Still figuring it out

Am I too old to not know exactly what I want to do with my life?

I remember struggling to choose what subjects to study in school when it came to it. I was just 15 back then. Thankfully my school had extra support available to help me choose. An interview and some long questionnaire that would (hopefully) in the end point me in the right direction.

Eventually I believe I chose the subjects that were theoretically a good fit for me. Even though the results were a little ambiguous.

The funny thing is that I had no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was a little stressful as most of my friends were pretty set on what they wanted to do.

20 years on I am still figuring it out.

Don’t think I was  ever really prone to stressing out too much about these things. I have been living life as it comes and honestly I think I am doing a decent job. The truth is that I have been mostly happy with my choices and with what I have done with my life so far.

If you are still figuring it out this might cause you some stress and anxiety. But life is so short. Try not overthink it and just do what makes you happy.

Also try not to compare your life to people around you, especially with what is shared online. Remember that most people will only share the best in their life and maybe some of it isn’t even real.

Are you still figuring it out? Or are you all settled?

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Being in a long-term relationship

As our anniversary day approaches I remind myself of how many years we’ve been together.

It’s a number that causes surprise every time I answer that question. Guess it’s not all that common to have been with someone this long. At least not at our age.

Now onto the subject in question here. How is it to be in a long-term relationship?

Most of the days it’s pretty easy. We know each other well which helps avoiding conflict and allows us to treat each other the best way we can.

You feel super comfortable with each other.

Another great advantage is the peace of mind that a stable and secure relationship offers to the people in it. You no longer have to invest a lot of time in figuring out the other person and that allows you the time and space to grow as an individual.

But of course as with most things in life it’s not all good.

One thing you will find very difficult to get in a long-term relationship is the “newness” factor, the excitement of when you’re getting to know someone in the very beginning of a relationship. Stomach butterflies are usually a thing of the past.

Of course you can try to get around this by doing new things together and being creative in the way you carry your relationship. However this can be challenging and you’ll fail at it if you don’t invest some much-needed time in keeping things exciting.

To be honest I think this is the main if not the only “disadvantage” of being in a long-term relationship.

What is the secret to a long-term relationship? I occasionally get asked this question.

In my opinion it’s quite simple, communication!

Communication is key. If we slack on that we’re likely to bump into problems at some point. And we won’t even know how to fix them because we won’t understand what exactly the problem is in the first place!

Almost every time we sit down for a meal and a long conversation I feel our relationship is in a better place. It’s a great feeling.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Now I’m going out to enjoy Croatia a little more 🙂

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Juggling Life

Juggling is not something I was ever good at as in no time most things would just hit the floor!

At the moment I am trying to juggle a few things in life and sometimes I get a little stressed with the possibility of failing at one or more of those things.

Guess I’m just struggling with organising all of it to ensure everything runs smoothly. I need to find a good work flow.

I am a super organised person and not having my photography folders perfectly in order is enough to cause a little stress. Might seem silly but it’s true.

At the moment I am getting two blog post out every week. I love writing these! Usually finalise them on Saturdays so that has been easy to manage. If I am away that gets a little more complicated but I might try to do them from my phone. Instead of writing them in advance or travelling with my laptop.

As the weather improves in London I have also been out shooting more often. This means more pictures to edit so more hours spent on the laptop.

On top of the edits from the meetups I am also trying to edit for stock photography. I upload mostly on Shutterstock.

Been trying to figure out where to take this blog and if I want to open it to brand deals or not. Also thinking about how to prioritise my time when it comes to photography and how to monetise that and still have fun with it.

Oh and of course I still have a full-time job so can’t really slack there.

Most importantly I need to ensure my personal life is my number one priority. If that bit is not right I can’t really do anything else properly.

Big thank you to my boyfriend for all the daily support in everything I do.

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Why do I have a blog?

Honestly I am not sure I know what the answer is! But I am writing about it anyway.

I have been writing since I was in school. I was super lucky to have great Portuguese language teachers and they have always encouraged me to keep writing. Back then I wrote short fictional stories that I presented in class, wrote letters to friends, personal poems and even a joint diary with some of my best friends.

In the online age and as I thought about moving to a different country it occurred to me that a blog would be a great tool to document such a big moment of my life. It was also a way of keeping friends and family up to date with my London adventure.

Soon it became a little bigger than my friends and family circle. So many people were reading my blog and interacting with me in the comments’ box. It was great. At the time in Portugal people were losing jobs and seeing no way out. Guess my blog gave them hope, showed them an alternative.

The blog opened so many doors in my life! It was truly amazing and I just went with it like it was nothing out of the ordinary. In retrospective I can now see how much it changed my life. Through the blog I have made friends for life, got a job in London and had some of the best moments of my life.

