November was one of those months for me that, looking back, seems like it could have been four months. How was I working in France at the refugee camps at the beginning of the month and now I’m here, sitting at my friend’s kitchen table in northern Germany typing this out? I love doing these recap posts because it makes me remember how much actually happens in life.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME. On previous birthdays, I’ve treated y’all to some existential crisis essays about aging and why is this day so special anyway…That or a play-by-by of all the chocolate I ate. Well, this year I’m doing something a bit different! Today I turn 24…I’m officially in my mid-twenties *fast breathing* so over the last month or so I’ve devised myself a “25 by 25” list. Meaning I have one year to complete everything on this list! (Or, at least, try to). I thought this would keep me motivated in a year that’s doubtlessly going to be full of change.
It’s 2am. My eyes are open, adjusted to the grey light and the odd flash of headlights that whoosh by, reflected through the window onto the high vaulted ceiling. The room smells of Oil of Olay, my Mother’s beloved nightly moisturizer, mixed with the faint smell of plumbing to be expected of a centuries’ old Italian mansion. And there it is. My Dad’s snore. Again.
At the start of September, I had a slight shock to the system. I returned to the UK after a month galavanting through the European heatwave and, in my absence, Autumn had arrived. An even greater shock came when I boarded a train to France, where I worked in a refugee camp for most of the month. My summer of short shorts, beating sun and lazy hikes started to seem ridiculously luxurious as I spent each day covered in mud and rain, sleeping in a broken campervan with no hot water, helping homeless refugees in the forests of France. In all honesty, I’m still having a hard time reconciling that experience with my general daily life. Returning to the UK for my graduation and a family reunion, I felt overwhelmed by the superficiality, excess, and associated guilt of my blessed life…. this contrast is quite evident in my blog posts from this month, alternating throwback posts on my Eurotrip with in-the-moment diary posts of working in the refugee camp.
AUGUST. What a month. I think my lack of travel over the past few months of 2017 (#libraryslave) has been made up for by August. I’ve managed to see so many places that I’ve been wanderlusting over for years, as well as places that weren’t even on my radar. It’s been the big Eurotrip that I have longed for but been unable to find time/money for since I have been living in the U.K.
Life update: I am planning on being homeless for the next three months so I can travel. When my year-long lease runs out this month, I will not be renewing it. I will not be looking for a new lease, either. Instead, I will travel.
Big thanks to y’all for sticking around and reading this month, as I haven’t been the most regular of posters. I’ve been powering through the final month of my Masters degree and decided to give the blog (and attached instagram) a bit of breathing room. However, it wasn’t all for naught with the blog this month as I was actually named one of Blogosphere Magazine’s Top 10 In the Spotlight blogs – still in a bit of shock about that but very, very happy! Here’s a bit more of what I’ve been up to this month…