Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Firstly, I want to start by setting the scene for you. I’m currently 3 hours in on a 13 hour Malaysian Airway flight across the other side of the world to Kuala Lumpur, before catching a connecting flight to Phuket, Thailand to commence my year out travelling the world (some call it a sabbatical, others a career break - however I feel I cannot justify this at all having only been in full-time work 2 years).
I’m sat in the window seat (28A) of a A350-900 on a relatively empty flight I paid only £350 for, on an airline I found out yesterday, was that of the plane that ‘disappeared’, That combined with my Dad raising concerns over checkin times & my flight was so cheap, left me feeling little anxious to say the least (nothing to do with the fact I’m travelling solo for a year of course)
I’ve taken & edited my window seat photo ready for upload to the gram on landing (sad ikr), attempted to connect my laptop to the onboard Wifi and failed miserably, had the first inflight meal, been to pee twice and napped for 15 minutes. All I can think about is how much I must be annoying those without headphones or ear plugs while I tap away with my new plastic claws on the keyboard.
Secondly, welcome and thank you. Whether you’re traffic driven from my social media pages, aimless search engine browsing , a friend I’ve sent the link to numerous times or by complete accident, I hope my blog appeal to a wide audience, especially the young, ambitious, open-minded individuals looking for motivation to get up, do what they believe in and spread positivity along the way.
Thirdly, despite English being my first (and only language I may add), English has never a strong point of mine. Bare with me and my atrocious grammar and poor choice of vocabulary.
Let me introduce myself.
I am Zoë, 24, Physiotherapist, from Jersey, Channel Islands.
Growing up in Norfolk, England, I was (and still am) very much an introvert. I kept myself to myself and only really ‘let my hair down’ around my (very small, fine-tuned and slightly dysfunctional) squad, I like to call my best pals.
I read a fab quote the other day that I felt couldn’t describe me better, it wrote:
“Strangers think I'm quiet, Friends think I’m fun, Best friends think I’m off my f*cking rocker”
I’d class myself as a relatively social person, with the term ‘social butterfly’ being thrown around from time to time. However, those closest to me say I can be quite a challenge to break. I (apparently) come across as very confident, direct and honest person, happy to challenge anything that goes against what I believe in. It’s only when you get to know me, the walls come down and reveal a more softer side.
Let's rewind two and a half years ago. I’d just graduated from the University of Hertfordshire, aimlessly lost in the world of unwillingly wanting to start full-time work, desperate to go travelling and zero funds. It was around here that I set-up my Instagram (@zoefit_uk). Initially, I hid the account from anyone I knew, due to shear embarrassment of people thinking I was some ‘cliche’ blonde caucasian girl trying to ‘make it’ into the world of an influencer. This was not my intentions at all. Zoë FIT was initially a fitness only account where I’d post photos in sports bras, daily workouts and general fitness advice. It took me around 10 months to get 10k followers. It was the year following that where my account grew the most, I’d learnt my way around the algorithm, my engagement was at it highest and i was averaging 100k reach per photo.
Now - my account looks very different. I changed too much more of a ‘lifestyle’ page towards the end of 2018. Why? I found my page boring, I’d lost interest in the content I was making and honestly, I didn’t have the time or drive any longer, I’d fallen out of love with my ‘hobby’ and instead it became chore.
I can hear you asking why is this relevant? It’s very easy to get very caught up in life & loose your direction. I have a love hate relationship with Instagram. Having now had 2 months off the platform its taught me two things:
Instagram is an ideal, it a billboard of peoples lives advertising only the good stuff (the odd exception). Its very easy to get caught up in the Instagram fantasy world that everyone knows exists, yet still lets it impact on how they feel about their life.
Life’s not about numbers. As sad as it sounds, my life became ran by numbers. I’d put hours into creating content and take it personally if it didn’t get the right amount of like/engagement etc etc etc (a point for another time)Learn to love yourself, if you don’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?
Finally, my most important point. Love what you do, or don’t do it. One of my closest pals sad to me, I live to work, I don’t work to live. I’ll leave this one for you to ponder over….
The psychological impact of channels such as Instagram is something I feel very strongly about and is definitely a topic for another post as right now I’m just ranting and going off on a complete tangent.
I’ve be approached by multiple people/companies asking why I didn’t want/have a blog alongside my Instagram. Want my honest opinion? Starting a blog, never use to be something that appealed to me, instead I saw it as another ‘chore’ that I wouldn’t be able to commit myself too.
Oh, that’s another thing you should know about me, I don’t do anything by half and don’t like not being good at something.
Packing up and heading off travelling has always been a dream of mine. Friends would go for months at a time, a couple took a gap year before Uni, others left and never returned. I joke when I say that I’m heading to Thailand to do Yoga in heeram pants on a beach at sunset to find myself. Had you of told me at the beginning of this year that I’d be travelling solo, I’d have said not a chance.
2019 has been such a whirlwind for me, I started in a relationship and one group of friends, I’m finishing single (unless I find my Australia surfer hunk within the next 8 weeks), with a group of friends bigger than ever and surrounded by the most amazing and inspiring people. I had a couple of rough patches this year (as we all do), which I have learnt and grown more as a person, than I have done in my whole life. Without all of these little life lessons, there is no way id be: 1) on a plane to Thailand 2) in the head space that I am without them.
I want to start a blog as its somewhere to collect my thoughts and share with people going through similar experiences. I don’t want a diary, I’m not one for writing down emotions and I also most certainly don't want to rant, this way, it allows me to feel like I’m talking to someone, helping to teach PLUS I get to document all the super cool places I'm about visit and the people I'm going to meet.
Name a better time to start a blog than when you’re about to travel the world? This allows me to have a record of where I’ve been in more depth than just an instagram post. Plus, this is such a huge challenge for me - one of my biggest concerns over the next year was having my brain disintegrate into nothing from not working clinically and the daily problem-solving that comes alongside my work. This gives me something to focus on.
I have time. As I was saying earlier, one of my biggest barriers to my social media platforms reaching their potential is the time I have available. Working full-time, gymming, socialising and running and instagram account cannot all be equally balanced and all succeed. Over the last year Ive focused more on my job and my social life. Why not?…
If it isn’t clear by now that the blog will follow my travel adventures then I’ve failed as a blogger already. I don’t want to be your standard lifestyle and fitness blogger. In 3-6 months time, I want to have pulled on my past experiences, life lessons, training and clinical work to produce a blog that’s relatable.
If you like something, great. If you don’t, let me know! All feedback, the good the bad and the ugly, is greatly appreciated. Please feel free to leave any comments or blog requests and I’ll get back to you when I can. Anything you wanna chat about? Drop me an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org
Choi for now,