Last week, I bemoaned the cluttered state of my bookshelf and was paying the price of not keeping my book purchases in check. After throwing out two boxes of books, I proudly present my decluttered book shelf!
While I was beginning to write my resolutions for the new year in January, I became aware of how much clutter I have in my room. This year, I’ve been trying to work at clearing away things, a little bit at a time and so far, but it has been going really slowly.
Yesterday, I began working on clearing my bookshelf and was amazed at how I’ve managed to amass such a large collection of books. My bookshelves are often triple-stacked, so this project is going to take me awhile. To spur myself on, I’ve completely cleared out one shelf and I just love how clean it looked!
I’ve been really inspired by becoming minimalist which has great tips about how to declutter and to lead a simpler, more fulfilling life. While I doubt I will ever become truly minimalist, I like the concept of learning to live with less possessions.
In the meanwhile, this is the reality I return to. I’ve removed two boxes of books already, but I still have 200 or so to clear I estimate. Oh well, one step at a time.
I love walking along flea markets. There’s always the feeling that you just might find an oddity, a treasure, a diamond in the rough. I usually leave empty handed, just looking at the wares is a joy in itself. However, every once in awhile, it’s great to leave with something special.
While I rarely grab clothes from flea markets, I love browsing for bags because one can often find vintage bags which have a timeless quality about them.
I scored this red vintage handbag from a flea market in Paris a couple of years ago. I love structured bags and this bag was really well made, durable and extremely versatile.
Strictly speaking, this was not a flea market find. I got it at the second hand store near my neighbourhood for $6 and this is probably one of my best finds ever. This bag was made in Rome and the quality of the leather is impeccable. This bag is perfect for city vacations and stores all my necessities for a day trip.
Do you guys like flea markets? Have you picked up any great second hand items that you would love to share about?
I previously mentioned how I had found a lovely pair of nude heels. I wore them to graduation and they were really comfortable and looked very chic.
Here they are!
I love that the heels were only 4.0cm. I prefer shorter heels as they look more professional and are so much better for your feet! I added heel guards for a better grip and more comfort. I’m sure this pair is going to be a wardrobe staple.
Now to find the perfect pair of black heels…
Travelling is undoubtedly a great deal of fun. Sometimes, by choice or by chance, some of us will wind up travelling on our own. This is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and be more independent. Personally, I have travelled alone to Moscow and Nice and they were both good experiences for me. However, it definitely helps to keep these ten tips in mind.
- Choose to stay in a backpacker’s hostel
Part of the fun of travelling alone is meeting people from everywhere. Backpacker’s hostels are usually perfect places, because you will meet people who like yourself, are travelling alone and have great stories and travel tips to share.
- Do your research
Travelling on your own, it’s always handy to learn about the destination before hand. Bring a good travel guide. In Moscow, I depended on my Lonely Planet for travel tips, information on key sights and directions.
- Stay in safe places
For me, dangerous countries are a definite no-go, but even safe countries sometimes have bad neighbourhoods. I would advise keeping away from such areas. Besides, there’s usually not much for the average tourist there anyway.
- Be open to new experiences
A different country has loads to offer. All sorts of food, sights and sounds. Try something that you usually wouldn’t do. For me, that was doing a seven-hour hike! Pretty gruelling, but fun nevertheless! And the view was worth every step.
- Learn to deal with unnecessary attention
A friend and I were sharing how travelling on your own sometimes attract unwanted, male attention. Be polite, but firm. Pull out the “I have a boyfriend/ husband” card (real or imaginary) and that usually does the trick.
- Plan your finances well
I sometimes read about people running out of money in the middle of trips. I honestly do not know how anyone would go on a trip without ensuring they had sufficient funds, but this is even more important when you are on your own without a travel companion to lend you some cash to tide you through.
- Bring entertainment material
One of the down sides of travelling alone is the lack of a travel companion to chat with. Bring novels and put some music on your iPod to keep you company on those long train, bus or plane trips.
- Pack light
As much as we’d love to have our entire wardrobe and make-up collection at our beck and call, the best thing you can do for yourself is to bring only what is essential. It’s no fun lugging huge luggage up a flight of stairs at the train station. Consider paring down your make-up routine while on vacation. Bring shoes that are comfortable enough to walk in, yet presentable enough for an evening out.
- Combat loneliness
Perhaps the worst part of travelling alone is that loneliness can sometimes sink in. Combat this by packing your schedule with lots of fun activities so you don’t spend too much time feeling lonely. I find that buying thoughtful souvenirs for loved ones also helps fight loneliness.
- Trust yourself
Travelling alone can be a scary experience. But have faith in yourself and have fun! Trust your gut instincts. Studies have shown that women have stronger intuition than men do. That’s a powerful advantage for any traveller!
“When You Say Nothing At All” is one of my favourite songs. I love Alison Krauss’ version as the clarity of her voice really emphasises the poignancy of the lyrics.
I love the suggestion how sometimes, silence is golden. Words may help us convey a lot, yet sometimes, no words are neccessary.
I finish off with one of my favourite quotes in literature,
I cannot make speeches Emma:’ he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing. – ‘If I loved you less I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.
Emma, Jane Austen