Life Hacks (Mostly food)

Hey guys,

I thought today I’d share with you a couple of things that I’ve learned this year. You may already know about all of these but just in case you don’t, I hope they help you in some way. I only realised after planning this blog post that they’re pretty much all about food… Nevertheless, here are my six life/food hacks that you may or may not already know about:

  1. DIY Hummus –  I love hummus. I don’t love the canola oil and other gross things that are in the reasonably priced ones, so I decided to make an oil-free version myself. I just blended some chickpeas, a little bit of water, some lemon juice and seasoning until smooth, and it came out perfectly! It’s healthier and much cheaper than store-bought hummus, and still tastes delicious.
  2. Easy Vegan Pancakes – If you’re craving pancakes but still want a nutritious and healthy breakfast, try these vegan ones! Just blend some oats, water, honey/maple syrup, a pinch of salt and vanilla essence (just tweak amounts until it tastes right). Let it thicken to the right consistency and then you can go from there. I also put this batter in the waffle maker and they turn out perfectly every time. I find that they’re best when topped with some banana or strawberries (or both).
  3. Apple Pie (not really) – Have you ever noticed that apple chunks, dates and cinnamon together tastes like apple pie? It will blow your mind.
  4. Porridge – Ok, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the world that didn’t know this, but I’m going to tell you anyway. If you pour boiling water over quick oats, it becomes instant porridge. No stove top or microwave required! This has made my mornings so much easier.
  5. Summer Chocolate Treat – Mix coconut cream, cocoa powder and sugar together in a bowl, spread the mixture out on some baking paper, and put it in the freezer. A couple of hours later you’ll have a delicious, rich chocolate treat that makes a really satisfying sound when you break off little pieces. So delicious.
  6. Hiding Ballet Flats at Train Stations – This is the only one I came up with that has nothing to do with food. Next time you’re braving the walk from your house to the train station on your way to a night out, carry your heels and wear some comfy flats. When you get there, swap your shoes and hide the flats somewhere around the train station. Then, when you get back from your night out, you can take your heels off and put on your comfy shoes for the walk back home! This absolutely saved my feet last night.

I hope you found at least one of these tips helpful! Have fun trying them out and let me know what you think in the comments below.

That’s all for now,

Much love,

Tamara.Joy

Going Veggie

Hey Guys,

Today I want to talk about something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a couple of months now. There’s so much I want to say without sounding preachy, and I definitely don’t want to sound like I’m forcing my views on anyone. Basically, around five months ago I became a vegetarian overnight after watching the documentary “Earthlings”. I never ate much meat anyway and had already almost completely cut red meat from my diet, but watching that documentary was the last straw. When you really allow yourself to be enlightened about the cruelty that’s going on every day, meat just stops being appetising altogether. When I first decided to do the research and force myself to see the horrific truth, I was so mad. I was mad at the world and mad at myself for basically being an enabler. For a while, even seeing meat in the grocery stores was upsetting, and I couldn’t believe how fast my mindset changed. I only wish that I made the change earlier.

Now almost six months have passed and I still haven’t missed meat once. I’ve gradually also started cutting out milk, eggs and cheese and generally eat at least two vegan meals a day. I eat so much more fruit and veg than I used to, and I just feel so energised and happy. I was never really conscious of it, but becoming a vegetarian made me realise that I used to carry around a lot of guilt. I have always promoted peace and equality, and now I finally feel like I can be authentic. Eating meat just doesn’t align with my values now that I’ve stopped letting myself be fooled by names like “beef” and “bacon”. If you’re thinking about trying a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, please go for it. You might run into a bit of backlash from friends and family, but that’s only because they’re concerned about your health. Educate yourself and then you can give your friends and family proper answers to their questions and concerns. We really don’t need animal products to live healthy lives, and the less meat you eat the less cruelty will go on behind the scenes every day. If you have any questions please comment and ask.

Here’s a link to Earthlings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibuQ-J04eLQ

Vegucated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19qSsUI79Ro

Gary Yourofsky, Best Speech You Will Ever Hear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!

Lots of love,

Tamara.joy xoxo

Aloha!

