How Will I Balance Work And Play?


For me, at the moment, it’s not possible to live locally independent as I am still a university student. However, I do graduate next year and I am beyond excited. I don’t know what I’m going to do after but I am 100% ready for what gets thrown at me. For as long as I can remember I have loved travelling, just like my dad. My family and I used to live in Spain, I’ve always loved it there and always wanted to go back. But so far I’ve never lived or travelled outside of Europe and I have a burning desire to see more of the world.

I have been back to Spain since, as an attempt to be an Au Pair (didn’t go so well), and I wish I could have stayed longer but things don’t always work out how you plan anyway. I don’t ever want to stay in the same place for too long but I do want to stay in a place long enough so I can get to know new people and culture and lifestyle. I’m definitely going to take the opportunity to move away to a different country after university, possibly with a friend.

If you’ve read my bucket list you will know that I really want to travel and work because it will be an awesome adventure. I know my parents won’t like that I want to move away for a long period of time in a foreign country, and they’ll be scared just like me, but if it’s what I want to do then I will do it because I have to live life for me and no-one else. It’s safe to say that I have caught the travel bug and I am just itching to explore places I’ve always dreamed about.

But at first, I think I will have to travel close to home so it will be easier to travel back home if it gets too hard or something goes wrong. My parents want me to experience more of the world before I jump on the plane to Australia or China, Japan or America, and I understand that, but there’s only so much life experience you can gain in one place. For me, the future is a blank slate at the moment which is quite exciting and terrifying. I feel like if I don’t figure out what I want to do soon then I will feel lost.

I’ve also said before that I do not want a 9-5 job because it’s not like me and I will not feel happy; all I would feel is resentment and I don’t want that. So I need to find something that I love doing as work. I want to be free and I don’t want to be tied down to any specific place. My dream life would be to work and travel at the same time, but not working the same job everywhere. I want to teach English as a foreign language in China and Cambodia, to volunteer with elephants in Thailand, work in a coffee shop or bar in Australia… really just to experience everything and anything before I settle down. And maybe I won’t settle down, who knows? Maybe I’ll like it where I stay on my travels and stay there. The world is my oyster, as they say.

To balance work and play, I will work during the week doing whatever job I’m doing at the time and then I’ll explore on the weekends. Simple. And then after I earn enough money in one place I will move on to the next and work there for a bit. Travelling will definitely help with content for my writing, I know that, and it will definitely be very rewarding. I’ll explore little coffee shops and write in there whilst drinking the local coffee, I’ll discover back street bars, beaches, castles, little gardens and I will love every moment of it and it will never get boring for one second.

Photo Credit: Patrick Tomasso

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

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What Does Adventure Mean To Me?


Based on my day 3 post “What Does My Perfect Day Look Like?” I am going to go on a mini adventure because who doesn’t love one of those, right? Adventure can mean different things to different people. for example, to google it means “an unusual and exciting or daring experience” or “engaging in daring or risky activity”, and in some respects I agree with that definition. However, I also think that you can find adventure in the little things as well as close to home – it doesn’t have to be daring or risky if you don’t want it to be. To do something slightly different in your daily routine to what you normally do can be considered an adventure to you, just as much as travelling to a foreign country where no-one speaks English can be considered one to a recent university graduate. It depends on your situation. There are so many unlimited things to do, see and experience in the world and sometimes the most unplanned and spontaneous adventures can give you the best memories.

“To adventure is to find yourself whole.”

I love adventuring, especially in the forest because it’s my happy place and I think it’s absolutely magical. Being amongst trees and nature is so calming and relaxing, and it’s nice to have a day away from technology or responsibility and to just have fun. So the other day, my family and I went on an adventure in the New Forest and had a picnic. Being in the forest that day allowed me to experiment with my photography, especially with lighting in Manual mode and I feel like I definitely achieved something and got a better understanding of natural light. I did end up going for a walk in the woods on my own to see what I could find but I made sure I didn’t get lost by not going too far. Seriously, the New Forest is huge, google it. And I found that the further into the forest I walked, the colder it got, and that’s probably obvious because the sun could not get through the canopy, but I just sat for a bit with my camera and thought about things. It really helped to clear my mind being that close to nature. I felt like that time was not wasted at all.

These pictures were taken by me at sunrise. This was the view from one side:

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And this was the view on the other side, at exactly the same time, it was pretty incredible:

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Then, all of a sudden I heard a pounding on the ground like the sky was about to fall or a storm had suddenly flared up or something but you’d never guess what! I was caught in the middle of a stampede of galloping horses, whilst my family back at the motorhome in the car park. Yep! I was only going to take photos of the mist and then this happened. And thank god I had my camera with me or you’d never believe me. I was simultaneously scared that I would get run over and excited because I could get photos of horses in action. It was a remarkable sight, especially as they came running through the mist. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I didn’t know where to run. At one point I was running away from them because obviously I didn’t want to get hurt and at another point, I was running towards them to get good photos. They’re a bit blurry because I was panicking and extremely happy. My heart was beating SO FAST you do not understand. I was elated when I got back to the car park to show my family the photos. Best experience ever, and it made my entire week.

