Always have a plan B…

Well I’m not getting anywhere fast…

You don’t expect such a disruption when walking, sometimes in traffic yes but rarely is even the footpath of a busy street in the CBD off limits. It was all good though, I went back down one block and the next street along was still open.

This happened on Friday, and wasn’t sure what it was about. I didn’t have time, this made me a little late however if people are willing to lie down in the middle of the crossroad my problems are small in comparison.

I was told by someone next to me that one of the signs had the word ‘bastards’ on it, so they certainly weren’t happy about something.

That something I have found out is climate change. Or a lack of action I guess. After a quick Google this article from The Age mentions a protest on this street, at the same time I took the photo. It was around noon and apparently protesters played dead in the street to stage a mock extinction. I am not sure if people caught a better view of it from the other side however all I could see was a line of police and horses.

Thankfully this protest wasn’t moving, so I didn’t really need a plan B other than run back and around another block. But sometimes we need plan B’s even in times when we can’t think of a reason why we would even need one. And it is funny how helpless we are when we are so used to a routine and one thing changes. Like a police line blocking the way. If this protest was bigger and blocking the whole of Bourke Street that I was about to cross, I would have been like ‘what the hell do I do?’… like a goldfish in a bowl with nowhere to go. I only ever give myself a few minutes to spare when heading to work everyday as I live so close, and moments like this remind me why that can be silly.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

 

Progress from failure is better than the illusion of success

I think we all have a creative side to some degree. However we don’t always put thoughts into action. We can all choose to contribute if we want and after walking past a piece of street art being created it got me thinking about how we choose to live life.

We are all creating art, every single day. The problem is the majority of us contribute to someone else’s artwork most of the time, and this might be our only creative output. Most of us are working for someone. The lucky few will be moderately happy in their daily roles, or simply content. However if I asked everyone I met walking down the busy streets of the CBD if their dream job was different to what they are currently doing, I would guess most would say yes. But a dream job is incredibly difficult to achieve. But it isn’t about getting there. It is about getting as close to it as possible.

Our minds are like a sports car we constantly leave in the garage. It’s capabilities are amazing but rarely does that capability see daylight. And our daily lives are like the speed limits, forcing us to withhold that opportunity and capability and more often than not, never actually realise it.

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Every now and then I will hear a story of a person that has won the lottery and decided to stay in the job they’ve always had. That scares the hell out of me. I mean if someone wants to do that then fair enough, as long as it is a personal choice. But what scares me is that some people might not realise the endless potential being financially free from working for someone else. The freedom to be an individual and contribute with the uniqueness that we all have, all too often shackled and blended with the rest of society. I cannot help but to hear that life clock ticking and our time on earth slowly fading away with each passing day like the grains in a sand timer. And with this knowledge I try to look at my life and see what I can change to make it my life.

Travel is the most obvious one. I quit my job in 2017 as many of you know to travel to the other side of the world. A world away from the cold, rainy streets of the UK to the golden beaches of Australia. I love my country though, I just needed a break from the norm. I left my role as an assistant reception manager, a role I was promoted to after four years with the company. But I did enjoy working there and have enjoyed every job I have had. I have always worked in hotels and I have gained great experiences and opportunities along the way.

Early into the role, my father died. He was in fact in hospital as I was leaving one job for the one mentioned above. It took just three months for my dad to go from perfectly healthy to us planning the funeral. It took us completely off guard and left me numb for the next few years. I believe this is one reason I stayed within my role for so long, but despite the lack of motivation to move on I was becoming increasingly more aware of how fragile and limited life can be.

Life started feeling like one of those video games where the floor is falling all around you. With everyone I have lost growing up, which is quite a few people both young and old, I started to develop anxiety and mild depression which I attended therapy for. The butterflies you get when the roller coaster stops at the peak, waiting to plummet at any moment, I was getting that daily. I felt totally out of control of my life and I had less and less of a grip on the reigns. In fact, there were no reigns.

