Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Seeing spots

Some of my least favourite things of all time are any kind of article claiming to raise awareness about something that CLEARLY THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE ALREADY KNOWS ABOUT or telling people that they're not alone.

Of course your not alone douche face, there are nearly 7.5 billion people on the planet, move along.

A couple of days ago I saw an article on the Metro about a woman with acne, something that 80% of the population experiences at one time or another.

That my friends is what we call a slow news day.

My skin feels like death at the moment. It's painful, itchy and it has a tendency to bleed for no reason. I've had shitty skin since I was in Junior school, and I gave up giving a crap about it a while ago. This is my skin, it's the only skin I have, and if someone has an issue with my scabs, lumps, pockmarks and scars then they really need a hobby.

Or Jesus, whichever.

My point is that, if a large majority of people live with something, then it shouldn't be an issue. The more we make a point of singling things out, the more of a big deal it becomes. I know we can't control how we feel about things, but having spots is normal, so writing narcolepsy-inducing articles about it is only singling people out, giving those with bitchy opinions to have a platform from which to spout their bullshit. Leave it alone, and it stops being a thing.

As, like our dear friend Tyler said, You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake, suck it up.

Happy Tuesday.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

No, not #YouToo

Disclaimer, this post is going to make me sound like a total asshole, but right now I'm too pissed off to give a crap. Also, it's going to discuss rape and sexual assault. If this is going to bother you, click away now. 

Recently the media has been flooded with stories of sexual assault at the hands of high profile politicians and celebrities. This, in turn, started the #metoo campaign, where people across the globe revealed they had also been subject to, what they considered to be, similar attacks.

Now, a vast majority of these revelations have been related to sexual assault and I've read some things horrified me. However, I have also read a few that have really really fucked me off.

To put it briefly, there is no way on earth that being told you are beautiful in the supermarket is AT ALL an equivalent to actual sexual assault. The comparison is at best hyperbolic and, at worst incredibly INCREDIBLY offensive to people who have actually experienced such events. Did it make you feel a tad odd for a few minutes before you got on with your day? Maybe. Did someone force themselves on you and engage in non-consensual (another phrase I despise) sex? No. What you've experienced is annoying, but certainly not comparable to rape. A woman eyeing up a guy in the street is exactly the same as it happens to a woman, but you don't see the women of the internet essentially being told to shut up and sit in a corner for fear of accidentally making someone feel a bit gross.

Another thing that is getting to me, which is going to make me sound like even more of a cunt, is the fact that people are only coming forward now. Why wait 5, 10 or 15 years to tell people about your experience when you could just as easily have done it at the time? I did! I am aware that there are extenuating circumstances but all holding on to information is doing is making it harder to prosecute the person at fault. I've been told that I can't be angry at people for not being as brave as me but, actually, I can. I put my entire world on hold to ensure that no one was ever touched by the man that raped me again, really don't see why others can't try and do the same.

I expect a lot of self-righteous and 2017 opinions and comments in response to this post, and that's okay. But to the people who have compared being made to feel a tad uncomfortable by a man to being raped, remember that for every time you do so, you're belittling the experiences of people who've actually survived these kinds of attacks.

xXx, one very pissed of world-changer. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017



I'll be the first to admit that I've put up with a lot of shit from men in the past. Not always earth shatteringly bad events but still things that upset me. Being talked down to, being manipulated, painful sex that i thought I had to continue for the sake of the other person, things that I thought were completely normal but in fact weren't acceptable at all. I've talked about this before, but only now am I beginning to fully understand it.

Since turning 25 I've had a bit of an epiphany about how I deserve to be treated. The things I should and shouldn't put up with regardless of the situation. A lot of this thinking process has stemmed from reconsidering past relationships.

