University. Travel. Wellbeing. Beauty. Life.

18 things to do before I turn 18

I turn 18 on the 28th of April 2018 (3 months time!) and here are 18 things I want to do before then.

- Have a social media detox
- Do some sort of fun run
- Get over it
- Save money for summer
- Learn how to do laundry properly. I always forget how to use the washing machine.
- Re connect with people from my past
- Go to a theme park
- Read a fricking book
- Go to Lucky Fox in Sheffield, I've been dying to try that place for ages
- Get fit
- Do a few more "blogger" shoots with my friends
- Have my nails done professionally (never had them done before!!)
- Cook a really good meal for my family
- Achieve 1,000 subscribers on YouTube
- Achieve 100,000 blog views on my blog
- Find my style more
- Watch at least 2 of the Netflix series on my list
- Be happy

I hope you enjoyed my list. What would you add?

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx


Travel Anxiety: My experience

I get anxious a lot. 

Whether it is related to travelling, or something completely different, I experience that feeling of my stomach clenching, an overwhelming feeling of nausea and constantly being on edge a lot. If you suffer with any kind of anxiety, you'll understand, that sometimes you feel like this for no reason at all. That's what anxiety is. 

A lot of people often say, what's the difference between being nervous and experiencing anxiety? 

It's quite simple, one is rational, and one is completely irrational. 

This means that typically, you can exactly justify why you are feeling nervous. You may have a test coming up, or you may have to speak in front of a large crowd. That's being nervous. What can make that anxiety is if you over think it so much you end up creating impossible scenarios in your head. 

Anxiety is irrational. Anxiety is the feeling you get and you can't think of a reason why. You just feel anxious. Worried. Scared. You may be out there living your best life and all of a sudden it hits you. That feeling of dread, that feeling of panic. You can almost feel it sweep you from beneath your feet. Like an unwelcome gail, knocking you several steps backwards, or in my case, forwards. 

When I feel anxious, I feel like I have to move very fast. The panic sets me in what I call "go go go" mode. Everything is happening so fast and if I don't live up to that I will fall behind. It drives me insane. The constant stream of irrational consciousness circles around in my head and I feel as if I can't break out of the everlasting feeling that is anxiety. 

I really wanted to do a video on the topic of travel anxiety but I feel as if I will articulate myself better in a blog post, so here we are.

I want to talk openly and honestly about travel related anxiety, but not in a pushy or patronizing way.

More often than not I will read a blog or instagram post about mental health that just doesn't resonate well with me. It's either because it feels too "perfect" if that makes any sense. They tend to offer this seemingly great advice, which never works. They tend to glamourise it slightly, and make it seem like it's such a good thing to have, and then eventually overcome. No. I'd rather not have it at all, thanks.

I could go on and on about my general day to day anxiety. But in this post, as I have mentioned, I just want to focus on travel anxiety, because that is something I have really been trying to overcome these past few months.

I want to start off by saying, I love travelling. I love exploring. I love experiencing new places and new cultures, and rare for someone with anxiety, the change excites me
I have a constant wanderlust, I am always seeking out what I can do next and where I can go soon. Except one thing used to get in my way, this. This feeling.

It still gets in my way, it's not something I have eradicated from my life completely. I don't think it's something I'll ever be able to shake, but it is something I am learning to manage.

I am a BIG believer in "practice makes perfect" and that kind of mantra. People may say "You can't have travel anxiety, you go places all of the time!" that's because I refuse to let things stop me. It'd be far too easy to just give in, let it win, and not experience everything you want to. I'm not like that.

One person I have to thank for that is my mum. Growing up, we went on holiday, I would say, either every year or every two years depending on the money situation. We would go somewhere different every time, and I have this to credit for my resilience when it comes to my travel anxiety.

I think if I hadn't experienced this as a child/teen, I would have never had the nerve to step outside my comfort zone. If we had gone to the same place every holiday and gotten so familiar with the same airports, the same flight length, the same destination, the same people, the same culture, the same food, the same atmosphere, the same length of stay etc, I would have gotten so used to just that. Having the opportunities to go to new, fresh places was so so so valuable, I feel like it really made me a well rounded individual. I am not saying if you go to the same place often that you aren't a well rounded individual, but in my case with the issues I have, it was certainly so beneficial to me.

Another thing that helped is that my mum rarely says no to me when it comes to going places on my own. That's my issue, travelling alone, and when I say alone, I mean literally on my own. If I throw an idea to go out somewhere on my own, like when I went to London, I don't even really have to ask her really, I have always just been encouraged to get out there. I think my mum does this because she knows how I struggle, but she shares my mantra of "practice makes perfect". She doesn't wrap me in a cotton wool, she likes to shove me into the real wool. Which in hindsight, I'm so thankful for. You are never going to get over the fear of doing something if you never do it. That's a fact.