So I needed a distraction from life. My blog has been great therapy for me as it keeps me active, keeps me distracted from negative thoughts and I write about what I want, when I want. This is a part of my life that I control, and helps me to take back the reigns. I don’t feel like I am floating with no control of where I am, instead I feel now that my feet are firmly on the ground.

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Travel has helped me with this too. I did come here by myself and wondered if that would impact my mental health, but because I am constantly meeting great people along the way it has not been an issue. The travel aspect again is me choosing where to go, when. It is another reminder that I can have some control over my life whilst ensuring I am gaining as many experiences as I can along the way. There have been so many benefits to this decision.

But of course travel isn’t always easy. I still have to work to live. Again, I really enjoy my job and go in everyday with a smile on my face. But ultimately my goal is to keep creative outside of work and follow my passions with an aim of being able to live off those passions instead. Even if this is a very slow process, it is the realisation that today we are closer to it than we were yesterday. And tomorrow that distance will be even shorter.

I have started to notice the little pockets of time that I have wasted so much in my life. The commute to work and back. That is one hour of the day. The queues we wait in for food, or the restrooms at a concert, the elevator, the airport terminal, the hotel check in, the kettle boiling. These one or two minute waits contribute to a hell of a lot of time daily and throughout life. I now spend these waits writing down blog ideas and posts, uploading photos to my posts if I won’t have time for the rest of the day. Thinking of what I can write about next and what is obsessively going through my head that could be put down in blog form. The more I utilize these brief moments that I wasted all to often, the more I see it has had an impact on my blog. I wen’t from having 600 followers in September 2017 to probably 10,000 followers by June. The sooner we realise there is so much time we waste doing nothing, the quicker the progress will be. And we have a lot more free time than we think.

This isn’t all about followers of course. I am just delighted to see that the more hours I spend here, the more people have been enjoying my posts. It has also made me blog a lot more than I did previously, and gives me the motivation to get out there and take more photos and provide more thoughts. It is a very positive cycle keeping me on route.

The more ambitious our goals are means the chances of success are less likely. But it also means our personal development skyrockets. It is much better to aim for a dream job and get half way there than to set a very achievable goal and get 100% there. That’s what I believe anyway. The progress from failure is sometimes so much better than the illusion of success.

We are all artists in one way or another in our daily lives. And the more we create that art for ourselves the more fulfilling our lives will be. The more reasons we have to live and the more we stand out. For me, it is about climbing the ladder I built and having it where I want it, and that motivates me to keep on climbing.

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Featured image by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Commuter image by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Cheers!

Sam

Life will always be a work in progress

I like stumbling upon street art that is in the process of being created. I think this one is an advertisement however I haven’t been back to see it now it is complete. It is just around the corner so I will probably take a look on the way home.

So many pieces of art seem to have always been there. Historical paintings in some of the worlds oldest and most stunning buildings. It is amazing to think these were once nothing but a concept in someones mind and someone decided to make it a reality. I think we all have a creative side to some degree however some people are just more talented, or at least have more motivated to put thoughts into action. From smaller street art creations to the wonders of the world, we can all choose to contribute if we want.

The problem is the majority of the world contributes to someone else’s artwork. Most of us are working for someone. The lucky few will be moderately happy in their daily roles, or simply content. However if I asked everyone I met walking down the busy streets of the CBD if their dream job was different to what they are currently doing, I would guess most would say yes. But a dream job is incredibly difficult to achieve. But it isn’t about getting there. It is about getting as close to it as possible.

The more ambitious our goals are means the chances of success are less likely. But it also means our personal development skyrockets. It is much better to aim for a dream job and get half way there than to set a very achievable goal and get 100% there. That’s what I believe anyway. The progress from failure is sometimes so much better than the illusion of success, and I have just decided this will be the inspiration for my next post.


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Cheers!

The new plan

For the first time, I have linked my blog to other platforms and although it felt great, felt very weird. I have had this space to write for a few years now but only two days ago felt like it was the right time to push it further and export to social media. I saw a surge in views in doing so, in fact despite not posting anything yesterday it was my biggest day for views.

I have read all your feedback regarding what to do next now that I am publicizing posts, and I thank everyone that contributed to this. I have literally hundreds of comments on my last post helping me out with advice and personal experience moving forward and it has given me a much better insight as to what to do next.

