Letting Go of 2013

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Happy New Year! When I started this blog in the fall, I knew the hardest thing would be to write consistently. “Post every week. It will be simple,” I thought to myself. Many changes have happened in that time including leaving a once beloved dream job and re-thinking my life’s path. Now, more than two months after my last post embarking on a new year and a new job, feeling re-charged by both, I still chase the drive to write.

Oddly enough, a week hardly went by without thinking about being “far from lost”. In a new year amid the cold (for many of us) there is a feeling of new beginnings. In the promises we've either stated or kept secret in our thoughts, exists more hope to change and an empowering belief that we can reinvent who we want to be.

Montreal apartment

After I left my job, I went home for Christmas and then escaped across the border to Montreal for an adventure before letting go of the year back in my hometown in Vermont. It was the ideal mixture of familiar and adventure that I sought. Traveling to a new city is cleansing, isn’t it? I have a hint of Francophile in me, so to be among the beautiful French language and walk the European-like streets was refreshing. Traveling by way of Airbnb, where I stayed in a Parisian’s apartment in the lively Latin Quarter, only furthered a few day dreams that inevitably surface on trips, such as, “Could I live here? What would that be like?” Having an entire apartment with a kitchen, living room, and friendly neighbors who ask, “How is your stay so far?” only enliven that fantasy (left).

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The central location of the apartment in below freezing temperatures allowed for easy access to the relaxing Café Hookah Lounge on St. Denis Street and a short walk to the fine bakery, Mamie Clafoutis, that fulfilled my croissant cravings. The metro was also close by allowing for the discoveries of the best French Onion soup in Old Montreal, the popular market at Jean-Talon where I dropped big loonies (Canadian money, no joke) on fine cheeses and fresh olives.

One of the finest moments came in the up and coming neighborhood of Mile End, where after an indulgent Thai massage I was pointed directly to the St. Laurent café, Le Cagibi, for a mid-afternoon tea (above right). I was thankful for escaping the cold still feeling like I experienced the magic of Mile End.

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Returning to Vermont for New Year’s Eve, I convinced my family to join me in releasing some long-awaited paper lanterns into the snowy night. We traipsed to the Vermont College where a large opening allowed for us to light the lanterns and just let go (left). Each one floated up with cheers and hollers below, held with our hopes and wishes for another year.