Makeup Revolution Skin Kiss Highlighter in Ice Kiss

As I’ve mentioned on my blog time and time again I’m an absolute makeup hoarder and I often solely buy products because I want them to be part of my collection and not necessarily because I need them. Not very smart I know. I feel like especially in the past two years I’ve become so obsessed with high end makeup and rarely ever buy makeup from the drugstore anymore, which is such a shame because it seems that I’m missing out on some amazing products.

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Recently a prominent drugstore chain opened up a new store close to where I live, so naturally I had to go and at least check it out. While I was browsing through their makeup aisle I stopped at the Makeup Revolution counter to look at their products, because I absolutely loved Makeup Revolution when I first started university. They had a sale on one of their highlighters so I couldn’t resist and before I knew it I had added one more highlighter to my ever-growing collection.

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The highlighter I bought is the Makeup Revolution Skin Kiss highlighter in Ice Kiss, which is the lightest shade they offer within this line. I’m very fair so when I find a highlighter suitable for pale skin my brain automatically tells me I need it. Ice Kiss is a very light icy yellow gold, so it definitely is a nice highlighter for pale skin tones. What I like about it is that its very shimmery without being glittery and chunky. In fact, it has a nice and smooth texture, that feels nice on the skin as well. I dislike highlighters that just sit on the skin but fortunately this one blends into the skin nicely.

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While the actual content of the product is what counts the most of course I still consider packaging to be pretty important. For a drugstore brand I think this highlighter is beautifully packaged. It comes in a shiny rose gold compact, which even includes a  huge mirror. Of course it goes without saying that this packaging can’t compete with luxurious brand such as Chanel or Tom Ford but I do think its looks very chic and high quality, unlike a to of products from the drugstore.

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Another bonus is the size of this highlighter, which is pretty big, as it contains 14 grams of product. In comparison a Becca highlighter only contains around 8 grams. The only downside is that its size makes it a little less travel friendly but I don’t really mind that.

Although I got this on sale for 4€ I still think it’s an absolute bargain even at it’s normal price for around 6-7€ and I’m actually really happy with this impulse buy. Now I feel like I definitely need to get back into playing around with more makeup from the drugstore because you can find some real gems for very little money.

What are some of your favorite drugstore makeup products?

Thank you for reading!

Love,

Sophie

 

Colored Raine Queen Of Hearts Eyeshadow Palette Review

In the last few weeks I haven been adding quite a few makeup items to my ever growing makeup collection (partially because I put many of them on my christmas wish list), so after playing with all of them for a while I thought it was time for some reviews. Now the palette I’m going to review today I have really fallen in love with (spoiler alert), so I thought it would be the perfect first review of 2018. I’m aware I’m kind of late to the game because the Queen of Hearts palette by Colored Raine has been around and raved about for quite some time but better late than never, right? Because if you love make up you kind of need this palette. I’m serious! You really need this palette.

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So first things first let’s talk about packaging. The palette comes in this really beautifully designed cardboard cover that you have to slide it out. The actual palette itself has very simple but sleek black packaging with a touch of cold. The material is a slightly velvety cardboard which collects dirt and fingerprints pretty much from the first time you use it (which is why mine doesn’t look as pretty anymore). I don’t necessarily like when companies choose that kind of material for their packaging because it gets ruined so quickly, especially if you use the products frequently. Also I much prefer the design of the cardboard sleeve the palette comes in. The gold, red and purple prints remind me of crown jewels and really fit the Royal theme this palette has going on.

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Although great packaging is very important to some of us makeup addicts let’s move on to what counts the most: the actual product and how it performs. The Queen of Hearts palette comes with 12 beautiful shades including warm neutrals, golds, rich browns, purples, oranges and reds. For me it really was the color scheme that drew me in. For some reason I have been really into oranges, golds, purples and reds (not necessarily all combined) lately, so this palette was basically screaming my name. Plus I love the variety of shades this palette has to offer. You can create soft and neutral looks as well as very vibrant and colourful looks or you can go the middle route and do a neutral eye with just a pop of color.

