Monday, 4 February 2019

Second Term, Third Year

As I fly over the English Channel on my way to Spain, I take a look back on my life these past few years. I remember that when I was younger, I always dreamt of being able to travel extensively. I would follow all these celebrities who jetted off from one destination to another, wishing that that would one day be me.

My lifestyle has drastically changed since going to university. Not only do I feel that I have matured a lot, but the independence that I have gained from leaving the protection of my family cocoon appears significant. Whilst I am still a Daddy’s Little Girl, I’ve moved away from that timid, sheltered girl I used to be, and I am very grateful for this transgression. I find that I am forming my own judgements, questioning conventions and challenging authorities, and rather than this deriving from my previous teenage rebellion, I find that it is just another sign of my ability to think independently.

Through daily journaling, I have come to the conclusion that some of the greatest experiences that I have acquired have been because I did not follow protocol. One of my earliest jobs was gained through me going up to the CEO of Enterprise and Skills Challenge and offering up my language skills. It was a move that I was nervous about, undoubtedly - I was 17 at the time. However, I couldn’t dwell on this sensation for long as there were only few split seconds before she got off the school’s podium and moved to the school’s office. I knew that if I wanted to talk, I had to do it then. A month later, I found myself giving a speech to 60+ secondary students in London, encouraging them to pick up a language. 

In a way, that job was my first step towards independent travelling. The company would drive me to different destinations around the country and I got a taste for living independently. I saw places with a new, adult gaze, and sought to be curious about everything. I learnt to become responsible for myself, too, not needing the assistance of mum and dad as much. Travelling with the company meant learning to time manage my academic life around my work life, as well as any social commitments that I had. The Bank of Mum and Dad also was less necessary, as my bank account came to be sufficient for me to buy any trivial — that caught my fancy. This, as it comes to be, included travelling.

As I land in Malaga ready for the second term of my year abroad, I am served a cocktail of nerves, anxiety and apprehension. The overbearing uncertainty of the future is always something which has sent me into a frenzy before any grand new change in my life. However, I need to remind myself to check in with myself - I’m going to be spending the next five months of my life living in the South of Spain, a few minutes away from the beach, and with endless opportunities ahead of me. This is the life that I wanted and that manifested for myself, and for this opportunity, I am forever grateful.


Friday, 1 February 2019

How To Travel on a Students' Budget


Countless are the times that my friends and followers have messaged asking me how and why I travel so much. I take it as a compliment and truth be told it’s one that I enjoy receiving. I am constantly challenging myself on a daily basis to try new things and seek out new experiences; travelling just happens t fall under this category. Truth be told, I don’t exactly hide the fact that I travel extensively. Just like the average millennial, I am always posting my whereabouts online. However, I don’t do this to show off or to flex on the haters. Instead, I do it to inspire others to travel the globe and discover what this beautiful world has to offer.

Travelling is often made out to be a complex palace involving a ton of expenses, logistics and time to plan the perfect holiday. However, it doesn’t have to be any of the above. In first year, in the midst of my final exams, my boyfriend and I broke up. My friend and I decided to plan a holiday, and a week later, we were on a flight to Tenerife. The travel cost us 20€ return each, our AirBnB came to 30€ for both nights and food was cheap when we avoided the tourist traps. All in all, the three-day trip cost me around 80€ which I think is relatively cheap, especially considering that some people can spend 80€ on three nights out clubbing. This brings me to my first tip.


#1 Tip: Budget mindfully
In other words, think about compromises. Maybe one night you’ll have one pint instead of two. Put that money aside into your savings towards your holiday. I personally use this online banking app called Monzo. I too of showing me where my spending goes each month, it also automatically rounds up my pennies to the nearest pound and puts that money aside into my savings that I’ll use on my next holiday.