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Then the horses gathered in the big expanse and I got an incredible shot of a horse’s silhouette with the sun as backlighting. It’s my favourite photo from that day, and I’m really proud of it. I think it just looks beautiful, you don’t get to see or experience that every day, and it will definitely be a story to tell when I’m older.

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Bonus photo:

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I live fairly close to the forest, it’s practically on my doorstep, or about half an hour car journey away, so not very far. If I wanted to go to the forest more often I could cycle there or ask my Dad if he wanted to come to the forest for an explore too (and so he can drive me!). The forest is huge, so there’s no lack of ideas of what to do. It’s pretty much all trees and grass but every part of the forest is different and that’s why I love it. I could spend a lot more time in the forest because it’s like my second home. Adventure to me is the best, it’s fun and there’s no limit to it. I think that I will start taking more adventures from day to day and start taking more risks too. I’ve said all along that I want to live life instead of just existing. It’s better to fill your life with experiences to create memories rather than material things, and ultimately it will make me happier doing what I love more often. I want to get lost in the world and find out who I am.

What adventures have you been on lately? I want to hear all about them so comment down below! 🙂

Photo Credit: Blake Moulton

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

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How Will I Beat Procrastination?


I’m reading a book called Becoming A Writer by Dorothea Brande (read it, it’s very good), and she says some things that will help me on my way to becoming a better writer than I am. The only way I can actually become a better writer is to write more. Simple. Seems easy, but it’s actually quite hard. I’ve tried, and sometimes it’s because I’ve lost motivation or the will to actually put pen to paper. A good way to write more, though, is to write during the twilight state – that’s between your sleepy state and your awake state because that’s when your unconscious can slip through into your writing and you have no boundaries. What she’s basically saying is to free write as much as you can as soon as you wake up before you’ve even thought about anything or even before your morning coffee, and to not edit anything whilst you are writing (you can do that after). This time, jst after you have woken up is for writing only, and what I need to do is keep a journal beside my bed so as soon as my alarm goes off in the morning, I am writing almost immediately.

I’ve tried this a couple of times although not consistently I must add, and I tend to write about 6 sides of A5 lined paper, which is a lot for me, about 1000 words ish. It’s similar to if I was writing a psychology essay in an exam, so it’s pretty good, but I know I can write more if I tried. If I wrote like that every day for 30 days and pushed myself a little bit every day by a sentence or even a paragraph, then writing will eventually come easily to me and I will be able to write whenever I want because my brain will be trained to write consistently. When I am able to write consistently then I will know that I am on the path to success and freedom because I won’t have to think so hard about what to write before I get down to it – it will just come naturally. That’s what I want, to be a natural writer. After the 30 days it will become and innate habit and it will just happen, and I will feel great because it will be like I’ve accomplished something.

Photo Credit: Lena Bell

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

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Who Are The People I Admire?


Sue Zhao

Age 19, author of Nothing But Strawberries and creator of Excerpts of a Book I’ll Never Write. This is her Website, go check her out because you won’t regret it. Her words are just so nice and lovely to read, and I could stay on her blog for hours on end just reading the quotes that she has written so beautifully, about love and heartbreak and so much more, and her words just resonate so deeply with me. Sue’s blog “blossomfully” was one of the first blogs I started reading when I was in love with someone who didn’t love me back and I felt like Sue knew exactly what I was feeling and thinking and it was magical knowing that there was someone out there around my same age who understood me in that way. Granted, she writes to everyone in every stage of a relationship, from crushes to falling in love, unrequited love and lost loves, and even single people, but I just feel like I am deeply connected to her words. I am addicted to her blog and it’s admirable that someone so young has written a book and I wish her all the success in the world because she deserves it. She writes from her heart and it is so evident, she doesn’t put an act on and that’s what I love about her and it inspires me to write. I feel like she and I would be good friends. If I was to ask Sue a question if I met her in real life, I would ask “how do you write from the heart?”