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6 of the 12 shades are beautiful, vibrant and very intensely pigmented shimmers and the  6 are very nice and also highly pigmented mattes. I know it’s fairly easy to create a decent shimmer eyeshadow but in my opinion these shimmers are on another level. They are so nicely pigmented and shimmery, they feels so soft and buttery and they look so incredibly stunning on the eyes. I’ve received so many complements on how nice my eye makeup looks and how pigmented the eyeshadows are whenever I’ve created a look with this palette, so I believe that says a lot.

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Now compared to the shimmers the mattes almost feel very dry, which was a bit surprising to me because most of the matte eyeshadows I love, especially for their pigmentation, have a very soft and smooth feel to them. But to my surprise these still are very pigmented and blend so easily. Another aspect that blew me away with the palette in general is the lasting power of the eyeshadows. Even after a long 9 hour work day they’re still going strong and almost look like I only just applied them to my eyes.

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(Swatches Top Row Left to Right)

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(Swatches Bottom Row Left to Right)

I feel like these days a lot of products get very hyped up through YouTube and Instagram and it’s easy to fall into the hype and buy every product that’s the rave right now and a lot of times those products turn out to be a slight disappointment. Not even necessarily because they are bad but because they don’t always live up to the hype they get. However, with this beautiful palette I can totally understand the rave and it’s quickly become one of my favorites!

If you love makeup and you like the colors in this palette you should definitely add this to your collection!

What palettes have you been loving lately?

Love,

Sophie

New Year New Me?: Starting a New Chapter

I have never been one to believe in New Year’s resolutions because honestly most of the time they end up in failure anyway. I think setting yourself goals (i.e improving your grades, getting a new job, saving up for a new computer, writing a book etc.)  you want to achieve within the months to come is great but resolutions have never been for me because I’m a firm believer in continuous change. It’s your life and if you want to change something about it or change something about yourself you can work on getting that change whenever you feel like you’re ready. You don’t need a new year to do so, at least  that’s what I think. But if you’re of one the people who do like to make resolution for the new year then you do you, honey. Each to their own!

Needless to say I have never really made a list of resolutions but I do want to set some personal goals for 2018. I feel like this year is going to be an exciting yet scary year for me because I know a lot is going to change. I recently finished my BA degree and I am now waiting on my diploma, so I can apply for real grown up adult jobs. It’s been a few months since I’ve handed in my BA thesis yet I still can’t believe I’m now officially a college graduate. Sometimes it feels like I only graduated high school just yesterday and now I’m already finished with my first degree. Now I have to really figure out want I want to do with my life, find a job and look for MA programs. It’s exciting because one chapter of my life has come to an end and a new one is starting but it’s also nerve-wrecking and scary at the same time because at this point my future is entirely unknown.

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My plan for the upcoming months is to find a job or internship in my field so I can gain some experience before hopefully starting an MA degree next fall. I really want to make 2018 all about focusing on pushing myself forward in terms of work and academics. In the past few months I’ve been working in retail to make some money while waiting for my diploma and looking into possible jobs/programs. I’ve been wanting to start working on applications for so long yet most of the time I couldn’t get myself to really get into it. I think my biggest problem is the fear of not being good enough since I don’t have a lot of work experience yet other than some student jobs in retail or smaller internships. So in 2018 I want to overcome my fears and try to gain as much experience and knowledge as I possibly can. Instead of being insecure about the inevitable change I’m facing I want to embrace it and make the most of it. Change can be very good and the fact that I’ve finished my BA degree also opens up lots of new opportunities for me and I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Whether you make resolutions or set yourself goals or you just wait and see what the new year brings I wish you all lots of success and hope you get to make the most out of 2018!

Happy New Year and lots of love,

Sophie

Smashbox Cover Shot Palette Ablaze

For some reason Smashbox has never been a brand I’ve been drawn to. Yes, I’ve looked at their displays and counters numerous times but nothing ever spoke enough to me to make me want to buy it. I can’t even tell you why because I’ve heard many great things about lots of their products. However, about a month or two ago when I was looking at some of their products in store the little Cover Shot Palettes grabbed my attention. Because I’m generally more into warm tones the Ablaze palette ended up being the one I took home with me. I mean these colors are absolutely stunning and perfect for fall/winter.

