I’m expanding my blog!

So recently I have looked at other social media platforms out there, some I have been on and some I haven’t, as it would be great to share my posts in other ways.

I have been blogging pretty much anonymously until recently, I did not tell my close family until last year and have only told a handful of friends in recent months. I didn’t want the attention whilst I blogged as some posts had opinions and feelings I wasn’t really comfortable with sharing. But I am now coming out of my blogger shell more and wanting to share my posts with others, especially now my blog has been documenting the amazing trips and experiences I have been having.

For that reason I have linked to both my Instagram and Twitter. Instagram I have had for a number of years and Twitter since… 1pm today. I currently have 0 followers there and would like to increase that by a couple.

My Instagram is @samest89 if anyone would like to follow

My Twitter is @octstw, an acronym for my new blog title.

Thank you if you have already stepped into my Insta world and gave a like or a follow, these are both HUUUUUUGE platforms to be on so it is only sensible I make an appearance on both and try to make my way on these sites. The majority of posts and pictures you will see will stem from my blog, and I hope you stop by to say hello at some point.

In the upcoming months these will gain momentum, now is a great time to follow as these will start to bloom soon.

Watch this space! (well, over at Instagram and Twitter)…




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, Instagram and Twitter

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

Happy blogging,


Growth is more important than the view count

Yesterday I mentioned in my post Accidental Anniversaries that I was very close to my record view number for any day I have had in the four years I have been blogging. I also mentioned that as I only had 15 minutes until midnight, posting about it probably wouldn’t help achieve a record view count as most views would spill into today’s statistics. However funnily enough I had a quick surge in views, more than usual for the first 15 minutes and I did in fact achieve this, so thank you to everyone that viewed the post. Seeing a record broken every now and then shows progress and growth and it is great to build momentum and motivation to keep pushing. I am very grateful.

As a result I received some lovely comments from followers in support, with some stating the view count and how they are a little way off this number. For me, the number isn’t the main focus, it is the continued growth.

I remember having less that ten views a day on my blog, I had it for a long time in the first couple years whilst I was blogging much less. I only blogged a couple of times a week and wasn’t consistent with it. Only blogging once or twice a week is fine if you are consistent with it. That is the key to growth. I then remember when I started devoting more time to the site and these numbers grew to the 50’s. This only occurred when I devoted an equal amount of time to my blog each week and if I fail to post for a couple of days my views will easily reduce to that number again. I mean look at my views in the last few days… my views went from 126 two days ago as I didn’t post to 563 the next day!


If I don’t post for a week my numbers will drop down to 10-15 views, from previous experience. Readers enjoy consistency as much as content which is understandable as if I am following someone, I need to know that they will deliver consistently and on time. Our lives are way too busy to tolerate inconsistency and we get bored easily. That and there are too many bloggers out there being consistent for people to choose from.

So for me, the statistics aren’t that important, that isn’t the key to success. It is staying and being consistent with the blog and ensuring that delivering no matter how frequently that it is consistently. You will notice that the daily stats will rise like a set of stairs on the chart which is very fitting because it is a great visual to observe, showing that the blog is on the rise. Stop with that routine and it’s like a game of snakes and ladders… Before you know it you are at the bottom again.

This shows me how hard people have to work to get to where they are and for the most successful bloggers, I salute you. Our success depends on how much we want it and as long as today’s stats are higher than yesterdays, the number isn’t important.


I also have two posts that you may want to read here, not too in depth but they were popular regarding this topic. Feel free to have a look!

The Waves of Motivation and the Reason I can Blog Daily

Daily Blogging and Why Consistency is Key


Featured Photo by Mikito Tateisi 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

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,


Accidental anniversaries

I have been checking my stats today and they have boomed compared to recent days, I have just hit 500 views for the day which is great and it’s looking like the majority of views coming from the States.


I think this may be the second highest view count I have had in a day, however I went down to check the statistic and it wasn’t there. Is this a glitch or has the actual number been removed from the insights page?


Anyways, I looked at the date above and it was Feb 2nd, 2018… A year ago yesterday. It made me think that is there the possibility that at a certain time of the year, something triggers me to work harder and for longer on my blog and therefore I get similar statistics?! I wonder if any of you guys have experienced something similar. Maybe a new wave of motivation after Christmas when I have very little money to do other things, as the buzz of Christmas wears down and I need a new boost.

Interesting to say the least.

I have 15 minutes before midnight here, so the views of this post will probably spill into tomorrow, I think my view count record is 572 or something. Way off, maybe next February.


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,




Evening strolls to clear the mind

There is little I like better than an evening walk. The cool air being a welcome break from the searing heat and the quieter streets making it possible to think straight. This is my unwind time.

Today I headed down to South Bank and alongside Brisbane River. This is the third night in a row I have done this as it is a good walk to take on an evening to chill me out and tire me out.

I really need to be tired to sleep in a hostel.

The route goes down the south side of Brisbane River, across a pedestrian bridge and through the Botanic Gardens before entering the CBD and getting back home. The picture above is the sight I was greeted with as soon as I got off that bridge into the gardens, this is just outside of where Florence and the Machine were performing yesterday.

