Yes, I know, it’s November but it’s only the first of November so I’ll let myself off.
October has been a pretty busy month and actually a really happy month so this list was really easy to write. So lets do this!
- This month my parents flew over to Austria for their October break. I met them at the airport and we spent that weekend in Graz together before they travelled on to spend the rest of the week in the Carinthia area. It was so nice to see them and the little break came just at the right time. Plus it was absolutely gorgeous weather – a little bit too hot for the clothes I had taken with me! – so it was a really nice time to explore a new city in Austria besides Vienna.
- My new beads for my El Camino Bracelet arrived this month. For anyone that doesn’t know about El Camino, they are a company that make bracelets for which you can buy their country beads for everywhere you have travelled. Their slogan is “Memories from around the world, around your wrist”. I will put a link to their website here so you can find out more about them and even buy some products if you fancy. However I will also be doing a blog post at some point about the company, why I love their products so much and the stories behind the countries on my bracelet.
- It’s finally winter gear weather! October was a strange month in terms of weather; it seemed like it was getting colder, then we had a really hot weekend and then we had a storm so bad they warned people not to leave their houses! But I have officially put away the summer wardrobe and am finally in winter gear which I love. Knitted jumpers for the win!
- It’s Halloween month! Halloween has changed so much for me in the last two years, it used to be about dressing up and going out and planning scary themed cocktails, but now it’s about planning activities for teenagers. Whilst part of my mind misses those days, the other part doesn’t miss it at all. Those days seem so carefree, but that is because I’m looking back in hindsight with a whole load of new things to worry about and so I forget just how much anxiety surrounded me at that time. If anyone follows Megan Jayne Crabbe’s (aka bodyposipanda) Instagram she put up a really great video onto her story last night just to say that whilst it might seem like everyone else is going out and doing cool Halloween things, it’s okay if you’re just staying at home. I have struggled with this a lot over the years. It is very easy to compare what you are doing to others are doing and think they are actually having more fun, but if staying in watching a movie or just hanging out with a small group of people is what makes you happier then you do you. So whilst a lot of people my age were heading out to bars and clubs, I had great fun playing halloween themed games and watching Hocus Pocus with the students. (Additional note: Megan is an activist for body positivity and everyone – especially women should go check out her blog, her Instagram and her new book to feel happy, inspired and generally better about themselves.)
- I have read so much this month. My New Years resolution this year was to read more for leisure. Before I went to university I was an avid reader, but then it became about textbooks and essays which didn’t leave time to sit down and read for fun. Then when I graduated university I thought that was going to be when I started reading for entertainment again, but actually I found it hard to get back into that mindset and get off my computer (I practically lived on it as a student) so I set myself a challenge this year and have been really enjoying it so far. Maybe it’s the extended amount of time off I have had recently or the really great books I have read but this month in particular, I have found myself choosing to put the computer away earlier and opting to read before I go to sleep rather than aimlessly looking at my phone – and I feel better for it!
- I ticked another country of the list this month; Slovenia! For the group of students that did not fly home for the half term we took them on a five day trip (this includes the two days traveling at either end) to Lake Bled. It was awesome; so relaxing, full of adventure and activities and just the break everyone needed. Plus the hotel had a pool which we made seriously good use of. I won’t say too much about it as I have a whole blog post that I’m almost done writing so that will be up by the end of the week at the latest *fingers crossed*.
- Speaking of travel, I have so many trips to look forward to and have just realised that, between August of this year and February of next, each month will be spent in two different countries. I mean, one of them is always Austria and the others are predominantly UK (August when I arrived, November when I head to Bristol for a family wedding and December and January when I head home for the Christmas/New Year break) but there’s also September when I went to Slovakia, this October’s trip to Slovenia and the weekend away myself and my best friend just booked to Amsterdam in February. Being able to look at each month like this reminds me how much I have developed when it comes to travel – living in another country and flying alone regularly when there was a time I had anxiety about taking a bus by myself – that’s another story for another time.
- I have completed my A2.1 level German lessons! These immersive classes have been so much fun and challenging at the same time. It is very hard to tell just how much you have learnt when you don’t have the chance to practice it all day every day, but it hit me when we were visiting some of the smaller towns just outside of Graz and, unlike Vienna, not everyone speaks English. I really had to use my German and not only could I actually converse with people, they actually understood me!! Today we had our last class for this term (one day into November can still be included into the October list okay?!) and we had a little party. I really recommend it to anyone in Vienna who wants to learn German. I feel so comfortable in the classes and don’t feel as if I am in school at all! Unfortunately my schedule doesn’t permit me to start the next level until at least the New Year, but hopefully I will be back. I feel so much more confident in my German speaking abilities to get me by until then though!
- I run an after school club for the primary years in the school that I work at and am really enjoying the process of planning upcoming projects, classes and activities at the moment. The group of kids are really great and I love seeing children so excited about drama. It has given me so much more confidence in leading a group of people and I now get to teach the games and warm ups that I was taught when I was in school and university to a group of international school children, so I feel as if I have come full circle.
- As I mentioned before, this month has felt particularly happy and positive but also because I have generally been feeling better and more relaxed. When I met with my parents I had the chance to air out some woes and get some things off my chest which were getting me down – by which I mean I had a good cry in the middle of a cafe as the waitress was trying to serve us our food, but boy did I feel better afterwards. I seriously don’t know what I would do without my Mum and Dad and I’m thankful for them everyday.
Here’s to another month of feeling good! Plus it’s November aka the time I start listening to Christmas tunes, so lets face it – it’s going to be great!