My Diary

This blog was originally my diary. I documented my move to London here. It is great to be able to go back and remember stuff I have gone through. Family and friends could keep up with how things were going in London and what I was up to and I got to keep a diary of my life.

It was fun but as I got settled in London there was not a lot happening anymore. No more changing jobs or moving that often and no more flatmates’ drama as we got our own space after a few years in London.

I got bored with not having much to write about but I missed writing. That is how I got into this new format. So far I am really enjoying this and I get to share whatever I feel like with you.

Recently I went back in time to check old posts so now I am missing the diary aspect of this blog. For that reason I am trying to figure out a way of somehow including it here. The challenge is doing it without it becoming boring.

To be honest with you my life is for the most part not that exciting. It is pretty much work Monday to Friday. In the evenings I will write or edit pictures, have dinner and watch YouTube or Netflix. I can easily spend whole weekends at home. Occasionally I will go out. If I am in the process of planning holidays a few hours go by just spent on Google Maps, Skyscanner, Booking.com and AirBnb.

For the times my life is that little bit more exciting I will find a way of writing about it here.

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Starting over after Redundancy

It was 2012 when I found myself unemployed after being made redundant. Odd feeling not having a job to go to every day and not knowing when I would have one again.

With all the free time I now had I was not only looking for a new job but also meeting up with friends and spending quality time with my boyfriend. For the first time I claimed benefits. Thought I would do it since I had been paying taxes for a while. Thankfully I had savings as £71 a week is not a lot of money.

I was keen on a job vacancy I had seen a few times online. After a few years working far from home I was tired of spending too long on my commute to work. Therefore I thought I could try to find something a little more local. In the meantime I sent CVs to other places too. Just in case I did not get that one.

Went to a couple of interviews. One was a complete joke and the other one I didn’t get the job (it was an hour away anyway).

For the job I really wanted I had already done some tests at the recruitment agency and was waiting for an update. Once I got the call to say I was getting a phone interview the next day I was super happy and quickly prepared for it. The phone interview went well and I was invited for another interview in two days. Again it went well and I got offered the job on the same day.

Not even a month after my notice period had finished I got a new job! I was over the moon with that.

It was a new start. I was excited. Even if it meant taking calls again I was invested in starting over. I had the choice between the telecoms customer service and energy. Since I was going back to zero anyway I decided to get into a new industry. It was a lot to take in but I was happy.

Yes, it might sound scary to start over after you have a few years of experience in the same industry but if it feels right just do it. I don’t regret my decision and still enjoy working close to home.

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Redundancy

Redundancy came into my life years ago. Not long after I moved to London I found out what it was all about. Redundancy was not a common thing back in Portugal so I was not familiar with it.

The first few times I went through the process it was stressful and slightly scary but I managed to keep my job a few times. It became almost a routine thing. Having “yes or no” meetings became the new “normal”. Adapting to new job roles was becoming second nature. Not a big deal at all but seeing people go was still tough.

After many lucky escapes it was my turn to GO. I remember the call. It was on a Tuesday morning and I was home. Even though I expected to be made redundant at some point the call took me by surprise. Thankfully that call was made by someone I respect a lot which made the situation that little bit easier.

It was effective immediately! Picking up my stuff with security walking me through the office was far from a nice experience.

Once that was done I initiated the appeal process along with my best friend as she had also been made redundant. Usually companies are very careful about the redundancy process as there are some legal guidelines to follow to ensure the process is fair and clear to everyone involved. This time things were not done the right way so we appealed. Didn’t take us far but after all we did what we thought was the right thing to do.

Finally experiencing being “let go” was hard but it made me stronger.
Therefore I am thankful for it.

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52 Week Photography Challenge

“I really don’t have any idea about photography, but I take pictures.” – Alex Majoli

This year I decided to shoot more. To keep me motivated/inspired I am doing a photography challenge created by Dogwood Photography. If you are into photography consider joining here.

I started shooting for this last weekend but I could not get myself to go far to shoot. Instead of going to some fancy location in London I picked my camera and walked around the neighbourhood. It pushed me to be creative and to see past the every day boring streets.

After shooting a bunch of random shots in the freezing cold I had to choose one for each week’s themes. All pictures were shot in RAW and edited in Lightroom.

WEEK 1 – Vision: Look Ahead
New year. New beginnings. New you. Look ahead. Interpret as you wish.

It was more looking up than looking ahead but the plane going into the clouds on a sunny day felt right for the new beginnings theme.

WEEK 2 – Composition: Color Harmony
Get out your color wheel. Do opposites attract? Can there be harmony with opposite colors? Does the Hulk wear purple pants? Mix warm and cool colors.

This one isolated the cold and warm colours so well that I had to pick it for this week. I love how well the red goes with the turquoise window glass.

Below are a few other pictures I shot but did not make it into the photography challenge.