It's been just over a year since I broke up with Alex, and I'm slowly (even now) beginning to realise that I should never have let him treat me the way he did. After cheating on me and breaking up with me via Facebook, we got back together despite him repeatedly discussed how he was still in love with his ex. Whilst in bed together he told me if she walked through his front door he'd immediately take her back, whether I was there or not. He moped about her constantly and ground my self esteem to dust. Towards the end of our relationship I couldn't sleep with him because I was afraid he thought of her while we had sex. He talked repeatedly about us being in a bubble, hiding me away so no one knew we still spent time together. He mansplained everything I tried to do or say to be kind to him and I let him, over and over again because I wanted him to want me. I was petrified, desperate and wanted to do everything in my power to change his mind. 

How I put up with it for so long I'll never know. 

The most significant amount of damage he did though was to my mental health. Once again we were in bed together and he told he'd slept with someone else (without changing the sheets after, when she'd come on her period. That's right he literally made me lie in someone else's period blood). He then told me he didn't want to have sex with me. He would sleep with her, but not me, and so I convinced myself I needed to be thinner, to starve myself, in order for him to love me.

 To be clear I would NEVER coerce someone into having sex they didn't consent to. But our relationship ended up doing me more damage than I could have ever imagined. 

I'm now realising that this kind of treatment just isn't acceptable, and I should have never allowed myself to be treated in this way. What I thought was normal behaviour, wasn't normal at all, and I allowed it to happen, over and over, all because of my desperate need to be loved.

But I swear, I will never accept it again.


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Taking risks

I took a pretty big risk this year. I met a guy on a trip to Rome and moved to Canada to be with him after knowing him for three days. Sadly, it didn't work out and I ended up having to come back to the UK.

When I've talked about this, a lot of people have asked what's wrong with me. Wanting to know why he told me to leave, insisting there must be something so bad about me that I caused him to treat me in the way he did. At the time I laughed it off, hiding how I really felt because deep down I was agreeing with them. Asking myself why things turned out the way they did. Only now, that I'm finally  ready to deal with it, am I realising this wasn't my fault.

I took risk, it didn't work out, it's as simple as that. To all the people that mocked me I'm finally ready to ask if they would do the same, if they would move their entire life across the globe if they had a chance to be happy. I'm guessing that a lot of them would say no.

As I said in my last post, I'm leaving the UK in January with no current plans to return. I'm building my savings and taking French lessons as the only things holding me back are my finances and inability to speak another language. Come January 5th I'll be ready to go.

I took a risk, it didn't work out, sometimes these things just happen. But I'm going to continue to take risks over and over again until things work out the way I want them to. After all (cheesy line alert) I'd rather jump and get burnt than never have the chance to fly.


Tuesday, 3 October 2017


I'm feeling very philosophical at the moment. Turning 25 in April really struck a chord with me and made me think a lot about my life, in particular about what makes me happy.

Right now, I'm the happiest I've been in a long time. I have created my dream career, I live in a wonderful house with lovely people and I have amazing friends scattered all over the planet. Thing is, I know I could be happier.

Call it the British mindset but to me, there always seems to be a case of one-upmanship when it comes to complaining. I'm so busy, I'm so stressed, I'm so tired. Why is it so common, expected even, to be pushing ourselves to the limit because of the idea of what happiness should look like? Was I happy with the 9-5 job I had earlier in the year? No. Even though I poured every second of my time into finding what I thought I needed, all I was really doing is fighting for a life more suited for other people.

After a month of relaxing on the savings front and treating myself a little, I'm back and ready to focus on saving for my next adventure. So far I have a one-way flight to Copenhagen booked to leave on January 5th and no current plans to return to the UK. Planning on settling in Paris (my favourite place in the entire world) I also start French lessons next week. Every time I leave England I wonder why I choose to come back afterwards. I'm not happy here and I haven't been for a long time. Thing is, thanks to the amazing career and life I've created for myself so far, I don't have to stay.

To put it simply, I'm done doing things simply because I think they're what I need to do. I don't need a permanent 9-5 job,  a mortgage, a partner or a baby to validate my life, all I need is my passport and my skills and talents as a writer.

