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Studying Drama at The University of Manchester has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. That being said, it has also shown me where exactly I want my life to go. Studying any degree comes with it’s challenges. For example, finding a balance between earning money and studying whilst wanting to involve yourself in extra activities is almost impossible. However, the drama department at The University of Manchester really care about accommodating for your needs. This isn’t the case for other subjects. As a third year student – I can say I know a lot about the care the lecturers provide and the course itself. Continue reading if you would like to know the inns and the outs of studying Drama at The University of Manchester.

Drama

A lot of people from other subjects are led to believe that studying Drama is all Shakespeare performances and fancy dress. This is not the case. I hate acting and the thought of being placed on stage terrifies me. At The University of Manchester you will perform on stage at some point, however in most cases you can opt to not take a non-performing role. Since first year, I have not had to perform once. The Drama department at The University of Manchester understand that there is more to the subject than just acting.

The variety of modules you get to choose from are outstanding. One day you could be studying how to write a play, and the next you could be analysing Lord of the Rings and why it is considered a ‘fantasy film’. That’s right, there are a variety of film options to choose from. In fact, I study Drama and Screen Studies and haven’t looked at a play since first year. Don’t be put off with the assumption that studying Drama is all about the theatre – it isn’t.

The Department

In terms on how the Drama department compares to other subjects – there are no words. The moment I emailed my lecturer that I wanted to drop out of university, he was on the phone to me in minutes asking me if everything is okay. The next day he rearranged his schedule to meet with me to talk through why I was feeling the way I was. He cracked open a packet of biscuits and we talked for about an hour. In this time, not once did he try and persuade me to stay. Instead, it was sort of like a counselling session – a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders after that meeting. The Drama department go above and beyond to make you feel safe and welcome.

I know this is not the same for other subjects. For a course like Law, which has hundreds and hundreds of students, there just isn’t the time for lecturers to get to know each of their students. For some lecturers, their job ends after their last lecture. This isn’t the case for the Drama department. They take a huge role in the Drama related societies and often go and watch shows/ short films in their own time. They really care about your future!

Your Future

The Drama department at the University of Manchester really care about your future. They go above and beyond to try and encourage you to find what you enjoy and what you want to do with your life. If you’re thinking about continuing to study drama after your degree, every lecturer would be happy to answer any questions. Otherwise, if becoming a freelance actor/playwright/theatre practitioner takes your fancy, the University of Manchester hold so many workshops related to becoming a freelancer. They bring professionals in the field in to answer any questions students might have. In my second year, the drama department hosted a Q&A with actor Toby Jones as he is an alumni of the University of Manchester. It was surreal.

The Drama Society

The Drama society works very closely alongside the Drama department. This is one of the best things about studying drama at the University of Manchester. Any opportunities that the lecturers find out about they pass the information forward and the drama department are very understanding about upcoming performances and the impact it could have on attendance. Of course, you are required to attend everything regardless, but overall the lecturers are very understanding. They also tend to go and watch as many shows as they can. In my opinion, this is a testament to how much they care about their students as opposed to just getting good grades from them.

Anyway, I thought I needed to write this post after all the kindness the lecturers at the University of Manchester have shown me. University wasn’t for me, but that didn’t stop my lecturers trying to make it enjoyable

After living in Manchester for the best part of three years, it now feels like home. That being said, when I first moved to Manchester from Essex, I found the city very daunting. I have lived very central to the city centre and so it feels like the city never sleeps (not that I’m saying that Manchester is in anyway on the same scale as New York City). Fortunately for me, my partner is from Manchester and so when I met him, I became more familiar with what to do in Manchester. There are so many different areas in Manchester to explore. So, I’ve compiled a guide to living in Manchester for the people who are thinking of moving to the city. This way you won’t be as clueless as me on my first day in Manchester and you’ll know what to expect.

A guide to living in Manchester

Everyone is extremely friendly

When I first moved to Manchester it was to study. From the first day at looking at universities I knew I wanted to move to the North of England. Everyone knows that northerners are really friendly and so why wouldn’t I want to move to Manchester? It was only natural really. I looked at other cities such as: Newcastle, York, Leeds but chose Manchester because of the course I wanted to study. I don’t regret choosing Manchester.

Before moving to Manchester, I never thought I was that shy, but after my first week of random strangers picking up conversations with me I decided I was. Sure, in my hometown people did talk to each other but not on the same scale as Manchester. The first time I was really surprised by a Mancunians generosity was when I was going home for the Christmas holidays. I had a suitcase taller than a child and when I arrived at the train station, the escalators weren’t running. Without a second thought, this guy carried my suitcase all the way to the platform for me, despite heading in the opposite direction.

