2017, Life, Uncategorized

What I Learned in 2017

It is December 2017, and honestly, not everything went as planned this year. I had “a brief stint of adulting” and I was restless and ready to move on, and make my life happen. Now it is months and months later, and I feel like I took one step ahead and two steps back. Well, kind of anyway.

This is the situation. Next week I will be graduation from my Travel and Tourism Management Course from UiT – The Arctic University of Norway. The one year course will be over and I think I feel ready to leave university behind for a while. The final exam and the graduation ceremony will be in Arkhangelsk, Russia and I absolutely can not wait. I am also currently balancing two part-time jobs, one doing Social Media, one working in a hotel. My English love is in Norway with me, and we are loving experiencing the Arctic seasons together. These are all great things. However, after eight months of traveling, working odd hours, living at home, living in the UK, working 120% each week and only working a couple of hours… I miss adulting. I miss routine. I miss having an office to go to every day, following my to-do lists, going to the gym and knowing what the week looks like.

When I read my post from the beginning of the year I realise how much I have changed, and how my perspective has changed with new experiences. During this year I had a job interview with one of the most reputable tourism businesses in Norway, but didn’t get the job. I learned that although I feel like an adult, I am insecure. During this year I had my first real job in the service industry. I learned that servers are heroes, and receptionist have to accept a lot of negativity for things they don’t even know anything about, with a smile. During 2017 I wrote a thesis about film-tourism, but learned more about Destination Development than anything else. I travelled around Europe for almost a month, and I learned that strange things are only scary until you experience them. This year I got to learn to not take what I have for granted, and to sweat the small stuff less. I have also discovered that I still don’t know what the dream is.

That is, I know now that I do want a life with routine, as well as adventures. I am my best self when I can plan everyday life ahead, stay busy and surround myself with good people. I am my best self when I can relax in the little moments at home, as well as on a beach in some foreign country. I am my best self when I can feel physically strong, mentally capable and emotionally free. These are the things I need to prioritise going ahead in 2018. My ultimate goal is just to be happy,  and live a life that is full of memories with people I love. I think it’s a sign that I am growing up that I am building less castles in the air, and building more life.

This is not all that I have learned this year, but it is what I felt strongly about today in particular. I don’t know if I will manage to land a full-time job in 2018, or if my English love will be able to stay in the country, or even if I will be able to leave my home town. But I hope so. Despite having gone one step forward and two steps back I still believe in walking the path and ending up where I was supposed to. Eventually.

Hopefully another year down the line I will be able to update you in another post, having learned even more about myself and the grand world around me,

Hope you are all well,


LDR, Life

How To Deal With Sadness & Loneliness in Long Distance Relationships

It’s been a while since the last time I talked about my thoughts and feelings around being in a long distance relationship. I shared my initial thoughts on being in an LDR and since then there have been some ups and some downs, but essentially my thoughts are the same. Long distance relationships are not easy. But they are worth it.

There have been days where the sadness is so overwhelming that it cripples me. Days where nothing can soothe the ache in my chest that cries out for the man I love. Days where I want to give up and escape from the entire situation, because honestly, it’s one of the most difficult situations I have ever been in. But, here’s the thing. As long as we both talk to each other we can get through every bout of sadness. We talk and we realize that we are not as alone as we think. The learning curve is steep and to maybe help some of you guys to deal with it too I thought I would share some of the things that help me deal with it.

  • Communication is Key
    This has been repeated to us all more times than we can count, but it’s easy to forget. You have to talk. You have to be more honest than you have ever been, even if it hurts. The person on the other end of the phone won’t be able to tell that you’re having a bad day so you will have to spell it out to them to get the support people in LDR so often miss.  There is no getting around the fact that when you can’t hug it out you have to talk it out. To keep the connection alive you have to learn how to communicate on a whole new level and it won’t be the easiest lesson to learn, but it will be a valuable one.
  • Don’t Forget Your Hobbies (Or Get New Ones)
    It will be easy to either replace the time you spent with your significant other with other things or to give up on any and all hobbies to spend more time together. The latter will be a subconscious reaction to the change of not seeing them, and a way to cling to the other out of desperation. The former is escapism at its best, but will ultimately lead to you both feeling worse. Neither is a solution. You will need to have hobbies, to have activities that give you energy, to keep busy. You have to live your life separate from the other and there is no getting around it, but you can choose to do positive things. You also have to choose to  schedule time for each other in between all the things that make up your everyday life. Snapchat each other funny things throughout the day and keep each other updated between that 2pm lecture and the evening Bar Crawl. Find a balance between fun activities with your friends and Skype time with your significant other.
  • Hang Out Together
    If you used to hang out two or three days a week and now only Skype for an hour or two once a week you’re obviously going to feel the lack of contact. In periods you will both be busy (see previous point), but you will both have a lot of downtime at home and you may feel like you don’t want to bother the other if they’re busy. Ignore that feeling. If you study, Skype each other while you’re both sat at home studying or if you work, keep each other company while making dinner. If the time difference makes this impossible, try improvising. He can have breakfast while you have lunch. Or you can have an evening drink while he has his morning coffee. Watch TV-Shows together online and hang out. You don’t have to talk constantly while you have Skype on just like you wouldn’t talk constantly if they were right next to you. Let them be your friend and companion in the same way they would be if they were physically closer.
  • Don’t Fear Growing
    One of the things that I fear the most is that the growing we both will do this year will make us grow apart. Growing, learning and changing is inevitable, especially when one part moves abroad for the first time and the other is on the cusp of a new stage in life. The key here is to not fear growing. Don’t try to stifle the change that will happen in your LDR partner and the change that will happen between the two of you because that just breeds bitterness. Try instead to grow in positive ways and to grow together, while apart. Encourage the other to challenge themselves and challenge yourself a little bit more ever day.  Try to become a better version of yourself and channel that into your relationship. 