I'd say my travel anxiety stemmed from a car accident I had when I was 10. It's weird that I have not actually spoken about this before on my channels, because it has been a big part of my life. Not only did it affect me mentally, and onset a lot of my anxiety surrounding transportation, it left me with numerous scars on my face. The crash was really bad and I think that association affected how I feel about going places, especially alone. This crash happened when I was with people I didn't know that well, I wasn't with my mum or any of my family, so looking back, I think it made me anxious about going places without my mum/immediate family because of what had happened without them. It's just that association, it's all in my subconscious. I don't get on a bus or a tram or a plane or in a car thinking it's going to crash. (I do, but I mean it's not just that, I just think something bad is going to happen, whatever that be)

My first time ever going somewhere alone on a train (I've gotten a bus a million times on my own before, I'm talking long distance, new places etc) was when I went to Newcastle for a blogger's event. I was petrified. I documented my feelings on a vlog I did, you can check it out here. I've always been independent, my mum brought me up like that. I have always done everything for myself and that's another reason why I knew I was able to do things like this.

In November, I went to London alone. I had only ever visited London once before, the year prior. the first time I went with my friend and her mum, and we did all the typically touristy things, because I was new to that. I didn't like it all that much to be fair. It was so busy. So claustrophobic and so chaotic that first time. I wrote of London as a place I'd like to visit again. It just seemed like it wasn't for me.

Then, my friend Andrea, who resides in Phoenix, Arizona, announced she was coming to the UK, London specifically for an event, and I just knew I had to snap up the opportunity to meet up with her. So I did. I booked the trains and the hotel by myself and when the day came, I headed out feeling the most apprehensive I have ever felt. And honestly, I had never felt so anxious than I did on that journey.

I got on the bus to the train station, and that was fine. The turmoil started when I got off the bus and began the walk to the train station. This immense feeling of panic took over. I wasn't going to miss the train, I had plenty of time, yet I felt the need to sprint as fast as I could, through the bus station, across the road, through the train station and straight to my platform. On that walk, I was having to stop myself from throwing up. I was gagging (sorry for the TMI) and having a full on panic attack looking back. It was awful. When I got on the train, I felt so anxious I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t look or go on my phone or read my book or anything. I just sat there for 2 hours, trying to recover and get in the right frame of mind. When I got off the train, I was trying my hardest to not let that happen all over again. I had to get a tube to my hotel and that was an ordeal, but when I eventually made it to the station nearest to my hotel, I was so relived and so so so proud. I just stood and looked outside and around me (I was at Blackfriars station) and took this photograph, which means so much to me. The sky was so blue and so clear and London was so quiet. I felt so calm after the most hectic morning.

One thing I've never done alone (yet) is take a flight. I've taken flights without my parents, whether that be with family friends or school, but never actually alone. This year I want to, wait, scrap that, this year I am going to. I am going to fly alone. I am. I am a massive believer in if you say something will happen it will, mindfulness and positive thinking, and that makes me so excited. I am going to fly somewhere I really want to visit, long haul, and alone, no matter what might try to get in the way. I actually don't mind the actual flying - I love it. I love the fact you're up the sky, away from earth, I think it's really peaceful and relaxing. It's just the in-between bits I don't like, the airport, it's chaos, the never ending thoughts of "what about if I miss the flight?" even though I'll arrive to the gate two hours early.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I hope it has come across as cohesive! I was unsure exactly what to say, so I thought I'd just literally share my thoughts and what was on my mind.

I know I said I was planning on doing a video in relation to this, and I might still do. Maybe a Q & A all about travel anxiety and how I overcome it? I know I haven't spoken about what exactly I do in attempt to manage it, but I could speak about it more that video if you have some Q's. Leave them in the comments or tweet me, @tamzinlena and I'd be happy to answer them in a later Q and A.

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx


Why #SmallYoutubers are important | YouTube Partner Program demonetisation

It's a hot topic at the moment.

Yesterday morning, it was announced that YouTube was to demonetize all "small channels" which have less than 1,000 subscribers and/or less than 4,000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months.

This is being linked to part of the response to Logan Paul's latest antics.

The only thing I can compare it to is you remember when you were at school, and their was that one naughty child who would always play up, and get the rest of the kids in trouble? The whole class would get detention even though it was only one person's fault. This. This is how it feels. Except YouTube is the teacher and Logan is the naughty kid.

It's. Not. Fair.

And before you say it, because believe me I have heard this accusation about 1,000 already, it is NOT about the money.

Most small YouTubers make nothing. Zilch. Zero dollar from YouTube. It's a labor of love, passion and commitment. Some people do, and this would have affected them in this way, but the majority of people with less than 1,000 subscribers don't. Purely because YouTube run ads on their videos and "give" them very little for it. Little is in quotations because quite frankly, no small YouTuber ever sees that money increasing.

It's about the premise. I think I have said / typed the word premise 59 million times over the past few days. It's the fact that YouTube don't value smaller creators as a part of their business / bigger picture. From a business perspective, it's this generation of influencers that are going to potentially take over when larger creators fizzle out or people loose interest.