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So first off I really like the packaging with the explosion of color on the front part of the palette. It’s definitely unique. I also love the size of the palettes. These are really small and include eight eyeshadows, which are enough to create different looks yet the size is so convenient for traveling or whenever you’re on-the-go. It will fit into any purse.

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Now onto the actual eyeshadows. As I’ve already said the colors are gorgeous because they’re so rich and warm. I have blue eyes and these colors really make them pop. The set up is definitely great for beginners because the colors are grouped together.You can use the four colors on the right for a more berry pink kind of look or the colors on the right for a more terracotta and gold look. But of course you can also mix them together however your heart desires. The palette in general is very cohesive and all of the shades go together well, so you can create all kinds of looks.

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The color selection of this palette also allows you to either do some very neutral and basic looks as well as more glam and dramatic looks. Or you could do a neutral look with a pop of color. I wouldn’t say the combinations are endless but it is a versatile palette. I don’t have much experience with Smashbox eyeshadows but this palette makes me think I should try more because they’re so nicely pigmented, very long-lasting and  they blend perfectly. They literally almost blend themselves, which again makes this palette perfect for beginners or people who don’t wear make up too often. Another huge plus in my book is the combination of mattes and satins in this palette because you get four of each.

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I would definitely recommend this palette to anyone who loves warm eyeshadows. These colors just speak to my soul and are a warm tone lovers dream. Plus this palette is just perfect for traveling or short little weekend trips, when you don’t want to pack a ton of makeup. If you like the look and setup of the palette but aren’t as much into warm tones Smashbox has a bunch of these Cover Shot palettes with different color schemes, so there is definitely something for everyone. I now really feel like I’ve been missing out on this brand and want to try some more products.

What’s you favorite Smashbox products?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Sophie

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Blossom

Hello lovelies,

Happy December! Who else can’t believe it’s almost Christmas again? I feel like time is just flying by but I’m pretty excited about Christmas this year because I get to spend it at home with my family unlike last year. So today’s post is going to be about a highlighter! Yay! If there’s one beauty product I cannot get enough of other than lipstick and eyeshadow palettes is highlighters! I feel like in the past few years highlighters have become a big thing and most makeup lovers appreciate a good highlighter. They come in all different types from liquid to powder to cream. Now I personally prefer a powder highlighter because I don’t like using cream products in general, but I’ve been intrigued by the Cover FX Customer Enhancer drops, which are liquid highlighters, for a while.

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If you’re into makeup you’ve probably heard about these quite a bit because they are very hyped up in the beauty community, so of course I had to try them for myself. Also they look really cool. I’m not really sure why but I really like how they come in these cute little bottles with a medicine dropper like applicator. The dropper applicator also makes application really easy.

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Originally the shade I wanted was Moonlight because it’s this beautiful light gold and I generally prefer gold or champagne highlighters over pink. My Sephora here doesn’t carry Cover FX, so when I ordered one from the US website I accidentally ordered the shade Blossom instead of Moonlight. Although I was slightly disappointed with myself that I ordered the wrong color I decided to keep it regardless because I didn’t want to deal with returning it.

Now to be perfectly honest the first few times I used this highlighter I really wasn’t too impressed and started regretting the purchase because at 42$ these are very pricey. But because I did spend so much money on it I decided to not give up yet and after I figured out how I best use it on my skin I’ve come to absolutely love this! I would now definitely say they are worth the higher price tag because they’re very versatile. You can use them as a highlighter anywhere on your face or even mix them in with your favorite moisturizer or foundation for an overall glow. You could also use a bit of these on top of your lipstick to add a little something extra.

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As highlighters, which is how I use mine the most, these are so so nice. They look almost wet on the skin and give you the most beautiful healthy glow that will last all day. Especially now in the winter time, when my skin can be a bit dry and dull, I love to use this because it illuminates my skin so nicely and makes it so much more healthy and fresh looking. Ever since I started using Blossom I’ve also become a lot more fond of pink highlighter because I find this shade to be a very wearable shade of pink, that really suits my fair complexion perfectly.

