…better late than never! I’m not sure why but July was an odd month for my writing and blogging. I know I’ve been pretty distracted for the past few weeks: travel planning (with a bit of actual traveling thrown in) trying to get my money’s worth out of my gym membership, getting up to various shenanigans with my Peruvian people… But I’m feeling more inspired than I have in a long time after going away for a few days, and needless to say I’ve come back with some pretty awesome photos as well. Feeling excited about the content coming up in August!
So, dear July, as usual you went by way too fast so I’m kind of mad at you. But you were also a good month in many ways.
First and foremost because Lucio and I just got back from Iquique, in Chile (I cannot WAIT to put up those photos). It came to that point where I really, really needed a break from my daily work routine, and I was just so desperate to get out of the city and breathe the fresh ocean air. I wanted to get out so badly that I was itching for that long weekend to come around. So even though I hadn’t necessarily heard that much about it, I spontaneously decided that Iquique, in Northern Chile would be our destination… a new city off the beaten path with a beautiful coastline? Sign me up. The coastline ended up living up to the photos which I had obsessively googled, and I was just so thrilled to be listening to that familiar sound of the waves crashing down on the sand again. It gave me time and space to think, to really think about a few things which have been a pain in the a** for me recently, and to get some perspective too. We walked hand in hand along the shore, visited the “ghost town” of Humberstone about an hour away and simply indulged in each other’s company, whilst drinking chocolate milk and eating Chilean cookies on the beach. Bliss. We definitely couldn’t get our head around the Chilean currency, but it was fun trying! 800 pesos for a bottle of water… even when you know that ends up translating to only about $1.50, it still freaked me out to hand over a 1000 pesos note! But hey, being completely out of my comfort zone seems to be my thing…
But let’s rewind a little, back to the 14th of July, France’s national holiday and the night we went to a celebration at the Alliance Française downtown. The night of the attacks in Nice, on the promenade where I had spent many a summer afternoon as a tiny human rollerskating without a care in the world. Quite a few years before this world we live in turned so… messed-up, for want of a better word. Unimaginable horror had just taken place thousands of miles away, in a city so dear to my heart, and I stood there in the main patio of the Alliance Française with a ham and cheese crêpe in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, feeling completely empty inside. There was an emotiomal minute of silence, after which the music kept on playing, the fireworks were still scheduled and the band was still going to walk on stage in the next hour or so. Everything was still going on, life was still going on despite the horror. And thank goodness it was, because we could not have let those a**holes win, and take away all our joy and hope. But it just hit me for a second that such horror is becoming so normal in this day and age… The sadness and incredulity was palpable, and the faces of French-looking people looked downcast and tense, but the party was still going on, and I was still left wondering what on earth I, little Emilie Walker, could do to make the world a little less awful. The band came on stage, the fireworks exploded above our heads in the navy-blue sky and the tension in the crowd dispersed a little. The line for the crêpes was longer than ever, and I remembered to devour mine before it went cold. Closing my eyes, I was transported back to my favourite crêpes stand in the Saint-Michel area in Paris. The mouth-watering taste of melted cheese and ham helped ease the pain and sadness for a good few minutes. However, I was still left with that haunting feeling, that our world was full of evil and disease right now, and that the only thing I could do to help was spread goodness and kindness within my immediate surroundings. I guess I’ll start there…?
The month of July also saw me really, really struggle with living so far from Europe, and not only because of the awful attacks going on there. As two of my friends got married this month (Katie! Ellie! Congratulations!) and two more of my dear friends got engaged (Hélène! Olivia! I love you both!) I had to accept that I might not be able to play a huge part in those happy moments due to living so far away. On the days of both my friends’ weddings, which I obviously couldn’t attend, I had to distract myself as much as possible to avoid feeling the most intense FOMO (oh “fear of missing out”, you are so familiar to me). Yup, I’ll admit it, a huge part of my month was trying to avoid that feeling, and instead trying to be involved with those milestones in whichever way I could from where I was. Send love through messages, cards, gifts… I hope I won’t be missing too many of my loved ones’ happy milestones, but if I do, I really hope I’ll learn to deal with it more easily and confidently in the future.
Maybe I’ll write a book on how to live happily and confidently thousands of miles away from your comfort zone… Watch this space…
There’s been one song which has transported me to my happy place recently, and yes, I have happily danced and shimmied my way across my living-room in my pyjamas listening to it at full volume (oh, the things I do when you’re not around, Lucio). I don’t understand why it isn’t a bigger hit, why all the radio stations across the universe aren’t playing it, it is the bomb.com: Nabiha’s Mind The Gap. May it bring you joy too!
On a slightly more nostalgic note, Imagine Dragons did it again, they got my heart and they ain’t letting it go. I went to see the film Me Before You this month (Emilia Clarke, I worship you and I adore you and I want to be you!) and that song in the background fit the storyline so beautifully, and spoke to me so vividly. “Not Today” is just a beautiful song and I have been humming it to myself beneath my breath ever since I heard it.
Finally, there’s a third song. I was listening to this a few days ago as I translated a document at work, and before I knew it, my eyes were watering because I had been staring into space for so long, letting Ellie Goulding’s voice wash over me. I think I may have forgotten to breathe too… It’s the slow, Abbey Road version of her song Love Me Like You Do… it’s so raw, and stripped-back and I just adore it. Have a listen!
Finally, whilst I was thinking about my passions one day and trying to analyse what “having a passion” really entailed, I found this TED Talk really interesting.
Right, I’d better go and pack, I’m flying to Cusco in the morning…! It’s over six months since I’ve been on a plane, cruising high over the Andes mountain range, and I cannot wait.