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An Anxious Introvert’s Guide to Freshers’ Week (Part 1)

At school I was always the kid hiding a furious blush behind a curtain of hair, desperately hoping not to be noticed. Whenever a teacher threw a question out into the room like a knife-edged boomerang, I became painfully aware of the chair jamming into my spine as I attempted to disappear into the plastic. In short, some school days felt like being led to slaughter (in front of a cheering crowd). So not too pleasant, really.

I’m not saying I hated everything about school, I actually liked plenty of things about it. But I did find it extremely difficult to be part of a group and to interact with people I didn’t already know very well. Understandably, when I left college at 18, I did not want to go to university; I took a bit of time out of education to figure things out and, perhaps naively, hoped I would be able to fully overcome these awful feelings.

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6 Hacks to Start Shooting Street Photography for Anxious People

I recently put out a post about shooting street photography, which included several tips and tricks for beginners to get stuck into the art of capturing spontaneous, real moments. Lots of you seemed to enjoy that post, and several people expressed an interest in getting started but feeling anxious about having to shoot on the street with people noticing you. Worry no more, I’ve got you – this is what we’re going to be discussing today.

Now, who would be a good person to turn to for advice on such a subject? A highly socially anxious individual who has a bit of experience with taking photos on the street, I’d assume. Hmm… can you think of anyone? Yeah, that’s right, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll definitely have come across content centred around anxiety – even if you weren’t looking for it. I’ve talked before a lot about how standing out in any way at all has given me crippling irrational fear in the past.

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6 Things To Consider When Shooting Street Photography

Some of you who have been around on my blog since the start of the year will know that I started getting into manual photography (figuring out all the settings yourself rather than leaving your camera on auto the whole time) back in January. However, I’ve been interested in shooting photos of things that are happening on the streets for quite a while longer than that. I think this interest in street photography stemmed from travelling – coming into contact with ways of life so different to what I experience back home made me want to capture these moments on camera.

I’m still very much learning about shooting photos on the street, but I do feel like I’ve learnt a few things about street photography since I started getting into it. So today, in collaboration with Panasonic, I thought I’d share those tips with you all. I’ve been aware of Panasonic cameras for almost as long as I’ve been interested in photography – my dad has had several different models over the years and has always had great things to say about them. One he doesn’t have yet though is the recently released Lumix mirrorless camera, which is capable of shooting high quality images and videos in 4K. Sounds like it could be a great companion for shooting on the street!

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How To Make Friends When Living Abroad

During May I put out a post about how to make friends as a young solo female traveller. As I wrote that post, the word count started edging towards 2000 and I thought that it might be a good idea to break it into two. As the post took shape, it naturally split itself into tips for people travelling from place to place, never staying anywhere for too long, and advice for those attempting to settle somewhere slightly longer-term. The post I published before covered the first of these, whilst this post will focus on the latter.

When I was travelling in 2016, I did a mix of both things: I visited a couple of countries and places for a week or two at a time, and I also lived in Sydney, Australia for around four months. That’s not too much time, but it definitely felt like a different experience to the other places I visited. I got a job there, lived in a house and made a few more friends.

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How To Make Budget Travel Plans

One of the main reasons people say they don’t travel is down to money. A lot of people out there will go on to claim that finances are just an excuse, and it is possible to travel with little to no money. While I’m not going to claim that it can’t be done, I am going to say that it does cost something to travel and everyone’s idea of ‘little money’ is different. Effective travel budgeting takes planning and experience to get right and I want to share some of the realistic things I’ve learnt that have saved me cash on the road.

Of course, the best way to truly grab yourself a budget travel deal is through complete flexibility with both time and place. In this ideal world, there’s no restriction on the time you spend away, what month you go abroad, or the destination you visit. Yet, I know this is not the case for most of us. There’s always something to get in the way. So each of the following ideas are adaptable to the amount of flexibility you have, and some will be more helpful for you than others.

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Choosing Destinations Based on Cheap Flights: My June Travel Plans

We’ve fully crept into June now – the sun is more persistent, and the clouds are shying away. At least, this is my prediction from pre-writing this post in the middle of May. Let’s be honest, it’s probably more likely that it’s raining on the day I post this, or we’ve got that weird weather which even Brits don’t know how to handle: half of us are strutting in shorts and making the slapping sound on the pavement with our flip-flops, and the other half of us have looked out the window and decided it’s a scarf day. I feel like this introduction is a little pointless, seeing as all of this is purely guesswork. How do people cope with scheduling posts? I’m never organised enough to do these.

