Every month Kelly, Emma and Rebecca host a 'travel link up' which is a chance for fellow bloggers to write about a chosen topic. Sara is also co-hosting this month and the theme is 'Unexpected benefits to blogging'. It's a great opportunity to link up with other bloggers, and share experiences. So here's my list -
1. Finding a new hobby - blogging has fast become a hobby of mine. I find it satisfying, I enjoy writing and sharing my experiences. I started blogging when I'd handed in my dissertation and suddenly found myself with a lot more time. I wanted to do something creative with my time, and it was the perfect way to share my experiences having not long moved to London. I enjoy the photography aspect of blogging. I also find it quite an escape, I can get lost in blogging and reading other peoples blogs for hours. Perfect 'me time'.
2. Blogger Meet Ups. Back in February 2014, I attended my first bloggers event, which you can read about here and I haven't looked back since. In fact I've been to four. Which leads me on to -
3. Gaining confidence. - in more ways than one. I never thought I'd walk into a hotel function room full of 'strangers'. And also gaining confidence in my blog itself. I do think I've come a long way. It's never going to be massive, but it's my little space. I really feel the more you put in the more you get out. And that's a great motto for life really isn't it?
4. Making new friends (and Social Media). - it's really strange when you read somebody's blog you get a huge insight into their life, which then means when you meet them there's no awkward silences, there's always plenty to talk about. And we all seem to share a huge passion for Afternoon Tea, it's just as well really. Somebody's got to do it! Communication over twitter and instagram is amazing. Fellow bloggers can inform you of lovely events that are coming up. Much like Emma did when she told me about Yannick's Macaroons & Mews tour, that she knew would be just my cup of tea.
5. Similarities. When Afternoon Tea arrives at a table of bloggers we all immediately rise to our feet, not an act of worship, although it quite possibly should be, But to take plenty of pictures. I remember those awkward moments with non-bloggers who don't quite appreciate me asking them to wait before they tuck into their food. It must be a blogger thing.
6. Getting out of the the house, into the city and further afield, too. It sounds rather cheesy but I find myself asking the question whether I am doing lovely things for the sole purpose of blogging, or just because I want to. But equally why the hell not? These things are meant to be explored. The great thing about blogging is of course you can get lots of inspiration from other bloggers as well. I really do need to plan some lovely exciting things for 2015, I always find myself day dreaming at the travel blogposts I read. I've also noticed how lots of the lovely expats I've met do many weekends away in Europe - I really do need to take a leaf out of their book and get travelling.
7. Documenting my life. I'm sure one day I'll look back at my blog and be truly thankful that I documented my travels and experiences. Remember those days when we used to actually print photos? Now we have to think of other ways of treasuring those favourite photos.
8. Goodies. I've been contacted by some companies asking me to try review their products. It doesn't happen all that often, but when it does I am very grateful. Lately I was lucky enough to be approached by teapigs to take part in their #matchachallenge for example.
So there we have it a little round up of I've found to be the unexpected benefits of blogging. What are yours?