6 Things I Hope 2019 Will Bring Me

I won’t be writing a list of resolutions. Improving myself and my life is something I work towards every day, without feeling the need to write it down.

However, I found that laying down your hopes and wishes on paper is a great help you to define your dreams and goals. As soon as you write them down, they feel more real. And in general, doing so at the beginning of a new year allows you to see things clearly.

Here’s me doing just that. 


In 2019, I wish…

To Travel More…

Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, China… how many of them will I be able to visit this year?

I believe my being in Singapore will help me on that wish, since going anywhere in South East Asia from here really isn’t expensive. In fact, these days it’s making me wonder about what really prevents people from traveling, apart from money.

Here in Singapore I can witness locals not really wanting to travel although it’s a cheap matter for them, and what’s more, travel alone. I believe nobody would ever do that here. Going somewhere in Asia by themselves, without the perspective of having a friend meeting them at the airport upon arrival is something quite close to a nightmare. Of course I can understand to some extent, and here I’m talking about Singaporeans but this applies to any nationality. It’s just even more obvious since Singapore is known to be Asia’s nerve center.

And you, what are you afraid of that prevents you from traveling, apart from money?

To Meet New People…

So far I’ve done a pretty good job overcoming my shyness and have met and bonded with quite a lot of people. It’s been a long time since I’ve made new friends, but moving to a new place alone has forced me to be more open to new relationships.

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This year, one of my biggest challenges will be to improve my Japanese as much as I can before going to Tokyo again on my own and hopefully make some friends during my stay, or even one friend would be huge! Cross fingers for me!

To Improve My Content… and Find My Pace

20190119_212644_00017379178381326100204.pngI’m still in the process of choosing what will be best for both this blog and my daily life. At the moment, I’m going with the flow and creating content when I feel like it, favoring quality over posting on time.

As you can see in my right column, I am supposed to post every Wednesday and Sunday, which roughly means 9 or 10 blogposts per month depending on the month. This goal is something I’ve imposed on myself but so far, I haven’t been able to keep up with it, since I have many other things on my hands apart from my 9-to-6 work: my YouTube channel, my Japanese lessons, my Bujogram, the reading challenge I’m on every year, and staying fit by going to Yoga classes and doing fitness on my own.

As much as it pains me to admit, 2 blogposts per week was too great a challenge for me. I am going to have to slow down on this blog. I’ve decided I’m going to post only on Sundays and see where it leads me. I’ve chosen Sunday since I believe this is a day when most of you have time to chill and actually read some blogposts. 🙂 Let me know what you think about this change!

To Tackle On My Anxiety…

Mental illness has been the talk in town for quite some time now. Many people have had the courage to speak up, and I’m happy to see it did spread some light on it.

I myself have had anxiety for as long as I can remember, and in fact for very concrete reasons I know too well about. It’s something I know I’ll never be able to master completely, but I can definitely improve how I manage to live with it in my daily life.

Since my first job has started, my anxiety has never been so low during the day. I’m still having trouble to sleep though, but I’m working on it. And I haven’t had a single panic attack for the whole of 2018. I hope I’ll be able to say the same at the end of 2019, and also that it doesn’t affect me as much. Wish me luck guys ❤

To Get A New Tattoo…

I know it comes rather aggressively after saying I wished to tackle on my anxiety, but in fact these wishes are very much linked to one another. Finally getting tattoos for my 25th birthday in 2018 was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Since then, I’ve been more in sync with my body than ever before. I’ve slowly started to actually like my reflection in the mirror, just when I thought it would never happen to me.

This subject needs a whole blogpost to itself, which I’m keeping in mind for the future. For now I’ll only say that the 4 tattoos I’ve got right now are still missing a fifth one. If I could get it done this year after having designed it, it would be perfect. 🙂

To Have A Healthier Lifestyle…

So far, I’ve quit smoking and coffee altogether, and am careful not to drink too much alcohol, in hope that someday I’ll quit alcohol too. This year I’ll focus more on this, because I’ve overlooked it for too long, due to my anxiety level being too high during my studies. Now that I’ve ‘started on my life’, I really wish to be as healthy and responsible as possible.