Zienab Hamdan

Zienab Hamdan

Age 20, fashion student, journalist and poetess and author of For The Other Halves Of Me (a collection of  her original poems). So basically she’s a woman of MANY talents. This is her blog on Tumblr, it’s awesome and you should definitely go and read her poems because they are so beautiful and so full of raw emotion, and occasionally bring tears to my eyes (which is a good thing! because I know how hard it is to induce those kinds of feelings). Similar to Sue Zhao, Zienab’s poems are about heartbreak, healing, love, heartache, dating, memories of true love and soulmates and when I read them I just wish that I could have a love as amazing as the ones she writes about, I just really connect with them. I started reading Zienab’s blog around the same time as Sue’s because it was a time where I could have sworn it was love but I was only in love with the idea of him, and I needed to get over that. The poems that she wrote were there to kind of help me through my heartache and I can’t thank her enough. And along with being a poetry genius, she is also a journalist and I think at age 20 that is an incredible thing, she must have put so much hard work into landing that job and I admire her for that. I’d say she’s an incredibly versatile writer and that’s what I aspire to be like. If I was to ask Zienab a question or two in real life, they would be “how do you find the time to write poems, be a journalist and study fashion at the same time?” and “do you write from experience?”

Featured Photo Credit: Seth Doyle

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

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How Will I Set Myself Up For Success?


Time management is hard, really. I know that and you know that. Life gets in the way, so being able to manage your time and work to deadlines is one of the greatest skills you can have. A lot of the time, keeping to a timetable is difficult. Having too much to do in one day or one time period can be tiring and stressful. And more often than not, you tend not to complete all the tasks you want to complete. The only things that will keep you going are your commitment to the tasks and your intentions toward the tasks. If you really want to do something, you will find a way to do it. And I’m about to tell you how I will do it.

How will I feel when I stick to my plan? Well, I’ll feel happy because I know that I will have accomplished something. Sticking to my daily plan will make me feel proud and more productive. If I manage to stick to this plan every day, my life will probably be less stressful and more laid back because knowing me, I stick to a plan for a few days and then drop off because of lack of motivation or just generally because I’m lazy. If I can do this, though, I’ll feel triumphant. Seriously, it will be a miracle.

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Me, when I graduate next year if I stick to the plan.

This is what my daily success plan will look like:

  1. I will get up half an hour earlier than I usually do and write.

I will write so that my unconscious is free to flow onto the page without any limitations or censoring or editing. It will just be pure writing for as long as I can, non-stop to see how much I can write even if it’s bad. And I will write at least 500 words. After a few days or weeks of doing that, it will become a habit and eventually I will start writing things that people are interested in and that people want to read. Consistency is key. “If you write infrequently, then your creativity will become inconsistent.” By being consistent and practising every day I know that I will get better because I believe that good writing can be learned.

  1. I will work at the desk in my room.

Even though I share a room with my sister, she is only here half the time. So the other half of the time, I am free from distractions. But to truly be free from distractions I will not go on Facebook during the time that I am writing. The time I dedicate to writing is for writing only. I will not take phone calls or answer text messages or notifications.

  1. I will play Focus music.

Focus music like classical and piano music is easy to work to. I usually concentrate and focus better when I listen to it. Plus, it’s very relaxing. I think if you listen to upbeat pop music or loud rock music when you write it can cloud your mind and you won’t be able to write as well as you could. Listening to this sort of music helps me create the writing frame of mind that is so essential.

  1. I will spend 15 minutes a day reading and commenting on other people’s blog posts.

I think this is a nice way to build community and a good following base. It keeps you engaged with your readers and I know that when I read other blog posts I learn something that I never knew before, or I learn something interesting. And it makes me want to keep coming back to those blogs when they post something new. I may even make some blogging friends. It’s basically networking but online.

  1. I will spend 15 to 20 minutes on my social media calendar.

I recently started a new Tumblr blog because I was told that it could increase traffic to my blog. I don’t know if it’s working yet but hopefully, it will in the future. Anyway, I’m going to spend this time posting old blog posts to Tumblr because no one from the Tumblr community has read them yet. And Tumblr is a great place for inspiration too. Every time I post an old post on Tumblr, I get closer to posting my new posts on there so that I am up to date.

  1. I will make a list of 3 main goals for the day.

These three goals are your Most Important Actions you want to do during the day. Just 3. Three is easy and it’s not overwhelming. If I complete my 3 main goals for the day I will feel like I can take over the world and I won’t feel like I’m behind on any of my work and I’ll be at ease. I will complete these in order of importance and focus on one at a time. By focusing on one at a time my mind will not be confused or distracted. I know that in the past I’ve made massive to-do lists and felt down when I don’t tick them all off so three bite-size tasks a day will be easy from now on. And I will focus on one thing until I finish it, without exception. One down, two to go is easier than saying one down, nine to go.

My Focus playlist if anyone is interested. 100 beautiful songs. I’m updating my playlists all the time, come and follow me. 😉

Photo Credit: Caleb Frith

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

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