Hi everyone, Hayley here, welcome to my new blog. I’m constantly sharing interesting stories and recommendations with my friends and every time I do, they always say “Why don’t you start a blog?” So I did!
After I finished school, I was a bit disillusioned with what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve always been a creative person and I love to travel, so I worked for two years as a secretary at an insurance company (not very exciting, unless you count the office gossip) and did the odd creative project on the side: drawing portraits, designing logos, even curated a couple of small exhibitions at an art gallery. Eventually, I pooled all my savings and after turning 21 decided to go see the world.
In a way, I decided to follow my stomach and started off by visiting the places that were home to my favourite foods. First I travelled all over the UK, looking in on friends that scattered after school and visiting their universities. Fell in love in, and with, Scotland. I spent a few amazing weeks in Italy, enjoying every pasta known to man, incredible (and super cheap!) local wines and sketching their amazing architecture. Then I went to visit friends in China and sampled some of the most eclectic street foods I’d ever seen while trying my hand at traditional Chinese calligraphy and ink painting. Spent a fascinating week in Egypt which was both amazing and hideous – I’ve always been obsessed with Ancient Egypt, even studied hieroglyphs a bit in my teens, but it’s definitely not the nicest place to visit as a woman travelling solo.
Then one of my all-time bucket list destinations – New York – wound up being my last trip for a while. COVID brought my journey of art and culinary exploration to a halt and I came home just in time for a life of lockdowns. Finding work became very difficult – an amateur artist isn’t exactly a stable way to pay for food, so I started to write down a sort of retrospective diary of all my adventures. Having shown some of these around to close friends, I realised just how much I love writing and telling stories – especially those from my time in weird and wonderful places that many people I know had never visited before.
Since it looked like we were going to be stuck inside for a while, I decided to enrol in as many online courses as I could find in creative writing and journalism, which I’ve been doing ever since. Anything you want to be really good at requires practise, practise, practise, so I decided to launch this blog to flex my writing muscle and share some of the fun things I learned on my travels, great advice from all the different people I met and some stuff I learned to love that have been getting me through this pandemic.
I used to be the cliché student – didn’t sleep at night, didn’t look after myself properly, boiling pasta was the pinnacle of my culinary ability. But after my time abroad, which more and more I’m appreciating how insanely lucky I was to have had that experience, I decided to actually put some of those lessons learnt into practice. So from skincare to actual cooking, the great outdoors and cosy days in, useful gadgets, life hacks, eco-living and travelling, I hope you find some of my stories interesting, maybe even helpful, and as soon as I can, I hope to be back on the open road again, to see where it takes me and what awesome new tales I can share with all of you!