Finding new, smaller channels is a great passion of mine. I was never a fan of the "sub for sub" culture, but what happened yesterday didn't feel like that at all. It simply felt like networking, connecting, like you would do in any other role. It felt like making friends in the business. It felt nice to feel supported by YouTubers of all genres. I spoke to people from all different kinds of channels. I spoke to people from gaming channels, from art channels, from channels that are a world a way from mine. It was so good to connect with new people and find new channels in the aftermath of the another adocalypse.

I saw tweets from larger creators that said something along the lines of, "Why are small YouTubers kicking up a storm? I didn't get paid until 2 years after I started YouTube!! You should do it because you love it, not because of the money!!"

Honestly, I took one look at the tweets and couldn't help but think how self entitled they sound.

How condescending to put yourself on that kind of pedestal?

For the last time, it's not about the money.

Not only are YouTube apparently taking away some of our creative features such as end screens and cards, they will not push our videos into searches and suggested vids.

When a video has ads on it, YouTube makes money. So they're not going to push videos that have no ads on, because they won't make anything. This means that us smaller channels are going to be harder to discover. It's not about the numbers. It's that we are putting so much work into something that might not even get seen by that many people.

I like sharing what I do. I like growing my community and talking to new people and experiencing new things. It's not about gaining subs - it's about meeting and chatting with like minded viewers and friends.

This whole thing just feels like one big slap in the face.

YouTube wouldn't be where it was if small creators didn't do what they did back then. They created the passion, the drive, the love for the site. They may be the bigger creators now but they started out just like us. Well, most of them anyway.

Let this change be the freedom you need, not a setback.

Remember moving forward, you can help support channels by subscribing, liking, commenting, sharing, engaging. I want to do more of that too. Spread the love!

You can check out my channel here if you haven't already, I'd really appreciate it! See you over there!

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx


So, you're starting a blog, what you do and don't need! Talking cameras, domains and lighting

I often see posts for new bloggers advertising cameras of all sorts and I think, that is not completely necessary.

I didn't get my first camera until April of 2016, after shooting on my phone since the August before when I first started blogging, and if I'm being honest, not all my photos are taken with it anyway.

My camera is a decent camera, however, I find my phone did a pretty good job before, and after. I still use it now to take pictures because I like the ease of just sending them to myself and opening blogger and them being there. It's not much more of an inconvenience to use my camera, however I just find my phone is just as good.

Admittedly, my phone is one of the newest iPhones (the 8 plus) so it does have a really good camera. My camera has a megapixel of 18 where as my phone is 12, so not too much less. I own the camera predominantly for filming, and I recently got a camera for vlogging too, which I think I might use for blogging more.

I guess what I am trying to say in this post is, you don't need a fancy blogging camera, with the right lighting, composition and products, you will be good to go.

One thing I do recommend getting however, is a set of studio lights. I can't tell you how much of a difference these make. Just look at this.

Which can then create a picture like this..

Even if your camera is not of amazing quality, studio lights can make all the difference. I got mine from Amazon for about £50, and I recommend spending that initially before putting that towards a camera.

The way I think of it is that without a camera, you can get buy using your phone, but without studio lights, if you don't have decent lighting, then you're kinda fluffed. Having decent lighting makes your photos look a lot more professional!

As you can also see, I literally used a storage box which had a marble back as my flat lay background. #bloggerhacks. That's another thing, you can literally improvise and make some amazing back drops. Pretty bedding is a classic. I want to get some back drops soon as I want to experiment more with recipe posts, so I'm hoping to find ones that suit my needs.

The photos above were taken on my phone, and I am more than happy with them. As mentioned, I still use my camera, but I like to use my phone as most of my insta pics are taken that way and I think I like that approach to social media, and life in general. As you'll know well, I ain't your picture perfect blogger, so I do enjoy taking a more relaxed stance and not feeling pressured to make sure my pictures are ah-mazing all the time. I like posting random photos on here, whether their in portrait or landscape I don't care, I just like sharing snippets of my unstructured life. I think it's more real, and like a photo diary for me. Anyway, that's a serious tangent.

Blog post will be coming on the Tarte stuff by the way!

One thing I would whole heatedly recommend buying is your own domain. They aren't that expensive, something like £10 a YEAR! So affordable and it makes all the difference. Working in marketing, if I am looking at blogs and bloggers, it looks so much more pro if someone has their own domain, as well as the fact you can find out the domain's authority and the page authority. If you have .blogspot or .wordpress in your link, it takes the DA of those sites (Blogger and Wordpress) not your own. If you post a lot and really want to go at it, I'd say do this 100%.

If you want a part two of this post where I talk about more things you do and don't need as a blogger, such as other equipment, products and gear, do let me know. I'd love to speak about me finally getting a Macbook and other things I have invested in over time, but this post is getting hefty so I'll leave it here.

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx
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