What 2016 Taught Me

Contrary to a lot of people and bloggers around here the year that just ended a week ago has not been to best to me (and to the world in general but that's another matter). Although I constantly kept my optimism up as much as possible while keeping my feet firmly on the ground, some events made this positive thinking more difficult. Now with a bit of perspective I am able to rewind the film back and reflect on what turned uncomfortable times into valuable lessons and perk up to begin 2017 with a fresh start.

1. Let go of what you can't change

I started off the year quite well with an 6-month internship abroad in Aberdeen, Scotland. The perspective of spending time in the UK again and discovering the Scottish culture alongside its lavish landscapes delighted me, and I couldn't wait to enjoy my time there. As far as my professional life is concerned my colleagues were both kind and excellent teachers. I definitely enjoyed the extra - all the Starbucks caramel macchiatos and our time spent at the pub on some Fridays as a reward for a successful project. However from June 2016 onwards I reached a low I had never experienced. I don't really intend to expand on this bit but let's say Brexit shattered my dreams and carrier and anything related. Some will know that my whole life seemed to revolve around this country - it affected me so much I couldn't go to work that day. I had fortunately taken it off in order to analyse the results for my thesis, which reminded me of the event who was to change my life entirely every single day. It was also hard for me to find motivation for work on a daily basis as it directly tied to the EU. I was struggling to be optimistic but didn't want to relinquish. Now the mess hasn't been sorted out yet but I have taken some distance as to the matter. Although it will maybe remain possible in the future I don't think I still want to move to London, my biggest dream of the last six years. At the end of the day it is not the end of my world, I realise I just needed time to do its job - I had a dream but I had forgotten I can have new ones. I needed time to let go of what I can't change and get back to an old habit of mine: focus on the good.

2. Spend more time with loved ones

Return flights from Aberdeen to Paris were incredibly expensive and the amount of time spent travelling on a weekend was superior to what I would spent at home. As a result I didn't see the point in wasting money and time paying home a visit as I would get back there soon enough. In the meantime, I was terribly missing my family and friends and the more time passed by, the more unbearable distance became. I had already lived abroad for quite some time so I wasn't expecting this feeling to be that strong. I tried to stave it off, which obviously failed. My time in Aberdeen eventually came to an end - never had I been so ecstatic to hug my parents on stepping off the train from the airport. From August onwards I spent a lot of quality time with my cousins and caught up with people I had not met in years. Needless to say being able to talk to my friends in real life and not through a Skype call was incredibly satisfying. I have learnt to enjoy every moment I spend with people I care for because I know I can leave home again for another city or country in a couple of months and get back to feeling the distance. Paying a visit won't ever be a waste of money or time when it can buy happiness.

3. Travelling is the one thing that makes me happy 

I enjoyed several beauty and fashion shopping sessions a month to cheer me up which obviously didn't make up for my best friends' absence. I started thinking I needed some time out of there. One of them was doing her internship in Rome - the thought of flying to meet my friend in a warm and sunny city steeped in history absolutely thrilled me (no offense to Scottish weather but snow till March and 15 degrees top during the summer was not the best to keep my moral high despite a wonderful journey in Western Scotland and Edinburgh). Along with another friend, my Roman holiday turned out to be the best of my life as for the first time, I needed to get away to clear off my mind. I realized travelling with friends had been the best thing that had happened to me in months - Rome got me over the moon, so I went back there for another (chilly) trip in November. I visited London one more time. I said hello to Paris again. I went to Brussels. I felt so alive every single time, having a blast. Going on a new adventure is something I always look forward to whether I feel up or down - and I am rarely ever disappointed.

What about your year 2016? Did you learn anything from it? Hope you have the best year 2017! x


  1. I hope 2017 will be even better and kinder for you than 2016! I wish you more travels to places as gorgeous as Rome. Iga www.igaberry.com

  2. i really learned that some things happen for a reason and to focus on people who support you other than trying to bring you down.


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bonjour white