If you enjoy spontaneous, confusing rambles that don’t have much structure but reflect exactly what is going through my brain right now (on the late train home from London zzz) then this post is probably for you. If not, this might not be the most enjoyable post to read.

Weekends. Yes that’s where I want to start. Weekends. I weirdly don’t look forward to weekends that much anymore, although they’re often filled with some sort of fun the vast majority of the time I am a much happier person in the week. In the week I have a routine, when I workout, when and what I eat, what I’m doing at work, when I’m seeing people, the whole thing is somehow structured and I like it.

Weekends I’m literally all over the place. I  love all the places I visit and new food I get to try and particularly when I get to see my loved ones,  but I honestly think I’m 100 times more stressed out of work than I am in work. If anyone could see the level of organisation that goes into my ‘social’ life you would probably be majorly confused and just think WHY. The notes on my phone have been known to store step-by-step plans for my day, very detailed plans and if anything goes wrong with the plan I do kind of feel like the whole day is pointless from there on. Even I know this is ridiculous and sometimes this affects me more than others but I also know and recognise how quickly my mood can change if a plan isn’t perfect (Sorry for anyone who has had to deal with me in his state of mind). ‘Winging it’ is just not my style. (It is my boyfriend’s style though so I have to learn to chill every once in a while!).

Weekends often remind me of  all the things I want to do but haven’t yet, all the people I need to catch up with but haven’t and my never ending mental to-do list of random things that I’ll probably never get done. You might be thinking, just relax take some time to do nothing. One slight problem is that makes me even more stressed! Honestly do other people feel like this or is it just me? Get stressed when I’m busy, get stressed when I’m bored. Balance is so hard.

My last post about mental health got such a positive reaction, but really what I was writing about isn’t anything new to me so it all seemed kind of strange. I’ve realised how little the outside world actually knows about me, everyone genuinely thinks that if I’m smiling on the outside then I’m happy on the inside.

I have a lot going on in my life that requires decision making, lots and lots of decision making, decisions that no one else can give me the answer to but can have a huge impact on my life. The main issue is that decisions in general are definitely not my strong point. The biggest reason being if I make a decision and then in turn the smallest thing goes wrong I get extremely annoyed with myself. 

Hmm brains are a weird thing, mine is literally all over the place, all the time. I’m sure everyone else’s is too but for now I have to be selfish and just try to understand what’s going on in mine. Do you have a clue what’s going on in yours?

Rambles about life and my fuzzy brain 2.0.

Quick disclaimer: This post is not trying to say I’m happier in work that I am at weekends, I absolutely love finishing work for the week like most other people and love all the exciting things I get to do at the weekend BUT, big but, I do bring an unnecessary amount of stress into my personal life which makes weekends less relaxing.

Love & happiness,

Emma x




Over the last few years mental health has become a topic that’s everywhere from anxiety to depression to suicide, and it can all get a bit overwhelming. Hearing about it, attempting to understand it, recognising it in other people or yourself and actually dealing it.

I’m also extremely passionate, as a lot of people currently are, about spreading some sort of personal message about this. In previous years I have let my own mental health severely deteriorate. Even with the most supportive family and friends around me, negative thoughts and anxiety can be impossible to eliminate from your life. It can sometimes just creep up on you in the strangest of situations, when you least expect it. 

After a period of struggling to even eat a couple of years ago and my mind being a blur of sadness I came through the other side. I’m a really happy person, I do actually believe that. I like to spread happiness and I like to believe that self care and mindfulness are 2 things that I actively do and recognise must play a significant part in my life. But even with that realisation it doesn't make everything perfect.

Recently I was watching Estee Lalondes YouTube video (here), and I’ve never seen someone before that I’ve related to so much. Crying and talking about her anxiety to the camera and then, more importantly, looking completely happy, bubbly and relaxed the next second. I watched it and just thought, that's like me! There’s only so much so-called self care a person can do, I don't honestly think anything can totally eradicate anxiety from your life but you can take steps to learn how to deal with it. This is SO important because it will most likely come back every so often, that's ok, we're only human and our minds and bodies work in weird and wonderful ways sometimes.