Hey guys,

So sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I have about six drafted posts that I just haven’t had time to finish. At the end of my last post I teased some exciting news, and I’m thrilled to let you know that at the end of this year, my sister and I are jetting off to Honolulu for two and a half weeks! I can’t wait to climb Diamond Head Crater, eat local food, relax on the beach with a book and experience hostel life once again. We got the flights on a mega sale, and the trip kind of coincides with my 19th birthday so it’s a bit of a birthday celebration as well as a vacation. We’ve never been to the US before so it’ll be an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to share my travel stories and photos with you again. If you have any suggestions of places to go and things to do in Hawaii, please leave a comment and let us know.

Lots of love,

Tamara.joy xoxo

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Stradbroke Island and Exciting News

Hey Guys,

I’ve just spent the last two days in absolute paradise. A childhood friend came to stay with us in Brisbane for a while and offered to take us on an overnight trip to Stradbroke island. It was so much easier to get to than I was expecting, just an hour long train ride from the city to Cleveland and then a twenty minute ferry ride. We got gelato, went for a beautiful walk along the ocean, saw countless whales breaching and playing, splashed in the water of white sand beaches and watched the beautiful sunrise. It was so incredible to just spend some time immersed in nature, something that city-living doesn’t allow us to do very often.

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It was such an incredible little getaway and made me even more excited for a little trip my sister and I are planning. I can’t tell you too much just yet but I can tell you that certain flights are booked and my sister and I are in for another adventure! I can’t wait to make more memories and take you all along with us once again.

Lots of love,

Tamara.Joy xo

I’m Back! – Uni, Life, Blog Revamp

Hey Guys,

I’m so sorry that I’ve been gone for so long (I feel like way too many of my posts start with this sentence)! I’m finally back, and you can expect to see/read a lot more of me as soon as I’ve handed in my final pieces of assessment. Yesterday was my last day of uni for the whole semester and I’ve got to say, this semester was a tough one. I started a journalism minor and soon realised that it really wasn’t for me. Even just doing my assessment I felt like I was annoying and hassling people for information, and I can’t imagine that being my job. I was probably overthinking it the entire time but I’ve come to realise that my personality is the opposite of the ideal journalist’s personality. My lecturers made no secret of this, saying that we should just leave if we weren’t brave, gutsy and outwardly confident. I’ve now cancelled my journalism minor because I’m sure that’s not the industry I belong in. I’m so excited for next semester, because I’ll be able to put all of my focus into the creative aspects of my writing degree – but only if I get the grades I need to be accepted into the advance writing minor. It’s scary because I feel like this semester was made up of the four subjects I’m worst at, and this semester is the one that will decide whether or not I’ll get in. It’s been so frustrating because I felt like no matter how hard I worked, I just wasn’t on top of anything. Throughout my whole life, school/uni have kind of been the only things I was actually good at, so coming to terms with that confidence being taken away was hard. It made me feel like I wouldn’t be good enough to make it in the real world. Anyways, I’m rambling again, it just feels good to write everything down. Blogging is the best form of therapy.

Life has been really good overall, I’m still loving the job I told you about a couple of posts ago, although it’s making everything a little bit more stressful. I always wonder if the stressed feeling ever goes away, or if that’s just what life is. As a celebration of my last day of uni I gave myself a break last night. I went with my roommates to see the Australian Ballet dance “Giselle”, and it was absolutely amazing. Then we went to see a band from my old school perform at West End.

The main thing I really wanted to say with this is that my blog really needs to be revamped. It needs to be more focused, and the design definitely needs to be more grown up. I want to tell you about my experiences with going vegetarian, and I want to turn this into more of a lifestyle blog rather than a jumbled mess. I can’t believe I’ve been writing to you all since 2012, and it’s cool to be able to read back through my life and see how much has happened. It’s also super nice to be able to come back after being gone for over a month, and see that people from around the world are still reading my blog every day. It makes me feel like I really need to try harder and actually give you some good content to read, rather than just rambles about my simple life.

So after the 9th of June all of my assessment will be done and I’ll be free to write a whole lot more. I’m really looking forward to some freedom. I can’t wait to revamp this blog and turn it into something I’m proud of.