One minor downside is that this is not a product you can apply when you’re in a rush. I definitely use this highlighter on days when I have a bit more time to spend on doing my makeup. I usually love to apply this with a damp beauty blender/makeup sponge or my fingers and the product melts into my skin effortlessly without lifting or moving around my foundation or powder. Whenever I’ve tried using a brush to apply this I was never happy with the end result, so I personally wouldn’t recommend that.

Of course I also have some swatches. The first swatch is the highlighter slightly blended, the middle one shows it what it looks like when you just drop it on the skin and the third one is when it’s fully blended although that one doesn’t do the product justice. As you can see it can be build up to be very blinding and in your face or you can apply just a little bit for a more subtle glow.

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Although I initially didn’t love this product I am now obsessed and have put the shades Moonlight and Halo on my Christmas wish list and hope to find them under the Christmas tree this year.

Thank you for reading!

Love,

Sophie

 

 

Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes

Too Faced is one of my favorite brands because I love many of their products and they usually have some of the cutest packaging. So when their Just Peachy Mattes palette was released I pretty much purchased it within seconds online. I feel like people were quite torn over the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette but I personally love that one, so that was reason enough for me to get excited about another peachy palette. I also really like that this one only comes with matte shades. And not to mention it smells heavenly like peaches and cream!

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As much as I love glitter and sparkles nice matte eyeshadows are essential to creating the perfect eye makeup. You cannot do a look without at least one or two good matte shades, so I love me a good all matte palette. I especially like to use only matte eyeshadows on days when I really want to tone down my eye makeup and keep it subtle and natural. Now I already own a few all matte eyeshadow palette but none like the Peachy Mattes. I absolutely love the color selection this palettes has to offer.

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The Peachy Mattes definitely has more peachy shades than the Sweet Peach palette but it still has a big enough variety of shades to be a fairly versatile palette. You can create very subtle and simple day-time or work appropriate looks as well as dramatic going out looks, which is something I always look for in a palette. Additionally I really enjoy the packaging. I almost feel like they sort of updated their packaging from prior collections. It’s still cute but more sleek, which makes the palette look a bit more luxurious than some of the other Too Faced palettes. It also comes with a nice sized mirror and since the packaging itself is very sturdy it’s perfect for traveling or weekend trips.

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But now onto the actual eyeshadows. So far I’ve liked most of the matte eyeshadows in the Too Faced palettes I already own. I always thought they weren’t anything special but nice nonetheless. The eyeshadows in this palette however I love. They’re so nicely pigmented, blend so easily and last all day.

I feel like this would also be a great palette for people that are only just getting into makeup because it comes with such a great selection of matte shades, which are so easy to work with. All the colors in this palette go so well with each other, which makes this palette a lot less overwhelming and makes it super easy for everyone to create pretty looks.

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As I already mentioned it was definitely the color selection that drew me in with this palette. I love the warm toned peachy shades but I think my favorite shade out of the entire palette would have to be Peach Sangria. It’s such a gorgeous berry shade and perfect for fall in my opinion. Peach Tea and Fresh-Picked make lovely transition colors and Just Ripe is my favorite to darken up the outer part of my crease. I love Peaches and Cream as a lid color and Peach Tart in my crease. Although I would not have necessarily needed two very bright highlighting shades there is not one shade in this palette I don’t use because I like them all. Fortunately the quality in the eyeshadows is very consistent in my opinion, which is why there honestly isn’t a shade that has disappointed me.

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(Swatches from left to right: Peach Meringue, Peach Butter, Peaches and Cream, Peach Tea, Just Peachy, Fresh-Picked, Peach Cobbler, Peach Punch, Peach Sangria, Peach Tart, Just Ripe, Chocolate Dripped)

Ever since I’ve gotten this palette I’ve been using it non-stop and I would recommend it to anyone that’s looking for a good matte eyeshadow palette because I genuinely think it’s a great add to anyone’s makeup collection!

