How to stay positive as a freelancer

 Well hello to my reader chums! As many of you know, I've been a full-time freelancer for just over a year now and I'm loving the journey and everything it's teaching me. Although freelancing is everything I dreamt of, being my own boss, choosing my clients and developing a business, it's incredibly challenging.

Freelancing is more than doing the doing, it's building a business, finding clients, retaining clients and all the admin in between, such as accounts, emails, calls, marketing and much more. As a freelancer, I try my best to stay as positive as possible but when low periods hit, it can be tough, especially as often, it feels like a personal attack. 

How to stay positive as a freelancer

If you're a freelancer and struggling to stay positive, here are some methods you can use to help stay positive as a freelancer.

Talk to other freelancers

The first step to this piece of advice is to search for freelancers and befriend them. Whether that's in your local community or online, I can assure you freelancers are everywhere and it's easier than you think to connect with them. Once you've gained those connections, ensure to retain them through regular chats, either texting, calls or video chats, whatever works for you. By building those relationships, you'll have someone to vent and chat with when you're feeling rough. As I can assure you, every freelancer has felt what you're feeling right now and they can provide encouragement and reassurance.

Focus on passion projects 

Running a business is hard work and we all need to let off steam and throw our energy into activities or projects that fulfil us without them actually being a form of work or monetary gain. Having these passion projects can give you something exciting and positive to put your energy into when you're not feeling great. Whether that's making a new dress, writing a book or running a blog like this, whatever fills your heart up, ensure you take the time to slot it into your week.

Read reviews and feedback from previous clients

When you're feeling down, positive words can be revolutionary. I've recommended a positivity log time and time again, however, if you haven't made one, reading over the reviews and feedback you have is vital. If it's on your website or social media profiles, take a read as it'll give you the boost you need that you are good enough.

Get out and about

It may seem like the simplest piece of advice but being proactive does wonders for your mental health. Get out and about regularly for a walk, run errands or make social plans, encouraging positive energy into your day. You'll feel much better for it, even if you go for a drink in your favourite coffee shop.

Practice self-care, listening to your mind and body

Our body knows when we're burning out as it'll show us signs. By listening to your body, you can take better care of it, creating a more positive mindset towards your personal and work life. Practice self-care, such as setting work boundaries, eating well, having screen breaks, exercising, keeping social and doing the things that make you happy.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What else would you add?

Thank you for reading <3

Turning 28 - a reflection on my twenties

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I can't believe I've just turned 28, I'm still 25 in my head and sometimes feel even younger than that. It's wild to me, I'm closer to my thirties than the start of my twenties, but every day I'm incredibly grateful for how wonderful my twenties have been. I'm blessed for all the travels I've experienced, concerts, theatre shows and endless moments with loved ones. I'm also grateful for the lessons I've learned and how much I've grown over the best part of a decade.

Whether you're new to this blog or have been following for a while, here's my insight on turning 28 and a reflection on my twenties.

Turning 28 - a reflection on my twenties

When I first turned 20, I had a plan in my head of my life at 28. Like any 20-year-old, the stereotypical life of being married with kids, owning a home and thriving in my career. It's strange seeing how naive and close-minded I was at the beginning of my twenties, and how things evolved for me.

I unexpectedly fell in love with the travel way of life and have spent the past 8 years travelling as much as possible, falling in love with the world and making memories with loved ones. I'm privileged for everything I've experienced in my twenties so far: the holidays, backpacking trips, concerts, day trips, theatre shows, new restaurants, and most importantly, spending quality time with loved ones and developing the connection further.

Although, I've had an incredible amount of highs and life experiences, my twenties so far have certainly been full of lessons, heartbreak, finding myself and dealing with the first decade of adulthood. This I can assure you hasn't been the easiest of rides, though it has helped me evolve, set boundaries, develop my self-love, self-care and work on being a better friend, partner and person by looking inward. Learning more about my emotions, triggers and traumas has helped me find coping mechanisms and work on my personal development more.