As always,

Much love,

Tamara Joy xo

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Going Blonde in One Day! DIY

Hey guys!

If you’ve been following me for a little while you’ll know that I attempted going blonde around this time last year, and it didn’t really work out. Well this time round it was so much easier, less damaging, and my hair isn’t fluoro orange! I got my hair from medium brassy brown to a medium strawberry blonde in one day, and it feels super soft and not damaged at all. I didn’t even have to use straight out bleach! Here’s the before and after:

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And here’s how I did it:

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My before picture is my hair after washing it with clarifying shampoo three times to fade the colour as much as I could. At this point it was a very brassy, uneven, medium brown colour. I then used the the decolour hair colour stripper by Scott Cornwall. Holy moly this stuff works miracles. It removes artificial and natural pigments from your hair so that you can colour over it in whatever shade you like. It kind of works like bleach, except that it doesn’t smell bad, doesn’t burn and it doesn’t damage your hair! I know it sounds too good to be true, but it really does do everything that it claims. The only downside is that you will need two boxes if your hair is longer than shoulder length. I left it on the mid lengths and ends for forty five minutes and then put it on the hair close to my roots for fifteen. I left my roots alone because I’m trying to get back to my natural blonde shade, but if you need to do your roots as well, I suggest not leaving it on them for longer than ten minutes or they’ll get way too light! So after leaving this on for an hour and using a DIY toner (semi permanent blue dye + conditioner), my hair looked like this:

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One of the great things about this colour stripper is that you can re-dye your hair straight away! So after my hair dried I used the Clairol Nice n Easy in the colour 106, Medium ash blonde. This toned down the orange bits of my hair and just blended it all together, making it a nice, flattering strawberry blonde colour:

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I’m extremely happy with the results, especially because I spoke to a hairdresser about getting my hair to a dark blonde and she said it would be too damaging and we would have to do it in a couple of stages, each of which would have cost a minimum of $150! Doing it myself cost me around $65, and my hair feels softer than ever. I hope I’ve helped anyone who wants to go blonde quickly, easily and with little to no damage. Of course this won’t get you to platinum, but it’s definitely a good starting point and a gentler alternative to bleach. I think if I used the colour stripper again straight away, it would have gotten me to the pale yellow stage but I was happy with a bit of a darker result. Here are the links to all the products I used:

https://www.priceline.com.au/index.php/hair/home-hairdressing/tools-and-accessories/decolour-stripper-hair-colour-stripper-1.0-kit

https://www.priceline.com.au/hair/hair-colour/permanent-hair-colour/nice-and-easy-106-natural-medium-ash-blonde-1.0-pack

https://www.priceline.com.au/index.php/hair/hair-colour/semi-permanent-hair-colour/live-colour-ultra-bright-electric-blue-1.0-ea

Good luck!

Lots of love,

Tamara.joy xo

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Healthy Cacao Chia Seed Pudding

Happy Sunday everyone!

I hope you are having a really great year so far. Uni has jumped straight into the deep end but I’m trying my best to still find time to write. I’ve been trying to get healthier lately and I’ve decided to become a vegetarian (more on that later), so last night I prepared a super yummy chia seed pudding to have for breakfast.

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It was so creamy and delicious and super easy to make!

Ingredients (one serving)

– 1/4 cup Chia seeds
– 1/2 cup light coconut cream
– 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
– 1 teaspoon honey
– chopped banana to taste

All you have to do is combine the chia seeds, coconut cream, cacao and honey in a glass, mug or container, and mix them all together until the mixture is a light brown colour. Pop it into the fridge overnight, and add chopped banana before serving.

When you take it out of the fridge, the chia seeds will have expanded and soaked up all the yummy flavour from the other ingredients, making a creamy, pudding like texture. Chia seeds are full of protein, antioxidants, fiber and omega 3, so they’re a great choice for a healthy breakfast or even dessert.

Enjoy!