#2 Sign Up to Marketing Emails
I know that there is massive controversy about how much Google really knows about us. I, personally, adore my customised adverts as it always shows me what I want to see, but this is a story for another time. The reason why I always get the best deals in terms of prices is because I sign up to marketing emails. Ryanair is great for them as they often have very cheap flights from £5. The only catch is that they’re often from Stansted (an awkward airport if there ever was one) and at inconvenient times. I remember having to catch at 8AM flight to Berlin with one of my friends and having to sleep on the floor just so that we could make it on time. 

#3 Don’t expect luxury
Something to bear in mind when travelling in budget ; your life isn’t always going to be luxury. Sometimes you’ll have to go out of your comfort zone and so-called “rough it”, and that should be fine. We’re going, we’re penniless, and we have a passion for studying. 


Just on a side note: although I am telling you all how to save money when travelling, never risk your safety. If you’re walking home late at night, it’s best to get a taxi back, rather than walking some unfamiliar streets. This is especially relevant for people in a foreign country and if you don’t speak the local language. If you ever feel in any kind of danger, ask for help and stay in areas where it is well lit with people around you. Always have emergency phone numbers for the local area that you can access easily, too. 


Now that I have covered the basics, I want to discuss my personal journey, starting from October 2017. This was my trip to Berlin, where I found dirt cheap tickets from Stansted. The three-day trip cost no more than £120, including eating out and going out money. 
My next trip was for my 20th birthday to Barcelona with my boyfriend. We chose an AirBnB slightly out of the centre which saved a lot of money in terms of accommodation. We got a travel pass to travel around, which we would have done anyway even if we lived in the centre. 
Over Easter, I went to Bordeaux to check out the university that I would be attending the following year. 
Over Summer, I grabbed a lifetime opportunity. I became one of the five student ambassadors chosen to travel around the UK in order to advertise the #StudentArtPass. All my expenses were covered and I was paid on top of this. It was one of the most insightful trips of my life, and I again received a lot of messages about this. If it weren’t for me seeking out the opportunity and applying, I’d never had had this experience. Therefore, another tip would be to keep an eye out for job offers and opportunity that involve travelling. Personally, after I graduate I hope to work abroad so that I can travel and still earn money. I did this over summer when I moved to London for an internship. I consider my hometown to be Bournemouth, so loving in the capital was great fun for me.


Last but not least, it was actually compulsory as part of my degree to take a year out to study abroad. If you haven’t read or watched my blog on this, do follow this link here. But I’d highly recommend choosing a course whereby you take a year to live and study in a foreign country. I’ve personally loved and learnt a lot about myself during this time. I was even able to travel whilst abroad, taking trips around France and across the border to Spain. Remember, as always, to budget, find cheap deals and stay safe.

Thank you for reading and safe travels.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

University, Summer in London and Living Abroad | 2018 in a Nutshell

Dragging five suitcases across Lille's poorly signposted train stations was not the glamorous way I expected my French term to end. My seemingly sensible choice of booking the Eurostar back to the UK in order for me to carry all of my purchases now appeared rather irrational as this resulted in having to pause every few steps to take a break. It took me about 10MINS to walk 100 metres from Lille's main station to the International Station - a drab, open airspace, which appeared so unwelcoming that part of me was glad to be heading home. However, as I barricaded myself in my seat with luggage towering around me, I couldn't help but smile at the memories that I had collected in the past six months.

The third term of university was a blur to me. I got into a somewhat insane routine where my flatmates and I would wake up at 6:30AM, walk through Spoons to grab a breakfast-to-go and catch the 7AM bus into campus and be sat down by 7:45AM ready to study. Even then the library would be filling up and the closer to exam season the harder it became to find a spot. We'd stay in the library until about 10PM, only having breaks to talk about how stressed we were and how we wanted to cry. We were fueled by panic, a fear of failure, and a great deal of coffee. We'd all picked up smoking in dire attempt to subdue our stress levels, not clicking the Menthols if we really wanted that hoarse voice the next day. It was a time of sheer exhaustion but also a huge adrenaline rush that kept us powering on. Our being felt so purposeful. It felt like I was truly working on my future, and towards my long-term goals.