When it does happen though, it's a reminder that mental health can be so confusing to control. For me personally I feel confused, physically sick, overwhelmed, unsure about every part of my life. How do I make this better I think!? What am I doing wrong to make myself feel this worried and stressed!?

I’ve only ever found one thing slightly works for me, talking to people. Alone with my own thoughts I go crazy, absolutely crazy and everything I say is so irrational. It’s really weird to me that I’m so aware of this, in my head I’m like why are you crying, why are you panicking, what is wrong with you. But yet I still feel it, nothing seems to shake it off in that moment

But talking to people helps, particularly my boyfriend and my parents. Letting all the muddled, confusing thoughts come out and letting them help me piece it together. Letting them speak the sense whilst I just cry, listening to every word they say and trying to figure out how I can get those rational thoughts into my head. Eventually it just happens, I feel my mind and body start to calm. The crying stops and it’s kind of like I’m not even sure what I’ve been talking about for the past few hours.

The next day, I mainly just move on with my life. With the rest of the world, even my closest friends having no idea what has gone on. This happens to me, but I wonder how many other people this happens to. Those people who are always so happy, so cheery and living the ‘perfect’ life. Maybe they have a hidden issue that nobody sees. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Unless they tell you, you have no idea.

When I felt like this it made me realise again why I wanted to make The Happy Conversation. It’s not a place to talk to happy people about happy things. It a place to have conversations with people, that’s it. I believe conversations can bring a ray of sunshine to peoples lives, regardless of the topic. The act of talking and listening eventually brings calm to the mind. A feeling of content, at one with another person. I know people always say ‘talk to someone’ when it comes to mental health but I don’t believe this necessarily needs to be a therapist or a counsellor in every situation. Just speak to another human, pour out your heart and mind as little or as much as you want. Speak about anything you want and listen in return. Find happiness with yourself and the other person. 

I hope one day everyone understands mental health, I class myself as someone who kind of gets it but at the same time I have absolutely no idea what it’s all about. Does anyone? It’s such a vague, hard thing to explain with a billion different variations.

My only advice is to have conversations, don’t just talk to someone, have a conversation with someone. Listen to them and think about how you feel. Allow someone to give you the time and believe that one day things will get better,

Love & happiness always,

Emma



On a very rainy day back up North I headed to Manchester to catch up with Tanesha. Not only is Tanesha one of the kindest people I know she also has a blog and shares her love of everything from cruelty free beauty products to the best spots to eat and everything in between which we chatted about a little. Tanesha suggested we go to the new vegan restaurant 'Folk & Soul' in the Northern Quarter and it was the perfect location. Quiet enough to record our conversation with a hot drink when we arrived followed up by some delicious, very-reasonably-priced vegan food and the most instagrammable surroundings. Tanesha is a huge inspiration as her kind heart has meant she has gone from vegetarian to vegan and to doing all she can to make more eco-friendly decisions in her day-to-day life. We chatted about it all, I hope you enjoy.

E: So we're sat in Manchester, your hometown, and you've lived here all your life? Other than when you was at Uni?

T: Ye,s so just 3 years in Lancaster for University

E: And are all your family from Manchester as well?

T: Yes, my dad is the most Mancunian man ever made. He doesn't look it, he looks like a rasta, he has dreadlocks and has his hair in a hat but his voice is so Mancunian. You wouldn't put two and two together

E: Does he love it here?

T: Well actually, in fact, he doesn't love it here!

E: Oh really?

T: Well his dad is from St Kits and his mum was from Jamaica and they immigrated over here so I feel like he ideally wants to go and live in St Kits. He's bought some land out there and he wants to build a house and everything

E: Oh wow, that's amazing. So what is it that you love about Manchester? I presume you do love it here?

T: Yes, I would ideally like to live in Manchester for the rest of my life. The thing I like the most is that it's the perfect size and has everything you could ever need. Every time I go to the Lakes, I love it for a getaway, but your nearest shop won't be for like 20 minutes and I need convenience in my life

E: This is the reason why I love living in London so much at the minute, it's that feeling of convenience, it's amazing. Basically anything I want I can just go and get it almost immediately. It's the same with cafes and eating out, I can see somewhere on instagram and then just go!

