Tales

Embracing change

Hugging trees
Embracing change

Change. Transform. Refresh. Re-focus. 

I’ve said goodbye to my web content writing offering.  It’s time to move on, change, and re-focus.

To embrace the unfolding adventures of the next stage of my life, to enjoy being a Granny, to have more adventures in Dolly the Caddy Camper, to move more and sit less.

My 5 top freelance achievements:

  1. Working on some amazing projects with www.bluesail.com.  And being part of a team that helped tourism officers in London to focus on their tourism offerings, that wrote useful ‘How To’ guides for tourism & marketing officers, and that created, launched, wrote, and edited the North East Tourism Toolkit website for North East tourism businesses.
  2. Connecting and working with wonderful colleagues and clients. Amanda Shepherd and her team at Blue Sail, all of my ex-colleagues at VisitBrighton, the team at nVisage, Adam and Laurie at Press Choice, Govind at Freedom Holidays, Dan at Davanco Leisure, and many more.
  3. Working alongside wonderful content writers – Christina at Brittle Star, Lauren Smith at The Original Wordsmith, Jamie Scott at Just Add Words, and freelance writer Dan Tester.
  4. Being advised by Dawn at Migrate Media and Adam at Giganaut who have guided and developed my online presence from day one with a website that has consistently  ranked Page 1 for search term web content writer
  5. Being flexible with where I worked.  In 14 years I moved from Sussex to Staffordshire and back down to Sussex.  My desk space has varied from.. being in a cupboard, overlooking a snowy courtyard, round the corner from an 11th century ruined castle, close to a warming open-fire, in libraries,  in a little village in Oxfordshire, and in a basement in Hove.

My 3 freelance side-lines:

  1. I trained to become a NIA Blue Belt Teacher and taught 2 NIA classes a week.  Oh what wonderful people I met and danced with.
  2. I combined freelance with part-time work.  Working at a beautiful dance space, Deda, in Derby. Working at Structural Engineers Hemsley Orrell Partnership in Hove,  And working at the NHS in Lancing and Sussex.
  3. I project managed the launch of an online family tree, and helping my now deceased cousin, James Gibbs, to sell and find homes for his beautiful fish paintings.

My top 2 freelance lessons:

  1. Learning to develop a ‘never give up’ attitude.  I kept going with projects at the most difficult of times.  To make ends meet and alongside my web content writing,  I’ve done cold-calling, database research, deadline-driven transcription work, and on-street surveys.  And I’ve learnt how to do my own online tax returns.
  2. Learning that freelance working is both free-ing and tie-ing.  Free-ing in that I can work when and where I want, tie-ing in that if I don’t do the work I don’t get paid. My time and energy has ultimately been tied to projects.

Change:

  • encourages us to go out of our comfort zones
  • teaches us to be flexible
  • reveals our strengths
  • encourages us to be more compassionate
  • breaks up routines
  • offers opportunities
  • encourages us to re-invent ourselves and reminds us of our passions

My new beginnings:

I’m letting go of the web content writing, and I’m inviting in time for:

  • being a Granny
  • adventuring in Dolly the Caddy Camper
  • being creative
  • finding new ways of ‘moving’
  • spending time with family
  • hugging more trees
  • helping our precious green spaces

Thank you to everyone who has been part of my freelance journey since 2006, what an amazing journey it’s been.

Change made it happen.

Sarah x

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Tales, travels

Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller

Don't be a tourist, be a traveller
Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller

I saw this ‘Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller’ sign in a shop window on my recent visit to Thessaloniki, Greece.

And it got me thinking.  Is there really a difference between tourists and travellers?  I suppose we’ve all been tourists at times and we’ve all been travellers.  And some of us seek out travelling and some of us seek out sticking to the tourist hotspots (which we do as travellers too). Most of us  share the desire to visit and explore amazing locations, and however we do this is our choice, there is no right or wrong.

For me, to be a traveller is:

  • To arrive at a new destination and just……breathe
  • To know a little about the history and culture of where I’m visiting
  • To ask myself ‘how does this place make me feel?’
  • To take time to watch the locals as they go about their daily lives – what are they wearing, how do they move, how do they look?
  • To pick and choose where I want to go and which tourist spots ‘say’ something to me
  • To wander down a side street or two and see what’s round the corner
  • To take time to watch the locals as they go about their daily lives
  • To seek out the shops that have been there for years
  • To try some local dishes
  • To hop on a local bus.
  • To sit in a park and watch the world go by
  • To leave with memories of, and feelings for, a place

An authentic traveller

Having said in my previous post that I’m taking a sabbatical from my web content writing work, I now find that I’ve been asked to write travel articles for a long-term client.

He used the word ‘authentic’ travel articles.  And it made me smile.   I said in my last post that I’m on a journey to find my authentic writing voice.  And now I find that I might be able to combine both – authentic writing with authentic experiences.

And perhaps that’s what being a traveller is all about.  That it’s an authentic experience more than an organised experience.

What does being a traveller mean to you?

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