Much love,
Tamara.Joy

Getting a Job

Hi everyone,

I have been back in Brisbane for a week now, and it’s crazy to see how much my life has changed in such a short amount of time. It went from easy breezy (and a bit on the boring side) to full on, scary and terribly exciting. Today was my first day as an employed copywriter for a digital marketing agency! But before I get into that, I want to talk a little bit about the interview because oh my goodness, I don’t remember ever being that nervous. My main weaknesses are thinking on the spot and selling myself, so interviews aren’t really my forte. Here are a few things that I did that helped me calm down enough to function:

– Being completely honest. The thing that calmed me down the most was knowing that I wasn’t pretending to be anything that I wasn’t. I was honest about my level of experience, and I didn’t lie about my personality in any way. In a job interview, you’re going to be nervous and you’re going to worry about impressing the interviewer, so the last thing you need is to worry about living up to a false expectation.

– Thinking about things that are scarier than job interviews. On the bus on my way there, I was listing things that would be scarier than what I was about to do, like giving an important presentation in front of thousands of people with no notes.

– Breaking it down. All an interview requires you to do is to walk, sit, talk, and maybe drink a coffee. You can do all of those things.

I made sure I caught the bus early enough so that even if I missed it, I would be able to catch the next one and still be on time. I didn’t miss any buses, so this meant an excruciating hour of waiting for the interview. The interview itself was the least nerve wracking thing in the whole process. I sat down with a coffee and two really nice people, answered some questions and that was it. I guess the moral of this story is to not over think things and just take life as it comes, but I know that’s not a very useful piece of advice because I’ve told it to myself a thousand times and it never seems to stick.

Anyway, it turns out that they liked my writing enough to hire me, and now I have a job that is a step forward in my career! The nervous feeling hasn’t really subsided yet because I’m still so unsure about everything, but I think most of it is just excitement. I’m a little anxious to see how I’m going to handle everything once uni starts up again, and I have a feeling my life is about to get really busy. I’ve only have one piece of work to do so far and already I’ve been writing almost all day. My day was spent drafting some ideas, writing for work, and writing this blog post. After this I’m going to work on my novel, and then do some reading for uni. My day is full but it’s full of things that I love, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

If you have a job interview coming up, or just anything else that you are nervous about, I wish you the best of luck. Smile, and just remember that any experience is a good experience. You can do it!

I feel like I might actually go through with my new years resolutions this year – “Don’t let fear hold you back” – Tick.

Until next time,
Lots of love
Tamara.joy xo

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Life Update – Heading Back to Brisbane

Hi everybody, it’s me again!

I’m heading back to Brisbane and back to my second life in less than a week and I am so excited. It’s going to be sad to leave my family, friends and cats behind but I can’t wait to get stuck back into uni. Three months is a really long time to not have to do anything, so I’ve been watching lectures on copywriting and working on a few projects here and there even though nobody has been telling me to, which is something I never did until I actually started studying something I loved. I recently put an ad up on Gumtree offering freelance writing services and I actually got a reply. I’m working on an advertisement for the client at the moment so I can kind of call myself a freelance copywriter now (Link to my ad: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/brisbane-city/other-business-services/tamara-drazic-freelance-writer-copywriter-editor/1069044475)! That’s probably the most exciting thing that has happened to me in the past three months, because I’ve mostly just been relaxing at the beach, at a waterhole or at home. Being in Cairns kind of encourages you to do everything in slow motion. Soon I’ll be back in the big smoke (is Brisbane considered big smoke?) and hopefully I’ll have some more to write about. In other news, I’ve been really tempted to cut all my hair off lately.

The next time I write to you, I’ll probably be back in my little blue house in Brisbane!
Until then,
lots of love from
Tamara.Joy xo

Studying abroad – Plans for 2016.

Hey guys,
I’ve wanted to go on exchange ever since I started uni, but I always ruled it out as being either too expensive, too scary, or both of those things. Well after doing a whole lot of research, I’ve decided to put my new years resolutions into action (see: https://tamarajoydrazic.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/and-just-like-that-its-2015/) and stop letting fear limit me. If all goes well (if I actually get accepted) I will be spending Semester 1 of 2016 in Bath, UK, the city that inspired incredible writers like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. That’s the plan, but I will need do a lot of hard work and save a lot of money before I can get there. I just feel like exchange is one of those things that nobody ever regrets doing, and I really don’t want to miss out on anything that could make me a more worldly, experienced and more confident person. As you know from my travel stories I absolutely fell in love with London and said that I would love to live in the UK for a while. I didn’t realise at the time that it wasn’t such a far off, way-into-the-future kind of dream, but something that I could achieve only two years later if I made it happen.

