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Oh hey there. Long time no speak! Almost 7 months in fact… But hey, who’s counting?

I think the last 6/7 months has been the longest I’ve gone without blogging since starting up this blog in 2012. Which I don’t think is too bad when you really think about it.

But my radio silence wasn’t intentional. OK, scrap that. It wasn’t completely unintentional. I could put it down to laziness on my part, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what’s really been going down!

Why my travels have taken a backseat

The first half of 2018 was chock a block full of travels – for me, a full-timer with a regular amount of annual leave, I guess. By June 2018 I’d clocked up hundreds of miles and several flights, taking in Ghent, Rotterdam, Tromso, Brussels, Lanzarote and Birmingham.

The first half of this year, however, has seen things being much quieter on the travel front. That doesn’t mean I’ve not been doing any – in fact, I enjoyed a few days in Paris (my first time there since 2012!) for my birthday, and I also enjoyed a week-long trip in Somerset on a coach trip with my nan.

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But my 2019 hasn’t, so far, been a whirlwind of visiting new places and ticking off bucket list items – which has been hard, considering I am someone who gets overwhelmed at the terrifying fear that I’m running out of time to do and see everything I want to.

So why haven’t I been making the most of budget European flights and my annual leave? At its basic level, it’s because my mental health hasn’t been the greatest. I’m fine and I’ve been having CBT sessions locally, but I’ve had a real desire to stay in a routine and resist any sort of change. Organising a trip is all well and good, but the stresses of being away from my comfort zone – the cats, my little blanket-covered butt groove on the sofa – leaves me with a lot of anticipatory anxiety that spills over to other areas of my life.

So I’ve been spending this year trying to practise mindfulness. Being present in the here and now, rather than panicking about the future or wallowing over the past. I find this so hard, as I’ve always been someone who needs to be keeping busy so that I feel like I’m not missing out on anything or letting anyone down. This is definitely a work in progress, but I’m finding happiness in simple things like gardening, short runs and curling up in bed with some puzzles.

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But it’s not only been that. As most of you will know, travelling involves a lot of money. I’ve found that having a blog sometimes puts me under pressure to do things just so that I have something to write about – which isn’t always the best thing for my bank balance.

The last 6 months have all been about the saving. I wiped out my savings last year when my job’s contract finished and I had to cover the rent on my London flat, so I’ve been desperately trying to recoup some of that. While I’ve got some savings together now, I’m also wary that my current contract job could come to an end at any point. All of this just adds to the uncertainty and me wanting to hold on to my cash until I know what’s happening next!

It’s true that I could have afforded the odd mini break here and there, but I’ve come to realise that I need to start ticking off some of my longer-haul ambitions…which aren’t particularly cheap. I’ve been dreaming about visiting Japan, Australia, Mexico, South Africa (and a whole bunch of other places) for so long, but I haven’t done anything about it. My goal at the moment is to save up more so that I can make one of these dream trips happen next year. Hopefully.

And this is why there hasn’t been much content on this blog…

OK, so, not being in the right frame of mind to write and not having anything to write about are two reasons why I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon since January.

But also, there’s been another more pressing issue: the fact that I haven’t been able to log into my blog’s back-end since February thanks to an issue with my, uh, hosting platform.

Who am I kidding? I still have absolutely no idea what went wrong. All I know is that I physically couldn’t log into my WordPress account and access my website’s back-end due to exceeding the maximum allowed size on the database.

I initially got in touch with my web hosting company back in February, who sent me over instructions of what I needed to do. Confused by the instructions I sent over, I put it on my list of things ‘to do’ for a solid 4 months – until I could persuade Ian (who has far more patience than me when it comes to anything technical) to have a go at sorting it out for me.

Long story short: I can now log in to my blog, I’m still not 100% sure what happened, and I owe my boyfriend a lot of beer.

So yes. It’s lovely to be back in the land of blogging, WordPress and waffling on about nothing. I must admit I missed it all more than I thought I would, so here’s hoping I don’t get locked out of my blog again. I don’t think I (or Ian) could take another round of technical jargon…!