Hello from Paris!
After island life and the solitude of Croatia, it’s good to be in the bustling city of Paris - especially at this time of year! The change in vibe feels good.
It’s also that time of the year for reflection, and like probably most of the world, 2021 didn’t end up exactly like I thought it would. But, I’m certainly not going to complain. In fact, I’m grateful.
Last year at this time I was in Lisbon, Portugal because travel back to the US was difficult. My Christmas and New Years was really wonderful, even though I couldn’t be with family or friends.
This year isn’t much different. It was just easier and safer to stay in Europe and spend a few months in France rather than travel back to the US.
So I’ll once again share my experiences and feelings about the year past. I’m forever grateful that you’ve cared enough to follow along. I hope that as you reflect back on your 2021, it is also filled with some good times - and lots of gratitude.
My year started out in Lisbon. Portugal has a very mild winter climate that I enjoyed very much. On top of that, it's simply a beautiful city with very friendly people. Unfortunately, by mid-January we went into lockdown for three months. On the positive side, I had an apartment that was super spacious and comfortable.
Lockdown ended in April, so on May 1st it was off to another part of the country, a four-hour train ride up north to Porto! I loved Porto, and it many ways it was preferable to Lisbon. If you want more history and culture, the capital city of Lisbon is the place to be. But Porto has so much to offer as well. The food was just crazy good! It all depends on what you're looking for I guess. I'm glad I got to experience both places.
Some video highlights include my trip to the world's "most beautiful McDonald's", a nighttime bridge climb - and finally a summer evening wine boat cruise down the Douro river. Oh, almost forgot my visit to Livraria Lello, one of Europe's most famous bookstores!
After what turned out to be a wonderful 10 months in Portugal, I needed to move on. So off it was to Croatia to experience island life in the small town of Bol, on Brač Island. Bol is a small fishing village with about 2,000 locals. Watching the boats come and go on the warm, clear waters of the Adriatic Sea was just amazing. It was also an ideal place to swim - and Zlatni Rat is one of Europe's most beautiful beaches!
There was so much spectacular scenery here, so I filmed a number of videos. First, I took the train from Zagreb to Split, and then the catamaran from Split to Brač Island and the town of Bol. I also give you a walking tour all through town - and also take you along on my trip to the nearby island of Hvar.
I needed to continue my stay in Croatia, and you can't go to Croatia without seeing one of it's most beautiful and best known cities: Dubrovnik. So, it was goodbye to island life and back to the mainland! The Adriatic Sea is always stunning, but here you get to wander through Old City, and also learn about the history of this Eastern European area formerly known as Yugoslavia.
One of the highlights was my trek to the top of Mount Srd for a stunning view of Dubrovnik, the Adriatic Sea, and nearby islands. This is where I learned more about the Croatian War of Independence (from Yugoslavia) in the early 1990s.
I'm trying to find my groove here in Paris. The first thing I did was join a gym - which always makes me feel healthier and more connected. But in terms of finding groups and workshops to join (and people to meet), it's proving more difficult than I thought.
The language barrier is something I wasn't prepared for. In Portugal and Croatia, most people wanted to speak English. That's not necessarily true here, and it makes networking more of a challenge. I still have a couple of months, so I'm hoping that will change!
I truly hope you found some peace, joy and happiness in 2021 - and here's to an even better 2022!
Thanks for following along!
ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT
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