I have been trying to find a way to sum up my 3 months in Paris - and to be honest, I just can’t. How do you put into words how much a city and the people (my Parisian family as my close friend calls it) you meet there can bring you back to life, but also teach and show you the life that you want to live. Deciding to move to Paris for three months was without a doubt the best decision I have ever made for myself, there were of course lonely and hard days (especially when you’re frustrated that you can’t speak the language just yet) but also days filled with so much joy, laughter and love that you almost have to pinch yourself every minute to realise that this is now your life. And not just a dream. It’s hard to explain, but Paris and France feels like home for me - it gently shifts something in your soul and being there just feels so right.

So, with possibly the biggest gap between blog posts in the history of Made From Scratch - now is the perfect time to fill you in on what I have been up to in the last few weeks/month. I’ve been rather absent on social media - for a few reasons - but mostly because I didn’t want to share anything until I knew everything was confirmed. For those who kindly and so generously follow my journey on Instagram would have noticed how upset I was to be leaving Paris - my 90 day tourist visa had expired and I needed to leave.

My initial plan was to simply come back to Auckland after my 90 days there - then life happened in the most wonderful way. So my plan changed, and I was to fly to London and spend 90 days there, then go back to Paris for another 90 days before coming back to New Zealand for Christmas and apply for a visa to move to France. That plan changed within two days of me having to leave Paris when I realised that I could apply for a year long working/holiday visa and go back to Paris sooner. So, that’s just what I did - I booked a flight, and flew to Auckland two days later - and in the two weeks that I have been home I have renewed my passport, applied for my French visa, had it approved and am now planning/organising everything so that I’m able to live and work in Paris for a whole year from this September. It’s daunting, exciting, overwhelming but overall just feels so so right and again I know it’s going to be one of the best decisions I will make for myself.

My time in Paris was purely just for me and I purposely didn’t make any plans for my time there - aside from of course finding the best patisseries and exploring the secrets of Paris. I wanted, and needed to just be in this beautiful city and in a way let life unfold for me in a gentle and natural way - there had been far too many months/years of pain, forced decisions and putting life on hold. So I just wanted and needed to be - and also to a point get bored - I couldn’t remember the last time I was bored, and it was such a welcomed feeling.

I also had a lot of time to think and sit in parks/cafes and write in my journal until my hand was numb. It’s amazing how therapeutic walking the streets of Paris are - you wake, find a fresh croissant et un café allongé and then walk until your legs can’t carry you any more. You have time to think, question everything about your life, what makes you happy and then most importantly work out a way to make this life become a reality.

There are a few things that I have decided I will be doing while going forward on my journey. There will be a lot more recipes, travel and lifestyle inspiration on Made From Scratch, maybe not as often as before, as I’m wanting to focus on quality not quantity. And also because my goal over the next year while in Paris/France is to enrol into a cooking school, learn French and of course travel as much a possible while there - I want to learn enough so that one day I’m able to open a physical business, online is lovely, but I need to have a physical job. One that I can touch, see and share with others.

My goal is to share my journey with you in an organic and thoughtful way - to show and hopefully inspire you that through dreaming big, a lot of hard work and even though it’s terrifying at times, it really is possible to create a life that you love after being thrown one hell of a life curve ball. The other important decision that I have made is that I won’t be sharing anything from my personal and private life. What I’m doing, learning and experiencing will be here, but my personal life and who I spend my time with in private will be just that. Private. Mostly because I want to find and create a new structure, routine and balance to my life, I want to protect and cherish those special moments, but also share the never ending journey that is life. I miss baking, cooking, creating, learning and experiencing new things, and my three months in Paris not only gave me the time to realise and remind myself of what’s important to me - but also newfound confidence to follow my dreams, and to know that there are many wonderful ways to live your life. x