Do not travel on football days – Especially the Derby

One thing I have learned the hard way whilst living in Manchester is to never travel across the city on football days. Just don’t do it. If you try driving, the traffic will never move and if you get the tram it’s equivalent to rush hour on the London underground. Lets not forget that the city isn’t just rammed with ordinary people. The city is rammed with football hooligans.

This also means that it isn’t always safe to travel after a match – especially after the Man United vs Man City derby. Violence breaks out everywhere. You want to stay far away from any pub – even if you’re not a football fan. There is nothing worse than an angry football fan who’s had a few pints!

A guide to living in Manchester

It is rammed with students

After my second year of university I decided to stay in Manchester for the summer and it was just a much better city to live in. I don’t have a problem with students, but when there’s over four universities in one city, it’s bound to get a little crowded! So, when the semester ends and all the students go home, the city becomes a lot more peaceful.  It also means there is less traffic down Oxford Road (where UoM and MMU are).

The Northern Quarter VS Deansgate

A guide to living in Manchester would not be complete without discussing the two main nightlife areas. Personally, I’m not big on ‘nights out’ but I do not turn my nose up to a glass of wine or two after a long day. There are two different areas of the city centre that are the main areas for a night out. They are Deansgate and The Northern Quarter. For me, they are both great areas to get merry, however, the two areas have different advantages.

The Northern Quarter is the more hipster area of Manchester. It is full with Jazz bars, vintage clothing shops, tattoo parlours, vegan restaurants and amazing quirky bars. Some places have cheaper drinks compared to Deansgate, however I wouldn’t say there’s a huge difference, it just depends on where in Deansgate you visit. One of my favourite places to visit in Quarter is The Frog and Bucket Comedy Club. Every Monday and Sunday (I believe) they host stand-up comedy night for up-and-coming comedians and it’s a brilliant, affordable night.

Deansgate, on the other hand, is a bit more up-market. During the day, it’s the business central hub and there will be suited people everywhere. In the evening, it comes as no surprise that there some really nice sophisticated bars. I can’t talk to much about these as unfortunately, they are a little out of my budget and so have not been. However, Deansgate also has average priced places. One of the best places to visit in Deansgate is the Peaky Blinders Bar – that is if you’re a Peaky Blinders fan, of course.

 

I could talk about the benefits to living in Manchester all day given half the chance. But, then that would turn into a novel, wouldn’t it? If you’re thinking about making the move, just do it. The worse that could happen is you want to move back to wherever you came from, which is easy enough to do. After all, you’ll only understand why Manchester is a great place to live after you’ve moved there! For more information on things to do in Manchester then check out my Valentine’s day ideas post for more inspiration!

Valentines Day brings romance and joy to people all over the world. For some reason, there is a whole day out of the year dedicated to couples which part of me thinks it’s cute. However, the more rational side of me believes that Valentines day is a big marketing strategy for restaurants and bars to get more money out of people (but that’s a post for another day). That being said, I can speak from experience that when it comes to this time of year, my mind begins to become blank of Valentine date ideas. This will be my second Valentines day with my partner and as we live in central Manchester, there are endless things to do. Sometimes it’s when there are too many options that my mind begins to not function. Do you live in the Manchester area and are lost for ideas of how to spend Valentines day? No worries, dating in Manchester does not need to be difficult – as there are so many things to do. I have compiled a few Valentine Date Ideas in Manchester, U.K.

An Activity of Sorts

If you and your partner consider yourself to be adventurous and love fun activities then there is plenty of things to do on Valentines day in Manchester. Fortunate enough to have the whole day to celebrate Valentines day? The perfect start to the day would be to get stuck in with something fun.

Go Karting

With two perfect locations in Manchester, Go Karting is really accessible to get to. There is a track in both Trafford Park and in Deansgate. Just recently, me and my partner visited the Team Sport Go Karting in Trafford and we had the most amazing time!

Valentines Day in Manchester

If you’re a student and you’re looking for Valentines Day Date Ideas on a budget then look no further. You can Go Kart from just £15 and if you’re not a student, then don’t worry as they also have other offers available.

