Looking Forward Into 2021 & A Retrospective Look To 2020

We live in a world full of oversaturated images of ideal circumstances. Pinterest and Instagram is stuffed full of overly clean interior design: kitchens without a drop of mess, living rooms with no life, bedrooms lacking spice and excitement. We see pictures of DIY projects completed seemingly in one go by yoga practicing, straight laced, ‘my body is a temple’ gods and goddesses, who seemingly have endless holidays and limitless bounds to their finances.

Overall, there is something very wrong with the way we present ourselves on social media.

Once we lose sight of the fact that these perfect lives have taken hours to capture the right moment on camera, waiting for the right lighting, the right opportunity, we start to wonder why our own lives don’t reflect those of the people around us, or who we chose to follow online. It begins to affect us in ways we cannot always physically see, in ways that niggle us from the corners of our minds. Suddenly, our own imperfect images online aren’t good enough, and we’re not sure why. Suddenly, the pictures from a very merry Christmas with aunt Susan and nana Peggy don’t look as fun as you remember.

In 2020, the world took a very strange turn into the world of the online due to Covid-19. We worked online, saw our friends through the palms of our hands, and we found ourselves alone a lot more than usual. Now, although this seclusion at first glance doesn’t appear the best, we found that we had time to reflect on our lives, retrospectively assess how we wanted to spend our time.

Some of us, myself included, felt that 2020 was the year we hit rock bottom. We saw a record loss of jobs and an increase in people asking for help. We saw people learn to live with their new surroundings, survive with the bare minimum and surprise themselves in situations they didn’t think they could survive.

Yes 2020 was the year we hit rock bottom but if we hadn’t hit the floor, we wouldn’t have found our solid foundations on which we could build and grow from.

Its important that when we look at the lives of others online who have seemingly thrived during the pandemic as motivational content rather than as competition, or something to be jealous of.

Its Ryan Serhant who said that this year has been like sitting in the backseat of a moving car and looking out through the right window and seeing a brickwall, dark, dingy and unappealing to look at. Its easy to think, looking through the window that this is the only outlook on life that you can have yet if you switch up your outlook, jump from one seat to the other and look out of the left window you might see bright sunny skies and a beautiful view. You’re still in the same car but with a tiny bit of effort you now have a much lighter view.

Its easy to slip into bad habits, think negatively about your situation and here’s the thing: no one is responsible for changing your world views but yourself. You can’t rely on anyone else for your happiness. Your sadness is caused by your outlook on life.

If you’re sad, lacking in motivation, craving change, then it’s you that also needs to stop being lazy and get moving. Wherever you are with your plans, implement something today. Not tomorrow, today. Why wait?

Yes we’ve had a bad year in terms of a life threatening pandemic but it doesn’t mean life has to stop, we just have to learn to adapt and change with it.

I think in 2021 we should look to incorporating more life into our online presence, more human error. We should promote normalcy, encourage candid shots of everyday adventures and show people that life is perfect just the way it is. We need to start creating a world we are proud to leave behind to a future generation of community based survivors, people caring prodigies, life loving collectives.

Believe in the message? Join in with the candid collectives on social media by using the hashtag #candidadventure in your everyday positive posts and help build our positive vibes across the globe.

Because when we help each other succeed, we all succeed.

Until next time, beautiful readers.

Starting A Business? 😅

Last week, if you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know I finished the Alice In Wonderland inspired wall mural in time for The Mad Catter’s launch party which was a fantastic and interesting project which has seemingly launched my own business into action.

Seeing a friend succeed in business has been enough motivation for me to kick into action and has caused me to set up RoamBlogger as a business which has been so fulfilling it is almost unreal. (Except the daunting task of filling in a tax return, that’s not so wonderful).

I have the potential for a few ongoing projects lined up for not only the cafe, but for a doctors surgery of all places and I just hope to continue in this upward momentum for the foreseeable future as I would love nothing more than to class myself as a career woman with a successful business behind me.

If I have any advice for those also following in my footsteps and starting their own business, I would advise you to get as much sleep as you can in now as once you start working and the workload increases steadily you’ll find your days will start to become longer and longer.

But oh my gosh is it a fulfilling level of stress.

