When I look back at my 34 years (soon to be 35 years), there are certain years that have made an imprint in my soul. These periods contained milestones, like graduating from college, or mere moments in time that changed me forever, like when I realized I was falling in love with Mr. ShuGar.  I like to think of these pockets of time as stained glass windows, which comprise the kaleidoscope of my soul. They define me.

When I feel reflective, I can’t help but think of the year 2000.  No, it’s not Y2K nonsense or thinking the world was going to end.  The images of 2000 parading in my head are featured in the gallery of photos above. In 2000, I studied abroad at the University of London, Queen Mary for my final year in college. It is the year I discovered my passion for new worlds outside the bubble of Southern California.

I initially thought of the concept of life-defining “years” when I heard of Radio Dept.’s song 1995.


I discovered this band through a Sophia Coppola movie, Maria Antoinette; It’s as if Coppola and I are musical soul mates (see my earlier blog post about Lost in Translation).  The song describes the memories of this monumental year of 1995; the year of the inception of the band.  Some of the lyrics include:

1995 is missing buses

It’s walking 15 miles to see your love

It’s knowing you’re alive through all the fuzz

It’s never coming down from going up


1995 is cutting classes

It’s sitting over coffees talking indie treats

It’s the mere sensation of being the first one that you see

When morning opens up the skies

You see me when daylight opens up your eyes


And though I’m happier now I always long somehow

Back to 1995

To mirror the song’s message, allow me to take you to my year – 2000.

2000 is tea with milk and crumpets too.

It’s polluted London streets – gray and gloomy, but beaming with life.

Tube rides filled with quiet Londoners and loud Americans crammed into the Central Line to Zone 1.

Be careful when crossing the streets – remember to always look right and left.

It’s walking the streets of London on an architectural tour with my camera. My love for fashion was in its nascent stage – it’s the year I discovered fashion as art. Covent Garden, Oxford Circle and window shopping on Bond street were my pastimes.

No boyfriends, no husband; just me and my map ready to discover whatever café, museum, park is just around the corner. It’s attempting to balance London sightseeing with studying hard in my flat at Queen Mary University.

2000 is using the excuse of bank holidays and many other holidays to backpack through Western Europe. It’s planes, trains, buses, gondolas, and cruises.  Paris can be just like an Amelie movie with endless monuments dedicated to art and love, sprinkled with a tinge of “I hate Parisians” because they really are that rude.

Italy is a country which entices all your senses and you leave it wanting more. Fresh fruits and vegetables on every block in Sienna and pasta heaven in Bologna. Athens  is a jungle, but the island of Mykonos is serenity. The narrow white cobble-stoned streets on a Vespa and indulgence in every meal.  In Spain, streets named after my namesake and funny Spanish accents. “Carajo”, “coño” and  “vale” in every sentence.  A day spent admiring the historical beauty of Granada’s Alhambra palace.

2000 is my treasure – the gift I gave to myself and it is forever mine.