When you arrive you are given a suit to wear over your clothes and you will have to purchase either a 50p disposable balaclava (to wear under your helmet) or a £3.50 cotton balaclava. Once changed and your bags are packed away in lockers you wait to be called into the briefing room. This is where you will watch a fifteen minute safety video which tells you what all the flags mean. For example, if there is a yellow flag, you need to slow down to a walking pace.

Valentines Date Ideas in Manchester

The whole aim of Go Karting is to try and get the fastest lap time and so if you and your partner are the competitive type, then Go Karting would be the perfect place to spend Valentines Day in Manchester.

Roxy Ball Room

Roxy Ball Room in Deansgate, Manchester will always have a special place in my heart. This was where me and my partner went on one of our first dates and so I just think it’s perfect for Valentines Day.

Inside this bar you can play ping pong and/or pool and I just think it’s the perfect place to go on a date to get to know someone. The music isn’t too loud and if you wanted an activity that wasn’t too expensive then this would be perfect!

Valentines Day Manchester

Inflatanation

Dating in Manchester does not have to be boring when Manchester is home to one of the biggest indoor bouncy castles in the country. That’s right I did say bouncy castle! Call me a big kid but there’s nothing more fun then jousting someone on top of a giant inflatable pillar.

In terms of whether or not this place is suitable for a Valentine’s day date then it will all depend on what you do next. If you plan on heading for a nice meal (that requires you to dress up) afterwards then I wouldn’t recommend going to this place first. You only get an hour on the inflatable park but I promise you after half an hour running around and rock climbing, you will be red in the face and sweating. Take plenty of water!

Places to Drink in Manchester

Peaky Blinders Bar

If you’re a Peaky Blinder’s fan then Manchester is the place to be on Valentine’s day! It has a bar themed around the whole t.v. show. I mean, how cool is that! Although I have never watched Peaky Blinders, I have however visited the bar out of curiosity.

My initial impressions was that it wasn’t that different to an ordinary bar. Yes, it’s beautiful outside and it does have themed drinks and characters from the show plastered on the walls, but a bar is a bar. My impression of the place changed when about fifteen lads came in dressed in waistcoats and tweed caps. This made the place feel really authentic.

So, if you are a Peaky Blinders fan then I would definitely recommend visiting. Having watched the show, you may be able to see more from the experience.

Cloud 23

If you only had one day to spend in Manchester, then I would completely recommend visiting Cloud 23 for a cocktail. With a stunning view over the whole of Manchester, It is a perfect place to sit with your loved one for Valentines day. Or, if you’re looking for date ideas in Manchester in general then I would still recommend this.

Cloud 23 - Valentines Day Date

If you fancy climbing 23 floors for the view, make sure you dress up smart as there is a dress code. Also, remember that because this is a unique bar to drink in in Manchester, the drinks come with a heavy price tag. I think I paid around £12 for a cocktail that fit inside a champagne glass. Oh well, seeing sunset over the city makes it all worth it.

Revolucion De Cuba

With regular entertainment and 2 for 1 cocktails, Revolution De Cuba is one of my favourite bars in Manchester. Having only drank in here, I can only tell you how amazing the cocktails are. However, I have heard from many people that there is a brilliant Vegan menu. So, if you eat a plant based diet I would recommend this restaurant/bar for Valentine’s Day.

Revs De Cuba, Manchester - Date Night in Manchester

Places to Eat in Manchester

Chain Restaurants

Just like in every city, there will be plenty of chain restaurants to choose from and most of these will tend to be fair in price. These will include, but are not limited to: Bella Italia, Ask Italian, Bem Brazil, Nando’s, Chiquitos and many many more. Excluding Bem Brazil these meals tend to not be that expensive, especially if you have a discount code that you found online. However, if you are planning to use a discount code then make sure to check the terms and conditions of the voucher. Many promotions will not be valid on Valentine’s Day.

Gusto

My favourite Italian restaurant in Manchester has to be Gusto. It feels more classy than say Ask Italia and I wouldn’t say it is much more expensive. If you sign up to be a member of their dining club then you can often get up to 50% off your meal on certain days. Again check the terms and conditions as any promotions aren’t likely to be valid on Valentine’s Day.

Gusto Manchester - Valentines Day Date

Surrounded by fairy lights and candles, Gusto is one of the most romantic restaurant to dine at on Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Day 2019 in Manchester

Are you fully prepared for Valentine’s Day?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading plenty of date ideas in the Manchester area. I hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day. However, before you go, there is something you should know. This post was a collaboration with 13 other amazing bloggers who have been preparing advice for Valentine’s day. I strongly recommend that follow their blogs so that you can read more valentine’s day advice over the next fortnight. Below is the schedule of posts for the next two weeks, with links to the blogs so you know where to find them!


