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15.7.13

LA FIN - THE END









OUTFIT
SUNNIES. SURFACE TO AIR.
EARRINGS. LANVIN.
DRESS. MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA.
CLUTCH. BOTTEGA VENETA.
SHOES. ALEXANDER WANG.


The last page of my adventure, the end.

Ten months ago I packed my bags and moved to the city of my wildest dreams, Paris. It had always seemed to be an obvious choice to follow the ultimate path of fashion.

But when I finally put my words into action, and started packing things in Amsterdam I panicked and wondered whether I had taken the right decision. You see, I never was the kind of girl that would leave her friends, family and comfort zone behind. However, doubts or not, there was no way back. A year in Paris was inevitable.

With my mind and soul filled with expectations and questions I started living this new Parisian life. And though I had officially come here to pursue a master in fashion design and management I was honestly more looking forward to those hours spend not in the school benches, but sipping wine at comptoirs, strolling through hidden alleys, eating countless chèvres chauds and discovering this mystic and world famous nightlife I had always imagined myself part of.

So when after one month of school I still couldn't convince any of my classmates on joining my adventure of discoveries, home sickness hit me and kept sweeping me of my feet for a month or four. The expectations I had created for myself didn't live up to what was surrounding me, and my dream didn't turn out to be what I had expected. This point of my journey was mostly shaped by tears, lonely nights and complex thoughts.

Did this dream of mine actually exist? Or do we dream to adjust our thoughts to acceptance of our own real life?

This was the point in my journey where I discovered that you, yourself are responsible for your own luck. And that living life through the support of expectations and wishes, will always lead to disappointment. So I took matters into my own hands and faced the only way out of this loneliness, the awkward way out: visiting birthdays alone, meeting random people through social media or just on the platform of Gare du Nord (true story!) and having lunch alone at the best places in town - hoping to finally meet and join the real Parisian life. 

Slowly things were taking a positive turn and for the first time after 4/5 month I started feeling happy and appreciative about my decision to move. This was the crucial turning point where I had no longer moved away, but had finally moved on. My objectives for the remaining time changed, and my journey was no longer something doubtful but it became the adventure I shaped it to be. 

With an overdose of feedback on online Paris guides (Unlike, HipParis, De Quelle Planète Es TuBarts  Boekje, Paris by Mouth, Ten Days in Paris, Paris Bouge) I challenged myself to discover at least 5 new places a week. This ambition led to the discovery of many things, but also to the discovery of my own interests which I found I had neglected while living in Amsterdam. You see, in the 5 years that passed in Amsterdam I had mostly visited the places I liked best (best coffee at Palladium, best tosti at Pompadour, best crowd at Wolvenstraat) and never really went out to check out the new places in town, thanks to the mediocre reviews others had already given me.

Obviously I was still missing home, though as time passed by, I got used to missing certain people and things. I guess it was a matter of accepting the absence, for me, but also for those back at home. This all might sound ordinary, but this sort of acceptance (of absence) was hard and sometimes even heart-breaking. 

My stories and memories were no longer shared and created by my familiar crowd, who truly knew and understood me - but were now a compilation of strange and new happenings that were no longer shared and understood by my loved ones at home (you know how confusing a conversation gets when you don't know the faces behind the names). It showed me the powerful cultural differences between me and my new foreign friends, what ultimately got me into some hilarious situations (e.g. an asian friend asking whether I find it strange to have blue eyes - true story).

Now since I had moved to Paris, I found it my duty to merge into French groups other than sticking around my international classmates. And I guess this is where I explain why I didn't stay in Paris, why Paris didn't convince me and why Paris didn't completely stole my heart. 
With a few exceptions here and there, the Parisians have not treated me with much respect. Now I am not talking about the time I was threatened with a knife (again, true story) but it is mostly about the facial expressions and tone of voices I got surrounded by. Whether it was the cab driver, the woman sitting opposite of me in the metro, the boy behind the counter in the supermarket or just any random guy in a club they somehow seemed grumpy, annoyed and rude. Maybe I am again facing another cultural difference here, but the power of social tolerance was greater than the power of the city. 

Luckily, the last few months have been the cherry on top. With overbooked weekends of sightseeing, shopping, terraces, parties and friends I have come to leave Paris with a somewhat broken heart. Paris is still the most beautiful city on earth, even after completing my bucket list and stumbling on personal disappointments. And it will still be my favorite city-trip across the borders, but for now it will no longer be my home. 

Maybe one day I return, (I do believe there is a serious possibility if I ever come across that dream job) with a mind filled with new dreams and goals. But for now, I am happy to go back to Amsterdam, back home and find my own adventure. 

Thank you Paris, for your sick ride. It is impossible to put into words how much you have touched me, but somethings are better off without words. Thank you to those I met along the way and made memories of a lifetime. You will always be part of an awesome story, one that many will envy. Hopefully our paths will meet again, one day. 