I hope to continue posting regular updates on the blog so you, dear reader, can follow along with the ins and outs of business growth from the complete bottom rung, to, well, the sky is the limit. Obviously my posts will still maintain to be lifestyle oriented, so I will continue to post fashion and interior design posts, however I’ll be tweaking these to also include the business side of things, to add more depth to my content.

What do you think about starting a business? What would you go into? What passion would you turn into a career? Let me know.

Until next time.

Cuddle Parties Exist?

I found out recently that such a thing exists as a cuddle party, where people meet up to embrace each other to combat loneliness.

It’s fascinating how touch affects the brain, especially when we’re deprived of human skin to skin contact. I mean, look at prisoners in isolation.

In the book I’m reading, “Give a f**k” by Felicity Morse, she discusses Peter Collins, a convicted murderer who had been locked in confinement so long that when a fly landed on his leg he closed his eyes and imagined it was his wife’s fingers just to feel excitement. If that wasn’t wild enough, he enjoyed his experience so much that he used to bite the inside of his cheeks until he bled and smeared the blood across his legs in order to attract more flies. You can watch his harrowing video ‘a fly in Ointment’ here.

When we embrace someone, our bodies release hormones which make us feel happier, safe, and help us to develop trustful bonds with people. It’s why they say you should experience at least one hug a day to feel like yourself.

When we can’t cuddle because family is too distant, or you have friends which aren’t very touchy-feely we can feel increasingly lonely as time goes on.

For me, a good squeeze makes me feel wonderful and I would advise consensual embraces be shared more and more as opposed to less and less which is where our society is leading us.

Years ago I used to be a part of a hippie community which met up at least once a year for an electronic device free booze fest. I didn’t appreciate it back then but now I see why they had incredibly lengthy embraces upon arrival and why everyone was so happy during their stay. They were not only stepping away from a society which revolves around technology but they stepped into a warm and welcome environment, got fresh air and the physical contact they were probably craving.

And if I could cuddle the lot of you, I would.

As thanks to you loyal readers, I have had the highest monthly viewer count and visitors to the website ever which is amazing and I hope we can keep it up and make 2019 a really good year for TheRoamBlogger.

*

As a thank you, I Saw It First, the official go to brand for Love Islanders, are offering 50% off everything (at time of publication). Check out their latest products with MY50 at checkout.

My personal faves are the coral plunge frill hem midi dress, cream crochet flare sleeve top (imagine this over a neon bikini), and black boxy crop t-shirt.

Coral Plunge Frill Hem Midi Dress view main view

Cream Crochet Flare Sleeve Top view main view

Black Boxy Crop Tshirt view main view

AW18 Lookbook with RELIGION Clothing

It’s starting to get cooler, darkness rolls in sooner, and with it, we begin to see a shift in our colour palettes. We decide to wear darker clothes as if in mourning for the summer, we wrap up in greys, blacks, and muted tones.

Secretly, I love the fashion around this time. It brings out the inner goth in me and allows me to crack out the Chelsea boots I’ve been living in these past few weeks.

This week I decided to try on a few new styles from the clothing brand Religion which is a heavily British heritage inspired clothing brand both online and in retail outlets across the globe.

Disclosure: I am working with Religion Clothing on this post and have been provided with pieces from their latest AW18 collection which can be shopped here. I will be posting links to each individual style below as well for your reference only.

1. The Glory Coat

This coat is oversized and thick. For English winters it is perfect and really accentuates the length of my body. I am wearing the coat in a UK size 10, the coat fits perfectly, and the sleeves were the right length.

Glory Coat

2. The Luster Dress.

I honestly felt like this outfit was missing a cowboy hat, especially as I paired the outfit with brown ankle boots. This was possibly my favourite dress of the collection as it fit perfectly and the length felt comfortable. The skirt also didn’t feel like it was going to fly up with a gust of wind- probably because of the studs lining the hem.

I am wearing the dress in a size 12 here and it fits nicely. My broad shoulders made it difficult to take off and it was touch or go for a second whether I’d have to live in it forever.

Luster Dress

3. The Vibrant Dress

This oversized dress is definitely one for many sizes. I did feel at times while wearing it that it made me look two dress sizes larger (which obviously isn’t ideal) but nether the less I still felt feminine and girly wearing the dress.

