After promising to post more frequently, I then neglected my blog for a few weeks – possibly the longest I’ve ever gone without posting! Life has been very turbulent in the past few months since I moved to Bristol, with lots going on in both my work and personal life. It feels like things are starting to settle down now, but life is unpredictable and who knows what the future holds!
I’m so excited now that summer is here and I can spend more time outdoors again. I’m planning picnics, camping trips, volunteering at festivals, beach days, wild swimming, hiking…getting out into nature is so beautiful and healing for me.
That got off to a good start the weekend before last with a camping trip to the beautiful Gower Peninsula in South Wales, organised by the Bristol Vegetarians and Vegans Meetup group.
The trip was definitely food for my soul. At one point, two of us got up to pee in the night and were greeted with a sky full of stars, relatively untainted by light pollution. That’s just not something I ever see in the city, and having grown up in the Welsh countryside, I do miss it.
Most people had brought cars, but the group still chose to hike down to the coast. The beach we wanted to go to was about the hour and a half’s walk away. It was a gorgeous route through fields and along country lanes. Once we made it to the coast, we walked along the coast path for while, passing a couple of beaches (including a remote one with no obvious way to access it) before arriving at the one we were aiming for.
After a couple of hours of chilling on the beach (and by chilling I mean burning – why do I always forget sun cream?!), we headed back by a different route. There was a little shop by one of the beaches which sold vegan ice creams, so we treated ourselves to some of those.
I recently got into a new relationship, something I’m not quite ready to talk about yet (though I hope to soon!). We both went on the trip, and had been spending virtually every minute together the whole weekend.
Lovely as this was, it really brought home to me the importance of taking time for myself. Though I no longer really identify as an introvert, I think everyone needs personal time. On one evening of the trip, when everyone else went to play board games, I decided to stay alone in the tent instead (I kind of hate board games anyway, so it was no real sacrifice!). I had all sorts of ideas about what I was going to do – meditate, do some stretching, work on a blog post, catch up on freelance work, and so on. But when it came down to it, I found that all I wanted to do was think.
So much has happened lately and I’ve gone through so many emotions, but because I’d been occupying every moment, I hadn’t had time to process anything. I lay there for over an hour just thinking about life.
That time was very valuable, but I regretted not having had time to meditate or get anything else done. That made me realise that I really need to commit to having me-time every day — and be very firm about it with anyone else who wants my attention! Otherwise, I feel like I’m compromising on my goals and the things that are important to me.
I’ve decided to set aside roughly an hour a day for yoga, meditation, blogging, catching up on my favourite YouTube channels, and doing any chores or tasks which I haven’t been able to find time for. Getting these things done will make it much easier to enjoy my downtime without having that nagging voice in the back of my head!
So far, it’s working well and I feel like it’s really helping. I’ve also found getting up early to be very beneficial because there are so many more hours in the day. Being self-employed, this is something I have to be very disciplined about!
Back to the camping trip – on the second day we met up with my parents, who live about an hour west of where we were staying. They came down for the day and we did a walk over some spectacular sand dunes and up to a castle.
I loved the trip but I’m not so keen on staying at campsites – though it’s nice to have showers and toilets, I don’t feel as connected to nature (and some people can be very noisy!). So next time, I’d like to go wild camping instead. I can’t wait to see some more stars and wake up to the sound of the birds again.