Going back to basics: doing what makes you happy

The last six months has felt rushed and stressful. It’s gone by in a flash and I don’t know exactly what I have to show for it.

The pace of life in London doesn’t feel good anymore. What I once enjoyed in my early 20s, I’m now desperately trying to escape. Apart from friends, I struggle to find reasons to keep me here. Our Air BnB hosts in Iceland summed it up quite well when they said that London felt like dead land. The ground is poor in nutrient and minerals, not much grows here except for towering offices and pop up burger restaurants. For me, its lost its charm.

With less than three weeks till we fly to Auckland, I’m daydreaming about the luxury of having more time and a slower pace of life. The idea of being able to spend my weekends indulging in any hobby or adventure I so desire feels like a lottery win. For my own personal health and wellbeing, New Zealand feels like the one.

Exploring Norway

I want to be able to look back on this in a years’ time and laugh at my chaotic London self, whilst I’m clambering up a mountain and photographing nature and camping on beaches. I know it all sounds a bit Moonrise Kingdom, and I know I will be working full time in Auckland and life will still involve the 9-5, but its good to aim high and think about what I want to get out of the next year. And what better way to do this than a list! The answer to all life’s problems!

So this is it. Five things I want to do more off this year.

1. Photography.

I have amassed five cameras in recent years – a mixture of analogue and digital – that do little more than sit on shelves gathering dust next to a pile of film. This kills me. When I’m an old lady I want to have a big box of photos that the grandkids ask to see whenever they visit. When my memory fails me I want to look at a photo and be taken back to that moment in time. I want to capture all the beautiful things in life – friends, family, places, spaces. Mostly, I want to capture the beauty of the planet before we do too much irrecoverable damage. As of next month, you can (almost certainly) expect my blog to be filled with colour washes, light leaks, vignettes and blurs.


2. Writing.

I’m really digging the whole blogging thing. Some people see it as a bit self indulgent but I think its positively good for your own state of mind to have an outlet, whether its running around a park or tapping into a keyboard. What started off as  advice from a tutor (you have to have a blog if you work in digital marketing) has turned into a gratifying hobby. Again, one that I struggle to find the time to do. This year, that will all change. Expect more ramblings as my New Zealand life unfolds.

3. Star gazing.

I live next door to London’s only planetarium in the haven that is Greenwich. I’m also a planetarium member and get to see as many free mind-blowing shows as I want. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to spend as much time as we would hope here. Our saviour is living in Greenwich, where the sky seems to be much clearer and less light polluted than other parts of London. On most winter nights home you can spot Mars, Saturn and Betelgeuse. We’ve also seen some meteor showers during nights lying on Blackheath staring up into space. So you can imagine how happy I was when I heard that Auckland had its own Stardome Observatory. Our new Nikon will also mean we can have a go at capturing space in all its infinity. Expect more star snaps!


4. Exploring.

London is a cool as hell city, but its also a bit of a bubble. As a consumer you have everything you need here, so you tend to stay enclosed in its bricks and concrete. Exploring is something we all should do to improve our mental and physical health. It’s good for the soul. It opens up your eyes to new places and ideas. Most importantly, it helps you re-connect with nature. I doubt we’ll even leave New Zealand in our first year. There are endless weekenders to be spent on the North Island and holidays in the South Island – I’m already eyeing up cool places on Air BnB! I want to see the Franz Josef glacier, hike up Mount Cook, throw myself out of a plane in Queensland and spend the rest of my time in the Pacific Ocean, exploring life in inner space. Expect lots of travel photos, reviews and tips!


5. Learning.

The biggest challenge of my trip will be finding a job that I love so much that it doesn’t feel like a job. I want to spend Mon-Fri engrossed in a role that I care about deeply. Something that addresses issues our planet currently faces – the onset of climate change, ocean acidification and inequality in a growing population. I’m getting a head start by researching organisations and reading books about the economy and sustainability. I want to learn everything I can about this, I want to be able to quote facts about global warming, and talk confidently about environmental issues. Knowledge is power and I expect to be Queen of Planet Problems within the coming years. An activist fighting the corner of Mother Earth.


“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

5 thoughts on “Going back to basics: doing what makes you happy

  1. Rach says:

    Best wishes for your move to Aotearoa! A colleague of mine recently moved here from New York and he said he feels a lot healthier and less stressed after the move, so I hope you have a similar experience 🙂


  2. abovenewzealand says:

    I had the exact problem as you trapped in the same routine in the UK, and the exact same escape plan NZ. Been here just over two weeks, bought a camper and exploring. There is endless things to see, landscape changes with the turn of the road. You’ll love the nature side of it. I’m not a city person and expected to hate auckland, but I even liked there, because there isn’t the pressure on space everything is a bit more spread out and people are generally more chilled.
    Enjoy your adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

      • abovenewzealand says:

        Its great, only problem we’ve encountered is sunburn (own fault) and mosquitoes (unavoidable). Seems to be great hidden spots everywhere and you are always missing something!
        If you want to ask anything about places i’ve visited go ahead, but if you are anything like me you will prefer to go have your own experience.


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