Just over three months into my LDR and there’s been hard days and there’s been amazingly loved up days. Writing this down really helped me focus my thoughts and  having something to look back on to keep thinking productively even on bad days is good. To come out on the other side of an LDR stronger and in a better relationship than when it started it’s important to fight for the good moments and learn from the bad ones I think. It’s a continuous process.  What’s your best advice for people in Long Distance Relationships? Xxx

LDR, Life, Long Distance Relationship

Thoughts On Being In A Long Distance Relationship

I never really thought I would be in a long distance relationship, because I never thought I was cut out for it.  Not seeing your favourite person for a significant amount of time didn’t seem like something I could do. No hugs when I’m feeling down, no hand to hold when I need support, no smiling Kjære to cheer up  my day. Not being able to do the same for Kjære is also a challenge. When any loved on is down you want to do what you can to help them and comfort them, but it’s somehow worse when it’s your partner in crime. They need a hug or want a cuddle and you’re not there to do that for them. You only have your words and your thoughts, smileys and the occasional picture of you doing a silly face to try and make it better. It’s a relationship where you are mostly on your own, and no matter how much you try to include your boyfriend/girlfriend in the memories you are making, you are not making memories together. Not as much as a non distance relationship at least. It’s no wonder that trying to stay positive is difficult when you know the next “I’ll see you soon” is actually an “I’ll see you in five weeks”.

I miss him. I miss him all day, every day, especially when I do things that I kow he would have loved, or do things that we used to do together all the time.  I feel the pain of not having him around, but it’s bittersweet because the more I miss him the more I feel just how much he matters to me. Being in an LDR teaches you a lot about your own feelings and values. It very quickly reveals the depth of your emotions, even if you haven’t been together all that long. It teaches you to communicate your feelings more openly than ever, because there is no other way to deal with things. If you don’t tell them how you feel, they won’t know. So you tell them. You communicate. You have datenights over Skype and bring each other out to cafés on Facetime. Watch movies together on Rabb.it and make a joint calendar in the “Couple” app. You play Words With Friends and Quiz Up and exchange endless “I Miss You”s and “I Love You”s while squeezing the teddy or cardigan that has their perfume/cologne on. You stay independent and do your own thing, but if you ever feel down their words or smiling face is there in front of you on the screen. They are there for you even if you can’t reach out and poke them in the cheek or ruffle their hair. Your long distance boyfriend or girlfriend is there and you prioritize each other. You stay busy, you stay focused on the end goal and you keep on growing as people, together and apart.

It turns out I can be in an LDR,  however difficult it might be. I am doing it. We are doing it. I haven’t seen Kjære in a month and I won’t see him again until next Sunday, but we’re doing it. And it’s going better than expected. We’ve made a schedule  for our visits and if everything goes to plan 5 weeks is the longest we’ll go without seeing each other. We’re focusing on all the memories we will be making together, trying to keep a positive mind, playing the waiting game to the best of our abilities. We Skype when we need to Skype and share little tidbits of our days as we go along, the mundane and the exciting. He’s my best friend and like any best friend I know he has my back, distance or no distance.

I’m not going to say that LDRs are grand, because they are not. They suck. There is crying,  loneliness and a bunch of other sad feelings when it feels like the days are standing still and the countdown has stopped. But LDRs are also amazing. He gets to live his dream of studying abroad and becoming fluent in a new language, I get to fulfill my dream by finishing my degree in England (technically abroad for me too) and we’re still together. Living two different dreams in two different countries, all the while maintaining a relationship with our favourite person. The timing of when we met might not have been the best. The irony of him going to Scandiniavia while I’m in England isn’t lost on any of us. But we want each other to be happy and that’s the most important thing.

Giving up a few hugs here and a lazy sunday in bed there… Well, it’s not  that much of a sacrifice when you’re both doing what makes you happy and you know that the person you love wants you to do it. A relationship is all about making each other happy and if a little temporary distance is needed so that you both can be the happiest you can be… then a little distance is no obstacle at all.

Does this sound familiar to any of you? Xxx