So as I'm writing this it's been just over a week since I got back from the best year of my life. I'm now sat back on my sofa in the UK after a full year living and working in the most beautiful city in the world. I had such an amazing time in Paris and had so many wonderful experiences.
Whilst living in Paris I spent the year working for one of the biggest media companies in the world, with quite frankly the best fashion magazine in existence ;) but as I boarded my Eurostar in June of 2013 I had no idea what would be in store for me, and soon moved into an apartment in south west Paris.
On my first evening I noticed there were a load of young people drinking wine in the courtyard, and after a little persuasion I decided I would join them for my first night out clubbing in Paris.
These gals and guys were the friendliest people I could have met and I really did have the best summer all because of them. The year followed the pattern of finding the cheapest wine Carrefour sold (1,44€ in case you're wondering), drinking it in the garden or in front of the Eiffel Tower, and hopping on the last metro to one of our favourite clubs.
|One of a million Metro Selfies....|
|Les Deux Sosos|
Without turning into one big cliché, I really did "find myself" in Paris. I went from the girl who insisted on buying 13 metro tickets because she couldn't remember the number 10 (why?!) in Gare du Nord to the girl who on a depressing November morning found herself in the local police station making a statement after a burglary in her apartment. (Those who know me will also know I spent countless evenings in Parisian nightclubs using my newly confident French-speaking self chatting up the local hommes).
|My fellow stagiaire and fave gal :)|
I was petrified to start work, a full time job which wasn't at all like an English-style internship with coffee-making and photocopying but with actual Responsibilities. I had nothing to worry about though, working in France, with it's 2 hour lunch breaks and insane number of bank holidays a year really is good fun. I was lucky enough to work with a team of beautiful, intelligent and downright lovely ladies (and a couple of men) who kept me going through the year with their good humour and insights into all things French.
|Wine on the Ile|
Afterwork Drinks became a real thing
Talking of all things French, I have to say all the stereotypes are true. Everyone wears a beret, eats frogs legs and carries a baguette under their arm -- okay that's not actually true (apart from the whole baguette thing, I've seen them carrying up to 5 on the way home from work). Parisian women do dress in such a timeless way, they don't tend to follow fashion so much, as I would say the Parisian look wouldn't look out of place 50 years ago, but they always just look so effortlessly glamorous. Red lipstick isn't worn as much as I expected, but Parisian women barely wear any makeup, not even mascara, something I really think English women should embrace more.
The less said about French men, the better (as you can read in this post here) but I have to say I learnt to detect non-Parisians and found that French people can be really lovely and friendly, especially if they're not from Paris and I'm planning to visit the south as soon as I can. In terms of French women being so slim, it's true. I think I can count on one hand the amount of people that could be counted as clinically obese that I saw on my year there. I think it's due to the fact that food really is appreciated, with long lunch breaks and lighter dinners, and no snacking in between being really common in France. Unfortunately I struggled with this and would get really hungry by dinner time and end up eating my weight in baguette and Camembert but oh well, on n'a qu'une vie !
|L'Eclair de Genie. GO GO GO.|
|All this came to just over 3€. I LOVE FRANCE.|
|Twinkie's Breakfasts. Again, GO GO GO|
|My leaving party, complete with Percy Pigs, naturally.|
Before I head on my next adventure, I just wanted to share with you some more of my favourite photos that I've taken on the most exciting, unbelievable and unforgettable year of my life.
|Making friends with the Parisian bus drivers|
|Seeing London Grammar live at We Love Green Festival|
|Best views, but read my review here|
|Me and my boyfriend|
|Random building, but pretty, no?|
|Fete de la Musique -- a load of Frenchies in the street misbehaving with music in the background basically|
|My leaving present <3|
|Casual selfie with the whole dancefloor|
|A view from the meeting room on my last day|
|Chartiers -- again read my mini review here|
|My bedroom wall|
|Views over Paris from the Galleries Lafayette|
|A petit apero for the journey home|
|Saying goodbye to France from the ferry|
|My two fave things|
Heading home (and not letting go of anything French)
|Tour de France in London|
|A French Gendarme in London!!!!|