Every journey in life begins with a single step
It’s even better if that step is one in the right direction
Until 6 months ago, I knew little about my dreams, hopes and future wishes. In all honesty, the 2 years prior to February 2017, were painful and better best forgotten. Or at least that is what I thought. I spent most of my days moping around, looking and feeling grey as a gull. The truth is, I was struggling deeply with depression. I thought the depression had taken a hold of me, however, in hindsight I was laying down and welcoming it in. My nights were sleepless and my days were a continuing cycle of the same old story. I would get up, eventually, and struggle to find the positive. Any scrap of fight left in me was gone and no matter what anybody told me, I was certain I had no positive input in to this ever changing and more demanding world.
If you could just write me one paragraph
Little did I know that my partner in crime, a constantly dreaming entrepreneur was about to come up with another scheme. He had damaged his back in a helicopter incident and was spending his time being creative and looking for yet another rags to riches scheme. This one, sounded like something that he might actually have seen through. His initial intention was to create a money-comparison website. It had a catchy, yet hard to spell name which didn’t entirely roll of the tongue. He had researched websites and listened to 700 podcasts and overnight, he became a guru. There was only one problem. He may be well-spoken with a far-reaching vocabulary but when it came to putting words together in writing, he was constantly walking in to walls.
This is when he approached me, I was requested to write just one paragraph. If I could put a good few words together and make it sound semi-readable, he was going to be a billionaire by Christmas. Initially, I turned him down. My experience may have been wide reaching but I was by no means a writer. Or so I thought. It turns out that my depression and issues leading up to the initial diagnosis gave me a pretty eclectic sense of humour and a ‘wit-ish’ way with words. Scott was impressed, my family were impressed, even I was impressed. However this wasn’t exactly what we were going for with a money comparison site. Besides, Scott was struggling to spell his domain name which made logging in to his website a challenge.
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In all honesty, I wasn’t enjoying writing about saving money on bananas. But I was enjoying writing. Sometimes when I wrote, people laughed. Both the writing and the laughter were addictive. One evening, I was listening to ‘I Love L.A.’ by Randy Newman. The same guy who wrote ‘You got a friend in me’ from Toy Story. Whilst I was listening to the song, the word ‘greatHerday’ popped in to my head and just as it did, the part of the song said ‘We love it.’
It was one of those spooky moments where you think you may be being secretly videoed by Ant’n’Decs Saturday night takeaway. All of a sudden in that moment, I was feeling the strongest elation I had felt in a very long time. Scott was excited and I was already half way through my first article. I think it was a review on soap… but you have to start somewhere.
I was throwing articles out left, right and centre. Scott was on the other hand with his recent web learnings throwing a website together. The money comparison website was long gone. In the first few weeks, articles were going on the site nearly daily. Overnight, I became a blogger. I didn’t even know what a blogger was. I watch Question Time and old episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Social media was something that made me shiver with confusion. The articles about soap were getting a bit boring. I needed an angle however I didn’t expect my angle to land me in it, in the best way possible way. Originally, I am from Inverness, the wee city near Loch Ness. I now live in Cruden Bay, a cute wee village in Aberdeenshire.
With being pretty clued up on both areas, I decided to write a little post about both each. We added some lovely photos we had of the area. I laughed, Scott laughed and Facebook shared them over 1000 times. We were onto something. Within a week, we were invited down to Edinburgh to do further tourism work. In that weekend, we ended up in the Marriott Hotel with heaps of requests coming in for further work. Edinburgh was very good to us and with it being such a photogenic place, we decided to do our bit to boost the tourism.
A photo can say a thousand words
At this point, our photos were being shared on social media and our articles were doing just as well. Our following was creeping up. We realised that almost overnight, we were going to travel. The blog was acting as a diary for all of our wonderful opportunities. Who goes to work and documents it for enjoyment? Scott was becoming increasingly keen on photography and the dynamic was working perfectly. We realised that our blog was not just a diary of our travels but in fact, combined with our instagram, it was our photo album. greatHerday.com was all of the good in life that I was craving.
Todays technology prevents people from having the enjoyment of opening a photo album and laughing at photos of times gone by. Instead, we rely on technology to remind us of our memories. I can personally vouch for the importance of memories for feeling good.
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Scotland the great
You know when someone talks about something in a conversation that you never thought you would know anything about? Then your mouth opens and you say several sentences that you never knew that you knew? This was happening to me. It’s like someone was coming in to my dreams at night and briefing me about Scotland. It took me 24 years to realise that I’ve grown up in one of the most picturesque and historic places in the world. If you think for a minute that I wasn’t about to share that, then you my friend, are wrong. I started planning and Scott started playing with filters and ‘depth effect.’ All of these words were ones I knew nothing about in 2016. We never had filters before, we just had to look good.
We started documenting more and more of my hometown of Inverness. Everytime we visited, I started to find more and more love for the home that I had previously negative connotations with. This still goes on to this day. My granny has pretty much made her spare room a permanent greatHerday residence. The trips out to Loch Ness and further afield are becoming more of a permanent thing, we are getting ever closer to meeting Nessie.
Edinburgh has been good to us from the word go. We have returned to the Scottish capital around 4 times since greatHerday was born. Each time, with a completely different itinerary and a little more knowledge. With each step forward in our journey, I have becoming increasingly brave. It has been 4 months since I have stopped all medication and now I sleep better than babies. Each time we take a step in our journey, Scott takes another 200 snaps for the online diary.
Just when we thought we had reached peak-achievement, at least for this year – we were thrown in to another wild plan. Our destinations and campaigns are becoming increasingly more challenging and exciting. With the announcement of our trip to New Orleans came a part of me that I hadn’t seen before. I was about to take over 20 years of upsetting memories and turn them in to memories on the complete other end of the scale.
As we wandered through the outstanding Vieux Carre (The French Quarter) of New Orleans, I had a startling thought. What if robots do actually take over the world and delete my blog? After all this work I have put in both mentally and blogg-erly, I am not about to lose some of the most incredible memories that one can make. Besides, it could be a few months before I see the inside of a Ritz Hotel again. The Scottish countryside is spectacular but it doesn’t boast a Ritz. Also, I want to be able to physically open something in the future for my children which will make them realise just how old I actually am.
With that, I have made the decision that my blogs will stay with me in my mind until I am old and senile. The photos from our outstanding opportunities will not. We recently purchased a photo box and little does Scott know that I will have a whole wall of boxes by Christmas.
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Learning is fundamental
The most important part of creating and catching memories while travelling comes down to a simple fact. When you visit a destination, you always leave with a little piece of it. Be it through culture, experience or tourism, you always leave with a broader mind. If you want to remember how you siesta’d in Spain or beer’ed in Berlin then you better remember that one day, robots might take over. If they do, you want to be able to turn round and hold two chocolate fingers up to them with your 522 photo boxes.
One day I may publish a book, until then I can genuinely say that my life has changed dramatically in 6 months and 6 months of greatHer travelling memories can change your outlook on life more than you can imagine. If I have inspired you, even a little, then that is an incredible compliment to me. You can broaden your travelling memories by opening your mind to destinations and allowing them to leave their very own impression on you.
Safe Travels x
I was contacted on behalf of Destinations2.co.uk, a travel management company with a wealth options. They compensated me with a NotOnTheHighStreet voucher which I used to buy myself… a photobox! This was a very personal post to me and as always, my opinions are relevant, sometimes funny and always my own!