I found being more self-aware has helped me with gratitude, look on the more positive side of life, enjoy every day more but also work towards being my best self, and accept I'm not perfect. And, accept nothing can be perfect - and it's about finding beauty in imperfection.

Turning 28 - how do I feel?

I have to admit, 28 is a bit of an interesting age because, being a woman, societal expectations are hitting a little harder than ever before, and I also find myself thinking, I'm starting to prepare for that stage in my life: having kids, buying a house and engagement. The thought excites me more than it ever has, I love the idea of owning a home and creating a space that's mine and my partner's.

I've always dreamed of having a family and being a parent. Aside from being a published author, being a mum is the one thing I've always wanted and I cannot wait until that day comes.

Despite the excitement of these life big things I want in my future, the pressure is a lot more intense in myself and in my mind, I'm gearing up more for the upcoming years. I'm not entirely sure if it's a pressure I'm putting on myself or if it's more because I see everything happening around me, but as I know it's something I want, the pressure is higher if you get me.

Also, in the same breath, 28 doesn't feel too different from 27. It's strange being even closer to 30 than twenty but things haven't changed too much. I think I'll be set at the age of 25 and I love that - you're only as young as you feel. 

The older I get, the more comfortable I feel in who I am, and the more appreciative I am of the lessons I've learned, the experiences I have and who I'm growing into being - and who I have around me.

Here's to 28 - let's see what it brings!

I hope you enjoyed this post. What age are you?

Thank you for reading <3

Not caring what people think of you - how to make that change

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Caring about what people think is part of being human. We're constantly comparing ourselves to everyone around us, thinking we could do better or be better. Honestly, it's a waste of our time, especially when it comes to caring what other people think of you. I can assure you, that nobody cares or thinks as much about your life as you do.

Not caring what people think of you - how to make that change

That may sound harsh, but it's reality. We constantly think everyone is watching our every move and they're judging us, but in reality, it's not the case. If you're worried about what people think of you, here's my advice on how to make the change and stop caring about what people think of you.

Focus on your goals and passions

You can't worry about what others are thinking if you're too focused on your own goals and passions. We all have dreams and aspirations and to make waves in life, focusing on them is key. Whether you want to start a business, save a certain amount of money, travel to a certain destination or have a family, everyone has a different dream. We all deserve to live them and starting to list what they are can give you more of a direction in your life. You need to switch your mindset from 'what people want me to achieve' to 'what do I want to achieve' and focus on that.

Practice regular affirmations

Affirmations are key to creating a positive mindset and learning to love yourself. It's easy for us to think the worst about ourselves and call ourselves names, however, affirmations can diminish these thoughts, and also prevent you from caring about other's options. Affirmations are different for everyone and can be repeated in ways that suit you. From reading them first thing in the morning, every morning to having a list prepped when you're beginning to doubt yourself.

Take back control of your emotions

Emotions are a wonderful thing, yet when you're feeling down, they can almost feel out of control. Learning how to control your emotions is a challenging yet brilliant step in improving your emotional intelligence, dealing with situation out of your controls and helping you deal with not caring what people think. You will notice that you're caring less and less the more you're aware of your emotions, seeing what your triggers are, what causes you to feel down and what cheers you up. It all goes hand in hand with self-awareness, self-love, self-care and gaining perspective on your life.

Consider how you feel about your choices, rather than letting others dictate

Sometimes, especially when we're younger, it can be easier to follow the paths others dictate for us than do what we'd like. This could be because you're worried about what others think if you follow another path or you're concerned about how they'd react if you fail. However, I can assure you, that living a life that is authentic to you is the most powerful thing you can ever do. When we live authentically, life can seem more peaceful and feel right in ourselves. We won't feel as insecure or uncertain as we're connecting with our true selves, and no longer worry about other's opinions.