So you’re probably wondering then, why did I write this post so long ago? Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is a skill I’m going to have to perfect over May (have had to perfect over May?) – wait, I am getting so confused. How do people deal with tenses in pre-written posts? Agh. Anyway, for the rest of June, and start of July, all of my posts are going to be like this. Well, hopefully not full of quite so many messy-and-confused vibes, but either way they will have been written in advance.

This is because I am going travelling! I had my last day at work in May, sent in my final university essays, and my friend arrived from Florida on 6th to begin our European/American adventure. I thought it would be nice to let you all know where I’m off to, considering it’s impacting my blogging schedule quite a bit…

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Where are we going?

Sofia, Bulgaria… sort of

We’ll be having an eight hour layover here on the first leg of our journey and we’re hoping to get out of the airport to explore the city a little. I’ve heard lots of great things about Sofia, so if we like it we might have to pop back another time to do the city justice. Hopefully we’ll have time to see a couple of churches and roam the streets a bit before hoping back on the plane to…

Athens, Greece

I guess this will count as our first real stop on the trip. A city steeped in so much history, I’ve got pretty high expectations. Watch out Greece, you better impress me. Next up is…

Warsaw, Poland

Somewhere I have less expectations for but probably not justifiably. Poland has never been on my travel radar really, until I started seeing images of the beautiful cities and landscape. Apparently Poland has a lot to offer, but it’s kept that one quite quiet! After a few days, we’ll hop over to…

Prague, Czech Republic

I’ve heard a little bit about the amazing sights of Prague but have yet to experience them first hand. We have enough time here to relax and soak it all in, so hopefully the weather will be nice! Then we fly to…

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This is the one destination on the list I have been to before, around eight years ago with my family, when I was twelve. I loved it then and I’m interested to see what it will be like going to the same place with a new perspective. Then we say bye to Europe and finish off with a week in…

New York City, USA

I’ve always wanted to go here, but honestly, who hasn’t? It’s seriously cliché to want to visit the Big Apple but I’m not denying it, so it’s fine, right? I think this will be a great way to end a trip across a whole handful of different cultures, landscapes and sights.

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Picking the destinations

It might seem like this list of places has been pulled out of a hat, it’s so random. Actually, that wouldn’t be far from the truth. This trip took quite a while to plan, and went through several completely different itineraries to get to where it is now. In the end, it really came down to working out the cheapest option around a couple of conditions.

  1. We had to start in England
  2. We had to end in New York
  3. Amsterdam was a high priority (and coincidently the cheapest European city to fly to New York from)
  4. It had to be across June/July

With that information, I used Skyscanner to search for cheap combinations of flights to fill up our time gap between England and Amsterdam. Working forwards from the UK, there seemed to be several options, one of which was Greece, and working backwards from Amsterdam it seemed Prague was crazily cheap. It all kind of came together when I discovered Poland was one of the cheapest places to fly to from Athens and the cheapest place to fly from to Prague. That was it. Itinerary put together.

How much were the flights?

In total? I think I’ve paid around £500 for the six flights, including the two across the Atlantic. So that’s pretty great I’d say. Travelling doesn’t really have to be expensive if you’ve got flexibility on your side. If you’re happy to go to a whole range of different places, and have time to play about with your dates, then the flights don’t have to stack up into the £1000s.

For me, June is about more than just adventure; it’s about letting go, having fun and getting away from my hometown for a little bit. It’s time to reconnect with the carefree part of me that thrives on new experiences, and gets energy from doing rather than resting.


If you enjoyed this post, you might like:

How To Make Friends as a Young Solo Female Traveller


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The Comfort Zone Challenge ft. Hello Bexa

When I first started blogging, Bexa from Hello Bexa was one of the first people who actively encouraged me and made me feel less intimidated by the whole putting-your-life-on-the-internet thing. We’ve connected over a lot of things: from our adventures abroad and our journalling processes, to studying with the Open University, just to name a few. Bexa writes with a lot of passion about travel and creativity and always takes perfectly arranged photos for her posts. I honestly don’t know how she does it.

This is why, when I started looking for bloggers to collab with, I directly emailed Bexa. I knew there would be many areas we’d both be able to write about and that I’d be interested to hear her perspective on, whatever topic we chose. We decided to talk about comfort zones today, or more specifically, challenge ourselves to do something outside our comfort zones and writing about what we learnt from the experience.

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