Thank you to my friends who were kind enough to keep in touch, through postcards or through visits. It has made a great impact on me and I will not forget. Thank you for defining the true meaning of friendship to me, one of the greatest lessons I have learned.

And, last but not least, thank you to you! It has been an incredible experience having your comments and support throughout this entire journey, it truly felt as if you were joining me, my every discovery and my every thought. I hope I have given you a real clear indication of my Parisian life and that I maybe even have inspired you in some way. My stories will continue in Amsterdam and I hope I can count on your support. You are all the greatest source of motivation I can ask for, thank you once again. 

Merci & a bientôt Paris !


For extra features of my Parisian adventure, browse through my Instagram, here.

PHOTOS TAKEN BY BAPTISTE MAZIERES

YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW ME ON BLOGLOVIN', FACEBOOK & TWITTER

32 comments:

  1. Super mooi geschreven! Succes met verhuizen!

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  2. I loved experiencing Paris through your eyes these months! How life isn't always the perfect picture you hope it to be. I really respect your view on how you have your faith in your own hand. Thank you for that! And obviously can't wait to follow your adventures back in Amsterdam again :)

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  3. Mooi geschreven!! Glad to have you back!!!! <3 X

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  4. Geweldige outfit en prachtig geschreven!! Ik vond het geweldig om je Parijs-ervaringen te lezen! Keep up the good work, en veel succes en plezier in Amsterdam! X

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  5. Wonderfully written, really. So touching! Its only weeks that I came across your blog and I have to say: I love it. You have a great style of writing, the photos are stunning, the layout is fantastic. But what I like most is the personal character you give to your blog.
    To live in Paris or elsewhere in France one day is one of my dreams too. And if it's for the beautiful language... ;)
    Bonne voyage!
    Katharina, from Germany

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  6. You look beautiful sweetie. Good luck with leaving, I know that feeling. See you soon! XO

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  7. Ontzettend mooi geschreven en ik denk ook heel herkenbaar voor een hele hoop mensen! Welkom terug in Amsterdam! Wat een prachtige " laatste" look vanuit Parijs trouwens, op en top Parisienne! Fantastique! xx

    www.creativityandchocolate.com

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  8. Time to get your ass back over here!! xx

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  9. Wow! Prachtig geschreven, time to publish? En STUNNING outfit, mooi je zo te zien stralen!!
    I'll join you back to Amsterdam.
    XO Laura

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  10. Wat een belevenissen zeg! Een deel had ik al wel eerder gelezen, maar wist niet dat de heimwee zo sterk was in het begin. Gelukkig heb je er toch hele leuke nieuwe mensen leren kennen! En ik heb echt respect voor je. Want hoewel ik Parijs ook zo'n geweldig mooie stad vind, weet ik niet of ik de moed zou hebben om ooit hetzelfde te doen. Voor mij zou verhuizen naar Amsterdam al een hele grote stap zijn. Hoe dan ook... je mag super trots op jezelf zijn en wie weet zien we elkaar nog eens in Amsterdam ;)

    Groetjes,
    Caroline - www.pickmeanoutfit.com

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  11. Wat heb je prachtige geschreven! Normaal ben ik niet zo van de lange verhalen maar super! Ik heb (net zoals anderen) veel respect voor je dat je dit avontuur bent aangegaan!

    xx Riëlle

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  12. Dit is de ultieme afscheidsoutfit als je het aan mij vraagt. Je ziet er geweldig uit! Het artikel is prachtig en witty. Dankjewel dat je zo oprecht je verhaal met ons deelt en niet enkel de mooie kant van je avontuur laat zien! Ik kan niet wachten op je amsterdamse avonturen!

    xx

    liquoriceandpumps.blogspot.com

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  13. Ik volg je he-le-maal! Hoewel ik hier maar een maand zit (ondertussen al 2 weken), had ik ook enorme verwachtingen van zowel Parijs als mijn klasgenoten. Helaas is Parijs inderdaad niet zo open naar buitenlanders toe en, hoewel ik hier ben om mijn Frans te verbeteren, gaan ze er altijd van uit dat jij hen maar moet begrijpen. Mijn klasgenootjes zijn lief en sympathiek, maar hebben niet veel 'envie' om nog iets buiten de lessen te doen. Al een geluk heb ik hier een ander Belgisch meisje leren kennen want anders zou mijn maand hier verdorie eenzaam zijn! Ik voel me hier wel al 'thuis' in die zin dat ik niet meer het gevoel heb in een vreemde stad rond te lopen.

    Soit, ik vind het in ieder geval enorm knap van jou dat je dit gedaan hebt! Een ervaring om nooit te vergeten én eentje dat je sowieso weer wat volwassener en zelfstandiger heeft gemaakt. Winwinwin dus ;).

