Sunday, December 29, 2013

lessons of 2013

So, it's decided then. "danielle abroad" will put down some roots in 2014. Think job and apartment of a longer-term status. Exciting; especially as the particular whereabouts won't be determined until I defend my thesis and graduate with an M.A. But, before we embark on setting the stage for such normality, let's reflect on lessons learned in the boisterous year that was 2013...
January 2013: Embrace the possibilities. Do good. Juggling homes is complicated; having friends in town helps. Explore Africa.
February 2013: Celebrate New-yorkais food talent. Pre-travel planning has very pretty benefits. There is good coffee in Paris, if you know where to find it. Visit Rome in the off-peak season. Don't forget to appreciate the magic in the everyday.
March 2013: Find new ways to disconnect. Social network with caution. Sometimes urban loveliness is best soaked up solo.
April 2013: Be thankful for those that feel like family. Lisbon is the coolest. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that." Never stop discovering new neighborhoods, new restaurants, and new people. Girls nights are required.
May 2013: Terroir is to be experienced. Accept that you'll never figure everything out. You already know how to be twenty-five.
June 2013: New cities are just better with locals. Always blog ethically. Go the suburbs sometimes. Transitions aren't easy, but you can handle them. Seek more perspective. Love is marvelous in every which way.
July 2013: When in France, celebrate Bastille Day. Know what you're proud of. Tell your siblings you love them, and often. Paris is a good idea every time. Enjoy your real life.
August 2013: Do more yoga, especially outside. Judge less. Embrace the ebbs and flows of expat life. Swedes are the nicest.
September 2013: Breaking up might be the right move. Take advantage of serendipitous growth opportunities. Host roommates when you can. Be kind, especially to those you have no reason to be kind to. Some food is better in America. You're not stuck.
October 2013: Paris inspires. There's nothing quite like a French chateau. "Achievement is talent plus preparation." Start with whySave for more reservations at Septime.
November 2013: Holybelly rocks. There's more to Brussels. Adapt. Expats are incredibly generous. Seek compassionate gratitude.
December 2013: Live more authentically. Forever make new friends. Learn from each place. Family matters; stuff, less so.
"Fresh starts. Thanks to the calendar, they happen every year. Just set your watch to January. Our reward for surviving the holiday season, is a new year. Bringing on the great tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Put your past behind you, and start over. It’s hard to resist the chance at a new beginning. A chance to put the problems of last year to bed.

Who gets to determine when the old ends, and the new begins? It’s not a day on a calendar, not a birthday, not a new year. It’s an event. Big or small. Something that changes us. Ideally, it gives us hope.

A new way of living and looking at the world. Letting go of old habits, old memories. What’s important is that we never stop believing we can have a new beginning.

But it’s also important to remember that amid all the crap are a few things really worth holding on to."
Gotta love Grey's Anatomy monologues. It's the very wisdom I've accumulated in this past year that'll bring about stability and certainty in the new one. As such, if I'm to make any resolutions, it's to be a better human being (however cheesy that may sound) by focusing on these rules and steps. Few goals warrant such a toast and a try, right? Bonne année et bonne santé !


  1. I totally love everything you have learnt during your travels. Without a doubt, travelling is a learning experience. I totally agree with "New cities are just better with locals"!

    1. Thanks, Agness! So glad you agree. Happy New Year!


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