T: I follow so many people that are based in London, especially vegans, and they'll be trying out a fully Chinese vegan restaurant or something and I wish I could just go there so much!

E: Is Manchester getting better for vegan stuff?

T: Yes 100%. I forget sometimes, like before I wanted to get a hot chocolate but thought I couldn't as I forgot it's completely vegan! Overall Manchester obviously isn't as good as London but it's definitely getting better

E: It will only get better in the future. One thing I've noticed being in London is yes, there are more vegan places, but there's also more actual vegans so it makes sense. London has progressed quicker than other parts of the UK and people seem to be more educated about veganism and less afraid about vegan food in general

T: London is like a melting point where loads of different people come together which helps. There are obviously a lot of Londoners but there's people who move there from all over the world and the UK. There's a lot of people, with a lot of different viewpoints and yes, Manchester is getting there but there's still a long way to go. And on top of that a lot of Northern people just love their meat

E: Yes definitely and it feels quite stereotypical but it's so true!

T: It's definitely changing though, like round the corner there's V Rev, that's like a Vegan fast food place. It's been there for at least 5 years and it's so good! Next time you come up we need to go. Proper big fat burgers, milkshakes, everything, vegan.

EThat sounds amazing! So, I don't really know this and don't know how we haven't spoken about this before but how long have you been vegetarian for? and vegan also? You did the vegan challenge didn't you?

TYes, so up until I became vegan I was veggie for 11 years until this January when I decided I wanted to go vegan because I had seen and heard too much about the dairy and egg industry and I was like, I can't ignore it anymore. So I started on the 1st of January, I went cold turkey. I ate as much halloumi as I possibly could until that point and from then on I was T-total. Well as T-total as you can be as it's so hard to get used to in the beginning, you have to look at the back of every single packet. There's milk in things you would never imagine!

EThis is what I think is the most challenging thing about going vegan, these random ingredients that are in things. Cutting out the basic, eggs, milk and cheese is fine it's all the random stuff

TYes anything you do yourself is easy to do vegan but going out and shopping really isn't. I say this but there are so many things nowadays that you can eat. I've said this so many times but since going vegan I've probably been more unhealthy because I'm actively trying to find all these vegan substitutes. I've eaten so much vegan chocolate, purely to see what it tastes like

EYes I actually do the same, if I see a vegan cake or chocolate or biscuits I want to try it to see if it's good!

TIt's also quite a long testing period as not all vegan products do taste nice you want to find what you love but I'm sure it will ease a lot. I've said in the long run I want 80% of my diet to be natural, not this weird raw natural stuff, just natural. Then 20% more processed, unhealthy food

EIt's definitely best to have that balance

T: Even things like Linda McArtney, it's not bad for you but it's not the best. It's definitely just a learning curve as it really isn't easy. I would always recommend you just go veggie first

E: So that's the thing, first I went pescatarian for quite a few years, then I went vegetarian. One of the biggest worries for me was about how it would affect me. People say you become lethargic, weak and tired

T: And that you don't get enough protein!

E: Yes! And I do take some vitamins but everyone should do that! I've honestly never experienced any of the side effects that people speak about after not eating meat. When people say to me I tried not having meat for a few days and I was so lethargic I’m just like ‘really, what were you eating?’

T: Ye you probably weren’t eating how veggies or vegans actually eat. The thing is basically everyone needs to take vitamins, nobodies diet is perfect. My doctor said do take a vegan multi vitamin but everyone should be taking most of them. Vitamin D, for example, people who live in the UK we just don’t get enough because of the weather. It doesn’t have to be to do with your diet, it’s just the circumstances of where we live

E: I totally agree. So, the other side of vegan stuff, away from the food, what other choices do you like to make or are you trying to do more of?