Love,

Sophie

Sparkly Perfection: Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Tiara

The one makeup item I can never get enough of is lipstick. I’m pretty sure I have a lipstick addition. Lip gloss on the other hand I don’t tend to get too excited about. However, every once in a while I find a lip gloss I fall in love with. Actually to be honest for some reason I’ve really been enjoying a glossy lip a lot more recently, which is definitely new for me because usually I’m all about matte lips.

One of those lip glosses I just cannot get enough of at the moment is the Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in the shade Tiara. I currently own three Dior lip glosses and surprisingly I really like all of them because they’re creamy and hydrating without being sticky and gross like lots of other lip glosses out there.

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While browsing through the aisles of one of my favorite makeup stores together with my grandma a couple of weeks ago I stopped at the Dior counter to look at their highlighters. But then it was their lip glosses that caught my eye, especially the shade Tiara because of the beautiful sparkles in this gloss. I have a thing for all things glitter so it was like it was calling my name!

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Basically the shade Tiara is a clear lip gloss with lots of pretty glitter spectacles in it. However, on the lips you don’t feel the glitter at all. The gloss applies very smooth and feels so nice on the lips. No stickiness at all! Dior actually markets these as more than just your average gloss but also as a lip plumper at the same time, because these glosses contain hyaluronic acid, which will keep your lips moisturized and make them more plump. While cosmetic companies often make big claims that their products don’t live up to this lip gloss really does do what it promises. It’s incredibly moisturizing and it does make your lips look more plump. I love wearing this on days when my lips are dry and need a break from matte lipstick.

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As always here is a swatch for you. Now I feel like this swatch really doesn’t do this amazing lip gloss justice because it is so pretty and sparkly in the most perfect and subtle way. I think this is the type of product you just kind of have to see and try for yourself. It looks very beautiful on its own for a very toned down simple look or you can layer it on top of just about any color of lipstick to add some shine and sparkle to your look.

I’m aware Dior lip glosses are quite pricey but to me they are totally worth it. So if you’re someones like me, who’s usually not so much into lip gloss this might be the gloss for you! I’m definitely planning on adding a few more shades of these glosses to my collection!

Are you a gloss or a lipstick person?

Love,

Sophie

A Dream Come True: My Trip to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls has always been one of my top places I wanted to visit, so when I found out I got a spot in the exchange program at my University and would be studying in Canada for a few months, I knew this would be my chance to see Niagara Falls. The city I was living in, in Canada, was about a two-hour drive from Niagara Falls, so it was the perfect opportunity.

Even better, one of the University’s organizations for exchange students offered a trip to Niagara Falls, including tickets for a boat tour and the Skylon Tower, so my friends and I signed up. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t so lovely on the day of our trip but I wouldn’t let that stop me from enjoying every second of my Niagara Falls experience.

So after a two-hour bus ride we finally made it to the town of Niagara Falls. We did get some time to walk around the city but it started pouring, so we went back to the bus fairly quickly. I didn’t mind very much because I wanted to go see the waterfalls anyway.

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Fortunately it had stopped raining once we reached Niagara Falls. Did you know it consisted of three waterfalls? I never knew that to be honest. The big one, I’m sure everyone knows, is the horseshoe fall and on the Canadian side. But there is also a smaller waterfall on the American side called the American Falls (what a surprise) and an even smaller one right next to it, which is the Bridal Veil Falls. While the American Falls and Bridal Falls are nice to look at the much bigger Horseshoe Falls is definitely the most breathtaking one.

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(American Falls on the left and Bridal Veil Falls on the right)

First we walked around the area a bit before we decided to get on one of the boats. I’m not gonna lie I was very much surprised by how close the boats take you to the actual waterfalls. Everyone has to wear rain capes but you’re still going to get a little bit wet from the mist. It was an amazing experience to get so close to this huge waterfall. You suddenly feel so small.

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Another nice thing around Niagara Falls is that you can go up the Skylon Tower to see everything from above. I think the ticket was around CA$13 and in my opinion totally worth it.

