2017: A Year in Photos

2017 was a year that definitely tested me. The number 7 is one I absolutely hate. Even though it is supposed to be a *lucky number*, it always seems to be that bad luck hits me. 2017 wasn’t the best of years, but it also wasn’t the worst.

I celebrated my three years in Paris, and it feels just like yesterday I got off that plane in Nice thinking I would be here for only a year. I was this young 19 year-old, figuring out what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I was timid, brave, stupid (at times), innocent… sometimes I don’t even recognize myself. I turned 22 in Nantes, France. I got to go to many new countries I had only dreamed of my whole life of visiting. I got to go to my first gala at the Sorbonne. I actually passed my first year at French university! It was a year in which I discovered my love for photography and started experimenting. But it was also a year of turmoil. I lost my American grandfather back in March. It was the first time that I had to deal with loss from a distance. It was hard not being in the states for family, and hard to deal with the guilt of not being there. It was also a year of learning self-value.

I am forever grateful for my life. I am proud of the person I am becoming, even though sometimes I might not even know where I am headed and still trying to figure things out.

You can follow more of my photography on Instagram.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from this year.

A shot from Lac d’Annecy.

A shot the Frenchman took of me on our first trip of the year to the French Alps in February. Was my profile picture on Instagram for a while.

Another shot the Frenchman took in the Alps.

First day at Val de Loire. Absolutely beautiful, loved exploring all the different castles.

Château de Chambord. One of my favorites.

Inside the Château.

Overlooking a cute little town.

This trip was so important to me. It was the week I lost my grandfather and was coping with the guilt of not being home for my family.

My first trip to Milan. I felt like a little child. I had always dreamed of visiting Italy. On that trip, I crossed paths with the Pope! His car drove right in front of me.


Stuttgart, Germany. This trip was so much fun because I got to see our German foreign exchange student that lived with us in Indiana for a year and her brother. They showed me around their city. So grateful they invited me.



The Stuttgart library, where I could get lost for hours.

Springtime in Paris is one of my favorite seasons. Everything is in bloom, the sun is coming out and people tend to be a bit happier. There is also a lot more color (even in what people wear).

The way I edited this shot makes it look like a drawing, which is what I love about it.

The day right before I turned 22, overlooking Nantes. It was quite windy and the Frenchman took this shot of me having fun!

My birthday started at midnight… The people standing behind me didn’t even know me, they were just singing along. I was quite surprised.

Such a peaceful little path to the beach near where we spent my birthday.

The Frenchman and I at the Sorbonne’s end of the year gala. We didn’t know our picture was being taken, but this is my favorite one of us taken this year.

One of my favorite streets in Paris, so colorful : Rue Crémieux

Drinks overlooking Paris from Galleries Lafayette

One of my favorite shots I have ever taken of the Eiffel Tower. So different. Looks peaceful without the tourists.

I got to visit Disneyland with my high school friend, Sabina. It was a blast and fun seeing her again. She is the one who took this picture at me laughing and being all childlike again. I absolutely love Disney, and Ariel was my favorite princess growing up. I am also a huge Star Wars fan.

Sacre Coeur standing tall over Paris.

Visiting a château, you have to pay attention to details. Doors are my favorite. This one is at Château de Chantilly.

A little house in the countryside (near Château de Chantilly). It made me feel like I was in a movie or in Beauty and the Beast.

Château de Chantilly

One of my favorite shots I have ever taken at the Louvre. I get to walk past this amazing place often, and the magic never seems to go away. From Parc de Tuileries, the Eiffel Tower, Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe are visible.

The best day of summer, I got to finally see my mom graduate. It has been her lifelong goal. She has inspired me in so many ways. She’s the strongest person I know.

First time I got to drink a beer at a baseball game. Also, I love IU.

Jardin de Luxembourg is my favorite park in Paris and the first place I went to after three weeks away in the states to take some pictures.

This chocolate shop is where I go to take sweets back to the states. They have the best chocolate/hazelnut spread.

San Sebastian is one of my favorite cities in Spain. The Frenchman and I had planned to go to Florence, Italy over the summer but changed plans last minute. The Frenchman had already been to San Sebastian and said it hadn’t impressed him much, so I showed him the best places to eat, drink and relax. Let’s just say that after this trip, his mind changed about this wonderful city.

This is one of my favorite photos I took and edited this year. It is so different from all my other photos. When I edited this shot like I do most of my other ones, it just didn’t look right. This version just seemed right to me, and made it look quite vintage (which I love).

I took this shot over the summer when my friend Sabina came to visit. I rediscovered being a tourist in this wonderful city. Montmartre was where my first apartment was located (when I was a fille au pair). It is just a cute little neighbourhood and I loved the experiences I had with my friends.

I took this shot coming back from a weekend getaway to the beach. Driving into Paris, there was rain. There she was, the Eiffel Tower, lit up and beaming over the city. I loved how she looked through my window with the rain, and I tried my best to capture that perspective.

During October break, I got to visit San Sebastian again. This was the first time I got to see the city from above. She’s a beauty.

I was walking by this cafe and I knew it looked familiar. Then I realized it was the place where my Parisian adventure started. I met a lot of the au pairs from my agency there, people who would change my life and become long life friends.

I just loved this cute little car.

Holiday decorations in Paris.

Again, holiday decorations in Paris yet this Guerlain window on the Champs Elysée definitely wins.

This photo was taken by my friend, Victoria Prime. Right before this, I was posing near the metro sign and started laughing and walking towards her. This shot was an accident, but those natural shots tend to be the best.

Strasbourg, France. I had always dreamed of going to see the Christmas markets. It was quite magical.

The Frenchman and I in Strasbourg, France.

Christmas in the states with my family.

I hope you all had a lovely year, and I am wishing each and every one of you a happy 2018.

Bisous, Besos, Kisses, 


You can follow more of kikalavil: 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kikalavil

Bloglovin: Diary of an Expat

Instagram: @kikalavil

Twitter: @kikalavil 


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