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  14. Ik vind je verhaal heel goed en ontroerend om te lezen. Wat ik er aan waardeer is dat je er zo eerlijk over bent! Ik ben een groot fan van je blog en ik hoop dat je altijd op deze manier blijft schrijven.

    Liefs,
    Marlot

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  15. Gorgeous dress! Love the low back!
    http://framboise-noire.blogspot.nl/

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  16. Prachtig geschreven en mooi om te zien hoe je je zelf nog beter hebt leren kennen en herontdekt in dit fantastische avontuur! De wereld ligt nu aan je voeten! Verder perfect outfit en foto's voor dit prachtige afscheid!

    With love,

    Joy
    justlikesushi.com

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  17. I don't typically comment but you look really pretty in these photos and I really enjoyed this post. as a foreigner also living in Paris, I can say that I wholly agree with you about the difficulties of social interaction with parisians! it's been really nice to read about your adventures & ups and downs over the past year and it's good to see you were able to make the best of it. bonne continuation, et bon courage pour tout ce qui t'attend ;)

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  18. This is exactly how I finally feel today you were really brave to face the truth quickly ! Good luck with leaving and maybe see you soon enough at la Favorite or something ! :)

    x Selma

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  19. je ziet er super mooi uit !
    het jaar in Parijs moet echt wel fantastisch geweest zijn xx
    http://www.blondebutterflies.blogspot.be/

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  20. La fin tres chic!! J'adore.

    http://frecklesbynina.blogspot.com/

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  21. One extra-ordinary has come to an end but there are more journeys to come. One might has already started without you knowing. Stay strong, stay independent, stay chic and stay persistent for your goals (you are a girl with that qualities already anyway) and more exotic journeys in life would be in reach for sure.

    Miss you much and look stunning

    Much love from Tokyo
    Flash

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  22. ik ben toch zoooooo! trots op je meisje!! xx

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  23. So honest and intimate it sort of felt like I was reading your diary. This goodbye letter to Paris is by all means my favorite post as you're truly reflecting how pursuing your dream might not always be as hoped. By the way, you look absolutely stunning while saying salut!

    xxx

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  24. Incredible style and blog! Just followed you :)

    I am a FASHION STUDENT AND BLOGGER from London. I would like to invite you to my BLOG to take a look at my ideas!

    My Blog: http://renetakanevska.blogspot.co.uk
    My Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/rkanevska

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  25. wauw, prachtig geschreven, prachtige foto's... chapeau!

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  26. Mooi en vooral ook eerlijk geschreven. En... prachtige foto's en dito outfit natuurlijk!
    Een afscheid in stijl!

    x

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  27. Prachtig verhaal! Heel oprecht. Deze ervaring ga je nooit meer vergeten! xx.

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  28. Found this and thought to send it to you in case you start missing Paris:

    http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/lapo :)

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  29. It was so great to meet ya! (and i still can't believe we only spoke french a whole conversation last time)! Hope to see you again in Paris, Cannes or Amsterdam bella!
    Bisous

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  30. Wonderfully written! I give you 100% for your effort to move to a new country by yourself. Speaking from firsthand experience, I know it can be hard. But even then I have my boyfriend and everyone speaks English in Vancouver!
    The fact that you lasted the whole year should give you immense satisfaction. Be proud of yourself girl!!! :)

    x Sharday

    Shardette Blog

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  31. Such a beautiful story, although it didn't happen the way you wanted it to. I guess every experience is great to accept, and it's always better to try then always regretting not to!

    I myself immigrated twice in my life (now I live in Holland) and I'll tell you that no matter where you move or how long you live there, first thing you have to prepare yourself to is to be alone, even lonely, may even be for a long time. And that you will never become a "local" and will never be treated as one, no matter how good you speak the local language. And that locals will frequently find you "weird" and you will be often perceived as a stranger; best case scenario you will see curiosity towards yourself, worst case - hate.
    Making friends with locals is very difficult, because they already have friends of their own. If you don't speak their language (and on a good level) making friends becomes even more difficult. I immigrated with my parents first time when I was a teen, and in 16 years I haven't scored any local friend, only acquaintances. My sister was 10 when we moved, and she does have a lot of local friends, but only because she was a child when we moved.
    And this is something you have to accept and be ready for. Noone waits for anyone in foreign places and noone will accept anyone with open arms, so the only way to find piece as an immigrant is in your own heart.

    Sorry for the long wall of text, your story touched something in me :)

    xx
    Tali

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  32. Wauw mooi geschreven! Ik kom nu voor de eerste keer op je blog en ik vind het super dat je blog zo persoonlijk is. Na mijn eindexamen neem ik een tussenjaar en wil ik waarschijnlijk ook 3 maanden naar Parijs, dankje voor deze inspirerende post!

    x Indiya van http://fashionshapedlovedrug.blogspot.nl/

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