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April 2, 2011 in Life,Philosophy

I spend a good chunk of my time reading in the sunshine, whether on a park bench, on the beach or in a cafe courtyard. Every so often, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, soak up the Vitamin D and smile to myself: this is my life. Sure, I might be “just a waitress” when evening rolls around and I might not be contributing as much to my 401K as I should–but the fact that I have the time to read for pleasure every day means a lot to me.

Be Free street art in St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia

First of all: thank you for reading. I still get giddy when I see that someone commented on a post, when I realize that people I don’t know subscribe to my RSS, when my real-life friends say that they would read my blog even if they weren’t my friend. I seriously don’t know how to convey how grateful and blessed I feel for my incredibly supportive family and real-life friends, as well as my network of readers, followers and the whole travel blog community. You have made the last year possible.

Christine Amorose & Melissa Promes at Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

Since launching C’est Christine one year ago, I’ve drunk a beer in a dirndl at Oktoberfest, stayed up all night partying in Amsterdam museums, bartended on the French Riviera (and now in Australia), made some absolutely incredible friends and generally had the time of my life. I don’t know what’s next, but as Bill Bryson brilliantly put it: “Travelling is more fun–shit, life is more fun–if you can treat it as a series of impulses.”

More than anything, the past year has been an incredible adventure. Here are some of my favorite posts and memories from the first year of C’est Christine–I hope you enjoy reading (or rereading them!) as much as I did living, writing and now reminiscing about them:

Christine Amorose in Paris, France

Dare to live the life you dreamed: I agonized over this post, actually sending it off to friends to edit and provide feedback. I quickly learned that I’d have to put aside some of my journalistic training and start trusting myself.

My dirty little travel secret: As I settle into life in Melbourne, I’m realizing again why I could never do the traditional RTW trip. I adore getting to know a city: the quirks of its public transportation system, the agonizing decision of choosing my cafe, the joy of buying groceries with unfamiliar labels.

I left my heart in Paris: My Paris envy is a real-life malady: I yearn for a freshly-baked pain au chocolat, a wander through the cobbled streets of the Marais, the shrug of a surly French waiter. Missing Paris was one thing when I was in Nice, but it’s taken on a whole new level since I’ve been in Australia. I might want to see the world, but I think I’ll always want to come back to Paris. Ile Rousse, Corsica, France

Hell and heaven is traveling with other people: I’m too much of an only child to be anything but a solo traveler. I’m perfectly content reading a book and eating by myself and not having to compromise on anything. However, some of my best travel memories this year were with friends: Corsica with Nevin, La Tomatina with a heap of travel bloggers, Oktoberfest with Melissa, Oxford with Nice best friends, and Paris and Amsterdam with Rex.

Christine Amorose & Rex Flores in Paris, France

French things that aren’t really French: Now I’m a big fan of looking for “American things.” In France, they have American coffee–which is, essentially, what Americans just think is normal coffee. In Australia, they have American mustard–again, what Americans just think is normal mustard. Suppose that makes enough sense.

Work to live or live to work: I’m struggling with this again in Australia: convincing myself that I need to work about 483759387 hours a week to earn enough money to pay my rent, put aside some to travel, go out with friends and still eat a decent meal. I’m not sure if it’s ambition, good money management or just being a worrywart, but still, it bugs me that I just can’t shake the tendency.

Adorable storefront in Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Sometimes I wish I were there: Yesterday I held a baby and worked at wedding: between the new-baby smell and the drunk dance floor, I got major fixed life envy. I keep telling myself that one day it’ll be awesome to tell my kids that I lived all over the world, but honestly–I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss life at home.

My list of little travel joys: This post, and every single item on the list, still make me smile every time. Choose joy, every day.

Cheers for reading, and here’s to another year of adventure!

  • I have been struggling with the idea that since I left college, my ‘career’ has been waitressing. But because of this flexible job choice, countless lifestyle options are available. You’re right: sure, we might just be waitresses, but can be free spirits, travel! and even ‘read every day’.

  • Cat

    Every 13th of September, I get a little teary eyed thinking of how proud I am of myself for finding a job in Spain, packing up and leaving. Anniversaries like this remind us of how capable we are. I myself just celebrated one: I promised myself I would travel to 25 countries before turning 25, and spent last thursday in a trance thinking of where I would travel in the next 25. Happy birthday, C’est Christene!

  • Happy blogaversary, Christine! I know I’m not a huge commenter, but I want you to know how much I enjoy your blog and the stories you find around the world.

    Cheers to another year of adventure!

  • Many congrats, Christine! You’ve accomplished a lot in so little time. I miss home too, but I know being there would only make me want to spread my wings and leave again. Can’t wait to follow more of your adventures.

  • Congrats on hitting the one year mark! Looking forward to what the next one brings!

  • Congrats on hitting the one year mark! Looking forward to what the next one brings!