I did have times when I was not into writing for the blog. It felt like I needed to press the reset button but I wasn’t yet sure how to go about it.

Gradually I started realising I could no longer relate to my audience. It felt a little awkward. I was no longer that little town girl always afraid to leave her comfort zone. I became more tolerant and understanding of other cultures and different ways of going through life. Even though my audience had been so generous throughout the years I no longer felt like we were a good match.

It took me a while to figure out how to change it up but I finally did it. By writing in English I broadened my reach and at the same time also cut some ties. Believe it or not by doing this I sacrificed the numbers but I feel more in tune with my audience now and I believe that’s way more important than numbers.

Now I write about whatever I feel like and about my passions. There is a lot of photography and travel stuff on the blog but also a few personal stories and thoughts. I hope you enjoy it but most importantly I hope I keep loving writing here.

Writing has been a constant in my life. It’s my therapy.

Guess this is the sole reason I have a blog, I love writing.

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“Building” a Blog Post

“Building” a blog post in 7 steps. Obviously there are a few different ways of doing it and even I have done it differently in the past.

Back in the blogspot days I was quite a lazy blogger and would sometimes just write a couple of lines not even bothering with pictures.

This is how I go about it now:

Step 1: What am I writing about? Possibly one of the trickiest steps. Often I already have an idea or I get the urge to write about something in particular. Saying this, I do write twice a week so sometimes the subject does not come naturally and I have to dig deeper in my brain to come up with something.

Step 2: Come up with a somewhat catchy title. Not usually a struggle as I am not to fussed about these so I don’t stress if I don’t get a genius post title idea.

Step 3: Finding a “feature” picture for the post header. I try to make it relevant to the subject but that is not always possible. The fact that I take pictures all the time does help as I have plenty to choose from.

Step 4: Setting up the SEO information with the help of the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. This is supposed to help with the discoverability of the post on search engines. I just need to pick a couple of lines that represent the post and the focus key word(s).

Step 5: I copy my referral and affiliate links in every post. Please feel free to click on those from time to time! 😉

Step 6: Upload any pictures that I am sharing on the blog post and/or find any links for stuff I am sharing with you.

Step 7: Schedule the post for Wednesday or Sunday at 6pm. On the day it comes out I usually share the post on the Facebook page, on Twitter and sometimes on Instagram stories.

If you have any questions or comments please let me know in the comments’ section below. It is always nice to hear from you.

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Anxiety

I can feel it. My body aches in a weird way. I feel restless. It’s not a nice feeling and I just want to feel at peace with myself again. Can this feeling go away now? Please.

Thankfully I don’t feel like this often. I do try to go through life with as little drama as possible. This way I feel less anxious, more relaxed and generally happy.

Someone close to me not being well and a few other issues sent my anxiety levels through the roof.

Being “happy” is really my thing so I struggle to cope with being anything that is not “happy”.

I mentioned it before, I don’t like drama. Writing this now feels a little “dramatic”. Sorry about that! I’ll try to go back to our drama free posts ASAP.

Even if drama is good for the blog I’ll try to not do a lot of it.

It’s likely that this post will get to the blog after I get through this anxiety thing so please don’t bring this up in conversation. Written comments are always welcome.

Remember it’s OK to not be happy all the time.

As a final note give a listen to Invading Spaces by Couples Therapy with Candice and Casey. I listened to this podcast episode recently and loved it.

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Bad days at work

Bad days at work. Guess everyone has these once in a while. Guess they’re perfectly normal if not too frequent. But once you start crying or having regular nightmares about work it means it is definitely time for a change.

I’ve been through it all more than once before. It’s not cool and it messes up with your personal life. Unfortunately there are people that will enjoy making your life miserable or people that simply don’t know any better in most work places.

It’s up to us to get out of these situations to keep our mental sanity. I know it’s easier said than done but you need to at least keep trying.

Fortunately it’s been a while since I experienced anything like this. But when I see friends going through it I feel for them.

Sadly “bad people” are a little too common. In my opinion you either don’t care enough which means it doesn’t affect you or you need to get out of their circle. Every time I had any issues those were the only solutions that worked for me.

Talking things out with the people involved was tried too in some situations and even though I’m a big communication’s advocate when it comes to avoiding or healing conflicts it didn’t really work for me. It served more like a plaster (the ones that don’t stick properly). Not saying this approach never works, just saying it didn’t work for me in the past. Still think it’s sometimes worth trying. Unless you just don’t like your job. In that case just start job hunting now.

At the end of the day no one should have to work with toxic people. Life’s too short for that.

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