Out of my friendship group, I finished my exams first. As usual, I had applied for some summer schemes, and this time I was lucky enough to be selected in order to participate in one of the best organisations that I have ever been part of. ArtFund is an independent British charity which raises funds in order to support artwork. It also offers a National Art Pass for students, which enables young people to visit famous museums either free or at a discounted price. I was one of five students around the UK who were selected in order to promote the pass in time for the Museum of the Year Awards, which would be held in the Victoria and Albert Museum. My four other friends and I travelled, with all expenses paid, from London to Glasgow to Hull down to Cornwall and back to London again. We took photos and posted them on our social media, showcasing all the activities that each museum put on for us. It was an amazing experience as I got to meet so many interesting people who were so passionate about art and with whom I could have deep conversations with about the meaning and history of each piece.

It wasn't long after I came back from the trip that I was packing my bags up from Leamington to head off to London. Little did I know that this summer would be the best one of my life so far. I was fortunate enough to have been offered a room in Kew - acquired through a friend of a friend. Michael was a very kind man 0 I always refer to him as the granddad that I never had. My nine to five job took up the majority of my day, but whenever I came home, he would always be there to have a cup of tea and a chinwag. This would often turn into an hour-long conversation, covering any topic from Lucian Freud to the meaning of life. Interning was a whole new experience for me. I thought that I would spend my days making coffee and be anyone's dog's body, yet by the end of my two-month placement, I was the first point of call for anything related to Marketing. Whilst it got quite stressful or tiring, to say the least, I did fill all my spare time with fun activities. The first few weeks were spent getting my bearings around London. I'd visit central, and all of London's tourist attractions. However, the novelty soon wore off. It was then that I began new activities, such as attending conferences, meeting new people and especially my favourite activity which was trying new restaurants. I truly believe that three-quarters of my spending money went on food. I split my time 50/50, living partially at Michael's, and partially in Wandsworth, at my at-the-time boyfriend's house. I had an incredible amount of freedom. I was living in the buzzing capital, with a decent income and endless opportunities. It truly pained me to leave, but when the time came, my boss threw a wonderful leaving party for me on his boat that was docked on the Thames - so it wasn't all that bad.

Ho*, my boyfriend, took me to the airport when I left. Although we arrived over two hours early, our parting was so emotional that I ended up only passing through security at the time my flight was due to leave! Thankfully, I was travelling with Ryanair, so the flight was late anyway. Ha ha.

Having my parents waiting to collect me from the other side was a delightful moment. I hadn't seen my mother since before moving to London, and I hadn't seen my father since Easter. I spent a few days in Ginoles, my hometown, recovering and having some much-needed parent-child time. A few days later, they drove me and dropped me off 368km North West, to Bordeaux, where I would be spending three and a half months on my Erasmus exchange.

The hardest part of my time in France was not, as I imagined, making friends. For all of those who follow my blogs, you'll know that this is often my number one fear. The hardest part of my time in France was, in fact, finding enough time to do all the things that I wanted to do with my friends (shock!). Along with my 21-hour week at university, I also wanted to explore everything Bordeaux had to offer. From museums to art galleries, to private launch parties - I would want to do them all. It wasn't just a need, but a thirst to grow. Within the first couple of days at university, I established a friendship group of 10 girls and 1 guy, which stayed solidified throughout the time there. We did everything together. I had never had a friendship like this before. I had always shied away from big friendship groups, since my last one in Year 9 was not the best of experiences, as the people were extremely toxic and I suffered severe bullying from it. Therefore, whilst cautious at first, I realised that having a supportive group like this was an amazing feeling. We were all very outgoing girls, which meant that we'd always plan to do new things every week. Whether visiting Christmas markets or nipping down to Spain for a few days, my agenda was always jam-packed.

You can therefore understand why I crashed when I returned to Bournemouth, my family home. I have been so on the go the past few months that now that I don't have activities planned, my body has gone into complete shutdown. I'm currently allowing myself time to recover - a well-deserved break. Until 4 days time, of course, when I'm off on a new adventure. Next stop? Dubai.