Remember, everyone is on a different chapter

You shouldn't compare your chapter one to somebody's chapter five. We're all on different paths, we all have different life experiences, different traumas, different financial situations and privileges. It's important to acknowledge all of these things when you're worried about caring what others think of you because, in all honesty, you will achieve what you want to achieve when it's right for you. It doesn't make you inferior to anyone else.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What else would you add?

Thank you for reading <3

How to plan your dream travel itinerary

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Planning travel itineraries is my favourite hobby and I love nothing more than researching my next destination. For people who aren't a big fan of organising or research, it is the biggest nightmare. I've got you. I'm here to help in sharing how you can plan your dream itinerary, saving you the hassle, frustration and confusion.

If you're new to creating travel itineraries or want some advice on how to get started, here's my guide on how to plan your dream travel itinerary

How to plan your dream travel itinerary

Set your destination, timeframe and budget

Every good travel plan starts with the destination, timeframe and budget. Whether you're looking to interrail in Europe, backpack across southeast Asia or spend a few weeks in one country, understanding these three points is the start you need. Pick a destination, set the timeframe, from a long weekend to a month/6 month (however long you like) and your minimum/maximum budget. Understanding these outlines helps you shape the itinerary and you can loosely map things out.

Research your must-see attractions/things to do

With a loose outline of where you're going, how long and how much money you have to spend, you can do some research on the best things to do at that destination. This could be a particular activity, a sightseeing spot or a tour. Making a list of your must-see things can help you slot in the days you'd like to do the activities, how much they're going to cost and how long roughly each activity will take.

Plan out the timings and align everything together

With an idea of the things you want to do, you can start to add them to the itinerary and figure out which sights are near each other and how to reach them. Essentially, you can bullet point a list of what you'd like to do first each day and chronologically plan out the activities you're doing next. Knowing the order of things can help you map out each day and knowing what's near each other can help you switch around things if you decide to change what you do on arrival.

Research food/drink places

Food and drink are the heart of any destination as you can get to grips with a country's culture and its local cuisine. Generally, researching where you should eat can wait until you get there. However, if there are some incredibly famous and must-visit places you've come across then add them to your itinerary as it can help you book a reservation beforehand, not missing out.

Work out distances to each attraction

Add a rough estimate of how long each activity takes and how you can get from each item on your agenda. Understanding how long it takes to reach each activity can help you plan accordingly, slot in time for food and leave enough room to get to each place. You don't want to run out of time or feel rushed when you're on holiday.

Review and leave room for spontaneity

Every holiday needs some spontaneity, you don't want to fill up every second of every day as that takes away the beauty of exploring a new place. Leave gaps for roaming around and exploring different areas to discover hidden gems. When you look over the itinerary before you go, it's the ideal time to make any changes, add new activities in or ensure you have got gaps to explore.

Tips and tricks to planning a travel itinerary:

  • The more detail the better - this can help you immensely when travelling around
  • Always add numbers - costs, times, dates and booking references
  • Consider time in case something goes wrong - not everything goes to plan
  • The weather - you can't predict it so always having backup ideas can help
  • Enjoy the process - planning your trip should be FUN, if it isn't, research ready-made itineraries or book a tour

I hope you enjoyed this post. What would you add?

Thank you for reading <3

Mistakes I've made as a freelancer

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Failure is part of life; you can't succeed without failing once or many more times. The mistakes we make help us grow and learn in a personal and professional way. As a freelancer, I've made many mistakes. I've only just reached one year as a full-time freelancer and errors have been inevitable, however, they've helped me develop my career and learn how to do better.

If you're new to freelancing and struggling or looking for someone to relate to, here are the mistakes I've made as a freelancer.

Mistakes I've made as a freelancer

Undervaluing myself 

There have been countless times when I've reduced my rates or quoted lower than I wanted to book a client, too scared to share my actual rates. This has often bit me in the butt clients didn't truly value what I was offering. Even when speaking about my services, I can undersell myself in how I explain what I do. It's a terrible natural habit to put myself down rather than hype up.