Day 2 – Deanna is writing about, Valentine’s Day Makeup & Outfit inspiration
Day 3 – Lavrax is writing about, Edible and personalised gift ideas/valentines day baking
Day 4 – Megan is writing about, Valentine’s Day Ideas for Singles
Day 5 – Macey  is writing about, The Origin story of Valentine’s Day
Day 6 – Rach is writing about, Valentine’s Day ideas for the family
Day 7 – Molly has some Valentines cupcake recipes to share with you
Day 8 – Shealea is writing about, Sapphic romances that’ll make your heart soft on Valentine’s Day
Day 9 – Kerry is recommending some Valentines gifts for travellers
Day 10 – Vicky is writing all about Mindful Date Ideas
Day 11 – Divine is writing all about, The Perks of Dating a Mood Reader
Day 12 – Soph is giving advice on, Valentines Day gifts on a budget / for students
Day 13 – Koral is writing all about, Valentines Day and Mental Health
Day 14 – Lastly, Taiwo is writing a piece on, How to enjoy Valentine’s Day alone

I have been writing a blog for less than a year and somehow I feel like I have had it much longer. It has become a huge part of my life and I love everything about it. I have met so many people through the blogging community and have learnt so much about: online marketing, graphic design, web design and social media. However I am yet to figure out HOW ON EARTH people use Pinterest! To all of you people out there who are getting millions of views on your Pinterest page each day, how? Are you magic? Anyway, as I’ve decided that 2019 is the year I take blogging more seriously, I thought I’d write a post all about why I started a blog and why I love it so much.

My love for writing

Ever since I can remember I have kept a diary of some sorts. I do this for two reasons. Firstly, I find it extremely therapeutic and good for my mental health just to get everything down onto a page, whatever I’m feeling. Secondly, I love reading my diaries back and laughing at all the fun times I’ve had. If I don’t write it down, I will forget it and I have some stories that are too funny to be forgotten.

Anyway, growing up I always knew I would be a writer of some sorts but it wasn’t until I visited my university’s career adviser in second year that I decided to create a blog. I was advised to start one so that I would create a portfolio of work to show future employers if I wanted to go down the journalism route. With help from my partner who knows absolutely everything about the internet and websites, I began blogging.

My love for travel

I hope for my blog to become more travel focused as my bank account begins to grow and I travel to many more places. One of my favourite things to do is read travel blogs on the internet and so, when I was deciding what my blogs niche would be, I decided travel. Although currently I write about anything that comes to mind, I plan on going on many adventures soon and so my blog will become a lot more travel orientated.

Although my goal is to give my blog a travel niche, I cannot stress how unimportant having a niche really is. When I read blogs, I tend to invest in the person writing. I will admit to being an extremely nosy person and I love reading about what everyone is up to. So, if you’re reading this and would love to start a blog, my advice would be to stop worrying about have a niche. They are unimportant. Start writing and you might find you naturally have a niche later on. But for now, just start something. You learn things as you go along.

Overcoming my fears

Starting a blog can be scary to some people. It was for me, I felt so embarrassed and paranoid that people I knew would read it and laugh. However this doesn’t bother me anymore because writing on my small section of the internet makes me happy and whoever is laughing can just stay behind the screen and out of my life. Anyway, I overcame this fear just by ignoring them and worrying about them later – now that I’ve started, I never think about what I was worried about. Plus, now I have this hobby that has brought me to some amazing people. I have found new blogs to read and it’s amazing the new stuff you can learn. One second I’m reading a blog all about the gym and then the next I’m learning about what to do in Belgium for a weekend away.

This is why I started blogging and why I love it so much! If you’re a blogger, comment below all the reasons why you love having a blog. If you’re not and you would like to start a blog, then comment below all the reasons why you haven’t started yet!

Student debt. It’s something we hear about all the time but no one is really talking about it. At school we are told the financial burden of what going to university/college actually means, however, as teenagers we ignore the warning calls as that is a problem for the future to bear. That was me three years ago. Now I am in my third year of university almost working full-time hours alongside a full time degree. I am wondering is all this debt worth it? I am going to discuss what being in debt is actually like and how it can affect your experience as a student.