This was my favourite shot from the ones I had taken. I love that two couples are in the shot, one gazing at the lights seemingly dazzled and awed. It is a sight to behold, there is something magical about a scene like this that makes you feel you have just entered a fictional world. An escape from reality.

We all need these escapes from reality from time to time. I know that my blog has for a number of years consisted of posts wishing for a world that embraces reality more instead of what we are told to believe growing up, however as I grow I realise life can sometimes be too damn crappy to embrace and a little escape is of no harm.

What comes to your mind with a sight like this? What clears your mind?



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

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

Happy blogging,


A different perspective

Back to Sydney, back to normality. Normality being a temporary home whilst away from the UK, I was walking along the same bridge after work yesterday and noticed that the sun was in a position that the moon was in when I last walked over this bridge. The shot I’m speaking of is uploaded here in The waves of motivation and the reason I can blog daily.


Although the moon provides light at night, it is just the sun working overtime. We need additional lights to help us find the way home. Night time hasn’t always been a blessing to humanity, it has often been the opposite. A period of blindness, plummeting temperatures, shadows and silence. We are lucky that we can keep the lights on in the dark hours today, and if anything it gives me a little bit more security to appreciate the beauty that can be taken from it.

And how different it looks during daylight hours. I cannot help to feel more warmth both in temperature and in happiness. I feel the blindfold has been taken away and that the universe is coming out from the angry stage it was in just a few hours ago. I can understand why stone age humans would feel the universe had emotions as we humans do. When a violent thunderstorm or tornado comes at you with the most incomprehensible intensity, it could almost seem like a personal attack. If we hadn’t developed techniques to predict storms or come to understand the conditions that lead up to these extremes, maybe we would be more superstitious than we are today.


But back to the shot, I like the difference in the shots despite being in the exact same location. The sun and moon in somewhat similar locations, even a person walking away from me directly below the guiding light. Maybe they are the same person? I will never know. They are both beautiful in their own way, I am sure some appreciate the stars and silence and some the blue skies and bird sounds.

Which do you prefer?

Happy 60th birthday to my mum!

This is me, having a final photo with my mum and sister before starting my two day journey to the other side of the world. Our last photography together as I boarded the train for London before departing from Heathrow to Sydney. It was my mums birthday yesterday (on the 15th) and unfortunately I wasn’t there to celebrate it with her. Of all the perks of long distance travel, being away from family isn’t one of them.

mam birthday

She loved the flowers we sent her, although I hope she didn’t forget to take them home after having a few too many glasses of fizz during lunch with friends. Sometimes I wish I was able to be at every milestone occasion, but I have to remember that it isn’t possible. But to be present at all, even if it is via FaceTime, is just as good if it is the only way possible. Technology allows us to be there at the click of a button, something generations past were not able to. No longer do we have to resort to a letter in the post and hope it arrives within a couple of weeks. Although the flight is roughly 24 hours, high quality, video communication is instantaneous and free over WiFi. How incredible is that?

Thank you for being the best mum I could have asked for and always being there for me. Although I wasn’t there to celebrate with you, the high chance that you will be able to visit me in Australia- a dream destination of yours- keeps me motivated. This makes being so far from family very worthwhile indeed, and that it is important to remind myself of the reasons to travel in the first place!


Street smart

To follow on from my previous post (partially), a message I had found on the street in Newcastle, NSW.

Not art, more a simple message that has been scribbled on the floor. I felt it was a deep enough message to take a photo.


For those struggling to see the message, it reads- ‘Abandon TV and enter the age of knowledge’.

Not that TV was the problem I talked about recently, it was the internet, and the dilemma for me is that I feel the internet is much more beneficial for finding the truth that TV can ever be. The sad thing is it is also a haven for cyber bullying, trolls and misinformation. Like so many things, it is about using the internet as the powerful tool it is and taking advantage of the capabilities instead of letting it take advantage of us. Like being caught up in a violent storm, we can use the strong winds to carry us or knock us down. If a gale is blowing, kite surf.

So yes, the internet is much better than TV for information, however it is a lot more dangerous. In an age in which we have the ability to obtain all the information gathered throughout human history, it is learning how to extract this goodness that we need to practice.

Life is like a vanilla milkshake 

Normally for me, this time of year would mean wearing at least two layers of clothing and and waiting for the kettle to boil. Not this year. The Southern Hemisphere doesn’t work like that. 

I needed a pick me up this morning and since I have almost completely cut sugary drinks out of my diet, I felt this one could be excused. The problem with milkshakes is, they don’t last very long. 

Do I have the willpower to pace myself and enjoy it one sip at a time, or will I adopt the live-fast attitude and down it in one before I have the chance to regret it. The first option seems harder yet more rewarding in the long term. 

Life is a bit like this, we can choose to pace ourselves or go crazy. Both work for different people, some people do too much too young and not make it past their twenties. Some spend a lifetime in the slow lane and not manage to accomplish their dreams. I guess it depends on who you are and how you view life. Regardless of that chosen pace, before we know it that vanilla milkshake is gone.

I feel it is important to remember I have an expiry as it helps kick me into gear. To remind myself I have goals I want to accomplish and places I want to see. People I want to meet and stories I want to share. Stories of experiences I haven’t experienced yet, sometimes starting with a walk to grab a milkshake.