T: I’m actually really surprised, when I first started I just knew I didn’t want to become a stereotypical vegan. Wearing hemp and turning my hair into dreadlocks whilst listening to Bob Marley. I honestly thought it could happen and I was worried especially because my boyfriend eats meat and I didn’t want to become some crazy eco warrior. Thankfully that hasn’t happened, but I have a much more conscious mind about things. So like before I went vegan I had already gone cruelty free with everything, make up, toiletries, everything certified cruelty free. Then I’ve started to try reducing my plastic and I want to try to purchase more bulk products so there’s less excess packaging. I don’t know if it’s necessarily 100% vegan but I’m doing what I can

EI just think it’s nice to be conscious of these things and it naturally becomes easier if you take it step by step. Like obviously I’m vegetarian but I have tried to start cutting dairy out. I don’t purchase cheese anymore, and I always have non-dairy milk but I do still eat eggs every so often

T: Do you not eat cheese!?

E: I still eat it on things every so often but I would never buy cheese in the supermarket or cook with it. It’s weird, it literally doesn’t bother me at all but every seems to be crazy about cheese. I just love halloumi!

T: It’s difficult in the sense that if you loved cheesy products before it’s obviously going to be harder. How are you finding brews and stuff without dairy? I didn’t drink tea before so I’m alright with that

E: It’s fine when I’m down in London because I’ll always have the milk in that I want and I have loads of different teas that work without milk too. When I go home I do find it way harder and feel like I understand the struggle way more. But it’s just fine, yes it’s no where nice as nice as a brew with normal milk but you just get used to it

T: What milks have you tried? Have you tried the Oatly Barista?

E: Ye I’ve honestly tried everything! The thing is if you’re looking for the exact same taste as normal milk you just won’t get it, you have to get used to something different

T: It’s like that with everything really, meat substitutes, cheese substitutes, it’s not the same but it’s still really good! It’s just different and places like McDonalds now have a burger which is vegan if you take the mayonnaise off. Restaurants are popping up all the time, apparently KFC are going to be doing a vegan option soon too

E: Ye I’ve seen that advertised!

T: Just the industries in general. McDonalds are getting rid of plastic straws too!

E: Yes that’s amazing when you think of their footprint on the world. I’m so happy that I work for a company that is actively working on this too, Waitrose are really pushing forward with social responsibility now as well as being amazing for veggie stuff

T: It’s so annoying that there’s no Waitrose up here!

E: I know, it’s really not big up North at all. Waitrose makes being veggie even easier! A lot of people always ask me if I find being veggie and looking for substitutes expensive and I really don’t, but I was thinking about the beauty side of things. How do you find shopping cruelty free in them departments? I think you did a blog post about it recently, with dupes from somewhere?

T: Yes it was on my instagram story! Certain things that you’re looking for will be expensive but generally no. A lot of things you use will already be vegan or cruelty free but you just don’t know it. It’s not their main selling point to customers, so like Urban Decay are cruelty free. You just have to look into it, there’s a website called crueltyfreekitty which really helped me when I first started to change everything. It was my holy grail! That’s when I find out there is no vegan perfumes and I couldn’t believe it! Everyone wants a perfume and I’ve now found a company called Eden based in Brighton and they do vegan and cruelty free dupes of basically every perfume you could ever think of!

E: I saw you post about that on Instagram!

T: Yes, so I have one like fFowerbomb that I love, it’s vegan, cruelty free and a fraction of the price

E: I bet that just makes you feel happier about it?

T: Exactly, so it’s not that difficult what so ever. Liz Earle is cruelty free, so great for skincare. There’s actually quite a lot!

E: It’s one of those things that people just aren’t aware of

T: Also Superdrug have made it easier as every own brand item is cruelty free, not everything is vegan but it is cruelty free

E: Which is a great step, if everyone takes baby steps in the right direction it can make a big change. It’s definitely better than nothing anyway

T: I  started to worry about getting cruelty free deodorant and stuff, I thought I would have to make some weird homemade paste but now I can just go to Superdrug. Even Tesco don’t test on animals!

