On The Road: 22.1.18
Pic by Juan Rojas
My trip home to Australia for my visa is approaching at a scary speed, time always speeds up when you're leaving a place I think, exponentially so. I have lots of things to put in place before I head home, meaning lots of restless nights tossing and turning in bed, worried it won't all work out. But as time goes on and I tick more things off my big to-do list, I'm shown again and again that it always does work out, the timing of my life, even if the universe really likes to cut it close at times 🤷.
I will say though, the closer I get to making this place my home, the closer I get to this dream, the scarier it feels. I'm calling it 'poking the dream' because after having this only be a dream for so long, now I'm up close and near it, it feels like I'm standing right in front of it and all I can do is tentatively poke at it and then recoil quickly back into my place, inches away from it but not ready to enter into it just yet.
Maybe you're tired of hearing about my visa and I'm tired of dealing with it but it's a huge thing in my life lately and it won't go away unless I work hard and deal with it all, one step at a time, with discipline and courage. I went to visit my immigration lawyer, Jean Taquet, last week for a marathon session picking apart my application.
This guy is incredible, kind, clever and he's helping me to navigate the minefield of French bureaucracy involved in this application so much, I would recommend his services to anyone doing what I'm doing. But inevitably this process involves a lot of me thinking I know what I'm doing, coming to him to show him my work and then him picking it all apart and showing me just how much I don't know about France and the French language. For a highly sensitive person, I'm finding this process quite hard. I'm putting together a dossier to prove that I can live here in France, support myself, offer services that are valuable to French people, and to be honest I don't know if I'm 100% sure I can do it yet, but I think this experience is designed to get me to that place where I can believe it or at least a lot closer.
I came in to Jean's office pitching myself as a blogger/photographer/writer/social media expert to be knocked harshly down to the level of how the french government thinks pretty quickly. 'Blogger - not a job. Photographer - not a job. Writer - not a job', he said. Of course, he meant in the eyes of the very traditionally-minded French government, but it didn't stop those words sticking in my brain, with me repeating them over and over again to myself every day since.
But if we create everything we experience in our reality then who I am doing all this for, why am I going through my entire work history and life with a fine tooth comb to pull out all the reasons why I can make a life in France work, if not to prove to myself I can do it. The dossier is for me, the proof is for me and it's so detailed and all-consuming I think I can't possibly not get it into my head and heart that I'm worthy of the life I dream of.
Last time I wrote I was dealing with some tight money circumstances so I started re-reading my favourite book on money,
Busting Loose from the Money Game. I had a big, well-paid project I've been waiting to hear about for months and now, it's finally come into fruition and been confirmed now at the last minute. This has all just given me more proof and faith in the idea that money doesn't play by the rules we necessarily think it does in society. This gives me more fuel to trust I'm always provided for, that money always arrives when I need it. I wonder what exactly this money is intended for but I guess I'll find out and I'm already getting some hints.
My dear friend, Freya, came to visit and stay with me this week in Paris. We're old friends from home, Brisbane, and our lives have always intertwined in and out in so many ways during the time we've been friends. She's Australian-Danish and lives in Copenhagen, I went to live with her for a month during a heatwave in Summer a few years ago (see the places we visited here) and she runs a really cool website about Scandinavian life, design, fashion, art, culture, Scandinavia Standard, that I've contributed to in the past.
As soon as she landed, we headed out to see some London bands performing at Alimentation Generale, which was pretty cool and even involved a pretty serious scuffle between a wildly drunk patron and security during one of the band's sets.
She comes to visit Paris most fashion weeks to cover the Henrik Vibskov show. Vibskov is an innovative, cool Danish designer and I always go along to help her film and shoot
so I can hang out with her, see the inner-workings of the event and watch the show and the incredible clothes go down the runway. They always present amazing art installations alongside the clothes in the runway show. This year's collection and installation dealt with our modern obsession with measurement, measuring ourselves with numbers, stats, likes, categorising ourselves. I'll post links to Scandinavia Standard's coverage of the show next time I write!
For me, I think Paris fashion week is kind of hard to avoid if you live in Paris. Fashion is a part of the culture and it's certainly a big part of life in this city, which I'm thankful for. Even if it's mostly just playing spot the model/fashion person on the street over the course of the week, I always love fashion week in Paris. There are some pretty amazing outfits getting around Paris during this time and a city that always seems pretty surprising and magical becomes even moreso for a little while.
I'm pretty excited to be heading off on a road trip through Northern France later in the week with my friend and fellow blogger, Lisa from The Wandering Lens flying over from Australia to join me.
We're going to be exploring the memorial sites and little towns along the Australian Remembrance Trail, a route honouring sites where battles were fought by Australians in World War I and II. We're going to be capturing images of the sites and towns for the Australian Government and exploring the area for ourselves and our blogs too.
I've never been to this part of France so I'm looking forward to going somewhere new. We're praying for good weather, the forecast looks sunny for the weekend!
I'll write again soon and post lots of pics and Stories on my Instagram live from our roadtrip
With love ❤
p.s. We saw London-based Factory Seconds play this week in Paris and they were awesome...