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(View from the Skylon Tower)

My friends and I spent the entire day there just walking around the area and looking at the waterfalls. Honestly, I was a little nervous whether I might be disappointed but the actual Niagara Falls. You know how you tend to have pretty high expectations of places you’re dying to visit? Luckily it really was as beautiful and mesmerizing as I imagined and I definitely was not disappointed. One minor thing that takes a bit of away from the beauty for me is how commercialised the whole area is. There’s casinos and big hotels everywhere.

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Despite the rain and not amazing weather as you can see from the pictures I still loved my visit at Niagara Falls. I could’ve stared at the Horseshoe Falls for hours. So if you ever get the chance to visit you should definitely go! I’m not sure if I personally would stay for more than a day but there definitely is a lot to do. I didn’t go to the American side but I heard there’s a big shopping mall and there’s definitely lots of attractions on the Canadian side.

Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? What’s one of your dream places to visit?

Love,

Sophie

When It’s Time To End A Friendship…

Change is inevitable. Whether we do want or don’t want change, it forces its way into our lives from time to time and there’s nothing we can do about it. Yes, things can change for the worse but often things change for the better. But it’s not always things that change. Often it can be people that change for better or for worse.

I’ve always been a bit more of a reserved person and although I can be very social at times I definitely identify as an introvert. Luckily I have never struggled to make new friends and I generally get along with just about anybody. Hence especially in high school I’ve had lots of friends. Fast forward a few years later and my group of friends has  shrunk quite drastically. Time is very valuable, so I choose to only spend it with people I feel are worthy of my time and effort. I know I know that might sound a bit harsh but is it really?

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I can’t count the amount of times I have worried about somebody not liking me, being upset about feeling left out or disappointed about what an alleged friend said or did. So why waste time on people, who you don’t truly love to spend time with? Who you can’t trust? Cause you shouldn’t! Some people simply aren’t worth your time and effort and sometimes it’s better to leave those people in the past and cut them out of your life.

Friendships end. But it’s not always a fight or betrayal that ends a friendship. Sometimes you just grow apart and that is okay because people change. No one is the same person they were ten years ago. Life never stops and we constantly encounter new people and experiences, which cause us to grow and develop and change. It’s natural. But sometimes it’s very hard to admit that you no longer have much in common with a person you once cared so much about. A person you shared so many memories with.

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I’m often told I’m quite mature for my age and I think that might be because I moved a lot growing up and I’m quite lucky to have been able to travel to lots of places and live and study in four different countries so far. Even during my junior and senior year in high school I was already different from my friends. Most of them had been born in the same city they’ve lived in for the majority of their lives. It was the typical everybody knows everybody kind of town most people never stray to far away from. I’ve always had big dreams of going foreign places and exploring the world country by country even at age sixteen. I had just moved back to Europe from the US, a country the majority of my new classmates had never been to, so everybody was quite intrigued to hear my stories and I made new friends easily. But things where easy back in high school. There was always something to talk about because as teenagers we all kind of go through the same things and life pretty much solely revolves around friends, partying and school.

I genuinely thought I made some friends for life back then and no matter where I would end up I would always keep in touch with my friends from school. After graduating high school I moved to the Netherlands to attend university there but I still came home every other weekend to see my dog, my family and my old friends of course. Especially during my first year of college I still hung out with them a lot but things started to change. Well, I think it was me that was changing while most of them didn’t. I felt how I was drifting away from my group friends and I didn’t enjoy spending time with them as much anymore because I felt like I barely had anything to talk about with them.

 I still had my big dreams of traveling and hopefully being able to work abroad in the future. Yet, most of my friends at the time had no interest in broadening their horizons past the life they already knew. Whenever I met up with them I mostly sat there and listened to their conversations about different people, boring and trashy TV shows and work. I wanted to engage in the conversation so badly but I felt like I had nothing to contribute. Especially compared to new friends I made, who I could talk to about everything from our dreams and plans for the future to politics. But when I hung out with my old friends I just felt so lonely. Have you ever experienced that? You’re in a room full of people but you feel so disconnected from them it makes you feel even more lonely than if you were by yourself. Well, if you haven’t I can assure you it’s not a nice feeling. Especially if you once used to be so close to those people. But suddenly you’re the odd one out. You’re on the outside looking in.