Mr B’s Book Emporium in Bath (image from TripAdvisor):


This photo of Bath is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The writing course at Bath Spa University is part of “one of the largest and most successful writing departments in the UK and indeed the world,” (http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/school-of-humanities-and-cultural-industries/courses/undergraduate/creative-writing/publishing) and the more I read about it the more I fall in love with the idea of studying English IN England. 2015 is going to be a very busy year for me but I promise that I will post when I can! I hope that this has maybe given you a bit of the travel bug and/or has inspired you to actually take the first step in putting your new years resolutions into action. You are in charge of what happens in your lifetime, make the most of it.

That’s all for now,
Lots of love
Tamara.joy xo

And just like that, it’s 2015.

Happy New Year everybody!(also Merry Christmas, sorry for being late)

I can’t believe 2014 is over – the year I moved out, traveled Europe, started uni and turned 18 is now behind me. 2014 was such an amazing year and I’m sad to leave it behind, although I’m making it my mission to never let “the best time of my life” be over. People always say that the school years are the best years of your life, but this year has most definitely proved them wrong in my case. I hope you all enjoyed your New Year’s celebrations, and have come up with some good resolutions! Here are mine in case you’re short on ideas:

* Be happy.
* Stay healthy (mentally and physically).
* Be more proactive (actually get a job).
* Be brave (don’t let fear of failure stop you from trying).

They’re just basic things that I think will improve my overall well being, and putting them out there on this blog makes the whole resolution thing feel a lot more concrete. I hope you’ve come up with some attainable goals (almost anything is attainable if you work hard) that will help make 2015 the best year yet, but not the best year you will ever have. I wish you all the best in achieving all that you want to achieve and I hope that together we can motivate each other to keep working hard on making things happen. Our minds have so much more power than we give them credit for.

That’s all for now,
Good luck!
Tamara.joy xo

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Last Stop – Vienna, Austria

Hey readers!
I’m writing this final travel story on the night before my 18th birthday, and the fact that six months have gone by in what feels like a matter of days is making me emotional. Six months ago my sister and I embarked on this crazy journey, and here I am now blogging about it for the very last time. Well I’d better get straight into it or this post will get way too long and nostalgic!

On the train ride to Vienna we were talking about how sad yet excited we were to fly home the very next day. Travelling as much of Europe as possible in only one month had really taken a toll on our sanity (and cleanliness), so you can imagine how mixed our emotions were when my sister checked our itinerary and discovered that we had one more day than we’d planned on! For some reason both of us had the wrong date in our heads! So we got to Vienna and walked around for a good hour before thinking we’d gone the wrong way. We realised once we got back to the train station that we HAD been going the right way, and just missed the turn off. So we walked all the way back down the never ending street (both my palms were covered in blisters from lugging around a suitcase), turned down the right street and finally came to the correct address. The building that stood before us was completely empty, and was being demolished. I sat on my suitcase and threw the crumpled map on the ground. Then we saw one of our own kind. You can tell which ones are travellers by the state of their shoes and how much they look around when they walk because they’re usually lost. We ran across the street to him and together we found a local who told us all that “the big hostel is that way.”

We eventually found the hostel thanks to the local’s directions, but I’m going to skip the annoying details and fast forward to the actual city. Vienna is so beautiful and so alive! On the first evening we went out to dinner along the river, and felt like having some sort of dessert. My sister told me about an Austrian dish that her host father used to make for her called “kaiserschmarrn” (torn pancakes). We googled the best kaiserschmarrn in Vienna and found out that it was within walking distance, so off we went! We arrived at the fanciest restaurant I have ever seen, sat next to the fanciest people I have ever seen and were served by waiters in the fanciest suits I have ever seen. There was bluesy piano music playing in the background while we shared the little clouds of goodness served with apple sauce and raspberry sauce. We were on top of the world. After profusely thanking the waiters we left the restaurant and followed the sound of classical music to this amazing place:

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There was a ballet being projected onto the building and the square was alive with people eating, drinking and laughing. It was magical!