I paired the dress with a pair of burgundy suede heels for that stark contrast between the blue and the red and I believe it works quite well as an outfit for maybe work in an office or as a going out outfit for a classy get together.

This size was a 10 and due to the oversized style I believe I could have even worn an 8 and still felt comfortable.

Vibrant Dress

4. The Latitude Blouse

This top was a tad oversized in a UK 14 and I honestly believe that the frumpiness caused at the front of the top across my stomach is because of the excess material.

I would advise against purchasing this top if you’re not keen on high necklines as this neckline was so high it was tickling my chin!

The back features a teardrop opening which is a nice feature but does unfortunately show the bra strap at the back which was disappointing.

This top would pair well with a pair of leather effect leggings and some killer black heels.

Latitude Blouse

5. Rock T-shirt

I felt very punk rock chick in this Rock & Roll tee. In a size 10 this top felt a tad oversized and I reckon, like the others, I could have worn a size 8 but it didn’t look out of place in the size I am wearing in the picture below.

I paired the tee with my favourite H&M leather jacket, bandage material mini skirt, black tights, as well as small black ballet pumps to soften the masculine look. This could have also been paired with skinny jeans and Chelsea boots for that more masculine look.

Rock Tee

I had an incredible amount of fun shopping for these looks and hope that you see something you like and feel inspired.

Until next time.

Interior Design & Fashion Inspiration- Autumn 2018

There is something remarkably comforting about retail therapy, especially when it comes to products that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

This week, I received delivery of my new sofa, a beautiful duck egg blue to compliment the beach house aesthetic style I was going for, and in doing so have not only increased my wellbeing through functionality but also through beauty. I am also contemplating introducing a small inexpensive side table in a light grey with legs that match the wood of the feet of my sofa, a footstool, as well as an accent chair to provide more seating for guests.

Having interior design objects in your home that perfectly reflect each other and your personal style really improves mood and, if you’re anything like me, makes you feel like things are coming together.

For those of you on a budget for a new sofa, I would highly recommend the Revive Sofa by DFS. I purchased the piece in a sofa bed so I give my guests the option to stay over in comfort without having to dedicate a room (which you may not have anyway).

This week on aesthetically pleasing things, I also have invested in a few items of autumnal clothes, including an incredibly soft long sleeved wide neck top by Religion Clothing which pairs perfectly with black skinny jeans and my ‘go to for autumn’ Chelsea boots. Furthermore, I have been incredibly intrigued by and interested in Chriselle Lim’s latest exclusive collection. Although not as visually impressive as the spring collection, the autumn collection is full of earthy and deep luxurious colours, like rust and plums.

I’m feeling a shopping spree coming on as the season is changing, my wardrobe needs refreshing so anything you guys would like to recommend you can get in touch with me in the comments below or on any of the social media links in the banner.

What beautiful things have caught your eye this week?

Travel Blog Diaries: Szczecinek, Poland

My hair is a birds nest, my false eyelashes are stuck to the pillow in almost comical fashion, and the loud alcohol induced snores from my partner echo throughout the small room at the wedding reception venue.

This is the first wedding I’ve attended as an adult and it’s being held in Poland. As someone who isn’t keen on flying, I wasn’t looking forward to the journey but it’s amazing what a few drinks and a handful of great friends can do for fear.

As always, the company I keep means that adventure and activity is never too far away, and there’s always a good story to tell.

For example, everyone piling into an eight person outdoor hot tub fully clothed in the highly recommended Sint Ji Design Rooms, loud, proud, and clutching a bottle of Bacardi. (The groom may have been a little bit intoxicated and someone ended up naked but it was all part of the fun).

Speaking of rooms, Jordan and I shared an incredible room that was only 600 zloty (£125) for two nights. For that little, we managed to get a complete suite, decked out with his and hers sinks, a freestanding Art Deco decorated bath, and walk in shower room. It was so plush I felt a bit out of place but what did we expect for five stars?

The only let down with the place was the breakfast. Although ticking a box on arrival of what we all would like to eat, the staff forgot half of what was ordered but they were attentive and the food was continental (cold meats and cheese, bread rolls, etc), so simple and replenishing for our day out on the beach.