Different loans for different students

In the U.K. the government will pay for everyones tuition fees and then the student will pay it all back out of his/her wage once they are earning over (i think) £21,000 a year. This figure tends to bounce about – but the idea is that you start paying it back when you are in a position to be able to. To be able to afford general living cost: rent, utilities, food; the government also provides a maintenance loan. The thing with the maintenance loan is that depending on how much your parents earn is how much loan you would be entitled to. The minimum amount I believe is just over £3000 a year and the maximum amount is over £8000.

Fortunately for me, I receive the highest maintenance loan possible and so I haven’t been at a disadvantage during my studies. However, some of my friends who barely get any loan, and their parents can’t afford to pay their rent, really struggle to make ends meet. They end up having to balance an almost full time job with their degree. From the governments point of you, you can understand their logic behind giving more money to those from a disadvantaged background. However, as a result their are a lot of struggling students just because their parents just met the threshold.

Mental Health

There is a huge relationship between the amount of money you earn and the more you suffer with mental health issues. Last year I really struggled with how stressful it was to be in debt. No matter how hard I worked, it felt like I was never allowed to treat myself – because I had no money. Most students will experience this – especially because you don’t usually get paid to study. You work extremely hard – day and night- and you don’t get anything out of it for three years, at least.

That being said, this means it is increasingly more difficult for students whose loan doesn’t even cover their rent. All the money they earn through part time work goes on expenses and they really don’t have the same university experience as others. There are some students who will be able to go clubbing every night and have fun with friends and still have enough money to live comfortably. The amount of money you get can really change your university experience. It isn’t fair – but is there a solution?

Does finance scare people away?

Does the idea of having no money at university scare people from attending? Absolutely. It’s the heartbreaking truth that it’s now harder being from an average family income to attend university than it is for people from a disadvantaged background. I could image a lot of parents tell their children they wouldn’t be able to give their kids any money at university and that would be enough to scare anybody away. Now I’m not saying that any body should get less student loan. I believe that the threshold before you receive less student loan should be a lot higher. This would make attending university more accessible.

Anyway, I just felt I needed to write something on this matter because I don’t think anyone realises how hard having no money is until you’re suddenly in that situation. It is increasingly difficult when you’re a student and don’t have the time to earn money whilst focusing on studying. I don’t want to put anyone off but university is not for everyone and you should really consider whether all this stress is for you before committing three years of your life away.

Comment below your opinions on the student loan system. Is your country’s different to the U.K.? Or to read more on how to survive university you can read all about my tips here.

It’s the time of year when many university students start to panic over what they are going to do when they graduate. Some people have known what they’ve wanted to do since before they even applied to university and if this is you then great. If this isn’t you and you are feeling very lost then do not worry. You are not alone. I will hopefully be graduating in the summer and although I’m no careers counsellor, I already know what I want to do when I graduate. So, I thought I’d pose three questions to get you started in thinking about what to do after university.

Did you enjoy university?

The first question you need to ask yourself is did you enjoy university? If you did, then this could potentially open up the opportunities of diving into post-graduate study. Was there one module that you felt so passionate about that you’d love to learn more? Then maybe you should study a masters degree devoted to it? However, enjoying university does not mean you are obliged to carry on with academic study. Perhaps you enjoyed the organisational side of a degree – in that case you could look for a career which requires these skills. Maybe you took an interest and participated in a society that could propel you into a career? A good example of this is a media or creative writing additional activity. Participating in these clubs will provide you with the skills needed for a career in them, and if you enjoyed it then maybe its a good enough reason to go for it.

If you did not enjoy university then it goes without saying that you definitely should not continue academia into post-graduate study. There is absolutely no point in spending your valuable time doing something that you do not enjoy. Life is too short, move on and if you do not know how to move on then literally get a job anywhere. That’s a good place to start. You never know you’ll enjoy something till you’ve tried it.

Are you a money oriented person?

The second question you should ask yourself is, are you a money oriented person? Sure everyone loves having money, but there are specific people out there that get addicted to earning money and get a buzz off earning more and more. If this is you then you should do whatever earns you the most money. If you want a steady job then apply to the jobs with the highest pay and greatest career progression. However, despite doctors and humanitarians doing more moral jobs, it tends to be business people and those who work in finance that earn the most. Perhaps you can use that as your starting point for job searching?

If you are not a money oriented person then maybe you want to help people? Working for a charity is always a good place to start your job hunt. Not only will you be earning money to pay the bills but your job will also be making a difference to peoples lives. Obviously careers such as being a doctor or a nurse are very rewarding however studying these areas at university probably means you know what you want to do after university. Therefore, why are you reading this post?