I'm so close to having the life of my dreams, now it's time to finish the journey.


Sunday, 13 August 2017

The girl [not] on the train

Why is it that when you’re feeling down it only takes the slightest thing to break you? It can be the smallest thing like spilling your coffee or tripping over the cat and you burst into uncontrollable tears and end up looking like a grade A lunatic sobbing in the corner of the train station. 

Which I’m doing right now because I missed my train. 

I’m in a lot of pain at the moment, hurting a hell of a lot for reasons I can’t get anyone to understand. My life isn’t meant to be like this. I’m not supposed to be here and yet once again I’ve spent my afternoon walking around the town I grew up in lamenting the fact that I’d rather be anywhere else but here. I’m not supposed to be in England, that wasn’t part of the plan. 

Now I’m fully aware that the universe doesn’t owe me anything, that I have no right to complain because I have so much to be thankful for. Physically I’m healthy, I have a roof over my head and get to do the thing I love most in the world as a career. But I’m still hurting. I still don’t want to be here, I still want to get away. 

As much as I’ve been hurting lately I didn’t expect to feel this bad for so long. Didn’t expect to feel suicidal again, didn’t expect to end up in the mindset that, if I died, I could come back and start all over then. Rationally I know this isn’t true, rationally I know that I didn’t miss my train because I ate breakfast this morning, rationally I know that my weight has nothing to do with the recent events that have led me to feel this way. But that doesn’t mean that that’s not what I’m thinking. 

People around me have no reason to worry, just because I want to die doesn’t mean I’m going to do anything to make it happen. But it’s still there, it still hurts, and I’m still sat in a coffee shop crying my eyes out. 

All because I missed my train.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

It's okay

When I got back from travelling, I decided I needed to completely change my blog and took a lot of posts down, only leaving the ones that involved my trip and removing any trace of my mental health or past experiences with job hunting or relationships. I've been trying to separate my work pre-trip and post trip, and move forward in a way that will be most successful.

Today, curled up crying on my friend's sofa while he's at work with a stress headache that could kill a walrus and the beginnings of an eye twitch (the tell tale sign that my body is about to tip itself over the edge) I've decided to put some of them back. I wanted more than anything for my trip to be this gorgeously idealistic exploration in self discovery, from which I would emerge phoenix like from the ashes transformed into a picture of serenity and calm but, unsurprisingly, my mental health issues are still there still there.

I'm struggling a lot with the 'sad' part of my BPD at the moment. For a reason I can't seem to work out I'm feeling under so much stress and it's affecting my mind and body quite badly. My hair is falling out, my skin is blistered and bleeding and sometimes I can barely breath.

To put this into perspective, I haven't had a full blown panic attack for months, maybe even up to a year, and my hair hasn't fallen out since I took my GCSE's.

I've definitely made progress though, slowly turning my back on old copying mechanisms and doing my absolute best to keep it together. What's more I'm trying to be a bit nicer to myself, to ease up on the self flagellation and try and give myself a break.

As much as it sucks, sometimes things just aren't okay and we feel sad. But that, in itself, is okay.


Sunday, 23 July 2017

What I wear to travel

My day to day wardrobe is a lot different to my travel wardrobe. Working in fashion my appearance is important, so 90% of the time I'm in heels and a full face of make up.

Unless I'm working from home, in which case I live in my pyjamas.

My travel wardrobe, however, couldn't be more different. I'm a complete minimalist when I travel and like to only take the bare essentials. Dressing up for nights out doesn't bother me and I value comfort over anything else.

This is especially true of what I wear in transit. I've always had pretty comfortable experiences on flights, but that doesn't mean I want to risk it and attempt a travel with my T-shirt riding up or wearing shoes that give me blisters.

Here's what I wore for a two-hour flight to Croatia.