I have been constantly surprised by Szczecinek, the beach here by the lake was sandy (hooray!) and the water activities have been hilarious to watch.

The actual wedding was a regimented affair of religious protocol but was fascinating to listen to the language from the priest in the church, listen to the almost lyrical catholic ceremony. I wanted some traditional polish culture and I was not disappointed.

Later this month I am going to be posting the vlog diaries for this trip so when it’s up you’ll be able to see the adventure for yourself, see if Szczecinek will be your next adventure.

I think I may still have a high level of alcohol in my system this morning so I’m going back to sleep. When I wake there’s a high possibility there will be more alcohol and plenty more food. Wish me luck trying to get into my dress!

Until next time.

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Learning To Manage Anxiety

I am not a sports fan but with the football associations annual turnover of £318m its safe to assume that football generates a lot of interest for the UK’s population. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never got the hype. As someone who grew up in a sports-oriented household, I’m pretty sure I have a firm grasp of how the games play out (and yes, that includes the offside rule) but have never really enjoyed sitting and watching the games.

Yesterday, however, I met with a few fans at the local pub and took in the atmosphere.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed the afternoon, regardless of the anti-football stance I had previously stood by.

A friend of mine commented that the abundance of testosterone in the room must have been comparable with that of war and how the sheer will and determination of the bodies in the room were similarly buzzing with anticipation. It was an interesting point and made me assess the situation with new eyes.

It is incredibly easy to get locked up in our own bubble of comfort, see the same friends, experience the same situations time and time again but this is how we slip into old habits, anxiety rears its ugly head and some of us slip back into depression. In order to break the cycle, we must ensure to sever the ties to normality once in a while, step out of our comfort zones and try something we were maybe opposed to doing previously.

Anxiety is a terrible thing but with practice we can manage our emotions, learn to control our behaviour and much like exercising to tone up, we can strengthen our brain, become more accustomed to situations that make us uncomfortable.

Obviously, I am not condoning actions that cause us pain or anger or anything that causes panic attacks, what I am suggesting is doing one thing a week that maybe you’ve been putting off because of your worry. For instance, I had been putting off having my hair cut for a seemingly silly reason: I find talking to hairdressers can be a little awkward, forced, and in my eyes there is nothing worse than small talk but I still called up and booked an appointment which I had on Saturday. Yes, it was an awkward experience but I feel healthier for doing it, as not only is my hair feeling more managable but I feel happy that I was able to take that step to owning my own life.

Control takes time and with time we can take back control of our lives.

How will you take control of your life this week?

Until next time.

I Visited The Zoo!

Hey everyone! For my birthday this year, I really wanted to visit a zoo.

So I did.

Jordan and I booked our incredibly inexpensive tickets and jumped in my car. Nearly two hours later and a detour around the confusing village of Rye, we arrived at the wildlife reserve, ready to get our walk on and see some exotic animals.

Instead, we were offered a seat on the wildlife safari, something we assumed would be extra but was in fact included in the price. What a bargain!

An hour later and we’d seen a whole herd of giraffe, wildebeest, and deer when the truck broke down and we had to patiently await our rescue while we watched the baby giraffe slowly drift into a slumber on the other side of the fence.

Overall, the park was a brilliant experience and I would recommend it for anyone who is looking for a new and exciting adventure.

To top it all off, I also filmed the entire experience which you can watch below!

Until next time!

How To Reinvent Yourself

The more I age and the further I delve into the realm of the twenties, the more I realise that this era is meant for reinvention. Consequently, I am a firm believer that reinventing yourself will help you to find yourself.

I have relocated twice now, the third relocation happening sooner rather than later, and have had the chance to reinvent myself. The most important part of my relocation was being alone in my decision to move. I am grateful to have moved without carrying the prejudice of people who have known me through the years. It has been nice to make these changes without the fear of getting “found out”, as if somehow reinvention is a crime.

Reinvention such as mine can seem daunting at first, especially if you’ve never migrated to university, but after the initial first step the rest is easy.