Of course this list isn’t exhaustive: I wish for many more things to happen and will talk about some of them in later posts! So don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to be able to know when new blogposts come out 🙂

Stay tuned,

Lilly

aka The French Hat

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One Month Living In Singapore | Sat’Update #4

Day: Saturday the 29th, December 2018 (night).

Location: Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

Last event(s): have spent a week in Bali, and made a wonderful new friend ❤

Next event(s): new year’s eve in Singapore & working my ass off to create contents for 2019.

Current state of mind: focused to get everything done in time.

Current state of body: tanned & ready for fitness.


So, it’s already been a month.

I didn’t count from the first day I arrived because my first week in Singapore has all been about finding a place to live, which didn’t make room for any exploring or relaxing or enjoying my time in Singapore.

I can recall I was wondering whether or not I would make friends here, whether or not I would actually be able to travel around… and both of those wishes have quickly been fulfilled: now I’ve made friends with two wonderful girls, and traveled to Indonesia for the first time in my life.

I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring me…


Until next time (and don’t forget to travel),

Lilly,

aka The French Hat

Merry Christmas 2018 on The French Hat!

Sending you Merry Christmas wishes from Bali, where I’m spending my 2018 Christmas leave!

Merry Christmas to my family in France!

Merry Christmas to my friends in France and abroad!

Merry Christmas to my colleagues in Paris and Singapore!

Merry Christmas to my lovely readers & subscribers!

The Ultimate Travel Tag: 50 Questions

Tag: noun. Internet term referring to a list of questions to answer, designed to get to know better the person answering them.

Created by people on the internet for other people on the internet, a tag usually has a theme which can revolve around general or more specific topics such as food, friendship, culture, movies, seasons, travel…

Usually, a person answering a tag will take that occasion to create some new questions, and ask other people to answer the tag on their platform as well, in view of spreading the tag.

Has been seen on: YouTube, blogs, Pinterest, Twitch, Instagram, Twitter…

Derived from: To tag: verb. To link a person to a picture or video on a social network.


MAP OF THE WORLD

1. How many countries of the world have you already visited?

I’m originally from France, and so far I have been to Ireland, England, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, the USA, Japan, Singapore and at the time this blog post will go up, I’ll be spending Christmas 2018 in Bali, Indonesia! So, 10 countries so far! 🙂

2. Which destination is the number one of your bucket list?

Oh my Gosh, this tag is already getting to hard to answer… Well, in fact my bucket list was all reshuffled after this summer 2018, because I went on a world trip with my parents for my 25th birthday/ end of studies/ life turning point and got to visit the USA and Japan, which were ex aequo my two ABSOLUTE number one destinations on my bucket list! You can read all about this mega-trip here 🙂

Therefore, now that two of my absolute dream destinations have been crossed off the list, I would say the number one on my bucket list now is be Australia. I’m actively looking at prices on Sky Scanner to see when it would be the best time to go there from Singapore!

3. 3 other places at the top of your travel bucket list?

Well, I’ve already written about the 10 Incredible Destinations I Want to Hit Before I Kick It, and from this I will say the other 3 are:

  • China
  • Egypt
  • South America

4. What does the ideal holiday look like for you?

Ummmmm… Let me think about it.

It would for sure be long, a month or two, and it would include discovering a new country and experiencing some kind of a culture shock. Visiting cities, but also incredible untouched sites, with preserved nature. And it would be either with one loved-one, or alone.

