After moving back to France from Los Angeles, I decided I would take the summer to follow in Audrey’s footsteps, before signing a lease somewhere. I’ve been to many of these places before, but never for more than a couple of days. I’d also always wanted to take some extended stays in certain countries and I thought this might be a good chance to do that! I love to really settle in and get to know a place, make friends, feel at home… when I get citizenship, I want to do something like spend a year in Spain, and a year in Italy, etc….! Oh the things you can do when you are location-independent (and dual-citizen, fingers-crossed)!
It’s been a bit of a challenge pulling it all together over the past few months, and I’m praying things go a little more smoothly for the rest of the summer, but so far I’ve made it to London, where I will be spending the rest of July. I have a new (to me) car which I drove from France to England a couple of days ago and will pack up and continue on with from here at the end of the month. After London, I will make my way down to Rome (I have to decide on where to stop for a rest, because the drive is very long!). After a month in Rome, I will head north again and stay in Tolochenaz for about a week (with a quick day trip up to Oberhausen, Switzerland, where my ancestors were from), before going up to Arnhem for about 10 days. I would have gone simply from North to South, but the Dutch Girl book release is in September along with an unveiling of a new statue, so I thought I would definitely meet some Audrey fans there! I wish I could stay longer in all of these places, really, but I must get back to France in order to deal with some other things, and I’m also finding the traveling to be more expensive than I had anticipated! At least I will get to know her homes a little bit better, and see if I would like to spend more time in any of those places in the future.
So there’s the rough plan! Lots of driving, and lots of exploring. I’ve been in London for a few days, and have mostly been dealing with some issues surrounding parking, the flat, some things I had shipped to myself here, and just setting myself up a bit. But today I wrote down the ballet classes I want to attend while I’m here, at two different studios, and will make sure to go take some classes. I’m mapping out the routes Audrey might have walked between her home, dance school, and the theatres she worked at. I’ll be strolling Hyde park as she did (on Sundays, according to one brief blurb I read). I wish I was able to stay for a whole year and maybe join a theatre production (can I? I don’t even know if I can), or go to drama school… perhaps next year. If I can get a flat for half of what I’m paying this time! ha! But for now, I’ll get to know her city, her neighbourhoods… hopefully I’ll make some friends and have a wonderful experience, and who knows, maybe I’ll leave here with a bit of an English accent if I’m lucky! 😀