Chloe, a friend of mine, is currently “finding herself in Asia”, a five month expedition before she decides whether or not she wishes to attend university. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m glad she has taken the time and effort to make it work. We joked that she would return a vegan with dreadlocks but secretly I wouldn’t mind if she had decided to change. It is all part of the beauty of growing up.

They say that every seven years our body has shed and created so much skin that ultimately we are not the same physical person we were those seven years prior. With this inspiration from nature, maybe it would be wise to adopt this methodology to our mental state in order to improve our internal wellbeing. Maybe that is why some people feel the supposed seven year itch, an itch for change.

A change doesn’t necessarily have to be dramatic like I have made it seem. It can range from a change in career, to relocating, to simply changing hair colour.

The more I age, the more I realise what I want and what I think is important but the beauty of this realisation is also resigning to the fact that what I want and what I think is important will adapt, therefore meaning I cannot plan my entire life.

For instance, when I was eleven, I thought that I was going to be the next Avril Lavigne. Music was so incredibly important to me and I couldn’t see past this desperate need to play and create music for people. I had my life planned ahead of me, down to my big break, but the day never came and I grew up, reinvented myself and changed. Today I still have a passion for music but as a hobby, as another string to my multifaceted bow.

There is an incredible amount of pressure placed on young people to succeed but when it comes down to basics, success is happiness and happiness is personal. Instead of applying pressure on ourselves to succeed in the eyes of others we need to focus on what makes us, as individuals, tick. From here we can continue to wind down our intricate paths with more confidence.

The beauty of being content is allowing ourselves to be malleable. Like sand on a beach, we are shaped by the waves of circumstance. Why do we insist on fighting the tide? Why can we not allow the waves to shape us into the best us we can be?

After all, everyone deserves white sandy beaches.

Until next time.

Making Plans To Succeed

As I discussed in my previous blog post, everyone knows someone who has succeeded. Recently, I’ve noticed that a lot more people I know are becoming successful in what they want to do.

My brother has recently been given the opportunity to work for a prestigious company in either Dublin, London, or Sweden. It’s a fantastic achievement and I am one proud big sister but it has made me realize two things:

#1 Success always requires hard work, even if it’s not visible to others. After all, life doesn’t just hand out freebies, unless you’re incredibly lucky.

#2 Having a goal in life is the first step to achieving. How can you expect to be successful if you have no aspiration or inspiration?

As you can probably tell, I am a writer. My number one goal, since New Years Day 2016, has been to become a successful blogger. I remember being nine and writing short horror stories that I thought were terrifying, a result, no doubt, of too much Darren Shan, and feeling the strong urge to share my work with others. Fast forward a few years and here I am, continuing my passion for my blog in arguably less horrific ways than my nine year old self would have intended.

When setting goals in life, we need to ensure we find a niche that we have a passion for. For you it may be something other than writing, it could be painting, or business. Either way, we need to find something that will entertain us for the long haul, people notice when someone has a genuine passion for a craft.

Maybe my impression of success has changed as I have developed as I no longer see money as the reward of achievement, instead I see genuine happiness that has been caused by a sense of personal achievement, rather than one dictated by societal expectations. Of course, a financial award is often a necessity to ensure a certain lifestyle is pursuable but this should not be the singular goal.

“Its not what you know, it’s who you know that matters.”

Sometimes, having a passion for a craft isn’t good enough on its own to succeed, often we have to network and present ourselves to the right people in order to take a step forward. This also means making genuine connections with people, not simply collecting numbers. People, after all, invest in people.

Back when I was working in sales, I watched as staff adopted the same technique, the same hard sell to every potential customer that walked through the door. Although that had been what they had been instructed to do, it’s not what I personally believe achieves the sales. When I approached customers it was with intention to talk about them, find out their wants and needs, learn what made them tick. In return, they’d offer me information that my colleagues could not gain. By building a rapport with those clients I was able to secure leads and make valuable connections. It also allowed me to talk to a variety of people, from all over the globe, and learn new and exciting knowledge I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

In our own personal business, why should this be any different? Each and every one of us are brands that need a makeover and, in order to succeed, need a clear company ethos and five year plan.

When this is all said and done, success is in the eye of the beholder. In order to truly accept the award, you must ultimately determine what you define as success.

Until next time.