The next day was packed full of activities and we were so thankful that we had the extra day. We met up with one of my sister’s best friends who lives in Austria and explored the city and the beautiful gardens:

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Vienna really blew me away, as did every single city we visited. Even though everything is pretty close together in Europe (coming from Australia) every new place is entirely unique. I will never forget the memories that I’ve made on this trip; from having a lovely all-expenses paid stopover in Seoul to finding out our travel agent got fired for overcharging people – From relaxing on the beach in Mykonos to sleeping in/outside train stations countless times – From (window) shopping till we dropped in Madrid to realising I had 70 cents left on day 5. Even though my feet are still not back to normal and even though I’m still paying my sister back, it was well and truly, 100%, not a doubt in my mind, worth it. I’d do it all again.

You can watch our travel video right here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=868729806490922&set=vb.100000617328953&type=3&theater

The next time I talk to you I will be 18 years old!
Until then,
much love,
Tamara.joy xo

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Travel Stories continued… Prague

Hey guys,
I’m so excited to finally be writing about one of my favourite cities ever – Prague, Czech Republic! The way to Prague from Berlin was super smooth and easy, so it was a nice change and gave my sister and me a little bit of time to calm down. When we arrived we quickly exchanged some Euros for Czech Crowns (korunas) and then we were off. It was already quite dark but I felt really safe and comfortable. I don’t know what it was about Prague but it just felt like home. Anyway, we caught a tram (once we found the right tram stop) and got out like 200 metres from “Mosaic House,” the coolest hostel I’ve ever stayed in. Check out the pictures in the link below…
(http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Mosaic-House/Prague/80883?sc_sau=sfab&sc_pos=2)
We were welcomed into the hostel by giant mushroom statues, a fountain and extremely loud karaoke. One section of the hostel is a two storey club and bar, and we arrived just in time for karaoke night. We put our stuff up in the room which was huge and air conditioned, got ready and then of course joined in.

We got up bright and early the next day to explore the city, and we both fell in love straight away. We went to the cutest cafe ever and ordered a soup, fresh bread and a coffee, for the equivalent of about five dollars!

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We explored the old town…

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Had some amazing cake…

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And climbed up a gazillion steps to see the castle and the incredible view…

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Prague is one of the cities that I wanted to go back to as soon as we left. The public transport is great, the people are great (and pretty much all of them speak english), the food is great, the hostel was great and the city is just so beautiful! That was definitely not the last time I’ll see Prague, and if it’s not on your list of places to go, I suggest you put it on.

Lost of Love,
Tamara.Joy

What I think about when there’s nothing I have to think about.

Hey guys, welcome to one of my late night philosophical rants!

I have finally finished all my assessment for the year and I’m feeling absolutely free. I’m not really sure why I’m writing this, but today I feel like I want to tell you what I think about when there’s nothing I have to think about, and maybe see if anyone else has the same weird quirks. When I’m stressed I completely shut down and don’t think about anything other than the work that needs to be done. As soon as my brain is free to wonder without distractions though, I start to over think absolutely everything. It’s not that I’m particularly worried about consequences or what people will think of me – it’s much more internal. I think about whether or not I’ll remember a certain moment in twenty years, or if I’ll remember the fact that I thought about whether or not I’d remember it. I try to imagine the exact feeling I’ll have after I do what I do, and then I compare my imagined feeling with how I really feel. I do this all the time, like if I’m on the bus I think of myself getting off the bus and try to pinpoint exactly how I will feel. Weird, I know.

I sometimes find special moments in the most mundane activities. Like today, I was doing the washing up, and the breeze that was coming in through the window made my eyes water. I looked up and the sky was a beautiful deep blue because the sun was going down, and then a tear rolled down my cheek because of the cold wind, and I just thought that I wanted to remember this moment forever and remember exactly how I felt. I document so many of these moments, and whenever I listen to music on the bus or before bed I go through them like a case file, remembering all the little pieces of my life and trying not to miss anything. I know this is sounding super crazy but it’s not like it affects the way I act; it’s just a constant thing that’s going on in the background of my mind when it feels free to do what it wants. Does anyone do this? Please comment, it would be nice to know that I’m not the only one!

