A Year in Perspective

This time exactly a year ago I was living out the adventure of a lifetime in Madrid, Spain. I had been living and going to school there for a little over a week and had just begun to memorize the metro lines and the many neighborhoods as well as the important places in the bustling city. My mediocre spanish and blond hair (not common in Madrid) made me stick out at first, but after a while people began to think I was actually a Madrileña, or someone who lives in the city. They would ask me for directions (in español) and where they should go and eat tapas or have a drink. Having grown up near LA in a city that relies heavily on driving, it was refreshing to use walking as a form of transportation and have more regular human interaction with strangers.

Fast forward to now, I have just moved home to Ventura from LA for the summer, and am working several jobs and am constantly nostalgic about returning back to Spain. I’m not sure if it’s just the idea of living there, or how happy I was, or the friends I had but I miss it so much. This is so cliche and cheesy, but I truly feel like I left a part of my heart there. There’s something that Los Angeles lacks as a city in being very unconnected and filled with people who are not from here and don’t consider it their home (although I’m a hypocrite since I’m not from Spain).

Although Spain was the obvious highlight of the past year, I think of all the large (and small) things I accomplished since leaving for that trip; I learned conversational spanish (and a bit of Catalan), I made many close friends from all over the United States and world, I learned what it was like to be part of a big Spanish family thanks to Laura Roca, I brought some Dutch friends home to experience a true American Thanksgiving, I started at a new university and got on the Dean’s list, I did an internship, I moved (twice), I traveled to 3 new countries and about 13 new states, I experienced partying in New Orleans, and LONG car rides, I finally turned 21, attended a big fashion trade show, got back into blogging, I learned how to take a decent photograph, I made a lot of great professional connections, started roller blading and that’s about all I can think of at the moment…

Here’s a taste of the past year

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From one of my first days in Madrid

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Outside Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid

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Toledo, Spain

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Cadaqués, Spain

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La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre, Paris

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Me with some famous Ladurée macaroons, Paris

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The Louvre, Paris

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LA Fashion Week, Los Angeles

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Las Vegas, Nevada for WWD Magic

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The Dutch girls and I in Ventura for Thanksgiving

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Charleston, South Carolina

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New Orleans, Louisiana

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Nashville, Tennessee

From all these great experiences this year, I learned that I want different things out of life than I originally thought I might have in the past. Human interaction and experiences are what makes your life rich and full, not necessarily what you do or where you go. Also, sometimes living in the moment in where you are is what is most important. I know that’s a cliché that you hear time and time again, but I’ve realized it’s true. So in this new chapter, I hope to live more like that and take things as they come…

What are you guys hoping to accomplish this year?

Thanks for reading,

Aly xx

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