Money – What Is It Good For?

I don’t think of myself as an extravagant or materialistic person. I couldn’t care less about the latest tech gadgets, I second-guess every item of clothing I buy, and meal plan meticulously to avoid wasting food. My only real vice is travel – I will happily splurge on flights for a destination I really want to visit or an experience I don’t want to miss out on – but even then I hunt for deals and stay in budget accommodation to cut down on unnecessary expenses. I suppose I ultimately believe that the best place for my money to be is in my bank account.

A few weeks ago I was talking to my grandma on the phone about the flat I’m currently renting, and a familiar topic came up. “Have you considered buying?” she asked (it sounds so simple when she says it). I replied that buying wasn’t a feasible option for me right now and that I wasn’t willing to put down roots just yet, to anchor myself in Leeds with a property. “You’ll have to settle down sooner or later” was her reply. She must think I’m older than I feel. Continue reading

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30 Little Things I’m Thankful For

American Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and hot on its heels approach Christmas and New Year. While there are things that grate on me about this time of year, one of the undeniable pros is the chance to spend time with your loved ones and take stock of all the things that really matter to you.

While the stresses and pressures of the rest of the year can push us into petty arguments and the nursing of minor grievances, now is an ideal time to take a step back and appreciate just how damn lucky we are. Today I’m counting 30 little things that I’m thankful for, and reminding myself not to take them for granted.  Continue reading

Leeds Granary Wharf at sunrise

Why Are We Ashamed of Taking a Break?

It’s been two weeks since I last posted on my blog. The date stamp of my last post sits there accusingly, silently judging me for my absence, for my laziness. I’m not narcissistic enough to think that anybody is affected by, or even notices, the inactivity in my little corner of the internet, but I usually like to post a couple of times a week; there’s a therapy in putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), and the feeling of being productive in an area that isn’t linked to my job gives me a certain satisfaction.

But what happens when you don’t feel that sense of wellbeing? What happens when the thing that’s supposed to be your hobby just feels like a drain? Continue reading

Top 5 Podcasts I Can’t Stop Listening To

I was originally a bit late to the podcast party, but ever since I switched from music to podcasts as my commute distraction of choice I’ve been hooked. I love that I can expand my mind and learn new things while walking to work or sitting on a train, and they’re also a great way to feel like you’re doing something productive when you feel too tired to read a book or write. Today I wanted to talk about some of my favourite podcasts, and why you should be downloading them right now. Continue reading

Smoothies at Moments Cafe, Leeds

Little Things To Do In Leeds To Make You Feel Happy

We all have those down days or weeks – the ones where work is stressing us out or the to-do list is getting longer and longer or the city just seems a little bit too loud. My go-to solution when I feel down in the dumps is to book a holiday, but as much as we’d like it to be jetting off into the sunset whenever life feels a bit dreary isn’t always an option. So here’s my list of little things in Leeds that never fail to cheer me up. Continue reading

The Opposite of Loneliness, Marina Keegan

“We Have So Much Time”: On The Opposite of Loneliness

Aside from my Reading Challenge updates, I don’t really do book reviews on my blog. I think my English degree past leaves me worried that I’ll either come across as a pretentious twat, or try so hard to avoid coming across as a pretentious twat that I end up oversimplifying my thoughts to a mind-numbing extent. Whatever the reason, I usually just stick to short comments on my Goodreads account and discussions with my fellow bookworm pals, and that’s enough. But recently I read Marina Keegan’s The Opposite of Loneliness, and it got under my skin. It’s still there. So I’m going to try and put into words exactly what pulled me so deeply into this book, and why if you only read one thing this year, this should be it. Continue reading

Lake Bled, Slovenia

5 Ways My Gap Year Changed How I Travel

On the 26th August, an anniversary passed quietly by – three years since I stepped off the final flight of my seven-month trip around the world. In those seven months I visited eight countries, stayed in countless hostels and spent more money than I wish to share, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Aside from being a whole lot of fun, it was a massive learning curve for me in terms of tackling new and extremely different cultures, learning to live on a shoestring and adapting to a whole new way of travelling. Here are a few of the ways my gap year changed how I travel for good… Continue reading