July Reflections: Holidays and Undoing Stress

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.

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June Reflections – Illness and Travelling

Well it looks like we can all breathe a little easier as this post is going to be a lot more positive than May’s Reflections: otherwise known as the episode in the series in which disorder is the star of the show and no one knows where the plot is heading next. I would say head on over to check out why May was like rooting for Germany in the 2018 World Cup (on paper it looked like it was going to be a celebration but in reality it was a stressful disappointment) but that post is pretty depressing. For that reason I’d recommend sticking with this one (which has been more like the Russian football team: everything surprisingly and impressively pulled together in the end, and no matter what happens now no one can deny the excitement and success so far).

If football references aren’t your thing – and believe me, they’re not really mine either, that’s just what happens when you spend a month travelling with a football fan – then don’t worry as that was the last of them.

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Catching Happiness

If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you’ll know that June is a bit of a hectic month for me, but in a good way: I’m currently travelling across five countries with a friend, which you can keep up with over on Instagram.

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Because of how busy June is, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some short poems on my blog. The first of which is about the elusive nature of happiness…

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31 Moments of Gratitude from May ft. Just Hannah Here

After my last post, my reflections on a slightly shambolic May, I think it’s time for a little pick-me-up. A highlights reel of glittery moments. Some sparkly POSITIVITY. Yes that’s right kids, I’m dusting off the concept of ‘gratitude’ and shoving it centre stage again. Because May was a tricky one for me (slight understatement, but we’ll go with it): I struggled with illness and essays and generally feeling helplessly stuck.

But that doesn’t mean good things didn’t happen – in fact, they did. It’s just hard to fully appreciate the taste of a fine wine when you accidentally pour it down your windpipe (or if, like me, you think all wine tastes like a grape-infused oil slick). These are the most important times to recognise and be grateful for good things in life though. Noticing the small moments can help to lug us back up the hill so we have a chance at seeing the sunrise.

At the start of the month I was talking to the lovely Hannah, from JustHannahHere. She writes about all things lifestyle and I really love her content! We decided to collab on the topic of gratitude, noting down a small thing from each day that made us that little bit happier. I’m going to be honest here: I didn’t do this every single day. Life has been hectic and I didn’t make the time for it. Oops.

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Bloggers Whose Positivity and Content Inspire Me ft. Cross Dimensional

A little while ago, I spoke about my desire to take part in more collaborative blogging. Milind from Cross Dimensional was one of the first people to contact me, suggesting that we talk about positivity. Today, Milind will be sharing positive things that are happening in society despite all the negative news – that should be super interesting so make sure to check that out as soon as it’s live! When the topic of positivity was first brought up, I started thinking about the support I felt as a newcomer to the blogging world, and how this has continued throughout my writing-on-the-internet journey; this is what I’ve decided to discuss over here on my blog.

My Thoughts Entering the Blogging World

Coming into the blogging world, I was a little apprehensive. Let’s face it, the internet doesn’t have the best reputation for friendliness. You hear about cyber bullying, trolls, and harsh comments being thrown around the world wide web like flyers at a promotional event for flyers. That was oddly specific, but I’m just going to go with it. The prospect of having all of that negative energy directly dumped on me sent tingles of fear up my spine.

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Practising Self-Love For Valentine’s Day

I don’t really subscribe to the whole premise of a Valentine’s Day in which the focus is almost entirely on romantic love and capitalist consumerism. In my opinion, love between couples isn’t the only love worth celebrating, and buying expensive stuff isn’t the best symbol of these feelings. For me, 14th February is a day to show appreciation for the people that you care about, in whatever way is significant to them. If this means getting each other lots of material objects, then by all means do that. But I think it’s also important to not lose sight of the value of experiences and time spent together or doing something for them, such as making a special dinner.

In the run up to this day, I often find myself rolling my eyes at the crazy amount of marketing and advertising done by companies all over the place, whether that’s on the high street or online. In a consumer society, it’s hardly surprising that everyone is rushing to cash in on yet another celebration in the year that tells us it’s okay to spend lots of money, and I don’t blame them. That’s how business works. But that doesn’t stop me feeling a little depressed by it all.

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Moments in Sydney: 101 Words of Gratitude

From July to November 2016 I lived in Sydney, Australia, in a room I shared with two girls I met in a hostel. I had moved out there alone and it was my first time solo travelling; as you can imagine, this was a period of intense ups and downs. The further I get away from those days, the more they become tinged in nostalgia and the more I want to hold onto those months I spent abroad.

I thought I’d write a short gratitude piece about some of my experiences there in a similar style to the 101 words I shared a few weeks ago about appreciating the January sunshine. In that post I mentioned how acknowledging small moments that make me happy in day to day life is one of my goals for 2018, so today’s post will be a paragraph of appreciation for my Sydney travel memories.

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