View of Marseille.
What did I learn from going to France?
On Monday I came back from France after an amazing 2 week trip where I covered 5 cities and 2 small towns. As I couchsurfed the whole time – I slept in people’s spare rooms or on their sofa beds – I got to stay with French couples, families and individuals, speak to them in French every single day and learn so much about their way of life. After finishing my last acting job in early November, I knew I wanted to go to France because I felt that it would give me clarity and direction in terms of what I want to do in the next few months and how to start creating a change in my life. During my trip I realised that I want to become a stronger swimmer so in the New Year I’m going to start taking some lessons. I also intend to pick up piano lessons again. But, most importantly, I learned 4 key things that I know I won’t be forgetting any time soon!
Most people will try to talk you out of doing things because they are scared.
The week before I left to France there were tragic events that happened in Paris. It was a scary thing for the majority living in the West world because it was completely unexpected and very horrific. It seems quite obvious but many people around me tried to discourage me from going because they didn’t think it would be safe enough, despite the fact that I intended to go to cities in the south of France (and Paris is far away in the North!). Despite what everyone said, I knew that I NEEDED to go for me. I had weighted up the pros and cons in my mind but while doing so, I did not want to absorb anyone else’s fears, doubts or negativity. So in the end I decided to go! The point that I am trying to make here is that no matter what you do in life, there will always be people to tell you that you can’t or you shouldn’t. Because I gained so much from the trip I can definitely say that the best thing to do is to make your own decision using the information that you have. That way you leave no room for regret and you end up doing what is truly best for you!
I will conquer French TV/cinema and become a very successful actress.
I’ve always wanted to work in French cinema but there were a few things that clouded my vision e.g. not speaking the language fluently. Having the chance to interact with French people and feel welcomed in France made me realise that it is a country I can see myself living in. Also, although I watch tons of French films, I only recently noticed that there are few black actresses in general (most roles are played by white actors/actresses) and I think this needs to change. They say if you want anything done it’s best to do it yourself. Agreed. France is a diverse country and this ought to be reflected in French cinema. Therefore I am going to become a renowned actress and I am going to have a big effect on diversity in this industry.
If you step out of your comfort zone you will be rewarded.
My entire trip required me to step out my comfort zone. I had to live with complete strangers, speak to new people every single day, travel around on my own, and be completely autonomous about everything. At first it was a bit nerve wrecking because I didn’t have the safety net of being around my friends and family or being in familiar territory. However, as the days went by, I began to really relax and enjoy every moment. Now I feel I am more courageous than I was before I left and I have the confidence to set the bar higher and challenge myself a little bit more.
I love travelling, learning about different cultures and languages.
Travelling is something that has become so important to me over this year and it’s something I’m going to do for the rest of my life. You get the chance to do things you would never think of doing in your own city/town and you get to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise come across. I’m even more fascinated by languages now and I intend to learn a few more before I hit the big 30. I’m starting with Spanish, as it is quite similar to French, and I plan on travelling to South America in the next 16 months to really bring everything together and become fluent in the language. On top of this, my goal for 2016 is to travel abroad at least once every month. I don’t know how it’s going to happen or where exactly I’ll be going but I do know that it shall be done!
Watch this space.