Sunday, 11 March 2018

March Blog

I always explain these moods as 'waves'. Sometimes I'll be myself, or whom I consider my 'true' self to be: a bubbly, confident girl who is full of energy and positivity.

Sometimes, however, I'm like how I am today.

It's hard to express how I feel, which makes it hard to know how I can 'fix' this feeling. I'm not lost, but I also feel that I do not have a direction or purpose at the moment. I feel that I am floating through life, on a cloud made of marshmellows, a bit of a sticky situation but also a bit too comfortable in being there.

As many of you might know, the University of Warwick is one of the 61 universities to strike due to the staff pensions protest. This isn't going to be a blog about that, however, but a blog about how the students are affected by this. Focusing on me (of course, the owner and subject of all these blogs hahaha...).

After returning from Reading Week, the strikes immediately affected me. I had already had a week 'off', with what I would consider a well-deserved break, but I was well rested during this period and I was in the right mindset to come back to study. However, things didn't turn out the way I expected them to unfold. Whilst the first week of the strikes felt like a 'normal' week, as the days went on, more and more of my teachers wouldn't turn up to the lessons, only sending us a rushed email the day before apologising for the delay and telling us why they were striking. What interested me the most was that in these emails were no notes on what work we could do to fill our time, nor any hints that our classes would be rearranged. I told my Father this, who was outraged by one of the top universities to be running this way.

At first, I didn't mind the time off. It meant that I had more spare time to study and catch up on work, but now that I have done this, I'm feeling quite lost. It's not that I would enjoy a full 8 hour schoolday like I was put through in secondary school (oh, the trauma!), but I would also very much appreciate a structure to my days. It has felt like an extended-weekend, one that drags on for a suspicious amount of time. It has made me, as a person, extremely lazy. I wake up late, potter about the house for a bit, see my flatmates and before I know it, it's half midnight and time to go back to sleep, just to repeat the whole thing over again the next day.

It has become tiresome, and it has made me realise the importance of structure in one's life. It has been said that Monday mornings are only a bother to those who do not enjoy their job, and I can completely agree with that statement. Whilst getting up at 7:30AM is a pain, at least it means that I am out of the house by 8:00AM to get to my class. It means that I am being productive with my life, and that my commitments give my life structure and purpose. Weil once stated that one of the key requirements for having a fulfilled life is the idea that one has a purpose. One is appreciated for what one does, and one is acknowledged for one's contributions. What am I contributing when I am lazing around in my bed all day long? Absolutely nothing.

Let's share my unpopular opinion: I like attending my seminars and lectures. I like going to university, just as much as I enjoyed going to school every day from Monday to Friday. I like having structure to my life, and I like being an educational environment because I feel like I have a purpose when I am answering questions in my classes. I clearly remember my schoolmates complaining about school, yet I would be that person who would confidently state that they loved school, and were grateful for being in school. I obviously got snears, but what we ought to remember is that we should be grateful for having the opportunity to learn. Others, even in the 21st century, do not have the chance to go to school, let alone university. Therefore, I scorn on those who miss their seminars in order to lie in or play videogames. It is only in times when I do not have my classes that I realise that they are of the utmost importance in my life, and how grateful I must be to have the opportunity to attend classes which inspire me, intellectually stimulate me and open my mind the vast ideas and opinions of the world.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Second Year

Wooohoooo - it's nearly been a week since I moved into my flat in Leamington Spa and I'm loving it. Uni has yet to start but I'm very grateful for having been given time to settle into the surrounding area before starting university straight away. I've had time to unpack, buy my bus pass, and see a few friends that I hadn't seen since before summer.

Leamington Spa is the residential area that most Warwick students will flock to for their intermediate and final years. Whilst it is indeed 7 miles away from the main campus, it has everything one could wish for in a small town. I've already been to several cafés, bars, and I have even signed up to the local library!