E: Like you said, they don’t shout about it because they don’t feel the need to.  I actually think is quite nice, it means they’re just doing it because they want to and it’s not necessarily a sales driven decision they have made

T: 100%, Tesco also do things like paper stick cotton buds. Normal ones are going to get banned in the UK. Then baby wipes, I tell Phil [Tanesha’s boyfriend] that we can’t have them. Kitchen wipes or anything like that. Just get a spray and cloth and sorted! Tesco do an eco range too of cleaning products. Everything is moving in the right direction, it’s still got a long way to go though

E: Something I think is quite weird is that there’s this stereotype that everyone is just going vegan or vegetarian for no reason. People will even say to me, why have you decided not to have milk or why have you decided to be vegetarian. Then they will tell me I’m just following everyone else and the thing is I technically am doing that. If I didn’t follow so many influencers from this area on Instagram, I think I would definitely still be vegetarian but I would not be making all these other little changes to my lifestyle


T: Yes because you just wouldn’t know about it

E: Exactly, my parents don’t do it, nobody else close to me does it so how else am I meant to educate myself

T: Yes, you are your own person but you are heavily influenced by those around you

E: I just think there is negative influence but there’s also really positive influence and people need to understand there’s a significant difference between the two

T: Definitely, influencers are very powerful

E: There’s also the stereotype about vegans shouting about being vegan all the time

T: Yes I disagree with it, we all have our own morals and opinions

E: I do think that if people want to eat meat that’s fine, I just don’t want to. But, I also think people need to remember that when people are shouting about it it’s because they believe that’s it’s something everyone needs to be educated about. They’re not usually doing it to show off or anything, there is an innocent reason behind it. I actually quite like it because it encourages me to research certain things and to educate myself further

T: It’s about educating people basically and then with that education you can choose what you want to do with it. No one is forcing you not to eat meat, they’re just saying try it. I whole heartedly am so happy with my decision to be vegan though. People ask me if I’ll go back and I’m like not a chance. As it’s not only pretty easy to be vegan but it just aligns best with who I am and my morals

E: It’s just a habit as well, when I first went vegetarian I wasn’t 100% sure what my reasoning was I just knew I didn’t want to eat meat anymore. Something about it didn’t feel right to me and then as it has progressed I’ve become more educated and started to understand my ‘Why?’

T: That’s good! It’s weird how if we all work together we can have such a big impact. Blue Planet was great at helping this!

E: It’s basically changed the world we live in today because again it’s education. Without it how are we going to know what is going on in the ocean and how we can make a difference to it. It’s the same with Bees, now David Attenborough has done that post so people’s attitudes have changed, including my own

T: Yes same, I was hoping to plant loads of bee friendly plants and flowers in my garden and spend my time feeding the bees sugary water. I’ve seen videos about everything on Facebook and end up bawling my eyes out, they’re so cute!

E: I just think people judge influencers in different ways. David Attenborough says something and he is amazing, if someone who used to be on Made in Chelsea says something with the exact same message people label them an uneducated influencer who wants to gain more followers

T: Oh I know, just because they’re a different type of celebrity

E: I think it’s amazing that people use their platform to do whatever they can and if I was in their situation with a platform that big I would hope that I would be trying to educate others on what I believed in

T: Lucy Watson is a great example. She shouts about everything for the right reasons. Not in an aggressive or obnoxious way, despite her character on MIC giving off them vibes. She also goes to loads of nice vegan places in London!

E: I print screen them all and add them to my places to go list, she’s a positive influencer of me!

T: A lot of people if they didn’t follow her on Social Media wouldn’t know she was vegan either because she doesn’t fit a ‘stereotype’ for veganism

E: People always act shocked when they find out I’m vegetarian and I sometimes wonder if that’s because I don’t fit a stereotype? I’m not sure what they want me to say to make them aware or remind them that I don’t eat meat. It can be really awkward reminding people

T: The thing is as well, it’s not who you are. It’s just an add on

E: I don’t even think about it half the time, I forgot that people might want to know. Well Tanesha, that’s most things I wanted to speak about but it would be nice to touch on your blog too quickly before we order food?

