[Photo: a glimpse of my time on Lamma Island, HK, while sipping a Fresh Lemon Soda and writing in my travel notebook]
The other day I got the notification telling me that I’d been a member of the WordPress community for a whole year… a whole year of finding my feet in this never-ending online world of blogposts. I had two overwhelming feelings: pride, and disappointment…
I felt proud that I’d stuck something out for that length of time, something semi “creative” too. Over the past year, this blog has changed quite drastically in content, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I mentioned this in an earlier post somewhere; my posts started off very personal and a way to help me understand and work through things (the Trainee Medical Photographer position), and then when that was over, it was just somewhere for me to tap away during my office hours, drawing inspiration from the Daily prompts, and I really enjoyed writing those; it was fun and interesting to see where my mind went and where I’d end up at the end… but then came the summer of 2016. Only a few months after I started my WordPress account, summer 2016 was my first summer after living abroad and having travel (and then family/friends) as a main priority. I wrote my first “travel blog” after my initial whirlwind experience of Thailand with the interns (Lea, Lisa and Susann)… then as me and Shelby ended up stranded in rainy Patong Beach, Thailand (the poor girl was not well), I wrote my 2nd travel post about our experience so far and what was to come.
When I arrived in Guangzhou at the tail-end of August 2016, it went back to being somewhere to rant, work things through, and generally inform my family of what the f*ck was going on (it was all a bit messy back then)… Then, a good thing for me, but a bad thing for my blog, I got settled into my life here, my work at CGS, and my daily routine of work, eat, read, work, sleep… I’ve had my fair share of fun and busy weekends, although only very few I’ve actually posted about (Shenzhen Colour Run for one example). So, sadly, my blog has been very bare over the past (mainly) 6 months or so I’d say, apart from my never ending Tokyo posts! I didn’t even get to my Seoul adventures before I (shamefully) gave up on that! As much as I love to travel and experience all these new things, it was tiring and sooooo time consuming typing it all up! Hopefully this summer I’ll keep on top of it a bit more, or find a better way to write the posts.
This was why I had that second feeling: disappointment. Although I’m happy with how much I have written for this blog (tens of thousands of words), I’m disappointed how many weeks and months have gone by with no new content being uploaded. My life here has been great for the past 10 months, but it’s not been anything crazy. Not much to report on. My travel has been minimal (if you can call HK, Tokyo, Seoul and Thailand minimal… I swear living this end of the world makes you take so much for granted), and my audience has changed. Now, I’m not saying I have a hundred strong following or anything, but it used to just be viewed (and known about) by only my close family, a friend or two, and those who happen to stumble upon it by following my tags. Now it’s become more public, my own fault for sharing certain posts to Facebook I know, but I sort of had to, to share our Tokyo stories with Kyle and his family… Now I feel more pressure regarding my blog’s content, more pressure to only tell the most interesting stories, and I definitely don’t feel that great about spilling my heart out onto here anymore (contrary to my last post I know), even though that’s what this whole blog is about! I mean, it’s in the name for Christ’s sake: Charlie Parker from Head to Web.
Anyways, I hope to get back on track with this a little, even though this is probably not the best time with end of term (semester) coming up and with lots to plan and sort out before my crazy busy summer! Me and Alice are travelling Vietnam and then heading over to fly out of Bangkok (and see some sights) starting from 11th/12th July, and I can’t wait! We’ve both done our fair share of travel, had very different experiences and different countries, but we’ve never really done anything together, which is weird! Two girls, who have been friends for (just under) 24 years, both of which love and enjoy travelling, have never explored a new country together… I did visit her last year over Christmas, obviously, as if I was ever going to miss a chance to visit New Zealand again, catch up with a pal at the same time AND jump out of a plane… So, yeah, I’m super excited about it, a little unsure how it will go, as I feel we both have the same approach to travel and planning… We’re both happy (and have been known to) take the lead and be the one “in charge”, but we’re both also equally as laid back and easy going, and happy to let the other take control and simply input our thoughts, feelings and opinions as we go along… So, we’ll see how it goes! I’ve now got a new camera (I now own 7….) which I’ll be taking with me and, fingers crossed, actually using and getting some good shots to document our time!
I spent my morning and afternoon (between classes and meetings) setting up a goodreads account… As some of you may know, I was a useless uninterested reader as a child, and a fair way into my teenage years. Even when I did find a (lengthy) series or two to get me hooked, I still didn’t give up much of my time to the activity! But, somewhere along the line over the past couple of years, I’ve found myself with a book in hand (or bag) at all times… I’ve been keeping record of how many books I’ve read since August 2016 (my brain mainly works in academic years), and I’m somewhere around the 20/21 mark right now. To some, that’s nothing, that’s pathetic, a poor attempt! But for me, and my sister will back me up on this, that is f*cking amazing! I decided to commit to reading even more (after filling my Kobo basket up with £45 worth of eBooks), and signed myself up for goodreads. I spent the afternoon inputting all the books I’ve read (with start and completion dates) since August, and then rating all the books I can remember reading in my young adult/adult life. So, you may notice that there are two new side bar bits on my homepage. That’s where you can see how I’m doing with my reading list, and keep track of whether or not I’ll have completed 20 books in 2017!