Obviously. For my next trip I plan on swapping my swimming costume for a bikini so I can wear the top as a bra instead, I'm always looking for ways to save space in my bag.


Normally, I'm a big believer in the leggings-are-not-trousers rule, but when I'm travelling I don't care. These ones are from Primark. They're warm, stretch and can be worn as pyjamas or workout trousers while I'm away.

Vest top 

I spend most of my life in these things. I like the cami-dress style from Primark, I have quite a long torso in comparison to the rest of my body so I like things that cover my bum. These are the perfect length and come in a million different colours.


I wouldn't wear bring this with me again, it came off the second I left my house. The problem with living in England is that you never know what the weather will be like when you get home. I never wore this while I was away, so I'll put a light sweater in my bag next time instead.


This thing comes EVERYWHERE with me. It's the ultimate multi-tool and it's become a bit of a comfort blanket for me. I use it as a scarf, a shawl, an eye mask and a blanket. It's like enough to fold up in my bag and a complete travel essential. 


When I travelled around Europe earlier in the year, I lived in my Dr Marten boots, they're comfy as hell and really help when you're walking around in the rain,

For warmer travel, I wear trainers instead. I picked these up at the airport on my way to Barcelona and they're the perfect blend of comfortable and casual without looking too scruffy.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Top travel apps

As much as I hate to admit it, I really can't function without my phone. I have a terrible sense of direction, so end up being saved by Google on a daily basis, and I can get flustered or anxious if I don't have a way of contacting someone in an emergency.

My iPhone addiction increases dramatically when I'm travelling. Being lost sends me reeling at the best of times, and being lost in a country where I don't speak the language can send me into a full on melt down. Here are the apps I make sure I have downloaded before I leave for a trip.

Google Maps

Pretty standard, but an essential nonetheless, but be aware that your phone signal is dependent on your location so the app might not always work, and if your phone is anything like mine it'll drain the battery like a mother bitch. But for finding your hostel late at night or hunting down the closest bar, it's a God send.

Currency Converter

I found out how essential this one is for travel the hard way, Danish Kroner are completely different to GBP, and God knows what I ended up paying for a pint of beer. The one I use is a universal unit converter called Units Plus. Available for both android and iPhone, it's free to downloaded and doesn't require the internet so can be accessed anywhere.

Hostel World

Finding somewhere to stay while you're travelling can be a balls out nightmare, especially if you're like me and tend to just make things up as you go along. Hostel World is great for finding accommodation, and you can filter your results depending on your individual needs. A word of warning however, the cheapest option isn't always going to be the best. I've ended up wondering around Rome at 1 am after a low cost reservation fell through, and ended up paying double what I wanted just so I had somewhere to stay for the night. Read the reviews and follow instructions for each individual hostel and you'll be completely fine.

Just for the love of God lock up your stuff.


Similar to Hostel World, Airbnb makes find accommodation incredibly easy, and is great if you've had enough of sharing a shower with 11 other people and are craving some privacy. I only stayed in an Airbnb twice during my trip to Europe, and both times had amazing experiences. Hosts often offer discounted prices for longer stays, so it's worth planning ahead if you're thinking of staying in one place for more than a couple of days.


Yes, they may drive you mad, maybe they've sent you 25 texts asking if you're okay and you've already Skyped twice this week despite only arriving Monday, but call your damn friends/parents. They're going to worry about you whatever so get rid of the 'my contract doesn't work abroad' bullshit and WhatsApp them. You'll be surprised at how much they appreciate it.

Speak & Translate 

Okay, I admit it, it's not something I'm overly proud of, but I'm that person. The stereotypical Brit that has absolutely no understanding of any other language. Perfectly fine if you're ordering a beer, not so useful when trying to navigate your way around the subway. This app is quick and easy to use, and can help you feel like less of a tourist when you're trying to find your way around.


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Where next?

