I get a lot of questions about what it's like working for myself from home. They usually fit into one of two categories: "Oh did you post your photo to Facebook today? All done for the day then?" (my dad) to "How the hell do you find the time to juggle so many different clients and types of work?" (usually every other person who has ever worked for themselves in freelance).
Obviously we tend to lean toward the latter - working for yourself brings a certain hunger that I have to admit, makes me sometimes miss the steady income and monotonous office life. It brought stability even though it lacked a few things: mainly passion and challenge. As a writer and marketer, we crave a little bit more. We tend to feel things differently, crave emotion in a different way and want to help others do the same for their brand/magazine/company/whatever it may be. We're also a new generation up against the old ways of doing things. I recently tried to explain what I do to my boyfriend's mother while on a safari in South Africa and I realized this is not only a job that didn't exist 10, 15 even 5 years ago, it's also having to explain how people engage with the world now.
And while it definitely has its perks (I wrote about this in my last blog post): work wherever you want, while you travel, while you sit in pjs, while you drink your second or third cup of coffee with your pup - guess which one is me? (Oh wait, are all of them me? 🧐?) What I have discovered is a few life-saving things to help create a routine. So if you also work from home, maybe some of these items will help inspire you? And please comment for other tips that work for you! Let's lift each other up!
1. Create an inspiring work space. This can change and evolve day to day. Sometimes it's Starbucks, sometimes it's your couch, sometimes it's the kitchen table. My biggest change recently? I FINALLY ordered a desktop - iMac (yes I am 100% an Apple yuppy with every product I can get my hands on). Having a set "office" has created such a creative outlet for me - I brew a cup of tea or make a coffee, head to the office and just switch into office mode. I find hours can go by and I'm so much more inspired here lately!
2. To-do lists. Post-Its, workbooks, notes in your phone, pen on your hand, lipstick on the mirror - I don't care where you write it down, just do it! I suffer from self-diagnosed OCD (that's a thing right?) I love creating lists and ticking items off. Not only that, it lets me see what's high priority and what can wait. When you have a number of different projects or clients on the go, it also lets you switch hats just a little more seamlessly!
3. Take breaks in nature. I have to admit, I started to do this more once our pup Kingsley came along. But it has been such an incredible boost! Writers block? Overwhelmed? Need to change focus? Getting up, and getting out can do a world of difference to your mental state and therefore your creative state.
4. Connecting with other humans. This one can be incredibly tricky when you work from home! But don't belittle the banter you'd experience in an office setting. Bouncing ideas off of other people, taking a break from your workload, or just pausing to meet a friend for coffee can do wonders for your creativity and mental health! And no, sadly, your pet doesn't count - it needs to be a two-way convo!
Have I missed any other tips for maintaining your sanity while working from home? Feel free to comment below! 🤓
Work form home co-workers not so hard working...
I wanted to wish a very happy 2019 to you all and let you know that yes, I am still here! This blog part of my website has always been close to my heart, but sadly it is often the first thing to fall to the wayside when the days and weeks start to get busy!
But I wanted to sign on today to let you know, that moving forward, one of my goals is a weekly blog post for 2019! I don't love public vows for new year's resolutions (for the obvious fact that majority of them end up being a bust which leads me to not updating on them, which leads to less blog posts, which leads to where we are right now!).
I'm going to be honest - 2018 was a bit of a tough one as well. I moved back to Canada at the end of 2017 after almost a decade in London UK. The adjustment to a slower life out in the country has been a little trying at times. It's temporary and we're looking to move this spring (yay adulting!) but throw in a relationship (with a foreigner I uprooted to come with me!), friendships old and new, family commitments, career growth and a puppy (freaking adorable puppy but still) made this year one of the most trying in a long time. I found I let things pile up on me more than I have in the past - my motivation and drive to work on myself took a nosedive in the latter half of the year.
2018 was also the first year I worked full time start to finish for myself as a freelancer. The freedom it provides is obviously the top attraction for many people - no sole boss, no stuffy office, no annoying team building days. But it can also be very isolating and taxing. There is no "off" time when you work for yourself. I find I constantly blur the lines between "working day" and "off the clock". These are constantly shifting. Work is also usually a constant on vacation which makes it hard to switch my brain off. Setting boundaries is something I'm working on to make sure I'm giving 100% of myself (and still have 100% to give).
Now I'm going into 2019 a little more organized and aware of what this process entails. It's scary but it's also exciting! Along with continuing to work in the luxury yachting world as a marketer and freelance writer, I'm proud to include two new clients in my portfolio for the future - both are part of the local community in different fields, and that was a wee goal of mine for 2018 - grow that sense of community that I found lacking in a big city like London.
And I'm not writing today to say that the clock changed to 12:01 on January 1 and suddenly my perspective shifted. I'm saying it's ok to not have all the plans work out; it's ok to not have 10 resolutions to become the best you; it's ok to have them and not reach them too. Because of this overload, I didn't even have a bright idea of what I wanted to accomplish or create in my 2019 until halfway through the Christmas break when I locked myself in my office and wrote a few things down. I always have plenty of little goals flitting around my head - I have become that person that normally has three or four different books on the go - but I wanted them to be tangible and smart about how I wanted my year to unfold.
So with a new year beginning with new promises for the year ahead, I thought I'd share just a few of the items I jotted down (perhaps these are the ones I'm most sure about but who can say!)