Are you travel oriented?

The last question I think you should ask yourself is are you travel oriented? I ask you this because travel and tourism is all I want to do after I graduate and it’s not particularly money oriented or an ethical career path. Unless of course you volunteer abroad doing conservation work or rebuilding homes for people, for example. If you’re like me and the idea of settling into the same career for the next twenty years terrifies you, then maybe you should pack a bag and get on a plane. Of course, it takes steps before you can go backpacking, money for example and those steps are what will determine what you do after university. Do you need to move back with your parents and get a job with lots of hours for you to be able to afford to travel? Would you rather get a job on a cruise ship or become a member of cabin crew? If you ask yourself these questions now, then you will have plenty of time to plan your next steps before you graduate.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and I hope it has brought you some what closer to figuring out what you want to do after university. If you would like to read more of mine be sure to subscribe to my blog and don’t forget to follow me on social media for updates on new content!

When another year comes around, there is always the usual people claiming, ‘New Year, New Me’ and for some reason others complain about this. They claim that each new year is the same and you don’t become a new person over night. I disagree with this. I think that the New Year is a perfect time to decide what positive changes you will make in your life. Sure, a lot of people don’t stick to them for very long. But a new year brings new opportunities and experiences and everything is so exciting in January – anything can happen. I predominantly started my blog so that in years to come, I could read back at my posts and reflect on them. So, I’ve decided to write a post explaining all what I am looking forward to in 2019. One day, I may reflect and see if any of this stuff I’m about to ramble on about actually happened.

Graduation

This year is the year that I graduate (hopefully) from university and it’s about time. If you’ve followed me for some time, you are probably aware that me and academia do not see eye to eye. I’m not going to get into all the reasons that I see university as a controlling and uncaring institution. If you would like to read more about that then you can do so in my post about why university is not for everyone.

Anyway, in May I will submit my last piece of academic work ever. This is a huge relief for me because doing something that you hate for so long can really take an impact on your mental health. You’re probably thinking: if you hated it that much, why didn’t you just quit? Well the short answer to this is I hate leaving anything half done at the best of times. Let alone something that I have spent thousands of pounds on. With the end of university brings freedom for me for many reasons…

Business

This year my partner will fully launch his web design and marketing business and I will be working on it with him. I am going to specialise in social media marketing and writing for SEO. Me and my partner are incredibly excited about this because this business will hopefully give us the freedom to work in any corner of the world. After working in retail for many years, it will be a huge relief to stop working for someone else and start working for myself. Instead of being paid by the hour, we will get to control how much money we earn by how much work we’re willing to do. I am so excited to learn a lot more about the online world in doing this. There is also another reason I am excited about this opportunity…

I am going home

After living away from Essex for three years, I will be back spending a significant amount of time back at home. Me and my partner will move there after my house contract ends and so I will get to spend some real time with my family and hopefully reconnect with some friends I lost contact with. This isn’t a permanent residence as me and my partner will be jetting off to Australia to begin our one year working holiday visa as soon as we have the funds for it. Regardless, I just cant wait to really be in a routine of seeing everyone again rather than spending a week at home every few months. This of course means I get to walk my two dogs every day, which I love more than anything.

Travel

My travel plans this year entirely depends on how much money I have in the bank. This year I begin saving for a year long trip to the other side of the world, however I always have the itchy feet to travel and so I don’t doubt there will be a holiday or city break somewhere between now and the end of the year. Me and Neil know that we will have a holiday this summer but we are still torn between places to visit. We know we want a summer holiday under the sun and close to a beach, however we don’t want the hotel to be in the middle of nowhere as we are very active people and love to be doing something all the time. I’m sure we will find something and so I will stuck at the gym till then working on my summer body

Anyway, those are the main things I am looking forward to in 2019. I’m sure new opportunities and experiences will find their way towards me but for now I am looking at the year with excitement but also nerves. Doesn’t everyone graduating university feel nervous about what life will throw their way next?

Comment below what your goals for 2019 are and what adventures you have in store – I’d love to hear them!

As an avid watcher of travel vloggers and reader of travel bloggers, it seems that nowadays everyone is picking up their passport and travelling the world. In the world of social media, pool parties are captured on Instagram and everyone on Facebook is checking into an airport somewhere. This got me thinking, why are more people travelling the world than ever before? I decided to think about why travel wasn’t as common decades ago and how this has changed. It goes without saying that more people travelling the world and broadcasting it on social media is making me extremely jealous, hence the motivation to write this post.