Last night I arrived home from a 10 day trip to Canada and I'm already itching to go on my next trip. Coming home so early wasn't exactly part of the plan, but everything happens for a reason and my savings need a serious boost, so I was going to have to fly back to the UK at some point anyway.

Since before I left for Europe in April, I already knew I wanted to go back. I spent most of my interailing trip visiting big cities, and I'm really keen to explore some of the more rural parts of Europe. Interail offer one country passes as well as global passes, and there's no way I'm passing up a month of travel around Poland for £54. 

Another country I'm desperate to head to is Vietnam. Absolutely no idea how it's made its way onto my travel bucket list, but its been there for quite a while. I can't imagine anywhere as culturally different to the UK as Southeast Asia, and I've already checked out the cost of flights in the new year. 

Next is Mexico. One of my closest friends an I had a conversation once about spending our days doing Yoga on a Mexican beach, and since then I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Visions of doing the downward dog while the sun sets might not be over realistic - but I'm sure I'll get to do it at least once.

In the mean time, it's home and the UK for me. My savings goal has been set, I'm about to start job hunting and my blog needs some serious work. I'd never thought I'd be the type to catch the travel bug, but now I'm so in love it hurts.


Friday, 9 June 2017

Interailing 101: Travel toiletries

When travelling around Europe, the amount I carried around with me decreased dramatically and what started as an obscenely large 14kg bag ended up being the bare essentials.

One of the first culls I made was to my toiletry bag. Normally I'm quite realistic about what I will need, but I found myself leaving so much behind as I'd fallen for the 'just in case' rule. Here are the absolutely necessary things I needed on my trip, and a few mistakes I made along the way.

These aren't necessarily the brands I took with me, just examples of the products I used.

Shampoo and conditioner

Absolute basics, and one I couldn't get rid of no matter how hard I tried to rationalise with myself that they weren't an essential. I'm quite lucky in that, thanks to how short my hair is, something this size can last me for quite a while, meaning I was able to take it in my carry-on. 

Shower gel

Another essential. I originally carried a bar of soap around with me, using it as both body and face wash. Turns out, bars of soap don't travel very well, and I ended up with a gross gammy mess that I had to get rid of. Although it may take up less space, they're far less practical and better swapped for a travel size bottle of shower gel.

Toothbrush, paste and floss

A few essentials I could never contemplate living without. My mum's a dental hygienist so luckily I have access to an obscene amount of travel-sized tubes of toothpaste and I went for a travel toothbrush that folds in on itself to take up less space. 

Face wash and moisturiser 

These were the only two things I purchased whilst travelling, as I found I missed them and needed to include them in my normal routine. Normally if you're unsure of something I'd say leave it and see how you feel along the way, but if a product is part of your daily routine, be sure to include it in your bag. 


For the good of both yourself and others.

Add in a nail file, clippers, talcum powder and a box of condoms and I was ready to go. 


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Interailing 101: Packing

Earlier in the year, I decided to take advantage of the May bank holiday andtravellingling for a few weeks. My parents bought me an Interrail pass for my 25th birthday, and I spent my lunch breaks pouring over maps of Europe trying to plan out my route.

Inevitably, my plans changed and I decided that I wasn't enjoying my job and instead wanted to travel for a lot longer. Leaving at the end of my 3-month probationary period, I packed up my desk on the 13th and was on a plane to Berlin in less than 24 hours.

When planning my trip, I spend an obscene amount of time glued to YouTube, researching packing videos from channels such as Hey Nadine, One Girl One Suitcase and the vagabrothers trying to decide what I needed to bring with me, whilst wondering how on earth I would be able to carry my life around on my back for the next 4 weeks without causing irreparable damage to my already questionable spine.

What I didn't realise at the time was that I wasn't packing for my own needs, but instead those of the people I watched online. Whilst I thought I needed to go out and by a pashmina specifically to use as a towel/sarong (despite having no plans to step foot anywhere near a beach) what I really needed were things to enable me to enjoy my trip, without wanting for anything whilst I travelled around. I wasn't packing what I needed, I was packing what they needed, which ended up being a total waste.