T: Yes course. When I first started my blog it was very much just for me with a side of me wanting to get into a specific industry. I was working in the oil and gas industry and was like omg I need to get out of this. It was nothing to do with who I am and I wanted to get into fashion or beauty or anything like that. I did actually used to have a blog too but no one knew it existed. I kind of wish I started it properly then but there’s no point thinking about the past. When I first put it on Facebook I was telling Phil how scared I was and he just persuaded me to do it! I was so worried about what other people would think. But it was honestly the best feeling ever seeing everyone enjoy it. I write about whatever I want as well, it might be restaurants and food reviews or beauty, skincare or anything that comes to mind. I also try to make it fun for people to read, I try to not have a goal for readers but I just want who does read it to enjoy it

E: I’ve personally read all your blogs and I love them

T: Thanks! It’s so much more scary when people you know read your content as you know you will be judged more

E: I also worry that some things, that for example, I would want to talk about are not things that I normally talk about day to day. It makes me worry that people will be shocked about by my opinion which is quite daunting

T: Exactly, people saying or thinking ‘That’s not you, why are you talking about that’. As long as you’re doing it for you then it's fine. It’s also great for building your communication skills although it can be really tough to get blog posts out when you have a full time job

E: It’s best to put no pressure on yourself and write when you can and to build a community of others who enjoy reading or discussing things with you. That’s the thing with The Happy Conversation, the focus can be on the happiness within your life but the main idea is that having a conversation, whatever the topic, can bring happiness to people through social interaction and engagement. I hope this conversation has been enjoyable for you!

T: We’ve really bounced off each other and it’s been really nice to chat about things that I don’t often get the opportunity to talk about

E: I’ve just found this conversation so informative and I really hope others will too when they read it so a big thank you to you


And there it is, the third conversation done. I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you're ever in Manchester and looking for a perfect spot for your morning coffee or some amazing vegan food I'd highly advise heading to 'Folk & Soul'. If you’re interested in finding out more about Tanesha then head over to her blog at https://taneshajade.com or her instagram @taneshajade you will not be disappointed!

Love & Happiness,

E x




Whilst in the beautiful country of Luxembourg myself and Jack Kaufman got our face masks on and I completed the next conversation for The Happy Conversation! Jack is one of my favourite people in the world and I’m so glad he let me chat to him in this way to then include this on my website. Here goes...

E: So a question that I love to ask people is what makes you happier than anything else in the world?

J: Having things to look forward to?

E: Well what’s your favourite thing to look forward to then?

J: Doing things that are different to what I usually do day in and day out. I just think it’s so exciting to see different things and experience different places.

E: So connected with this you seem to enjoy exploring Europe a lot, what’s the reason for that?

J: It’s so close and cheap, the travel is easy and even though it’s so close to England it is so different. Even every country is different and no two cities are really the same

E: And what is your favourite City?

J: Rome

E: Why?

J: Just because there’s so much history, it’s one of those places where you go round every corner and there’s a different monument or something incredible right there and each one of them is so old 

E: Outside of Europe where in the world do you want to explore but not had the chance to yet? Where is top of your wish list?

J: Probably South America, I’ve always wanted to go to Goa in India as well.

E: I really want to explore more of Asia. I do think the amount of time you could spend travelling the world is kind of overwhelming though. I would love to go travelling for a long amount of time at some point in my life

J: I agree, it’s kind of intimidating how big the world is and how different everywhere is. I think once you’re at different places you kind of lose sight of the size again and how far away from home you  actually are

E: Whether you go for a year, or a week you could pay the same amount for flights which I find so annoying and makes me want to go everywhere for a long time! It is possible to travel with not too much money if you’re really conscious about how you plan everything

J: That’s how I always feel when I travel to America, because I know I’m not paying for accommodation and the living cost is basically the same as it is at home so I think, especially before I started work, I should have gone for a few months

E: Yes, but you just don’t really think about these things sometimes

J: I’d advise people to go away for as long as they can before they get a job if they can afford it.

