Brazilian girlfriend. And he gave me his business card in case I was coming back to L.A. anytime soon. Yes, I loved his positive attitude. While he was driving me around, I was looking outside the window and realised it was exactly how I imagined.
Indeed, I felt like I’ve been there before. Something about the houses. Or the big black cars. Or the many many chicken fastfoods. Or the traffic signs. I could understand their language. L.A. – like any other american cities I assume – is cliché but not in a bad way. It’s just part of the american culture we grew up with, which is why there can’t be any disappointment.
Yep, I didn’t do much, I’m not even sure I can actually say I went to Los Angeles, but that was not the point. Talking to local people, getting lost and having a little adventure made this stopover even more positively unexpected! It was an happy ending to feel like I was visiting an old friend. An old friend I didn’t want to leave again.
America. I’ll will come back!
P.S.: I’m following Terry Richardson‘s blog and let me tell you: pictures are reflecting nothing but the truth!
Somewhere near Knightsbridge
Let’s try to post more often now!
I realized a part of my life just ended – most probably the best one.
Recently, I was lucky enough to receive work “advice” from a person who inspires me a lot. I can’t reveal much about he/her, except that he/she is older than me, and, because I love learning from people with experience, I did everything that I could to listen and remember most of the mantras.
You see, work wasn’t much of my preoccupation in the early stage of 2015, as I was always traveling around. And now that I settled down, this is what has made myself busy 95% of the time. In a way, I’ve missed this new life, full of challenges, numbers, and career objectives. It’s nice to wake up for a reason, and to feel people proud of what you’ve accomplished. Most of all, it’s so rewarding to know you’re valued in a company you like working for.
There’s a but, of course there is.
Being devoted to my job implies being obsessed about it. What if I fail? What if I can’t achieve my targets? What if don’t manage to make myself irreplaceable?
I’m wondering how much pressure we could all handle. Some like working under stress, some feel it’s motivating enough to give the best of themselves, and some just can’t deal with it. After all, we have different expectations. But whoever we are, there must be a way to cope with it, and to find our own limits. Fulfilment is about working for pleasure also, and not worrying ourselves sick regarding what’s going to happen next.
So, instead of meditating, and on top of doing some exercise to unwind, I silently repeat these advice I received a few weeks ago. There is no reason to feel overwhelmed, and there is a time when I personally need to step back and say ‘STOP, this is too much’. Have you heard of Autosuggestion, aka Coué Method? There it is.
- Create your own path – and do not compare yourself to other;
- Surpass yourself – and somebody will notice;
- Ask for a promotion – only when you’ve proven your skills;
- Dare to ask for help – and communicate;
- Love your job – if not, just quit;
- Give yourself time – and remember that life is long.
This language is nothing you’ve ever heard. This is something I don’t do: learning the basics when visiting a foreign country. Each time I forget how important it is to say ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ to the local people I meet on my way. While in Norway we went to have dinner in a nice restaurant, and there was this couple next to us, with this little girl, and she came to us repeating some French words her parents just taught her. We had a quick chat with the family, and this is how I remembered to break boundaries by being a bit more curious and doing tiny effort. Communicating definitely changes the whole experience of traveling.
When I took this picture it was around 9.30pm, and still sun was up. Can you imagine?
Broadway market, on a sunny Saturday
I used to wonder where home was. And over time, I’m more questioning myself about what this is. The definition itself has shifted a lot, since the last few months of my life were quite hectic. Indeed, I haven’t really settled myself somewhere since end of December, when I was back to Europe. I had found a job in Brussels, but it finally didn’t work out. And now I’m working in London, but neither my boss nor I could say for how long it will be. The road has been quite rocky. But I’m learning to like it.
The reason why I’m talking about the ‘feeling home’ idea is because I’ve just found a flat where I’ll be moving in soon, and this makes me really happy. Knowing that in few hours, I’ll be recreating myself some kind of cocoon. It feels like it has been ages since I didn’t cook myself something, or just talk to my neighbours, trying to create a connection with these people who’ll live next door. These little things, that I’ve been missing so much, mean home to me now.
There’s more that could explain how positive I am regarding the flat I found – I’d rather say room by the way, because I’ll actually be living with 4 other people.
First: the city. London. A few weeks ago, I had an interview with the company I’m currently working for, and last time I went to the capital was in 2011. The city and I have a very special connection. On the one hand, I’ve visited her so many times, and discovered her through my sisters, and friends, which means I have a thousand of incredible memories in my mind. And on the other hand, I’ve always been fond with London’s energy, and dynamism. People seem so active here! I’m super contradictory because I love nature and stuff, but I also love a brilliant and frenetic city, where you can find anything anytime. You know, just in case. Even if that ‘just in case’ never happens, it’s here, it’s on the corner, and it makes your life easier. Mine at least.
So, what was I saying? Oh yes, London. My shared apartment. The other reason I’m happy about it is because out of the list I made, I think this one matches all my top criteria. We all have these boxes we absolutely want to tick, right? My list included:
- Clean kitchen to (try) cooking
- Bright bedroom to invite friends over
- Double bed to stay in super late during weekends
- Good location to go to work bicycling
- Good price to save a few pennies at the end of the month.
All this to say, I’ll be living close to Bethnal Green, in a calm little street, very close to a main not-too-busy-but-busy-enough road, a minute away from Regents canal (I even spotted some evening runners, can’t wait to go myself!), a few steps from cute and trendy restaurants. The room I found is nothing fancy. I wish I could have afforded to live alone, but this is not the right moment, and I accepted it. My friends and family might be disappointed when they’ll come visit me, as I must have went into raptures when describing the whole picture. But what matters is my feeling.
Yes, from the moment I stepped in, I knew it was it. Home.
Somewhere near Holborn
Victoria and Albert museum
From Victoria and Albert museum
Some of the French nights can be really mystical.
Paradise on earth
Steve: We still love each other, right?
Diane: That’s what we’re best at, buddy.
Or should I say close to Mt Field
Nov 26, 2014
We must remain a surprise for each other.
On a cloudy day
What seems to be ages ago actually happened only a few weeks from now: my best friends and I drove to our dearest mountains in Grenoble. Continue reading “Grenoble”
High cliff + clear water = insight of Bruny
Jetty Beach camping area, Bruny Island, Tasmania
I went to Brussels Grand Place today, in the heart of the city, and I enjoyed it so much! Continue reading “Brussels”
Saint Bernard street
Men have secrets, but no mystery.