How about you? Have you set any goals for 2019?
*Not forgetting to show gratitude for all the amazing things that also happened in 2018, a small highlight reel:
Being a member of the Gen Y or ‘Millennials’ as we are so affectionately called, we are told to be a number of things.
I have written a lot about such contradictions in the past. My first website was entitled misstwentysomething and celebrated everything about being a twentysomething in a big city. I was living in London, UK, traveling, working, drinking all the prosecco and basically living my best life.
Now that I’m in the beginning of my thirties, I’m wondering if I really am where I should be? I wouldn’t take away the experiences of my twenties at all. I got to live in one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. I got to travel regularly - both for work and for pleasure. I got three degrees. The final one led to my dream job which has kept me employed while doing something I love. I got married. I got divorced. I made new friends, I lost some old ones. I fell in love. I saw the world.
And most of all, I learned a lot about myself in the process.
I’ve always moved around a lot in life so I’ve become incredibly adaptable - I love that side of myself. It’s scary starting over, but it also brings an abundance of joy - creating new friendships, learning a new city, being more comfortable with just being ‘you’ - you spend a lot of time in between moving and ‘settling in’ and that’s often spent with numero uno.
I’ve moved back to settle down in Canada. I’m not yet remarried, I don’t own a house or even have a dog (yet!). And sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I actually am where I should be? I look at friends (old and new) - some who took a steady path - university, serious relationship, marriage, and now a baby carriage. Then there’s the rest who are like me - we’ve spent our twenties doing other things.
Is one better than the other? Did you miss out if you fall into the former category, or are you left behind if you’re in the latter?
So I ask again - where should you be?
Overlooking Raja Ampat 2015
If you follow this blog or any of my social media accounts, it's no surprise I love to travel. I've been incredibly lucky to visit some fantastic locations, travel quite regularly and even explore off the beaten path.
But today, I wanted to get some feedback from you guys! I'm looking into our big trip for this year - we'll return to South Africa and hopefully get to explore one of the neighbouring countries, and of course - spend time in the game reserves. However, this year, I'd love to be able to give back a bit on vacation - does anyone know of a reputable company that allows volunteers for a couple of days? Most I have found are for minimum 1-2 weeks and with family commitments we just can't spring that this time around!
So please comment or write and let me know if you have any recommendations!
Cheers guys :)
Hi dear followers,
I'm sitting all cozied up inside on this Friday night after my mini-yoga retreat was cancelled (freezing rain has stalled play on that!) with a lovely glass of South African red and thought it was time I shared a bit about myself with all of you. So in no particular order, here are 10 things that you might not know about yours truly.
Why not comment some little known facts about yourself?
1. I was born in Riverview, New Brunswick on the East Coast of Canada (as of writing the population still hasn't surpassed 20,000).
2. I'm the third of four kids and share the "middle child" moniker with my older sister (although I have classic middle child syndrome).
3. We moved around A LOT growing up - Before graduating high school (twice since I graduated in Quebec where they finish in grade 11 and then again in Ontario where they complete in grade 12), I had lived in nine different houses, four different provinces and five cities.
4. I had never flown on an airplane until I was 18 - I went on my first Eurotrip and took a budget plane to Glasgow before backpacking around the continent.
5. I have three degrees - a B.A Honours in Criminology and Concentration in Law; a Montessori Primary Teaching Certificate; and a Post Graduate Diploma in English Literature.
6. I grew up sailing with my family, sometimes wedged like sardines all together on the lakes of Canada. Little did I know I'd end up in yachting for a career (who knew moaning about being dragged around boat shows by my dad would one day be my meal ticket?)
7. I lived in London UK twice - once for six months in 2008 and again in 2010 for seven years. London has been the longest I've ever remained in one city (even if I also lived in seven different flats during that time!)
8. I bought a rusted old commuter bike when I moved to London which created a love for cycling - I raced successfully in London for a couple of seasons, did a number of European amateur races, and cycled twice London to Paris - once solo in 16 hours riding time.
9. I've had a few stays in hospital - a) broken collarbone at birth b) bronchitis at 4 months c) I had to get stitches on my left ankle at two years old since I cut my foot on an unassembled dishwasher d) I broke my wrist in grade three e) spent time in a Parisian hospital after being hit by a car during a race (proud to say I still finished...even if my knee still gives me issues!) f) I got badly bruised after a car hit me on my bike in London g) a few stays in London for anxiety related heart issues
10. I (like so many others) struggled with an eating disorder throughout my teens and twenties. I've worked with young girls struggling and think we need to break the stigma around mental health and body issues.
I am thrilled to be back online, reconnecting with all of my dear readers and followers. The last year has been a hectic one to say the least! I left my city job in London, moved out of one flat, into another, started a new job, moved across the Atlantic (back to the homeland - Canada!), brought my boyfriend with me (5 months long distance waiting on visas was no joke!) and am now starting to get back into somewhat of a routine.
I've missed my ramblings online to all of you (thank you for listening!) but was also amazed when re-reading my previous posts. You may notice a whole new website and look over here now. And with that, comes major growth (given the past couple of years - it's inevitable for us all)! As a result, as I was importing old content, I truly realized how far I have come and you may notice some missing articles. Fear not as I hope to be bringing you fresh new outlooks and perspectives.
I look forward to going on this journey together!