I’m an INFP (check out my post: “Personality Type – INFP” if you have no idea what that means) and they’re known to be a little distant (ok, very distant) and out of touch with reality, which could explain why I spend so much time inside my brain. I do think though that the “out of touch with reality” thing is only true for a certain type of reality. I think every person has a different reality, and I know that I am very in touch with mine.

Like I said I don’t really know why I’m writing all of this, but this blog has become a sort of diary for me and writing has always been my way of making sense of myself and my thoughts. I’m sorry if it’s a little disjointed or confusing, I didn’t plan this at all and basically just put my thoughts on the page in the order that they were coming to me. I’m so interested to see if anyone else has similar quirks, or entirely different quirks for that matter. If you feel like sharing, please make the comment section of this post a place to do just that!

I hope you enjoyed reading, and I’ll be back soon with that post about Prague!
Until then, much love
Tamara.Joy xo

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On the way to Berlin – Travel Stories continued

Hey my amazing readers,
Yesterday I realised that my blog now has over 1000 hits! Thank you so so so much! I also realised that my travel stories abruptly stopped once I got home and I left you all in London. So here it is: Travel Stories continued…

After London, seeing as the Eurail pass wasn’t valid in England (we learned from our previous mistake), we decided to catch a bus to Brussels and then a train from there to our next stop, Berlin. The bus ticket was only around 20 pounds I think (my memory is a little foggy) so it turned out to be so much cheaper than catching a train to a port and then a ferry. After the five am wakeup call, we found our way to the bus station which was a lot further away than we expected it to be. The bus ride was nine hours long but it actually felt super fast because it wasn’t all in a straight line like the train and it actually felt more like a scenic tour through England which was cool. The interesting part came when we finally got to the water… Our bus drove inside a train which then drove through a tunnel under the ocean – UNDER THE OCEAN! Of course the windows were all closed and it was very dark, so I felt really anxious and trapped for around two hours! We couldn’t even see that the train was moving, we could only feel it shaking. I get chills just thinking about it haha.

So we got out in Brussels and had just enough time to eat a delicious Belgian waffle, and then we had to find our train. Oh my god, this was a nightmare. The signs were pointing in all different directions, and everyone we asked told us something different. When we finally found the right little electronic gate to go through, we realised that the Eurail wouldn’t fit through the scanner thing to open the gate. There were no staff anywhere close by, and we were freaking out just a little. We ended up begging random people for help, asking them what we could do, and thanks to them we weren’t stuck in Belgium. And thank god my sister is a people person, because I probably would have just set up camp and lived in Belgium for a couple of years while figuring out what to do. We ended up with an army of people helping us, scanning their tickets and then physically holding the electronic gate open with all their strength, trying to get us and our luggage through. It was so intense but we made it through, and when we did our helpers clapped for us and we had a little moment reflecting on the strength of people and their kindness. We thanked everyone like fifty times but then we had to run once again to try find our train. There were so many stairs, so many broken escalators, and so many kilograms of luggage. When we finally stepped on that train, my sister and I melted into the seats, stared at each other, and then started laughing. This happened on lots of occasions because we never really got to think about what was happening until we got onto the next train and had time to reflect.

So we arrived in Berlin, not very refreshed or ready for a long, boiling hot, slightly uphill mission to our hostel. We went the wrong way three times before we went the right way, which was annoying except that one of the wrong ways led us to 2 euro curry wurst which wasn’t annoying at all. Now for some reason I didn’t take many photos in Berlin, but we did have an amazing time exploring the city, eating German food and of course drinking German beer. Here are a couple of photos from our time there:

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I think my favourite thing about Berlin was the history, and how the city now has a really open and artistic vibe. The openness of the city represents the opposite of what it was like in the past, and shows that the city has made a truly amazing comeback. It really is an amazing place and the memorials that we visited made everything that we’ve read in the history books seem so much more real and so much closer to home. Next I’ll be writing about one of my absolute favourite cities, Prague! Until then,

Much love

Tamara.joy xo