The economy

When I asked my family about there travel experiences growing up, it seems that they travel a lot more now than they did years ago. I got the sense that years ago people were a lot worse off financially. Growing up in a working class family, my Nan told me stories of a time where if you needed financial help from the government it was really hard. Someone would come out and if they saw you had one too many chairs for the people living in the house you were told to sell one. Times have changed since then, and even the poorest people do not get told to sell things when they are asking for help (I hope anyway).

Ultimately, the economy has gotten a lot better off and people have more money then they did a few decades ago. People are buying new pairs of socks rather than sewing them up when they got holes in. The more money you have, the more you have to spend on new adventures. At least that’s how I believe money should be spent anyway.

Super cheap flights

To this day, I continued to be amazed at how cheap flights have become. With budget airlines constantly advertising flights for as low as £9.99, it’s no wonder that more people are booking up and jetting abroad. Although there are added costs of accommodation, food etc. with more money saved on transportation, people are finding less excuses to invest in a trip of a lifetime. Let’s hope it all stays this way; between Brexit threatening life as we know it and airlines beginning to introduce carry-on bag charges, we all have to pray that our super cheap flights remain, well… cheap!

 

Social Media

A couple of decades ago, social media didn’t exist. How anyone knew anything about anyone is beyond me. How would you know what people were having to eat? When did you find out that someone was back with that guy that they shouldn’t be with for the millionth time? My mind is baffled. Anyway, social media does exist now and we can all spy on each others lives from the comfort of our own home, without ending up on a restraining order. That being said, we get a good glimpse into peoples lives. When they go on holiday or are drinking their first holiday cocktail at the airport we are all the first to know. There are disadvantages to this, but that’s another post in it’s self.

The point I’m trying to make is that deep down, we all become slightly envious when we see the girls we went to school with sunning it up in Ibiza or we see our work colleague head of backpacking down under. Jealousy is completely normal, no wonder seeing people jet off everywhere makes us think that maybe we should also book something up. I remember seeing people on my Facebook news feed take part in the Camp America programme years ago. Low and behold, I was soon jetting off to work as a camp counsellor on a summer camp not long after.

YouTube

A huge influence on my burning desire to drop everything and hop on a plane are all the travel vloggers I watched growing up. Yes, this can be linked to being influenced by social media, but there’s something extra tempting about watching a fellow traveller sit in front of a camera and tell you all the reasons why you should hop on a plane. Also, travel vloggers don’t just sit there explaining why their lifestyle is just the greatest in the world. They also give advise that teaches you how you can turn your travel dreams into a reality. For example, how you can save money for travel, or scam companies to avoid booking through.

FaceTime

Travelling abroad is not just about week long holidays in the sun anymore. More people than ever are embarking on backpacking trips for a year or more. But why were such long trips not common in the past? Homesickness. Back in the good old the days the only way to communicate was by telephone or pen and paper. Now with inventions like Facetime it can feel like you’re right at home from thousands of miles away. At least when I’m away I can still see my dogs whenever I call home. I try to Facetime my mum every day and I swear I tend to speak to her more now than I did when I lived with her. I can talk to her for hours about work, house chores and what I made for dinner. Without the luxury of Facetime, the thought of spending so long without seeing your loved ones would deter many people from hopping on a plane. Thank god for modern technology!

So these are the thoughts that swim around in my head when I see so many people on adventures. Why is everyone on holiday but me?! I’m sure I’ll be on my next adventure soon, after all; good things come to those who wait. Do you want to read more Travel related content from me? Read all about why Spring is the best time to travel here.

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I have been blogging for less than a year now and so I would still say I’m relatively new to this community. Of course, I have been following other people’s blogs for a while and you get familiar with the common blog post ideas. One post I have read countless times is the ’30 things I hope to do before I’m 30′ post which I love! I think this is possibly because i’m extremely nosy! I find it incredibly fascinating that so many people want different things by the time they’re 30.  So, I decided to give it a go, here is 30 things I hope to do before I’m 30…

  1. Skydive for charity
  2. Bungee jump
  3. Working holiday visa Australia
  4. Write my own novel
  5. Rescue a dog
  6. Take my mum on holiday to wherever she likes
  7. Learn to ski
  8. Learn to surf
  9. Go back to Camp!
  10. Start my own business
  11. Graduate!
  12. Volunteer abroad
  13. Learn to drive
  14. Finally stick to a gym membership
  15. Complete a charity run
  16. Climb to the top of the O2
  17. Inter-rail round Europe
  18. Host Christmas one year
  19. Start a YouTube channel
  20. Be an Extra in a film
  21. Attend a baby shower
  22. Monetise my blog
  23. Learn to code
  24. Write a play and have it produced
  25. Begin to learn Spanish
  26. Be my own Boss!
  27. Own a property
  28. Scuba dive
  29. Write a collection of short stories
  30. See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the West End!

