One of the positives about blogging is being able to share with the world your thoughts, feelings ad experiences that you can later on look back to and see how you have changed and progressed in life. And now that 2018 is coming to its end, I think it’s time to reflect back on what I experienced and learned over the past 365 days.
1. No more uni
2018 marks the year when I graduated from my master in Rotterdam and left uni for good. Honestly, I learned a lot from the several years that I spent in the Netherlands and cannot even try to sum it up in a few sentences. You can read the detailed post about why I chose to study abroad here. From all the positives, I learned how to be independent, met great people, some of which became my friends for life, experienced a new culture and evolved into a young professional. I can say that this journey was quite hard but also helped me realize a lot about myself and my capabilities, so I’m glad I finished this chapter of my life on a positive note and will remember it with fond feelings.
2. Bye, Holland!
In 2018 I once again moved away from the Netherlands but this time I think it might be for good. As I said, my life there over the past few years was definitely an interesting journey and there’s no way that I would chose another option now that I look back. I definitely miss a lot of things from my life there and plan on sharing them with you guys soon 🙂
3. Don’t be afraid of change
Another good lesson that I learned is to welcome change and embrace the new opportunities that lie ahead because they help you grow and develop both personally and professionally. In the summer this year, I decided to say bye to my job and team, where I worked for a few years in order to try a new career direction and challenge myself further. It was a sad moment as I really loved my collegues and learned a lot from them but at the same time I felt that I needed a change, so I could continue to evolve. I spent a couple of months looking for a new opportunity and it fell into my lap eventually. Funny or not, you attract what you seek because at the moment I am super satisfied with what I do and the people that I work with! I feel that I am going into the right direction and hopefully I’ll continue to further develop myself and learn new things!
4. Welcome, Char!
2018 suprised me and my family with a new family member – my dog Char! Getting a dog was definitely something unexpected.. As you probably know, we have 2 cats and during my lifetime I have only had cats as pets. So getting a dog was such a different experience, which also thought me a lot about pure love and of course the responsibilities that come with it 😀 But honestly, I cannot imagine how my everyday will look like without this furry cute puppy!
5. Explore, explore…
This year I also travelled a bit, which is one of the key activies that I aim at doing whenever I have the money and time to do so. In April, I went to Barcelona that left me with mixed feelings and I probably won’t visit again. Then in June/July I travelled to Beijing, which was one of the best experiences that I’ve had so far. Exploring such a different culture is one of the most enjoyable things for me and I just cannot wait to go back to Asia again! A few days later after I came back from China, I flew to Switzerland and went to the Montreux Jazz Festival with my dad. That was a lot of fun and definitely opened my eyes for how beautiful Switzerland is and made me lust over going back to the amazing Alps!
But let’s not forget Lina and her trips this year: from sunny Valencia, vibrant Kiev and fast-paced Istanbul to a dream getaway to Antalya.
I will end 2018 and start 2019 on this note, spending a week in Berlin with friends and hopefully I will get to continue travelling and exploring new places around the world!
6. No sugar for me, please!
Back in October I decided to do a sugarfree challenge for a month, which eventually turned out to a more-or-less permanent health choice. I realized how much sugar I was consuming without actually needing any of it and now I cannot even get tempted. I had one piece of baklava for Christmas and that was it, I didn’t even find it so delicious to be honest. So for now I will keep on going with choosing healthier options when it comes to sweets. I even started mastering the fine art of raw desserts such as energy bites and chia pudding!
7. Clean up your closet
Another thing that I did in 2018 was cleaning up my closet and getting rid of all shoes, clothes and accessories that I haven’t worn in more than a year. Honestly, I realized how much we’re burying ourselves in useless objects and I’m genuinely trying to cut back on my consumption habits in all sorts of ways. For my closet this means that I try to buy less stuff that is more durable, hence made from better materials that would last longer. That’s why I’m eager to spend a bit more and invest in a good pair of jeans or a cashmere sweater that will stay in good condition longer and would keep me warm in comparison to cheaper, fast-fashion clothes made out of plastic.
I also started thrifting more from local shops or online stores for selected second-hand garments, which is yet another more conscious approach towards my fashion consumption habits.
8. Don’t call me an influencer
I’ve always been interested in social media and blogging, otherwise I wouldn’t have started this blog but there’s something quite disgusting about this whole scene right now. I was honestly ashamed of calling myself a blogger or yet worse, an influencer, since the majority of the girls that labelled themselves as such represent something that I in no way want to associate myself with. My previous job involved influencer marketing and I myself have worked on paid brand collaborations. So, I have been on both sides of this phenomenon and can say that there are major issues with it. On the one side, I feel like everyone is an Instagram ‘influencer’, contacting brands for free products and paid collaborations. On the other side, brands have no clue on how to identify the beneficial figures from the sea of fake followers and paid likes.
In other words, this whole world is such a mess… And I don’t want to be a part of it, honestly. Everyday when I scroll through Instagram I see the same paid content across tens of different accounts, at one point it doesn’t even matter which of the influencers is the ‘face’. I feel like people are losing their identity online, chasing something that they want to be or do, representing a cool lifestyle and oversharing their life to such a point that I would know every single detail about their personal life. That is the main thing that I want to distance myself from. I don’t want to share every little thing that happens to me, my friends, my boyfriend, my family, etc. I don’t want to be the person that goes to a trendy place just because I have to take a photo for Instagram. I don’t want to be the person that fakes an interesting life over social media. I don’t hope and honestly don’t want to make blogging/Instagram a way to make a living, my main job.
This whole story became quite long but the whole point is to explain that I realized that I want to keep this as a hobby, meaning that it’s not my number one priority in life. However, I like blogging and want to keep sharing interesting parts of my life, experiences and beautiful shots. That means that I won’t be as active as the girls that post 100 stories a day and keep a perfect Instagram feed. But I will still aim at keeping and developing my creative side through blogging!