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Many of you use social media to share your blogs. Some find certain platforms better than others, I guess it depends on the style of blog as well as a bunch of other factors. But what is a common theme is that it has been really beneficial moving forward. It opens up a whole new world of potential readers and for that it would be silly not to. That is of course if the aim is to grow your blog. Not everyone has this desire.

Since doing so I have had a surge in views. Like I mentioned earlier, I had more views yesterday than I ever have previously. This shows how impactful Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and the like are with such huge audiences. They are also platforms that we have well established over the years, it isn’t like we are building these up from scratch.

What I also learned through your feedback is that most of you wouldn’t mind if I took a step back from daily posts and maybe limiting it to 3-4 times a week instead, many of you stating this may even be better in the long run. Not posting yesterday was a great way for me to take a breather and dedicate a day to comments and more engagement on WordPress and other social media. It means I have longer to think up posts without rushing them out there, as well as balance my time between WP, Insta, Twitter and FB. This was my main fear publicizing, blogging daily and finding time to use all of these.

So here is the new plan:

Monday: Blog

Tuesday: Don’t blog

Wednesday: Blog

Thursday: Don’t blog

Friday: Blog

Saturday: Don’t Blog

Sunday: Blog

It’s like a shit Craig David song however I feel it will be really beneficial for me now that I am using more than just WP. And thanks for your help coming to this conclusion, it really is appreciated.

Cheers!

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Cheers!

Sam

I’ve publicised my blog and I don’t know what to do now.

I have used this image recently but I don’t care, it works beautifully with a post about indecisiveness. I have made the decision to share my posts on other social media platforms as I felt it was the right time, however with this wonder whether I should post less frequently.

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I am currently blogging at least once a day and only being on one platform still requires a lot of free time as many of you know. The first hour of my day is spent responding to your comments, and I would never not respond to comments. Also taking time to look at my About Me and Introduce Yourself section’s and trying to check out blogs really makes time fly by. Then I upload a post and engage with you all on an evening. But this means that every post is pretty short in length and I am wondering if cutting down and maybe posting 3 or 4 times a week would be beneficial moving forward.

This would mean that I could maybe type more lengthy and in depth posts, however honestly fear I may not see as much engagement with followers if it is not as frequent. It has made such a difference to me posting daily and this is why I have kept it up. It also helps keep me motivated to carry on. But I know that many of you are on social media too and of course taking more time out here would mean I could see you all on Instagram and Twitter more.

I am really shit at multi tasking. I find it much easier to watch all the plates fall than to jog back and forth between them and keep them spinning. But if I take just a tiny step back on WordPress I think I could manage a little better. Or maybe I will just bite the bullet and keep up the pace and see if I can use social media more often. I’ll sleep on it.

How many of you also use social media? How do you balance the time and do you use certain platforms more than others? Let me know as I would greatly appreciate the feedback!

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Cheers!

Sam

Scheduling posts

I rarely schedule posts here. Unless I know I won’t have access to my blog for a little while, I would prefer to post when I feel like it. This would be a great tool for when I am working and would prevent the issues mentioned here, I just struggle for the motivation.

I fantasize about this a lot. Picture the scene. It’s a lovely Sunday evening and I have seven posts all lined up ready for the week ahead. I can go to work and actually get other responsibilities done at a decent time now that I have the posts up and ready to go. I mean I could do this, I have about 25 drafts in there doing nothing so far. But I don’t like to just type away for hours. It makes blogging repetitive and boring.

And whilst I was wallowing in self-pity regarding my lack of motivation I thought to myself why change? If what I am doing is still enjoyable and I am motivated enough to write every day, why not just do it daily? Sometimes if something works we should stick to it. Change is not always enjoyed despite often being needed, but sometimes unnecessary changes need not be made if we are already going in the right direction. Sometimes routine and tradition is enough to keep us on track.

Also, have you noticed that this bridge that I walked under is actually two bridges right next to one another? That’s cool.