Comment below some things you would love to do in future years! 

To any of you who have worked in retail before, you will probably have a good indication as to the purpose of this post. Why? Because we have all been there. Listening to the manager explain to the customer what you said five minutes previously. Reorganising a shelf after already tidying it twelve hundred times that day. Last but not least, having to hide the frustration and resentment you have towards a difficult customer with a smile. It can be hell on earth but here I am explaining why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life…

It gives you thick skin…

I got my first retail job when I was 16 years old. I work at Colchester Zoo, to anyone who has heard of it. And no, I didn’t do anything interested like feeding the Meerkats, I merely worked in a gift shop. It was slightly different to the average retail job, meaning that you would often get to wander round the zoo with a giant handful of balloons or dress up like Jigsaw at halloween. I enjoyed the unique aspect to this job. However what I didn’t enjoy was something which all retail employees get to experience – being yelled at!

I had my fair share of nightmare customers come my way. One in fact decided to call me a bitch in front of his children because the monkey enclosure was closed for refurbishment. I mean, did I – at 16 years old – look like I had any authority in the overall running of the zoo? No, I did not. Did I have any control over the fact that this man stupidly didn’t check the website for updates on the runnings of the zoo. Absolutely not. Did I deserve to be scream at like a naughty child, NOOOO!

Working in retail you learn to develop a thick skin. You can’t let customers get to you even if you have been working ten hour shifts and really don’t care to actually ‘check the back’ when they ask. I mean, we’ve all walked to the cupboard stood for a few minutes only to regain some strength and then returned to the customer apologising for the lack of stock. Anyway, the point being is you learn to handle rude people and not let it get to you. This is one of the reasons why I truly believe everyone should work in retail at least once in their life. You’ll soon realise that you no longer get treated as an individual and adapt.

Your levels of patience will be tested!

When you work in the same shop for however many shifts, your patience will get tested. It will be the same routine and you will be repeating yourself to every customer that walks into the shop. You begin to get a routine in your head of what you said to each customer. For me I used to get so tired by the end of the shift I would end up not making sense and getting my words muddled. For example, instead of saying ‘hi, can I help?’ to a new customer I mixed it up with ‘enjoy the rest of your day’. They were beyond confused.

Ultimately, working in retail can result in you becoming more patient. There will be customers that will need something explained to them a million times and you just have to bear with them. Especially when they’re not rude, you’ll be eternally grateful and happy to spend a little extra time helping them out. You will also find customers that are beyond lovely and will ask about your day, rather than just complaining about the price of something. These people honestly lift your day up and get you ready for the next demon customer you have to face.

You meet the best of people

When you work in retail, especially in a big store, you get to meet a wide range of people. Some of who you’ll remain close to for long after you leave. You bond over the simplest things. One Boxing Day I worked and we had the privilege to sit down all day counting stock rather than having to deal with people – we literally just locked ourselves in a cupboard all day and opened up a puzzle we sold. It’s the little things that make you happy.

You also gossip about all the eventful things that happen at work. One summer Ed Sheeran paid a visit to the zoo with his family and it was so exciting. When he came into store, we all laughed at our managers who were bothering him more than the customers.

You grow a new respect for employees wherever you are…

To sum up, why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life is so that they grow a new respect for employees wherever they shop/eat at. Since I started working in retail I will never put something back in the wrong place, because I know how frustrating it can be to the employer. I have also grown to always be polite to the employee and never treat them as if they are not an individual. Sometimes big companies don’t pass down information to the lower-level employers so it is just unreasonable to be rude or belittling because they do not know something.

What I hate most in the world is watching a customer be incredibly rude to an employee and the staff member not knowing what to do. As much as we would like to put you in your place, we are always told to polite to customers I just wished it worked the same way!

 

Anyway, there are my reasons as to why everyone should work in retail at least once in their life. I would love to think that this post has inspired you to apply for a new job, but lets face it, it probably hasn’t. Working in retail sucks but at least I have done it and can take lessons learned onto my next occupations.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Comment below your worst experiences working in retail or the worse things you have seen whilst shopping!