E: What advice would you give to people who just haven’t explored Europe? There are so many people who haven't and it's such a shame when it’s just on our doorstep

J: It’s weird because I’d never even been on a City break until I was at Uni

E: They’re a new thing really, city breaks were not a thing when we were younger

J: When you’re younger as well, it’s way easier for parents to coordinate a package holiday where you can relax with a pool and a kids club and take a break from home

E: Now we always want to explore more than that!

J: My advice though is to just get out and do it! My advice about where to go to is to start out with the places where everyone goes to as there's so much to do there, like Rome and Paris.

E: It is hard in terms of expenses, because a week away in Spain could be the same price as a city break. But you gain so much more from a city break, like actual knowledge of the world

J: Yes on a break you’re all over the place seeing multiple different things on multiple days. It’s definitely less relaxing than a beach holiday that's for sure

E: When you’re on holiday, as that’s probably where you find most happiness, what else do you feel? Travelling for a lot of people can be associated with anxiety and some people just generally don’t get it. What is it particular that makes you love it so much?

J: It’s the adventure and excitement when I’m there and obviously there is some anxiety in the run up as to whether everything will go to plan, packing, holiday from work etc but that all disappears when I'm away

E: That seems to be one of the main things that attracts you to travel, the adventure!

J: Yes, it brings me a lot of happiness because if it’s January and I know I’m going away in March and am in a situation like now where I don’t particularly love my job it means I have something to be happy about every single day.

E: Yes and the job is paying you, so it must motivate you to stay as it means you can do things like travel. It almost makes everything worth it. I’m exactly the same and have to have things to look forward to. Sometimes it can backfire because I don’t give myself any rest. I’m constantly craving things to look forward to though

J: I think it’s important to plan weekends where you can just relax and take a break

E: And that doesn’t always mean a holiday, because for example this weekend. Yes it’s a break from normal life but this would definitely not be classed as a weekend to relax

J: Definitely not, I will be so tired until I can catch up with my sleep next weekend

E: Same! What do you think is the most challenging thing about travelling?

J: I think it’s just understanding where to go and planning it all. What you always seem to find is the things you look forward to doing the most, the things you’ve read loads of reviews about and seen pictures of are often underwhelming. The best experiences are often when you turn up on the off chance

E: We seem to be quite similar with this, like when we wander around if we see random places we will just go in. Often big churches which are all over the place in Europe. I really enjoy it because it makes me feel like I actually understand the city or the country better. It’s the same with walking, if you walk everywhere you stumble across so many amazing things

J: You start to understand the community. When I was in Rome there are so many incredible churches and I wanted to go in them all. I’m not religious at all but they’re just so impressive

E: Yes and we've even done that in England. If we think back to home, so you can’t be abroad. Do you enjoy exploring other parts of the UK? Or could you do more of that?

J: I always think about this. I do love it when I go to the Lake District with my family every Winter and it’s beautiful. I’ve considered going Edinburgh for the weekend, and other places I’ve not been, but I always just think it’s so expensive and I could go over to Europe for the same price. It almost seems like a waste but it really isn’t and it’s something that I do need to do eventually

E: I’m exactly the same, and feel like most other people at home are the same too. It's such a shame that there are so many things in the UK which we haven’t seen. There’s so many amazing random cities to explore as well

J: I’ve never even been to Newcastle and hadn’t been to Scotland until about 2 years ago when I went to Edinburgh in the day. I’ve never been to Ireland either

E: I’ve never been to Ireland!!

J: I’ve barely been to the South, except for London.

E: Now I’m in London that’s something I’m really keen to do. I now feel like I have access to a lot of the South, like Brighton and places which I can’t wait to visit!

J: For so cheap as well!

E: I really need to make sure I make the most of travelling to places down here. In the UK, not thinking about travelling, where is your happy place? Or where or in what situation are you happiest?

J: My happy place is definitely home and with my family but I’m trying to think deeper about where my mental happy place is.

