VORLD / PURPOSE
Recently, I had to think a lot about the role purpose plays in my life and the things that I do - my education and career, my relationships and this blog. Over the past year I have caught myself posting less and less, often because I felt my blog didn't live up to my personal expectations and sometimes also because I was too distracted doing other things. In the case of my blog I had to admit to myself I kept looking for reasons I didn’t have the time or material to create content. Casey Neistat describes this dilemma quite accurately in one of his daily vlogs (he's a youtuber, father and generally cool dude from NYC with a great attitude towards life and an obsession for electric skateboards). He talks about the never ending pressure of a creator to produce new, interesting content and come to terms with the fact that not all of our work can be 100% perfect all the time. He says something along the lines of 'don’t let perfection be the enemy of creation' which made me reflect and become conscious of my own doubts and excuses. When I first started this blog about 2 years ago I was looking for a creative outlet while I was interning in a corporate consultancy firm, I was hungry to discover, showcase and share things that inspire me and hoped they would inspire someone reading. The blog was my door to a new, exciting world of fashion, life in a big city and a wealth of multicultural experiences.
However, I have recently gone through what one could call a 'blogging crisis', which made me reconsider everything - the content I put out, the topics I write about and most importantly, the time I unappologetically dedicate to this small platform, which I can’t seem to let go of. The fact is, I’m not the same person I was two years ago, consequently, my blog is not the same it was when I first started sharing. What has the purpose of this blog become? I still want my content to bring value to my readers - be it through inspiration, practical tips on travel and food or places I want to recommend. The core of my blogging motivation hasn't changed, it simply adapted and evolved the same way I have through moving country and living in London. So, what's the purpose of this post? To start creating again and to share some pictures I took on my trip to the South of France. There’s enough negative news in the world - I want to keep this blog a positive place, that captures the beauty of life and gets your mind off work and worries, even just for 5 minutes a week!
FRENCH MORNINGS AND EXPLORING SAINT TROPEZ //
The best way to start the day in the South of France is with some freshly baked baguette, pains au chocolat and fresh, juicy grapefruits. We spent our first day exploring our surroundings and Saint Tropez. Aux Deux Frères is an amazing bakery in Rue des Commerçants, which a lovely French granny recommended to us for the best tartes aux pommes in town (they were EPIC!). Saint Tropez is famous for its exclusive harbour which is frequented by Leo, Queen B and other celebrities during summer. It was super nice to experience the town during spring, as it was less busy and generally more pleasant to discover - most yacht owners don't use their boats until June so that most of them were calmly sitting in the harbour, being cleaned and made ready for their owners to arrive. Shopping-wise Saint Tropez is clearly not made for people traveling on a student budget - still, it's fun to browse through the numerous designer boutiques and let's face it, I'd rather invest in some delicious French patisserie than splurge on some Zadig and Voltaire which I can find anywhere in Europe.
HIKING IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE? //
When I think of the South of France hiking is one of the last activities which comes to my mind. Consequently, I was really surprised when my friend took me along the Sentier de Littoral, a hiking path which exposes you to incredible nature, turquoise bays and sneaky views into the incredible properties along the coastline. Spring is the perfect season to go for hikes as the temperatures are still below 25°C and as nature is literally exploding - after a rainy and cold winter in London it was almost therapeutic to take in the most bright shades of green and blue as well as the fresh air and smell of pine trees and salty water. A detox to my lungs and mind which was long overdue..
INSIDE DIOR AND KARL'S FAVOURITE CAFÉ //
On day 3 we went back to Saint Tropez for some more exploring and to purchase the famous Tarte Tropézienne, a cream filled brioche and local speciality, which makes any food coloured, bloggeresque macarons you've ever had taste like a 2 quid Mc Donald's hamburger. Senequier is the café and patisserie where Karl Lagerfeld can be frequently found enjoying a coffee in summertime. Apparently, he once said 'C'est le coeur de Saint Tropez' (it's the heart of Saint Tropez) - the baked treats certainly made that justice. If you like saving money like me, I recommend you to buy some sweets to take away. Unlike the beverages, the patisserie is still reasonably priced, although you won't get the whole 'I'm sitting in Saint Tropez's most exclusive Café, look at me I'm so fabulous and rich' experience.
I loved visiting the fish market right after we had a look into the very elegant and slightly intimidating Dior boutique, where we were full on followed and surveilled by sales assistants for the whole duration of our short visit. Saint Tropez captures this dynamic between the uber exclusivity and prestige and the reassuringly normal aspects of everyday life unlike any other place I have ever visited. I learned not to be fooled by the image of glamour, yachts and expensive restaurants which one usually has of Saint Tropez and the surrounding area. If you look closer and dare to go aside of the tourist dominated center, you find that this place is run by a group of hard working, down to earth people, who help support the local economy by upholding this image of wealth and abundance, which attracts masses of tourists every year.
WHERE THE WORLD IS STILL OK //
We did not stay on one of the yachts in the harbour of Saint Tropez (although, who knows, maybe one day?), but, in one of the neighbouring villages. Just a fifteen minute drive from Saint Tropez, we were able to enter a whole new, peaceful environment and loving community of locals, who made us feel at home from the moment we arrived. I have talked about my preference of staying in flats instead of hotels before and I'm still convinced it offers you the opportunity to not only observe, but, immerse yourself in the local culture. Daily rituals like going to the local boulangerie or buying sea bream from the local fish monger on the market, chatting to the seventy-something lady living next door or being invited for dinner by your neighbours make for unique and unforgettable moments, that remind you of how simple and rewarding life can be.
I was wearing an H&M collection distressed denim top and Mango trousers. My sunglasses are vintage Rayban wayfarers. My friend is wearing a Uniqlo shirt and dungarees by Les Temps Des Cerises, her watch is by Daniel Wellington.
LONELY BEACHES AND HILLSIDE VIEWS //
I can't even start to describe how diverse and beautiful the landscape is in the South of France. For instance, I love the idea that you're able to start off the day skiing in the Alps and end it by taking a dip in the Mediterranean in the afternoon. Of course this area is beautiful any time of the year, however, I love the fact it's not as crowded and hot in spring or autumn as it is during the main, summer season, where all France is going South. We checked out two beaches and were pretty much by ourselves for most of the time. I wasn't quite as brave as my friend and didn't go into the freezing water, but, happily stayed in the sun reading, napping and getting in loads of vitamin D.
Ramatuelle is a lovely little village located in the hills over Cap Taillat. We headed there during lunchtime and found all of the stores closed - the French take their lunchbreak very seriously and in the South it can often go on from 12PM to 3PM. While the whole village seemed to rest inside, we strolled through the empty allies and made friends with some of the feline residents. Notice the culottes I'm wearing? They are far from flattering but incredibly comfortable and when I'm on holiday comfort is my no.1 priority! My top is from the recent Lemaire x Uniqlo collaboration, which is made from a cotton and nylon fabric that feels super luxe and the culottes are from Uniqlo's regular range (they also come in black and blue).
I could not have wished for a better way to end our trip than with a picnic at the famous mill of Ramatuelle. This might be one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to as you're surrounded by beautiful nature, the sound of chirping birds and exposed to the view of the coastline in the distance.
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