I’m writing this post on the first day of proper rain in a long time: not like a light drizzle, or a sea fret, but a downpour. A deluge from the heavens. And I’m welcoming it with open, now soaking wet, arms. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve missed the rain. I have enjoyed the sun over the last few weeks too, though.
July kicked off a little unusually – I was in New York, 3474 miles from home and having a wonderful time. I was feeling so much better than at the start of June, that’s for sure. I was coming to the end of a nearly-month-long adventure with my friend that took us across 5 (and a half) countries from two continents. I had a great time and really loved New York. I’ve started sharing the photos from there, as well as the rest of my travels, over on Instagram if street photography is your thing.
Three days into the month and I was heading home – but not for long. Two days of unpacking, laundry, repacking and sleeping later, and I found myself on another plane out of London. This time however, I was accompanied by my parents for a ten-day holiday.
The first stop was Riga, the capital city of Latvia. I recently wrote a photo journal post about the three days we spent there so I won’t bore you with the details again.
From there, we took a slightly nauseating coach to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. And wow, was Tallinn pretty. I will be doing a photo journal post about it at some point, but it might be a little while from now; so for now take a peek at these shots.
But who am I kidding, the best thing we found there was a vegan chocolate shop that sold HUGE cinnamon rolls.
The last stop on the trip was a ferry ride away in Helsinki, Finland. The highlights of which include finding delicious vegan ice cream (yep it’s true, food is a big part of travel) and seeing an anti-Trump protest.
Once I got home, I sank slightly. I felt a little deflated after the rushing around the globe of the previous sevenish weeks, and the chain of illnesses that dragged me down for nearly a month before that. I think my body realised it was now home for the rest of summer, and everything hit me at once. The weight of it all knocked me out with exhaustion for a little bit and I had to accept that to move forward I needed to take it slowly.
I need time to breathe. Time to recalibrate. I’m starting to dip my toe back into reading, writing, baking, drawing, yoga, walking, bullet journalling… Things that make me feel relaxed. I haven’t done a lot of any of these things yet but I’m getting there. Sometimes I don’t move as fast as I wish I could, but I think accepting the speed at which I can do things is important, and acknowledging that I’m still moving forward no matter what is helpful. As they say, slow and steady wins the race, and whilst I’m not necessarily trying to compete at anything, I am definitely channeling tortoise vibes right now.
I have become more confident with driving though (something I’ve had a lot of anxiety about since passing my test in 2016) and as a result have had several lovely day trips further along the coast than I could get to by foot. I feel proud of myself for persevering with things that I find hard, and overcoming my driving fear symbolises that quite well for me.
It hasn’t all been rosy though. I am trying hard to undo the stress of the past few months but my stomach is still struggling. Pain that seems so random can dominate my day sometimes and I still haven’t found my way closer to an explanation or a solution. This has a huge knock-on effect on my mental wellbeing and can really drag me down, but I’m trying not to dwell on this.
Instead, I try to hold onto the good things going on in my life. And perhaps the best thing that happened this month for me personally was receiving distinctions in both my Open University modules! It feels like the eight months of time and tears I dedicated towards them were all worth it in the end.
I am looking forward to August. Not in a ‘wishing the time away’ way, but just knowing that I have a chunk of time and space to carry on building on the things that make my body and mind feel good is nice.
How was July for you? ❤
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