E: When I speak about happy place, it’s not thinking about stereotypical happiness like when you’re actually smiling and laughing. It’s where are you totally calm, every worry disappears, and you’re totally content

J: I think mine could be driving, blasting my music, singing to a song, especially after work. Also after a long day at work I love just sitting in the living room with my parents and not thinking about anything

E: That would make sense as you’re in such a comfortable place, that you’re totally familiar with

J: So my happiest place is somewhere between being abroad, being at home on the sofa with a brew or being in my car, screaming to a song letting all my stresses out

E: I could have probably guessed that! To me something that’s so important about everything is feeling at home in different places. Like I brought tea bags on this holiday because deep down it just takes me back to my happy place. It reminds me of my home comforts which relaxes me

J: Yes, it’s almost like a safety blanket for your mind

E: I’m definitely more aware of my home comforts now I live in London, I never really felt like I was away from home at Uni because it was so close but now I definitely do

J: I also never felt like I was really away from home at Uni. I think it can be different in such a big place like London which is so different.

E: Definitely, I now understand what my home comforts are more than ever before. So, to sum things up, just a few last questions. Generally, how would you say having conversations like this makes you feel?

J: I think it’s extremely informative and they’re things I haven’t thought about before. Like where is my happy place, I’ve never sat down and thought that before!

E: Probably because you don’t even notice it

J: It’s great for myself and they’re important conversations to have. Just as much as when you’re down and it’s important to have conversations about that too

E: Definitely yes, it’s also being aware of when you feel content and realizing that is the place you should take yourself when you maybe do need to feel calmer or need a bit more balance in your life

J: Yes and celebrating those places and how happy they make you feel. I can go home next week and sit in the living room and recognize that that’s the place I was thinking about. I can look around and be like, I love you guys to my mum and dad

E: Yes that’s when you might actually notice how happy it makes you

J: Yes and how lucky I am. It’s strange because so many people just associate happiness with cry laughing, which is an amazing form of happiness but there’s so many more aspects to it. They may be some of the happiest moments of your life, but really they’re just small snapshots.

E: YES!

J: And it’s usually just subconscious to show other people a form of happiness because if you’re sat at home texting or whatever you would very rarely react by laughing out loud

E: Yes I totally agree! People need to learn to recognise what true happiness is. I think that’s everything I wanted to ask, unless there’s anything else you want to chat about?

J: I feel like I need to say something really meaningful.

E: Everything you’ve already said is so meaningful! Last thing I’d like to say is that I don’t think you realise how inspiring it is that you love exploring so much. Not many people embrace and love travelling as much as you.

J: It blows my mind that some people don’t want to do that.

E: You don’t realise how big a deal it is, you’re amazing. Thanks for chatting to me darling.

J: Thanks to you too.

And just like that it was nearly midnight and time for me and Jack to go to bed. This boy is amazing and has no idea how great a person he is. His love of spontaneous adventures and exploring the world brings me so much happiness. If you’re hoping to start exploring the world or maybe just Europe or the UK a bit more take Jack’s advice and just do it.

Love & Happiness,

Em x

To do lists, the organisation queen's heaven. The problem is I've noticed there's one big thing missing from every to do list I ever see. BE HAPPY. It's crazy how easy it is to just let the days disappear at work or Uni or whatever and not even take a second to think if you've done the most important thing of the day, being happy.

Fair enough we can't all wander off on holiday instead of turning up to work or going to an important exam but that doesn't mean there's anything stopping us from taking some time to be happy.

Happiness can be more than holidays, sunshine and relaxing. Happiness could be being thankful for how lucky you are and the life you live, making some adventurous plans for the following weekend, taking the time to cook yourself some lovely food. Happiness can be found everywhere. Next time you're on your morning commute and the sun hits the top of the trees perfectly and lights up the sky in the most beautiful way keep that memory and remember it as your happiness for the rest of the day.

Maybe actually try adding Be Happy to your to do list and know that if that is ticked off and a few other things haven't been done there's always tomorrow. But don't wait till tomorrow to be happy.

So I ask you all to stop losing sight of what really matters and find happiness in every single day and know that once being happy is ticked off your to do list your whole life may start to fall into place better than you could have ever imagined.

Love & Happiness,

Em x
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