The idea of now being a 'second year' is quite daunting for me. A silly fresher no more, and with a stack of imaginary work already piling up, I'm not too sure how I'm going to keep the balance between my academic life and personal life. I already feel quite inundated by a number of chores I have to carry out for the societies that I am part of. (SIDENOTE: I know 'of' isn't meant to go at the end of the sentence, so how can I rearrange this? help a girl out). I call Dad on a daily basis and he does seem awfully worried that I'm focusing too much on extracurricular activities rather than my studies and expanding my vocabulary. Nevertheless, I'm going to keep on doing my thing and see how it all pans out, especially as this Monday is the first day of my Freshers' Fortnight and there will be a lot going on society wise and not so much going on academically as the professors will give us time to settle in...surely?

Anyway, that's all for today folks. I'm off for a nice big breakfast at Coffee Architects with one of my good friends on my course. See you soon!


Friday, 1 September 2017


Hey y'ahll. Got some exciting news, and everything's been happening so fast that I haven't even had time to write about it in my journal, let alone blog about it on here. I'm going to do this in bullet points too, just to make it easier for you and myself to read through.

1) Sponsoring
If you know me in real life you'll know that I absolutely adore the Law of Attraction and try and use it as much as possible in life. The main idea is that if you positively think about something and meditate on what you want to achieve, the universe will respond and give it to you. When I have set my mind on something, I am often blessed with a response and I don't know how to explain it logically, but it happens. With this in mind, I have been recently wanting to get a sponsorship off of a brand in order to be able to create new and exciting content for a project I have planned. On Tuesday, I got an offer from not just one, but two companies asking me to promo their products. I can't wait to get started and order some of the stuff. New content arriving sooooon!

2) Chine Hotel
All good things must come to an end, and with this in mind, I have decided to leave one of my summer jobs. Although I loved working on reception, I need some time off before returning to university. I have some unfinished projects that I need to see off, as well as a lot of catching up on sleep. I emailed my boss yesterday about it and he said some very sweet comments about my 'kindness and absolutely outstanding customer service', which was very nice to hear.

3) Leamington Flat
So as you all know, I'm now a second year Warwick student *say whaaat*. My friend Jovita* has just moved in today and it's all super exciting as she's sending a ton of photos on the Whatsapp group chat. I've already bagsied my room and I cannot wait to move in later this month! It's my first 'real' place of my own, and I'll have to learn all about payments and bills, which brings me onto my next bullet point...

4) Fused Bills
Your girl only went and got herself a position blogging for Fused Bills! Although this is unpaid, I feel that this is a really great opportunity for me to show off some of my blogging skills, and it really ties in with what I am hoping to do in the future in terms of career. I already work for my university as a blogger, which I am paid for so obviously would be my priority, but I just feel so blessed that I have been given another page for me to write on. A lot of the posts that I write for Warwick are shared on their official Facebook and Twitter accounts and for me, this is such good encouragement for me to work even harder!

And that about sums up this blog post! Thank you so much for all the lovely messages and love, see you soon :)


Saturday, 26 August 2017

No dayz off

It's been just over a month that I've been working seven days a week, and the work load has really started to affect me. I'm drinking more and more coffee and spend my free waking hours complaining about how tired I am. When people ask what I have been up to I just start to complain about working seven days a week. My conversation varies from guests I've dealt with, to the different ways I reduce stock. I have become this broken record that just spews negative, negative, negative.

I say I'm tired, but what I need to do is reframe this statement - or at least, explain myself a bit more. I'm tired because of the long hours and the different energies I come across each day which mixes with my own personal aura. I have no time for myself, for growing, for all the books piling up on my...Kindle.

What I'm not tired of, however, is the buzz of it all. I love being busy. I love having to rush from one place to another. It provides me with a kind of excitement no roller coaster could ever give me. It makes me feel like I have a purpose, a place to be, a task that needs to be completed. I actually take satisfaction from saying that I work seven days a week and haven't had a day off since I started. It makes me proud of myself for working for my future self.