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Since spending time with my old friends made me unhappy I started to cancel on them a lot, which maybe wasn’t the most adult thing to do I must admit but it felt like the right thing at the time. Cause why would I want to put myself in a situation I knew would make me miserable?

While I was in Canada I didn’t keep in touch with most of them but I met the most amazing people. People like me that love to travel and are open-minded and always up to experience something new. People who cared. People who I could have intellectual conversations with. People who made me happy when I spend time with them and it made me realize that those are the kind of people I want to surround myself with.

Now I might not have so many friends but the friends I do have are genuinely amazing people that make me happy and that is what counts. If a friendship for whatever reason is making you unhappy it might be time to end it. It might be hard. It definitely was for me because it’s really hurtful to come to the realization that people who once were an important part of your life no longer seem to have a place in it. But I believe that is part of growing up. We all change and sometimes that change leads us into very different directions and that is totally okay.

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Friendships shouldn’t be dragging you down. They should be lifting you up, so what’s important to remember is that you’re not alone with your dreams and plans and interests. There’s lots of people out there, who you have so much in common with. It might take some time to find them but in the end it’s going to be so worth it.

Love,

Sophie

 

 

The Beauty of Traveling Alone

Traveling has always been my passion. If money wasn’t a problem I’d probably wake up in a new place every week, just waiting to explore everything. The list of places I still want to see is endless.

I briefly mentioned in my last post, that I spent a semester studying abroad in Canada. I went to an amazing university in a city called London, about two hours away from Toronto, and I had the most amazing time. I met some lovely people and I got to go on many amazing trips with my new friends. I felt so lucky because I got to see quite a bit of the beautiful country that is Canada. However, Vancouver was still on my list of places to visit but since it was at the other side of the country, from where I was living, I didn’t get the chance to go during my studies. My semester in Canada ended at the end of December but my new semester back in the Netherlands didn’t start until February, which left me with six weeks of free time.

I thought this would be my chance. My one chance to go travel to Vancouver and maybe some other places. Unfortunately all of my friends I made back in London all had to go back to their home countries much earlier than me, so if I decided to stay and travel I would have to do it on my own. I thought about it long and hard. Especially because it would also mean that I would miss Christmas with my family and would have to spend it alone but I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity, so I booked a flight from Toronto to Vancouver, one from Vancouver to Seattle, one from Seattle to San Francisco and one last one from San Francisco back home.

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I was so excited I got to travel and explore new cities with no worries, no deadlines in the back of my mind. I knew this would probably be my last few weeks of freedom and no stress, because once I got back home I would have to start working on my BA Thesis.

Before I left to Vancouver my mom and brother came to visit me in Toronto for two weeks and we had the best time. But when we all went to the airport and they got on a flight back to Europe it was really strange for me because I knew I wasn’t coming home with them. I was about to get on a flight to a city far away from everything and everyone I knew. I knew this wasn’t going to be like going on vacation with my friends to somewhere else in Europe. No, I would be across the world from my family and I wouldn’t have any friends there. Suddenly I started regretting my decision. I think I just got scared but I was also incredibly sad to leave Toronto. My few months in London had been some of the best of my life and I was devastated for it all to be over. I got to visit Toronto a few times while living in London and I fell in love with the city the first time I went there. I’m not even joking but if someone offered me a job there I’d move in a heartbeat.

Anyway, my point is that I think leaving Toronto to go travel by myself for 3 weeks really made me realize that my Canadian dream was about to be over and before I knew it I would be back home stuck in the same old routines.

After hours of traveling I finally made it to my hotel in Vancouver and went straight to bed. The next morning I woke up at 6am because of jet lag but I couldn’t get myself out of bed. I suddenly felt so lonely and anxious. After a few more hours I finally forced myself out of bed and opened the curtains in front of my hotel room windows. What I saw literally took my breath away.