Let me know… which one is your favourite?

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Amsterdam Visual Diary

Even though it was a little cold outside I carried my new camera around almost everywhere in Amsterdam. Silly of me to leave my gloves in London! Here is my Christmas in Amsterdam Visual Diary.

On the first day I didn’t take many pictures as I was super tired and still adjusting to the cold weather.

Just being tourists on Christmas Eve in Amsterdam.

Christmas day at the Zoo and night photography.

A little more of the hotel. Last images before flying back to London.

Hope you enjoyed my first visual diary. I will probably do more of these in the future.

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Disconnecting from Social Media

“Social media is like crack—immediately gratifying and hugely addictive.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Started 2018 trying to disconnect from social media. I am challenging myself to have barely any social media apps on my phone at least for the month of January.

Don’t get me wrong. I do love social media, especially Instagram. But I find myself spending so much time on it on a daily basis that I feel it takes away from time I could be creating or just being present in the moment. Instead I am “consuming” other people’s lives, senselessly scrolling through my feed.

Even if you try not to, you end up comparing yourself (your work) to what others are sharing. It might be stopping you from creating more. You might even think there’s no point as you will never be as good. Or you might try to recreate what others are doing and lose yourself in it. Your passion will be gone soon if you are creating just to please others. Makes no sense to be working on something you are not going to love (unless you are getting paid for it).

No more waking up and staying in bed for a while just scrolling through Instagram or the Facebook feed.

Deleted apps: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
Keeping: Facebook Pages and Messenger, EyeEm (stock photography), Bloglovin’ and YouTube.

I will get back to you at some point to let you know how life without social media is going.

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2017 Rewind

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
C.S. Lewis

Lets talk about 2017. This year just flew by as I was super busy for the most part of it.

I don’t recall travelling as much as I did this year. Planning was sometimes rushed but having little time between trips made it harder to plan everything properly.

When it comes to my travelling agenda, 2017 started in March with a 10 day visit to Lanzarote. It was my first time in the Canary Islands. I was a bit skeptical about this destination as I thought it would be too touristy but it was a pleasant surprise. There are plenty of things to do and to see in Lanzarote and the landscapes are something else.

For April I had booked my first trip without my boyfriend and went to the best city in the World with one of my best friends. It was amazing to be a tourist in such a special place. I was a little nervous about changing up my travel partner but I loved it. And I think she loved it too. Even though we drove through a long suspended bridge she never said she wanted to go back home early! She also put up with my late night burger cravings and got out of the room to go round the corner to the closest diner. We had fun.

June is a month for celebrations as it is both my birthday and our anniversary. As the dates are not too close we traveled twice this year. For my birthday we hopped on a flight to Copenhagen. I quite liked it there despite the very expensive food. Our Airbnb by the lake was unreal. Later in the month we chose our beloved Menorca to celebrate our anniversary. We have been there a few times and it already feels like a home away from home.

September was time to head back to Portugal. It was time to catch up with family and friends and to spend quality time together in one of our favourite places in Portugal (Milfontes). It was great exploring the beautiful beaches of Alentejo. Even though the weather was not amazing we made the best out of it and enjoyed spending time with our loved ones.

By the end of the year we were still craving Sun. So the destination in December was again in the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura. Not as amazing as Lanzarote but still quite pretty. We did catch some sun rays and a lot of wind too. The post holidays blues hit us hard after Fuerteventura so I booked a last-minute Christmas break in Amsterdam. It was a very special time (hot tubs included) spent in the best possible company, my boyfriend.

I can’t complain I didn’t travel enough this year.

In between travels other things went on in my life.

I finally decided to start blogging in English. Not hiding behind the language barrier anymore. It was a bit scary to get myself out there. To be exposed to the ones close to me “in real life” but so far it has been a very rewarding experience. The support I get almost on a daily basis is amazing and I am so grateful for all of it.

A special thank you goes to my boyfriend that pushed me to start getting serious about blogging. He set up all the technical bits for me. All in one weekend back in July! He also puts up with me stressing out about getting content out on time and allows me the time to do it. Even when we are away he doesn’t complain if I sit down for hours to write. This blog would not exist without his support. Thank you!

My love for photography was reignited this year. I have learned a lot and stepped out of my comfort zone a few times. A big thank you to Reo for the vote of confidence, she was my first customer and pushed me to believe in myself. Another thank you goes to the @uk.shooters for the amazing meet ups that allowed me to get great shots and to work with amazing people.

Also decided to give myself a little more credit for being able to keep up with the blog, for learning about photography almost daily and getting out there to shoot when possible. Still having a full-time job and planning all those holidays. It is not always easy but I am loving every little bit of it.

Hope 2018 will be even better! Please stick around with me for whatever is coming up next year. Thank you again for all the support.

Happy New Year to you all!
Lots of love,
Ana

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