5. Favorite picture you’ve taken during a trip?

The two pictures I cherish the most are those two shots that my mother took of me in New York this summer…

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empire view

Both those shots are absolutely perfect to my eyes, and bring back so many memories of us being in New York, me for the first time ever, my parents for the first time in 27 years: they spent their honeymoon there before I was born…

It was my absolute dream to go there, for as long as I can remember, and both pictures represent the fulfillment of this dream of mine and make me remember how lucky I was then, and how lucky I still am to be able to continue fulfilling my dreams now.

6. Have you had to travel for work so far? If so, where?

Yes, I have had to travel for work on several occasions: when I was on internships in law firms during my law studies, I have had to travel to other courts or tribunals in France, for court hearings.

Since I’ve graduated as a lawyer in France, I’ve been working as a junior legal counsel for the Singaporean office of a big french company. So for my first job, I actually moved abroad, to Singapore.

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7. With who would you like to go on a vacation sometime?

With each of my loved-ones. Where? I don’t know, where the wind will take us 🙂

8. Who or what would you take with you to an uninhabited island?

For the person it would have to be a loved-one, and for the object it would have to be a knife, because I believe you can achieve anything with a knife (fire, create a shelter, make clothes, prepare food, etc.). But the real answer would be something intangible: knowledge about how to survive and nature in general.

9. Would you rather go to an amusement park or a zoo?

Anyone who knows me well knows I absolutely love amusement parks. For example, I have been to Disneyland Paris more than 30 times (I’ve had a One-Year Pass allowing me to visit for free).

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I also like going to zoos, but it really depends on the zoo, and I’ve visited a lot of zoos in my life actually, I’m guessing 20 different ones. In France, Ireland, Japan, the US and Singapore.

In France, you can have really nice open-air ones, where animals live freely in reserves, and most importantly not caged. I especially think about a bird park I absolutely love in Villard-les-Dombes in South-east France (website). I also remember visiting a domain where wolfs lived freely but were fed by humans, which allowed visitors to see them during lunch time. This is the kind of “zoo” I like, but it depends on what you’re calling a zoo really.

All I know is that when I see an animal caged and obviously looking like it’s gone mad, turning in its cage, desperate, it brings tears to my eyes. I can’t handle it.

10. Mountain or sea?

Sea. I’m a beach girl, have been going to the south of France and the Mediterranean sea for all my holidays from 0 to 17 years old.

11. Which country(ies) will you visit this year?

Well, 2018 will end in one week, but in fact I still have one country to go to this year: I’ll spend the last week of 2018 on the Indonesian island of Bali 🙂

I cannot say anything about 2019… you’ll see 😉 but stay tuned for my adventures to come, because 2019 will probably be the year I visit the most places, ever!

12. Where would you never visit?

Well, never say never, but I can think of places where there is a war going on, or countries under dictatorship. I can say I’ll probably never go to North Korea.

13. Which place did you think was so special that you wished to come back to it immediately after leaving it and still want to revisit now?

Kyoto, Japan. 100%, didn’t even need a minute to think about it. If you’ve never been, PLAN YOUR TRIP RIGHT NOW.

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14. A place you’ve been to where you would not go back to and why?

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Will not go back unless forced to, and you can read all about the reasons why in this blog post: Why Las Vegas Was A Downer & Discovering Sin City | World Tour #8

15. What was the last country you visited?

Well, it was Singapore, because we ended our summer world tour with Singapore, and three months later I was back: now I’m living there 🙂

16. What is your favorite place on the planet that you have been to?

Japan. 100% again. Hands down. Not joking. If you’ve never been, PLAN YOUR TRIP RIGHT NOW!

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17. Favorite place in your home country?

Wherever I felt safe, at home, and with the people I love. It has never been attached to a place in particular.

18. You’re in an airport, and you know you can choose whichever destination to board a plane right now: which part of the world would you choose?

This situation only happens in movies… how nice it would be though! Well, to be really honest with you, I’ll go back to Japan, so the destination would be Tokyo, Narita Airport.

19. What’s your cup of tea – tropical island getaway, snowy ski break or city exploring trips?

Either Tropical island getaway (which will be what I’m doing for the last week of 2018, going to Bali) or City exploring trip!