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From my room I had the most amazing view over the city and if I looked all the way to the left I could see water and mountains. Within seconds my feelings changed from anxious and nervous to happy. I quickly got ready and started walking around the city to explore. The first place I walked to was the harbour and with each moment my heart filled up even more with joy.

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I know that sounds so corny but everything I was seeing looked so incredibly beautiful and I realized how lucky I was to experience it all, even if I was all by myself and didn’t have anyone to share it with. It didn’t matter at all in that moment. I felt so free and liberated like I have never felt before in my life. After all I was half a world away from everyone I knew. I was free to do exactly as I pleased and there was no one I had to explain myself to. No limitations. No restrictions.

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Everyone I told about my plans of traveling on my own was skeptical about it. Aren’t you goint to be scared all by yourself? Isn’t it much nicer to have someone to share those experiences with? The answer for me now is no. Yes, I was scared at first but all my doubts quickly flew out the window. Yes, it is nice to go on vacation with friends or loved ones and make amazing memories together but it is also incredibly nice to experience it all on your own. Wanna know why? Because you learn so much more about your self. You’re forced to make every decision by yourself, which really teaches you want it is you like, what it is you want and what it is that motivates you to make those decisions. It’s incredibly liberating and it is the most amazing feeling to be able to say yes I did this on my own. I was scared but I pulled myself through.

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Especially in Vancouver I went on lots of long walks through the beautiful nature there and just listened to music and took everything in. If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful city take it. The city itself is nice but the nature around it is literally breathtaking. I’m definitely more of a city than nature person but I was captivated and even went on a little hike by myself, which is something I never thought I’d be doing. Especially not on my own. But that’s what traveling on your own does. It challenges you. It helps you discover new things about yourself that might really surprise you.

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After one week in Vancouver it was time for me to pack up and move on to a new city and a new adventure: Seattle.

The only reason I picked Seattle was because I knew I probably wouldn’t get the chance to go there again. It’s only a 27 minute plane ride from Vancouver, so it just seemed logical for me to go there. Seattle is a city you know even if you’re not from the US but is it a city you dream to travel to? Probably not so I figured I should go while I was kinda close because next time I travel to the States it probably wouldn’t be Seattle. Maybe Florida or NYC or the Grande Canyon or Las Vegas. But probably not Seattle.

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Now Seattle was nice. It wasn’t amazing and it couldn’t even come close to Vancouver or Toronto (for me personally) but nonetheless I’m glad I went. I went up the Space Needle and visited some cool museums. I walked along the water front and probably all of downtown Seattle. I liked it but I didn’t love it.

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The amount of homeless people and people high on drugs or wasted on alcohol shocked me and I was scared to go out alone after it got dark. I’ve never been scared of walking alone through the dark at home or in the city I lived in, in the Netherlands when I went to college, or even in Canada. I saw a lot of poverty and homeless people when I went to Chicago with one of my friends a few months before visiting Seattle but I wasn’t alone then so I never felt worried. Now being on my own that definitely changed.

But still I don’t regret going to Seattle and I don’t regret going on my own. I might’ve been a little bit disappointed and who knows maybe I would’ve loved it more if I hadn’t fallen so in love with Toronto and Vancouver. Who knows? Still I’m so incredibly grateful for every experience I made while traveling alone because I learned so much about myself in those three weeks and a lot of the things I experienced gave me a new perspective on life. Most of all it taught me how privileged I am to be so lucky to travel and see new places in the world. I will forever keep those memories with me and no one can them away from me.

So if you ever think about traveling somewhere but don’t have anyone to go with you don’t hesitate! You can do it on your own and every minute of it will be worth it. I would recommend everyone to at least travel somewhere by themselves once in their life. Even if it’s just for 2 days or just an hour away. Take the time for yourself and you might be surprised by what you find!

If you have made it to the end of this very lengthy post thank you for staying with me until the end.

So have you ever traveled alone or would you consider it?

Lots of love,

Sophie