Throughout my trip, the amount I travelled around with decreased dramatically. Here are a few packing tips and tricks I picked up as I went along.

Shoes, shoes, shoes 

Whilst I love me a 6-inch heel, I'd already ascertained that I'd have absolutely no need for a stiletto whilst backpacking. I rarely go out nights out and have a tendency to end up in agonising pain the morning after a night of dancing and drinking.

Scoliosis, hypermobility, sciatica and heels do not mix.

What I didn't realise that I'd hardly need any spare shoes at all. I started off with around 5 pairs, and this quickly decreased to 3 (including a pair of my trusty Primark flip-flops). Shoes are heavy, bulky and can take up far to much room in a backpack. If you're happy to wander around in one or two comfortable pairs then I highly recommend not taking any more. It hurt having to let my favourite boots and flats go, but it was nothing compared to the benefit I felt lightening my bulging bag.


Since learning to accept my scarred, lumpy and acne prone skin, I've dramatically decreased the amount of make up I wear and own. I used to spend millennia in front of my mirror trying to conceal my pockmarks and dark circles, but at 25 years old I've finally come to terms with the fact that my skin isn't changing anytime soon.

Because of this, the amount of makeup I took on my trip was already pretty small. Nothing overly adventurous, just a few bits to brighten myself up if I ever fancied it. I'm hardly a Maybelline rep after all.

During the course of my trip, however, my attitudes towards my skin changed even more.

I realised that, instead of increasing my confidence, slathering my face in an array of chemical concoctions each day only served to make me feel worse. Everything I drank would end up covered in lipstick, forcing me to check my appearance every 30 seconds to check I hadn't turned into the clown from American Horror Story: Freak Show. I'd end the day with charcoal dark smudges circling my pupils, and anything I applied to the rest of my face completely dissappeared by lunch. I was wasting my time.

Makeup was another thing I ditched from my pack, leaving it in hostels with a friendly 'free to a good home' label stuck on the front. Another tiny bit of weight taken from my bag, and a little treat for someone else.

Want verses. need. 

Whilst I found myself travelling around with a load of crap I didn't need, I also ended up missing a few things as well.

Early on I decided not to take my geriatric laptop away with me. It's being held together my prayer and wishful thinking at this point, loads slower than a 7am Monday morning Starbucks queue and ways 5lbs. I didn't want to risk losing it, and I knew it would hurt to carry around.

In the end, regular access to a computer was what I ended up missing the most. I find it very difficult to type on my iPad and therfore my plans to document my travels on my blog fell by the wayside. When packing your bags for travel it's important to include not only the things that you need, but a few things that you want as well.


Interrail and Eurail passes (for non-EU citizens) can be purchased from www.interail.eu and www.eurail.com. Prices start at 38 GBP for a one country pass and 180 GBH for a global pass. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Let's Go

I'd always thought of myself as the person who didn't want to travel. Reading posts about how people who don't spend more than two weeks outside of their own country having 'not lived' always seemed kind of patronising to me, and I was a big believer in the fact that I didn't have to go travelling to lead a happy and enriching life.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Don't get me wrong, I've always been a fan of the 'I'll do me, you do you' philosophy, but having recently caught the travelling bug 'doing me' now involves packing my life into a bag and jumping on a plane. Having never travelling further than Paris before, last month I travelled from London to Paris, through Germany and then onto Denmark in the space of 3 days.

It was the best weekend of my life.

I'm leaving for my next trip on April 17th. I'm starting off interrailing, then plan on settling somewhere for a few months to rest and get some cash together and then move on again after that. I have absolutely no idea when or if I'll be back, and the excitement is bubbling inside me faster than the Sanderson sisters' cauldron.

The next chapter of my life is about to start. And I Can. Not. Wait!