Overbooking my calendar

If you're a freelancer, you'll understand, the feast-or-famine workload. Work either comes in all at once or not at all, there never seems to be an in-between and getting used to that can be difficult. During the high periods, I have a terrible habit of overbooking my calendar because I'm afraid of missing out on the opportunities and the money, rather than only accepting what I can fit in. Overbooking means I'll have less time for business operations and looking after my mental health, ensuring I take breaks.

Doubting myself in low periods

It's incredibly easy to be my worst critic as it's just me creating this business and running it myself. When things go wrong, it all comes down to me, especially when no leads are coming in. During low periods, I find myself doubting if I'm good enough, if I'll be successful and generally being a downer about everything. I should use this time for more productive things such as business strategy and marketing.

Not setting work boundaries

Boundaries can go out the window as a freelancer because, during peak periods, I can find myself working, working, working with fewer breaks and not coming up for air. No work boundaries means not taking those breaks, not switching off from work mode or constantly thinking about work. It can affect my mental health, productivity and overall success of the business.

Not being clear about payment terms

If there was one thing I wish was better at in the early freelance days, it would be this. Late payments or no payments at all have caused me an incredible amount of stress, especially when I have to keep following up on invoices. This is due to clients not sticking to invoice terms or me not being clear enough when sending the invoices.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have any other tips?

Thank you for reading <3

Packing effectively for a trip - my best tips

 Well hello to you my reader chums! As many of you know, travelling is my biggest passion and I thrive when planning new trips and visiting different countries. Due to travelling so often, I'm quite the expert in packing and packing light, effective for every trip, from city breaks, and beach holidays to backpacking. I always think packing lighter is better as one it saves money, but two, leaves you room to buy souvenirs at home with you.

If you're new to travelling or want to get better at packing lighter, here is my guide to packing effectively for a trip.

Packing effectively for a trip - my best tips

Write a packing list

The first step is planning what you're going to pack as doing it randomly can mean bringing things you don't actually need and won't wear. Take a look at your itinerary, the activities you're doing and the weather, helping you make a useful list, and aiding your packing process. If you don't know where to begin with a list, research the best packing list as you can find hundreds of templates for the best packing lists for your trip, from backpacking to a short city break.

Use packing cubes

Packing cubes is my lifesaver when it comes to travelling as it can help you squeeze all of your items into cubes, keeping each section of your clothing organised and putting it all in your case or backpack easier. Packing cubes generally come in packs of all sizes, helping you organise your dresses/t-shirt/shorts, underwear, swimwear, pyjamas and outerwear, exactly how you like.

With your packing cubes, instead of folding clothes, roll them up as it can make room for more items, especially if they're thinner, summer attire clothing items.

Plan your outfits out

It's easy to throw as many clothes in as possible when packing, however, that's not the way to go if you want to pack effectively. Spend the time and plan your outfits out, such as the beach outfits, walking around the city outfits, and dinner out outfits. Whatever you're planning to do on your trip, having outfits specifically planned for each activity can make the packing process smoother and simpler.

Don't bring too many 'just in case items'

I am probably guilty of this with clothes, toiletries and other accessories. However, it's good to have a strict mindset and know in your heart if you're not going to wear or use that item, don't pack it with you. There's no point packing an item if you won't use it as it'll just add to the weight and take up room that something more useful could fill.

Wear your heaviest items

An obvious tip, but to save space in your suitcase or backpack, wear the heaviest items to the airport. From a coat or jacket, heavy shoes to outerwear accessories, if you can throw them on, it can help you in the long run to save space.

Use mini bottles to put your liquids in

It's easy to just throw your large-size bottles and products in your case, but the mini aisle in the shops exists for a reason. If you can find your designated product in the shop then purchase it, and add it to your luggage. If you're trying to be more eco, purchase reusable mini bottles which you can fill up time and time again when you go away with your favourite products.

Look at what you've packed and remove unnecessary items

At this point, hopefully, you've packed all of your items. This is when you should review your luggage and remove any necessary items to save space and time on your holiday.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have any tips to add?

Thank you for reading <3