20. What are your top 3 hand-luggage must haves?

A water bottle, a book and a blanket. It’s only with those 3 things that I can survive a 14-hour flight.

21. What 3 things would you take on holiday/travelling if you could?

All my books, my piano, and really nice camera gear.

22. Any travel tips to share?

Don’t prepare every single thing in advance of a trip: allow yourself to get lost, to explore whatever you wish to and to be surprised!

23. What is your most pleasant trip memory?

What I felt arriving in New York City for the first time in my life. I almost cried of happiness, feeling like the luckiest person ever.

24. What is your most unpleasant trip memory?

Being sick for two days straight in Tokyo, not being able to get up.

25. Most surreal travel moment?

The moment I left France again, to go and live in Asia. I cried, and in fact I’ve filmed it: you can watch my departure vlog here!

26. Most embarrassing moment abroad?

Well I can’t remember one in particular, but it always has to be with not understanding what a person is saying to me, usually talking in English but with a strong accent from somewhere.

27. Biggest disappointment?

Las Vegas, again. You can read all about the reasons why in this blog post: Why Las Vegas Was A Downer & Discovering Sin City | World Tour #8.

28. Nicest surprise?

San Francisco, California, USA! I’d never really thought about this place, but staying there and exploring this city was actually so nice! I’ll definitely go back to California in the future.

29. Favorite food discovery during a trip?

Well, this is a hard one because I’ve been eating food from all other the world since I was a child so for the moment I didn’t discover any food during a trip. However, I recently discovered Chinese Bao, at the Yam’Tcha teahouse in Paris, the small restaurant of Adeline Grattard’s husband, as seen on the third episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table: France.

I loved the baos I ate there, and I’ve seen lots of restaurants specialised in baos here in Singapore, so I’ll definitely eat some baos again!

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30. Why do you travel?

Probably the hardest question of this tag. I will give the short answer, because I’d really like to extensively express my deepest thoughts on this topic in the future, on this blog.

I guess I travel because I’m looking for something, which I haven’t found yet. A place, someone, peace within, answers to my questions, truth? I don’t know.

31. Have you picked up any phrases from travelling?

I’m already getting so used to Singaporeans “Lah” to mark the end of their sentences, and “Can” or “Cannot” instead of answering yes or no, I’m sure I would have picked those in about a month!

32. Your dream travel companion?

A special someone I haven’t met yet.

33. Favorite city or country?

City: Kyoto, so far. Country: Japan, forever. (repeating myself here, am I not? Have you booked your trip there yet? What are you waiting for?)

34. Best item purchased abroad?

All the hats I own. They’re from all other the world, and I love them all.

35. Advice for those who want to travel but think they can’t?

If it’s a lack of money, then take time to look at all the budget travel tips available on the internet today: you won’t hesitate after doing that.

If it’s a lack of time, then really think about it: I am 100% sure you can find a way to take some time off whatever is keeping you from traveling (work, family, life in general).

And if it’s a lack of courage, which probably is the main reason for everyone, then meditate every day over this quote:

In the end, what you will regret aren’t the things you did, but the things you never had the courage to do.”

36. Travel accessory you always pack?

Taking aside the obvious (identity papers, phone + charger and money), I would say a travel guide or a physical map.

37. Your most treasured passport stamp?

My passport stamp from the US.

38. Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?

Oh yes. Along with its expiration date.

39. Preferred method of travel: planes, trains or cars?

Cars, 100%. I’m all about road trips, even though I absolutely love planes and trains as well. I also cherish boats, and buses. Any kind of transportation really.

40. Hostel, hotel or AirBnb?

Hotel or AirBnb. Sharing a bathroom and a bedroom with strangers is my idea of hell on Earth, so hostels are NOT for me.

41. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?

I’m both. I want to go to all the places I’ve never been to, but also come back to my favourite places.

42. Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or do you wing it?

I read a lot about the destination, its culture and history, but I don’t plan the exact things I’ll be exploring or doing when I get there.

43. Favorite travel website?

I don’t really have one. What I’m all about are vlogs on YouTube, from youtubers like Louis Cole (Fun For Louis) who’s been to almost every country on Earth. I’ve been watching his vlogs around the world for almost 7 years.

Otherwise, I look at travel guides, and read travel blogs when I need information.

44. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name city and why.

Tokyo, Japan. Because anyone from anywhere in the world will for sure be getting a huge culture shock in Tokyo. This place is absolutely incredible, and it can be everything you wish it to be.

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45. To which destination did you first take a plane to?

Dublin, at the beginning of September 2011, when I was 17 years-old, to go and live there for 2 years.

46. Suitcase versus backpack?

Backpack. So much more convenient.

47. Is there something you do on every trip?

I always go out of the place I’m staying at, choose a direction, and walk or take transportation in that direction not knowing what I will find. This is how I’ve stumbled on amazing sites, discovered amazing restaurants, met locals, etc.

In fact, this is probably the best travel tip I could give to anyone, but to do this you’ll need to be absolutely care-free.

48. When traveling do you talk to locals easily?

Yes, and I make a point out of it. I need to connect with locals, because this is how I like to travel. Otherwise there would be no point to explore the world for me.

49. Do you feel like you’re different when traveling?

Yes: this is the time when I’m most feeling whole and complete, and not wishing to be somewhere else. I live in the present and am fully aware of the peace I’m feeling inside.

50. What is the greatest travel-dream you would like to accomplish before hitting your next big life-turn?

I would like to experience 3 to 6 months of living and working in different places, in one country or many… and I can’t tell much more because nothing’s settled yet. 🙂


Until next time,

Keep Calm & Travel!

Lilly,

aka The French Hat

I Left France For Singapore! | J’ai quitté la France pour Singapour | Expatriation #2

MY SECOND VLOG: I LEFT FRANCE FOR SINGAPORE!

On my YouTube Channel Lilly Out And About!

Don’t forget to go and subscribe to it to support me 🙂


MON SECOND VLOG : JE PARS SEULE A SINGAPOUR !

Sur ma chaîne YouTube Lilly Out And About !

N’oubliez pas d’aller vous abonner pour me soutenir 🙂

The Big Move! | Le grand déménagement ! | Expatriation #1

MY FIRST VLOG: THE BIG MOVE!

The big day has arrived: I’ve uploaded my very first vlog on my brand new YouTube channel! As promised I’ve created a YouTube channel for vlogs, videos about Singapore, expatriation tips, and even more to come! My channel name is Lilly Out And About! Don’t forget to go and subscribe to it to support me 🙂

I’m really getting into this vlogging thing actually, so I may upload daily vlogs, we’ll see! I’m guessing everything in my new life in Singapore will be interesting to see, but of course let me know whether you’d like to see specific content!

I really hope you like it, I’ve put my heart into this! ❤


MON PREMIER VLOG : LE GRAND DEMENAGEMENT !

Le grand jour est arrivé : j’ai posté mon tout premier vlog sur ma toute nouvelle chaîne YouTube ! Comme je l’avais promis, j’ai créé une chaîne YouTube pour mes vlogs, vidéos sur Singapour, astuces sur l’expatriation, et bien plus à venir ! Le nom de ma chaîne YouTube c’est Lilly Out And About ! N’oubliez pas d’aller vous abonner pour me soutenir 🙂

En fait j’aime vraiment bien vlogguer, donc je vais peut-être faire des vlogs quotidiens, on verra ! J’imagine que tout ce que je vais vivre ici sera intéressant à voir, mais bien sûr n’hésitez pas à me dire si vous souhaitez voir du contenu en particulier!

J’espère que vous aimerez, j’y ai mis tout mon coeur ! ❤