  • Happy Anniversary! And I have a couple of must-see things elsewhere on the Net for you to enjoy. The first one is Paris-specific, so that should be a nice birthday gift, oui?

    http://mediacenter.dw-world.de/english/video/#!/107369/Small_World_The_Painter

    http://mediacenter.dw-world.de/english/video/#!/108772/Camelot_My_Home_is_My_Castle

  • Anonymous

    yay xtreme!!!!!!!!! always reading, and sometimes figuring out how to comment :) my photography is picking up and getting more fun- love the canon.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/forzajenna/

  • Congrats on one year blogging! I love keeping up with your adventures and living vicariously through you 😉 And, thank you SO much for the postcard! You have actually inspired me to paint two new word as art canvases. One with “live the life you love” and one with “love the life you live.” I’ll send you a picture when I finish them!

  • Rex

    Happy Birthday blog, and congratulations Christine! I always like hearing about the places your are and what you’re doing there. Your photographs are windows into the wide world, and I hope to see the same things you have some day. I travel vicariously through you, so keep on going. Go as far as you can. And I know that I’m your favorite traveling companion, there’s no need to say it out loud. Mange. Prie. Aime.

  • This a great milestone! I have been enjoying reading your blog and look forward to doing so for another year. How has your journey been different looking back at your expectations when you began?

    Thanks for the postcard!

  • Congrats, Christine! It’s crazy how quickly a year passes, isn’t it? I’ve really enjoyed following along on your journey so far. And here’s to an even better Year 2!

  • Aww, happy blog birthday, Christine! You’ve had a great first year. It’s really hard to believe you’ve only been doing this for a year. Here’s to many more!

  • Candice walsh

    Happy Bloggoversary! Can’t believe you’re only a year old…you done good, son!

  • GPR

    Congrats on completing your first year. Keep up the good work as you doing in past year.

  • Nichole

    Happy anniversary! Try to shake those feelings of wanting to be fixed. Once you have kids, you’ll realize that this part of your life was fleeting, and you’ll never experience that kind of freedom.

    Looking forward to what you do next. 😉

  • Happy Blog Birthday :) Your blog is an inspiration to me and I really enjoy reading it!

  • Achaydost_21

    Congrats and hope you keep us updating on your new experience through different part of world. im actullay from u.s.a and live and work here. your mom is our one of best coustomer and she told me about you. I also love to travel to explor the world. have a fun and enjoy the life..

  • Anonymous

    Very true! It definitely allows a lot more lifestyle flexibility.

  • Anonymous

    What a cool goal! Mine is to spend every birthday in my 20s in a different country–so far, so good!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Kate! I feel the same way about your blog–always fun to see what you’re up to!

  • Anonymous

    Gracias, Christine! Couldn’t have said it better myself :)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! I don’t know how anything will be able to top the last one!

  • Anonymous

    Merci beaucoup :)

  • Anonymous

    Oh my gosh those puppy photos!!! Thanks so much for all of your support, lovely–I’m loving your photos as well! Miss you, can’t wait to hear about your Costa Rica adventure!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, lady! Totally appreciate all of your support–and your blog is always an inspiration for me as well! Can’t wait to see the art :)

  • Anonymous

    Regarde-moi, regarde moi. Merci beaucoup, mon petit chute! You are definitely my favorite travel partner, so get down to Australia ASAP, please. And special thanks for always encouraging my photography–I really don’t think I would have pursued it without you!

  • Anonymous

    Well, I didn’t fall in love with a Frenchman and move to France permanently–I think that was my biggest dream when I started on this adventure :)

  • Anonymous

    Well, I didn’t fall in love with a Frenchman and move to France permanently–I think that was my biggest dream when I started on this adventure :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the well wishes, Amanda! It feels like I’ve been blogging forever and yet just yesterday–such a strange feeling!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Gray–always appreciate your insight and support!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Gray–always appreciate your insight and support!

  • Anonymous

    Muchos gracias! Always love hearing about your adventures!

  • Anonymous

    Merci beaucoup! I certainly won’t be settling down anytime soon, don’t worry :) Your photography and business is a huge inspiration to me, so thank you for that, too!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! Always love seeing your comments :)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! Always love seeing your comments :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much for reading–I hope you enjoy it! My mom is such good advertising sometimes :)

  • Much congratulations on a year of your blog, it is one of the best out there! Looks like we missed each other at Oktoberfest!

  • Great wrap up! Congrats on the milestone, we look forward to hearing a bunch more from you!

  • Happy Anniversary! I love your blog and I’m excited to see what’s next :)

  • Nevin

    I know I’m a tad late but happy birthday c’est christine! I love this post and especially the photos, here’s hoping you have lots more exciting adventures to keep writing about :)

  • Joya

    Congrats Christine! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog over this past year and looking forward to more great posts!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! I’d go back to Oktoberfest in a heartbeat–so maybe see you next time!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you very much! Looking forward to more adventures!

  • Anonymous

    Merci beaucoup–so am I :)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you lady! I think we need a reunion for me to write about!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you very much! Hope I can scramble up some fun adventures :)

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