So, a little update, because this isn’t going to be one of my normal blog posts. I’m still in Southend and have been for the past month, and although this trip has really helped with getting over some of the anxieties I have attached to this town, I’ve been so busy that I’m utterly exhausted. I was considering not writing an article this week, and waiting until I’m rested up at home – surrounded by my creature comforts, and my beloved cat, who is a creature of comfort – until I discovered that I’d been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Awards by the lovely Discovering Your Happiness. Please, please, please check out her excellent blog, especially for those of you who are fellow anxiety sufferers. She posts excellently written articles with genuinely stellar advice and practical tips. I recommend it without hesitation.
Now, being new to this blogging malarkey, I’m still a little unsure on the rules of the blogging awards. I’ve been nominated for one before, and didn’t really know what to do with it. I’m vaguely aware that I’m meant to pass on recommendations for other bloggers, but I think I’ll do this in a blog post once I’m home and at my computer, and not trying to juggle various links on the rather puny capabilities of an iPhone app. But I’m also aware that I have questions to answer.
At first, I was a little hesitant about this, for two reasons. The first was that I’m chronically shy, and talking about myself is often about as pleasurable as flossing my teeth with barbed wire. Just yesterday, I was in a chip shop (unhealthy, I know, but there’s something about being soaked to the bone in an English summer that really makes you want some juicy, terrible chips), and the girl on the counter started asking me about myself. I felt immediately awkward, giving fairly closed answers, and then immediately felt terrible because she was just being friendly. I’d already placed my food order; it’s not like she was trying to persuade me into lobbing an extra pickled onion in there. So, opening up more is now a goal. I don’t want to be that unfriendly-seeming person in the chippy.
Secondly, I tried to keep a deliberate anonymity with this blog, because “that anxious traveller” isn’t just me; there’s hundreds, thousands, of us out there. I wanted anyone to be able to read this, and think ‘I can see myself in that’. And that still holds. But it’s also fun to see a bit of the personality behind the blog, so these questions are awesome for shedding a little bit of light on the being behind these ramblings.
So here we go.
1. Where are you from?
I’m from a small town on the south coast of the UK. The town itself is nothing spectacular, but some of the countryside and villages surrounding it are definitely quite spectacular, and I’ll definitely be writing about some of the places in my local area once I’m back there. I’m most definitely a country person; I love visiting huge cities – I’m surprisingly comfortable in London – but I need to live somewhere with trees and greenery. It’s just part of my soul.
2. Why did you start your blog?
Two big reasons. One was that I wanted to motivate myself and others. Writing about travel makes me want to visit new places, having an audience makes me not want to let my readers down. It pushes me into doing things that I otherwise could put aside for another time.
The second was that I came very close to being caught up in the terrorist attack in London in June; I was in the exact location where it happened only an hour or two before it occurred, and almost decided to stay there longer. I don’t like to think about what might’ve happened if I had. But it did make me reflect on my life, and I realised that I had been very guilty of putting travel on a list of things to do “one day”. That wouldn’t do. This blog motivates me every day, to live in a way that the people who were killed in the attack had taken from them, and in their honour.
3. What are some things you focus on for self care?
This is an excellent question, because honestly, I’m fairly awful at it. I think the best thing I do is this blog; it focuses my mind on the things I want to do, it makes me move forward, and it makes me plan.
For downtime, I like to play video games – that’s probably an unpopular choice because video games are stereotypically seen as destructive to inner peace, and visualised as gory shoot ’em ups, hails of bullets flying everywhere. However, that’s just one genre of games, and one that I don’t play because I’m absolutely terrible at them. Seriously, I can’t aim to save my life. There are some remarkably relaxing video games that help to refocus my mind when I’m stressed, particularly simulator games. Sometimes, I just like to kick back, put the radio on, and quietly drive a virtual truck from Spain to Sweden, and take in the scenery.
Failing that, a really hot bath.
4. Have you holidayed anywhere? If so, where?
Ooo yeah! Travels are definitely that thing in life that I look forward to most, and I’m looking forward to expanding my list of travels and experiences. Places that I’ve been to so far are Italy (a lot – I speak a reasonable amount of Italian), France, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Ireland, Belgium, and the USA. Nowhere too outrageous… yet.
5. Where is your dream holiday?
Honestly, there’s not many places that I wouldn’t go to. I read so much travel literature and material; every time I find something that makes me dream, something I want to see and experience with my own eyes. But if I had to pick one… I’d love to backpack around Asia. It’s my ultimate goal of this blog, to build up to a point where I can achieve it. I find Asia so fascinating, so diverse, so colourful and so cultured.
I’d also love to drive from coast to coast in the USA, but there’s one problem. I don’t drive. Bus, anyone?
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a small slice of the personality behind the words; this is definitely something I want to do more. Anyone have any questions you’d like to be answered? (please, no maths questions, I’m even worse at that than shooty games.) If so, please pop them in the comments!
Have a good day, all!