I haven't written to you here in a while, I've been consumed with all this movement and seeing things travelling, you see. All my energy has gone towards transporting myself and my baggage - right now it's a 30kg suitcase full of stuff, a yoga mat, mini-guitar, camera equipment, laptop and four hard drives - across the world from Bali to Paris to Morocco and finally back to Paris again. I'm back in Paris now to settle in and put down all this stuff I've been carrying around and some roots for a while, or longer I hope.
Travel still excites me and captures my imagination, I doubt that will ever change but right now doesn't feel like the time for nomad adventures. All I want and all my tired and shaken-up nervous system wants is a cosy room for proper sleep, a routine, to cook, to watch a movie or read a book, have tea or some wine with friends, and to go to work most days of the week and start chipping away at all these things in my head that I so desperately want to bring into form.
I have so many stories to tell you still from the last year of travel, so much to talk about around living the free life, so many lessons I'm learning I want to write about, so many changes I want to make to this space, and I realised I can't do any of that if I'm always travelling. There has to be an ebb and flow for me to do all these things I feel called to do, the outward exertion of travel encounters and then the inward processing and integration, expressing all that I've seen and learnt. I have to ground and settle for now to do this inward-facing part, this is the greatest excitement for me right now.
When I move around too much I start to have the same recurring nightmare night after night. So I half wake up in the middle of the night, I'm kind of awake but kind of dreaming still, and I can't remember where I am at all. In my half asleep state I believe I've fallen asleep in a cold, stone church I visited during the day and that they've locked me in for the night and I panic. As I kind of wake up more, I realise I'm not in the church and that that would probably never happen to me. But I genuinely can't remember where on earth I am for several minutes, which bed, building, city, country I'm in and it's not a nice feeling. When these dreams come I know it's time to slow down a bit and I had them a lot in Morocco. So it's time to slow down.
Morocco was unlike any place I've ever seen, having not spent any time at all in these North African/Middle Eastern countries. A common phrase out of my and my travel companion's mouth was 'just stop it Morocco', the visual delight was too much for two photographers. There was rarely a scene I didn't want to capture, though I had to leave lots un-captured, which is kind of heartbreaking actually. Let it go, let it go I told myself.
And yet this was also a place where I encountered the most resistance from the locals towards photography. In Morocco I was told again and again, 'no photos'. So I was presented with a whole new challenge, to speak to any person I wanted to photograph first before snapping away. It forced me to engage with those around me and really only take the pictures I desperately wanted to take. And a lot of the time people still said 'no' and that sucked a bit. But it changed things up a bit too and made getting the perfect photo all the more exciting when it happened.
I went to Morocco as official photographer for G&T Weekends on their long Easter weekend trip in a villa in the desert outside Marrakech (more on this soon). They took me on so many adventures I'd never have the foresight to organise for myself, being more of a slow travel, 'we'll see what we feel like doing on the day' kind of traveller.
I went quad biking in the desert, I saw the most beautiful field of roses I've ever seen, hiked the Atlas Mountains (in a dress...silly), ventured into Marrakech's souk markets with a local guide, partied at sunset and into the evening out in the middle of the desert sands and pushed myself completely out of my travel comfort zone. Whilst it was more exhausting than the travel I'm used to, the things I saw were well worth it. Plus I was there expressly to take photos, so there was no one to tell me to stop snapping and just relax, they were encouraging it and I loved this feeling and the photos I took.
After the whirlwind long weekend, my friend Freya and I headed South to Taghazout on a three-hour bus ride. Taghazout is a small surf town, a hub for surfers, travellers and digital nomads thanks to the awesome co-working space here, SunDesk. I thought this place was beautiful but was a little heartbroken to only have a week there, it's the kind of place I'd like to settle into for a month I think to properly experience everything at the slow pace I need. More on Taghazout and all the pics real soon here, I promise.
So now I'm back here in Paris and it's already been over a week since I arrived to start my life here. My living situation is such that I share a one-bedroom apartment with a lovely friend for the moment, her in the living room with a screen up, me in the bedroom.
But I find myself catsitting for the next two weeks in a nice, big apartment on the top floor with just me and the cat, with the most breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower and its hourly light show at night. I said to the friend who owns this place that I'd like to manifest an apartment like hers for myself one day, she replied 'But you already did! You're living it right now!' : )
I've found a new workspace too that's going to perfectly suit me for the next few months. It's a very quiet and small space with only a few people, the perfect place to go inwards and nest and restore and do my work, and I'll post all about it on here soon with photos.
So life seems to be falling into place easily here, and I like to believe that's going to keep happening here in this place I feel I'm just meant to be in. When people ask me, 'Why Paris?', when I'm not here I sometimes struggle to answer. But when I get back here I just know. Of course it's lots of things I can explain like the people I meet here who are living a weird, creative, cobbled-together life just like me, the way that the arts are valued and celebrated, that this is a place where many people's creative dreams come true and you get to be a part of that, the interest in meditation, yoga etc, the fact that life never feels not-magic here, that there is so much beauty here, but it's also just an inexplicable feeling of being home and a sense of having finally arrived.
I hope to write to you more often now I'm more settled in a work routine...so write to you very soon,
p.s. All about Power lately...Power of choice and inspired action.