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Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

Why I didn’t have a blog post today

I wasted today. Which is very annoying as I am trying to be as productive as possible every single day. You know those days in which you have an alarm set for your 7am shift at work, you miss the alarm and have 5 missed calls and voicemails from work asking why it is 9.45am and you still aren’t there? That was my day today.

I woke up pretty fast. And I almost messed up again as I didn’t realise the 5th message was asking me to come in at 3pm instead, meaning a last minute dash to get in. I stayed until 11.30pm and successfully wasted what could have been an early finish and a free evening.

I was watching a Jordan Peterson lecture last night about creativity. He is currently touring Australia and there is a chance I may meet him through work, which is pretty cool. He stated in this lecture that anyone desiring to be creative needs to hold down a job to finance them as monetizing creativity is pretty damn hard. But this also means that time to be creative is halved. So making sure to use this free time is very important.

So a wasted day feels very shitty. Especially when it is self inflicted and we know we could have done better. And with every year flying by at a seemingly faster and faster rate I really value my free time. And I know that after this post I won’t get that ‘you’re on a 14 day streak on WordPress, keep it up!’ which is crappy. But what can you do.

Actually, a lot. For starters, wake up to that damn alarm call.

 

Featured Photo by Adrien Robert on Unsplash


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

My time here is almost over…

My days in Brisbane are numbered, and I don’t have long left to enjoy these kinds of views. It’s very sad to think.


However in a way I am pleased that the working holiday visa only allows 6 months with one company. It forces me to move on when it is so easy to become complacent. It took me four years in a job to realise I wanted to travel and I’m glad I did. The reason I am here is because I don’t believe in becoming complacent, as easy as it is to do.

We have one chance to see the world and we can’t do it by staying in the same spot.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

Blogging + time = positive mental health

I really do love scrolling down the Meet and Greet section of my site. Every single day I am getting new additions to this and people seem to really enjoy introducing themselves and having a browse of other blogs. It is great to see and I am pleased I have it on here.

As I have said a few times because of the number of comments I receive here I am not going to try and respond and clog up the feed, I would prefer to leave it clean. I can barely keep up with daily blog comments and my about me section, not that I would consider this a bad thing for a second. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

However every now and then I will spot a contribution that catches my eye. Elizabeth over at Living with Mental Illness asked me a question that I have answered recently in comments, however with the theme of mental illness I will try to answer with this topic incorporated.

 


How do you reach a larger audience with reads and follows? I would greatly appreciate any advice you can share! Thank you in advance.


 

I have always wanted to expand my blog as much as I can. Not really out of an ego although we all have one to some extent, but because I would love to reach as many people as possible with my thoughts and opinions. The further we reach, the more people we will meet with the same outlook on life. We will also reach people that disagree but are willing to engage in interesting conversation. The more people I reach, the bigger the audience that would potentially read a book that I may publish further down the line. Also, the opportunities through blogging increase as it grows. Would I like to have a living outside of the 9-5? You bet.

In my late teens and twenties I started suffering from anxiety and a mild form of depression. Not to the extent that some people have it but enough to see me go to therapy for a few months. I realised that the more time I had to be in my head, the more these conditions manifested into something ugly. As a result this totally demotivated me to blog which only went and gave me more free time to think negative thoughts and a whirlpool opened up below me.

Another factor was the nature of my blog. I had a blog that originally started out just as I was leaving religion, and many of my posts would reflect on existential questions and philosophy. Naturally, putting my non religious views out there to the world caused occasional debates and I often went out to seek them. Not to be a troll but because I really wanted the truth. But because of this blogging wasn’t always fun, and when I was feeling very low I needed something (no pun intended!) to raise my spirits. I ignored my blog for this reason as it didn’t appeal to me when I was at my worst.

This inspired me to change up my blog style and theme. I wanted a happier blog full of colour and photographs. I also decided to travel to Australia as I felt this would be a great distraction from my anxiety, and at the same time I could give much more positive blog posts to the world. I am so glad I did this.

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One thing that helps keep my my mind stimulated is continuous blogging. I now spend many hours a day here and it is something I love to do. I love watching it grow and everyday is a new challenge to write about something which is a great mental exercise. Now this is the beautiful part. Blogging frequently does more than just keep us stimulated and- hopefully- free from mental anguish. It means more and more people are able to find our blog. People in the same boat and people that would love to see life from our perspective. No one is perfect, and hearing from others with daily struggles reminds us that we are all human and that we shouldn’t strive for perfection.

Despite having this blog since 2014, it was only in September 2017 that I started to really put effort into this website. That was when I landed in Sydney and my motivation to blog increased tenfold. I had a two year working holiday to show family and friends back home and every day was a new experience. But I couldn’t just post and expect people to come over and read. I had to engage too. This is half of what I do everyday, crossing over to other peoples blogs and introducing myself. If I didn’t do this my blog wouldn’t be as popular. I realised that people enjoy conversation. We all do, we are social creatures and a conversation unites us. No one wants to spend all their time reading in the same way we don’t want to simply listen to someone wanting to speak all the time. We like to have a say and make it a conversation rather than a lecture. I have found some amazing blogs and people this way.

I then found myself with a much larger community of people that I was engaging with. The same thing happens when we decide to leave our house and explore the neighborhood… the people that didn’t know we existed do now and are happy to say ‘hey’! It isn’t that people don’t want to speak to us, it is that they aren’t aware that we are here to speak to us in the first place.

I thanked 600 people whilst I was at the Blue Mountains in November 2017 for following my blog, and I expect at the end of the month I will be thanking 7,000. A huge change in 13 months, and that change is all down to the time spent on my blog and engaging with others.

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I keep blogging as it has been a great form of therapy, and if I stop I am unsure whether or not I will sink to those depths again. Keeping busy is a great remedy, and I can see why so many people blog. It is the chosen method for many to keep their heads above the water, and at the same time be creative. It is truly turning a negative into a positive and is great to see.

I hope this answered the question, and if anyone has any thoughts on this topic please feel free to let me know. As always, I will see you in the comments!

 

Sam


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

My one regret in Brisbane

Brisbane is the second city I have lived in after Sydney. From my experience in Sydney I took into account a couple of things and implemented them in Brisbane for my six months here.

One of them was choosing to stay in a hostel instead of a hotel.

Sydney is huge, and despite the commute to work not being too much hassle I met a few people that decided to stay in hostels right in the CBD. This would have cut my travel time drastically and allowed me a bit more time to blog too. I often feel that in a larger city it can seem harder to socialise as everyone is so rushed and in such big crowds, it is harder to walk by a friend in the street and stop for a quick catch up. Because I was blogging so frequently and in an apartment outside the city, I feel I didn’t socialise. I didn’t mind that too much though as this was the six months that really boosted my blogging. However being in a hostel would have been fun and travelling to work would have been a breeze.

It was only after Sydney that I stayed in my first hostel. It was during my 88 days farmwork and I did it because, well, I had to. But this showed me how fun hostels can be and how easy it is to make friends there. Friends I will no doubt keep in contact with for years to come.

And with this in mind I booked a hostel in Brisbane close to work. I have stayed here for the duration of my time in the city and despite being a sacrifice in privacy, it gives me more freedom to travel around. If I want to go to Sydney for a week I just pack and leave. No rent to pay! But although I have had an amazing time in Brisbane, I feel I may have benefited from doing this a little differently.

In Sydney I should have stayed in a hostel. And in Brisbane I should have stayed in an apartment. It is cool I have tried both living styles out however I did them the wrong way round. This is my friends pool in her apartment complex, it is really close to the city and I work among the highrises.

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Brisbane is small enough to get a decent place close to the city. And commute times are short. I could probably walk to work from here if I wanted to, or grab one of those really convenient Lime Scooters to get me there.

I only have a month left here, so I am sticking to my guns and seeing it out in a hostel. Don’t get me wrong I have loved it and made some great friends here, and my two minute walk to work has given me so much more time to write. But I just wanted to share my thoughts on this with you as my time here comes to an end and I look back at my time in Brissy.

Now, time to think of my options for Melbourne in March…

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam