How to manage a Blog with a Full-Time job

Introduction

For the majority of blogger types out there, working full-time on your blog is pretty much the normal state of affairs, with many using it as a full-time venture, career and job. Some are lucky enough to travel the world, work with brands, tell a great story and develop inspiring content, others do all of the same and yet produce complete rubbish.

At the opposite end of this spectrum and not really falling into any particular category are creative individuals (like myself) who have sourced, developed and maintained a successful blog, whilst working in a demanding full-time job. With that said and indeed speaking from my own experience I think it is pretty much impossible to turn your ideas and blog into a success overnight, so the question is…

How do you manage to do it… While working full time?

In this particular blog post, I thought that I would become slightly more personal and divert attention away from my love of the outdoors and travel. Instead I aim to identify some of the key elements that I feel have enabled me to be relatively successful within the blogging fraternity, in a short space of time. So much so, I think it is every blogger’s dream to call themselves a ‘blogger’, but for me… it’s just that I enjoy writing and if that brings me some moderate success or perhaps the ability to further inspire others to follow their dreams and aspirations then I’m more than happy!

How and when I started…

I started developing my website and writing the blog at the turn of the year. It was kind of a New Year’s resolution for 2017. It started as a new adventure, but was, in fact, something I’d always been interested in doing and after seeing others doing it, I thought to myself…it was about time I gave it a go.

All good ideas start with a blank piece of paper...

All good ideas start with a blank piece of paper…

Since starting to write and creating content, many people started to ask me the question… ‘how do you manage to write, around having a full-time job?

Well… sometimes that was the question, I asked myself. With the constraints of a busy life and indeed a full-time job, it isn’t easy. But the way I see it there are 24 hours in a day, so with good time management, anything is possible. I also possess strong will, determination to succeed and I have always lived by the ideal that if you want something in life, it is yours to go out and get.

With that said, of course, every adventure does start small, but I’ve always managed to dream big and that way only good things can come your way.

It’s important to find a schedule that works…

Every day, I work full-time. I’m a teacher, so I teach, inspire and lead each day. My day starts early at around 5:45 am, when I leave the house and cycle 16 miles to work. I return home, as soon as I can. Usually, making sure I get home around 5.30pm to at least have an evening and some time to perhaps switch off from work. It is always a full and very busy day, so finding time to do something constructive (blog-wise) during the day is almost impossible.

My blogs and general ideas come into my head almost all of the time. I do feel I’m extremely lucky to have the sort of a brain that is never devoid of ideas or inspiration and spending nearly two hours on a bike (daily) certainly gives you valuable time to develop some much needed thinking space.

When ideas do come to the forefront of my thoughts, I tend to write them down as notes and then further develop those notes into longer pieces of writing. For me, all ideas start with a blank piece of paper and as a result these notes can appear at unexpected moments, so much so that some interesting ideas have come about whilst being in the most bizarre locations or indeed situations. Examples might include whilst washing the dishes, brushing my teeth or believe it or not… sitting on the toilet.

Yes… I did say sitting.

To allow things to run smoothly and my overall intentions come to fruition. I often leave some nights available for writing and editing purposes. Monday’s always seem to work for me and during the evening, when all becomes settled / quiet I can finally sit down, develop ideas and utilise a good hour or two in order to produce meaningful written content.

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I also try (where possible) to take advantage of my weekends — I certainly don’t attempt to work on my blog all weekend. Life and family comes first, but I have found it a good way to divide my time between personal time and also time to focus on my blog.

Creating content might find me noting down ideas or simply editing photos, while having a coffee in a cafe or perhaps while travelling on a train or tram around the city. Maximising time while waiting for family members (doing their thing) is also vitally important. Writing notes, storing the ideas and then developing them accordingly across the week, seems to work for me and with the technological aspect of things, I tend to use Google Keep to compile and indeed save my ideas. I personally find it a great way of storing notes, as it is then stored on my phone, compatible with my email and I then transfer my ideas and write freely. Leaving me a fair amount of time to spend on editing.

It seems the perfect combination for me to dream, create and deliver.

I always see blogging as “MY TIME”

At the very start of this adventure. I began simply using my blog as a means of me expressing my day to day life around travel experiences, the Great Outdoors and taking photographs.

After a short time and good interaction with others who kindly read my blog, I soon realised that there was some mileage in what I was attempting to achieve. So, it became important for me to approach my venture, more like a job.

Soon enough, it started to work for me and I was being approached to write blog posts and in turn, I could also approach others, with growing confidence. At the time and if truth be told, it wasn’t all plain sailing. In fact, at times it turned about to be really hard, especially when the blogs rolled in and striking the right balance or reaching a deadline did often prove somewhat problematic.

Being determined to succeed I maintained my focus and always remembered why I started the blog in the first place and it soon became the perfect time to make sure what I was getting out of it, was what I had initially intended. This not only allowed me to fine tune my wo , but also led me to further inspire myself and obviously maintain high levels of enthusiasm to achieve the content I wished for.

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To establish this on a consistent level, I started to re-shift my perspective and started to look at blogging as “my time”. My time to break away from the daily norms, to be creative, open up ‘to the world’ with meaningful thoughts, develop content through photography, improve my editing skills and also use feedback in a positive way.

Soon enough my writing began flowing nicely and I was in turn really enjoying everything that I was creating. The pressure began to disappear and the words started to flow quite naturally. I started to listen to advice, build on my confidence and indeed (most importantly) learn from my mistakes.

I also began to take the pressure of myself, by simply planning ahead and not undertaking work I didn’t really like the look of. I kept my feetand maintained the approach that I was never planning on turning my blog into a full-time job, and that really helped to ease the pressure.

Establishing Realistic Goals

Throughout my life I have always worked towards having goals and continuously working towards them. It doesn’t really matter how big or small these are, from my point of view all goals are there to be achieved, so don’t set them too high.

From experience, it is vital to make sure you are setting realistic goals for yourself. There is no point in over-promoting yourself unnecessarily or setting goals that are almost impossible to achieve, is not realistic and not conducive to what you are trying to do.

Of course in the pursuit of that prize-winning goal you are more likely to go crazy than actually achieve what you thought you wanted to do. In an ideal world of no responsibility and then blogging full time, maybe I’d like to post 5 times a week, but if that’s not realistic, then that shouldn’t be your goal. Start slow and build up gradually. At the moment blogging once a week is about my limit and for me, that is feasible.

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I think it is always good to put things into perspective and continue the realisation that you also have a full-time job and it is okay to post less often than your ideal. This also rings true when attempting to grow your own blog. It is very easy to take your eye off the ball, become distracted by others and then read too much into things.

We all do it as it is really easy to look at others’ various social media accounts/blogs and feel envious of their large following or perhaps focus too much on the amount of comments and likes they receive. Believe me, it is not worth it as you will probably end up driving yourself mad by trying to aspire to do something that perhaps is just simply out of your reach. Especially in a climate, when everyone suddenly has become the expert and there appears to be endless ways of convincing others you’re not cheating, when actually you probably are.

For me, my goals remain pretty simple and always have been. To keep it real, enjoy what I do and complete my work in a personal and meaningful way. No doubt I will continue to enjoy what I do and not focus on what others do, just simply focus on myself. I’m personally really proud of myself and indeed how far I have come and if others feel the same, then that is indeed a bonus.

Don’t forget to also enjoy life

It is really important to not lose sight of life. Life is important and nothing really should stand in the way of you enjoying it. I have always worked hard, but at this stage in my life and career, I know that my blog will probably never fully replace what I trained and worked hard to do. It merely serves as an avenue for me to express myself. Develop my creative sense and enjoy something other than the things I do on a daily basis.

Like with everything in life, it is really important to also find balance and continually put things into perspective. I frequently see a variety of blogs where people make it look fantastic on the outside, but when delving a little deeper and reading the overall content, it doesn’t actually live up to much. Then there are others where all that is created remains somewhat seamless and inspiring. Those are the people I look up to and continue to be inspired by.

Top Tips

At the end of the day I’m not an expert and therefore not in a position to say that I know best. To me it is all swings and roundabouts and no matter where you are on your adventure. Just simply be yourself, enjoy what you do and good things will almost certainly come your way.

Thanks for reading this latest post and I hope that the following thoughts resonate and perhaps come in useful one day.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Gareth.

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Travel – Going back to the Motherland

For sometime now I have wanted to write a different style of blog.

A travel guide sort of thing…

Something that draws upon my firsthand experiences, of a trip or visit and something that is hopefully informative and interesting for you, the reader.

So here goes…

It seems a little bit strange to write about an Englishman going home (for a holiday) especially when I’m from England and I’m going back to England for my holiday…

Well… in this particular blog post I hope to share my views and experiences on travelling back to the motherland, from my current home in the Netherlands and within these particular musings, I will hopefully draw upon my experiences and then share them.

In other posts, I have previously explained that I’m an Englishman who now reside in the Netherlands and even though I’m happy with where I now live, I’m still extremely proud to be British and of course proud of my homeland and what has been good to me for so many years.

With that in mind, circumstances change and life tends to deal us many unique twists and turns. Within my life, so far, I feel I have been very lucky and have enjoyed experiencing many a joyous occasion. I’ve experienced many an adventure and never turned down any opportunity to make changes. It is fair to suggest that changes have to happen, sometimes they happen just naturally and sometimes as a result of you orchestrating the change. Either way, change can often be for the better and the outcome a positive one for the person in question .

I’m happy in the Netherlands, it’s a country with pleasant surroundings and home to decent people, but England will always be my home and it is hard to convince me otherwise. I’m proud to be British and all that it stands for and although I’m very happy to adapt and to also try to fit into new cultures, I very much love my country of birth and all that it stands for… even if it did recently decide to break away from Europe.

Anyway, putting politics aside. I visit Britain fairly often and I try to go back to the UK around 2 or 3 times a year. Usually, I go back with the family, sometimes just me on my own. It’s all good and a trip I obviously look forward too, for all manner of reasons. The journey to the UK is relatively straightforward, with a variety of options to choose from. The distance is not far at all, so I always tend to feel that I have the best of both worlds.

The Journey

Most of the time the easiest solution is to travel by plane, either from my local airport of Rotterdam, 10 minutes by bike or travel 20 minutes up the road (by train) to Schipol, where there are many more flight options to choose from. Either way,  it is a good journey to travel and very straightforward. Alternatively and a little bit more expensive, is the option of travelling to the UK by train. Although, it seems to be a longer journey on paper, it actually works out to be roughly around the same time span, as taking the plane. Especially when you calculate the journey time from door to door.

As I have now completed the journey several times already, I feel that I’m slowly becoming a regular commuter and as a result… for this blog, I will attempt to give a comprehensive run down of how I complete the journey, by train and everything else that follows along with it.

I hope that my insight then perhaps inspires you to make this journey, part of it or a different one altogether.

Anyway…

Purchasing the ticket…

…is a fairly important part of the whole journey. Without it… you probably won’t be going anywhere fast. There are options for the journey, but like most things, I have my favourites. Either way, it is good to know what those options are, as with most things in life, the prices can differ and as a result, affect your final decision.

 

 

When purchasing such things, I tend to use the same options as everyone else, either on the internet buying through Rail Europe or visiting the local train station, in my case Rotterdam Centraal. The station is just down the road and very convenient for my travels, so if I have any queries or questions I tend to just pop down there and ask. The NS staff are of course always pleasant and really helpful and they will always endevour to cater for your personal requirements, finding suitable connections for trains and appropriate journey times, always without a great deal of hassle or complication.

The Journey…

A map of the journey from Amsterdam to London and stopping points. I just have to hope it stops at Rotterdam...

The options by train from Rotterdam are as follows…

You can either take the high speed Thalys train from Amsterdam to Brussels, then onward, using the Eurostar from Brussels to London. The second option is a little slower, comprising of the Intercity from Rotterdam to Brussels and again onward from Brussels to London, using the Eurostar.

I hope that the above is not too confusing. It is actually all very simple. Just get on, get off and along the journey, sit and enjoy the plentiful picturesque views.

Thayls

The Thayls is a high speed train link between Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. It is comfy, fast and reliable. Each time I use this train I find it efficient and really easy to use. Generally, it is on time and good value for money. For my particular journey, the time from Rotterdam to Brussels is just around 1 hour, so it is really the fastest option. The regular Intercity train is slightly slower, with stopping points in between. Therefore, it probably goes without saying that it makes more sense to take Thalys option, as opposed to wait for the alternative.

The only real downside is that the Thayls is generally more expensive and due to seat reservations, you will need to book in advance. With that said I have been on the service several times where they seemed to have doubled booked seats and as you can imagine, at busy times, that can be quite annoying.

Eurostar

From Brussels, London is just a short hop of around 2 hours 30 minutes. Eurostar run the service that starts at Brussels Midi terminal and travels via Lille in France, through the Channel Tunnel and onward to London St Pancras. It is a well-established connection that is fast and efficient.

The service has been running for a long time and generally it is all fine, although in recent visits I have felt that the trains have become rather dated, cramped and not necessarily value for money. Thankfully, my prayers have been answered as in recent months a whole revamp of the Eurostar rolling stock has been evident, with older trains now being replaced. This is a great sign of intent and real plus point on an already good service.

The Eurostar journey is fast and there certainly isn’t a better way to sit back and see the splendid French countryside. I really like this mode of transport as it allows you to just sleep / relax or if you’re feeling energised, just play music or mess around on the iPad or laptop.

 

At the moment the Eurostar stops at both Brussels and Lille. At Brussels it terminates, so you need to find a connecting train, they are working at running the whole route straight through from London to Amsterdam, which dramatically speed up travel time and there is no need to transfer at Brussels Midi Station.

St Pancras

Once through the Channel Tunnel, you are on the home straight and not far from London. Just outside London, some trains stop at Ebbsfleet. I have never been to Ebbsfleet and I don’t plan on it in the future, but I’m sure it is very nice.

London St Pancras is a huge station and there is a huge amount going on there, with trains not only traveling to other areas of the UK, but also internationally. It is a brilliant station in its design and also its purpose. It is certainly worth a visit every now and then, even if you are not on your travels.

Once in London, I always feel at home. Not a lot changes, it’s always its busy self, but it always holds significant interest to me as I lived there previously for 6 years. I loved my time in London and during that time I got to know the area really well.

The station is in close proximity to Central London and all the attractions  and the other transport hubs Euston and Kings Cross Stations. Over the years this whole area has received a huge amount of regeneration.

 

 

To cater for the large volume of visitors to London or simply for people just passing through from one location to the next, St Pancras has a huge range of eateries and shops. I personally love drinking coffee and also eating Sushi, so when I’m here, I always opt to visit Wasbi, which is located in St Pancras Square or grab a good coffee, in the many different cafes dotted around.

Wasbi is a great place for sushi, with a wide range of fresh items and also St Pancras Square is a really welcoming place to just sit and gather your thoughts. Here, you’ll find something is always going on and the buildings that surround are architecturally, pretty and appealing on the eye.

I also think it is a peaceful place, in the heart of a busy city, so close to the centre and major transport hubs. It also shows how modern urban regeneration can transform an area into a real success.

After spending time here and stocking up on several essential items or drink a coffee or three. I tend to slowly venture up the road towards Euston Station. On route to the station you pass another gem. That gem being the British Library.

The British Library is again a favourite place of mine and a place that so often gets overlooked, by visitors. It’s one of those places that you know where it is, but you simply just don’t spend any time there. This is a shame really, as it is really a fantastic place. It prides itself on being a building of knowledge and this is very true. Not only does it have a huge range of books, but it is also a peaceful place where you can choose to simply come here, sit and I guess just to get away from it all. I like that option, as like most folks I love the peace and quiet and from time to time like nothing better than being in my own company and my own thoughts.

Euston

Once in London I change trains and head north from Euston to the ‘People’s Republic of Stoke on Trent’. Euston, again is a large station and it serves as a main station for people who are making the journey north to the Midlands, the North West and to Scotland.

From the outside it doesn’t look very imposing, but inside it opens out into quite an impressive public space. As a kid I always remember coming into Euston on visits to and from London. I always remembered it being a bit of a dump and a big battle ground for football hooligans, on a Saturday afternoon. Since then, times have changed and it is a bit more appealing, with plans afoot to change it into the main hub that serves the new high-speed line HS2. Which will probably be finished when I’m long in my grave.

Anyway, here you’ll find plenty to eateries and places to again just watch the day go by, while you wait for the train to arrive. Just before your train is prepared and notified, ‘ready to board’ people gather in front of the huge timetable screen.

When you stand back it looks a very peculiar thing to do, but I guess it is all part of travelling by train and the waiting process. After a while of waiting, the board changes and people react. Funny to see how people react, with everyone focusing on rushing to the train. With that you pick up your bags and follow the crowds, flying across the concourse and down the ramp that leads to the train.

Waiting is the Virgin train, which funnily enough, is operated by Virgin trains… How funny is that. Joking aside it is a good service and in my opinion, for what it is worth, there is always enough carriages to allow you to sit in your own seat and not have to sit on someone’s knee.

My final journey means that I have to travel from London towards Manchester, up through the middle of the country travelling North. As mentioned, probably a thousand times, I do love my country and all that it stands for and perhaps quite controversially, I do prefer the north than the south. For me It’s all about the people, the countryside and I guess their overall attitude towards life in general. The north feels more like home and overall, more inviting. It might seem like a generalisation, but that simply is the way it feels.

Eventually, as long as the train is running on time, I make it to the People’s Republic of Stoke – on -Trent and then onwards to the beautiful Peak District, where I will spend the majority of my time. Often referred to in the negative sense, Stoke on Trent gets a bad press, but I love my home city and the people that live there. We call the people, the ‘salt of the earth’, as you always know where you stand with their strong opinions and sense of pride for their city. I’m glad of who I am and I’m glad that I’m from such a great place.

It might not be glamorous, but it has a great football team and is part of the ‘Çreative County’, that being Staffordshire. From here you can not only explore the city and revel in its history, you can also travel in all directions and within 15 minutes be in some of the finest countryside the UK has on offer. Therefore, I feel regardless of what people might say, it is a fantastic area to stay in and then explore.


Thank you for reading this particular blog and others, that I’ve written. I really appreciate your support and of course I will endevour to contribute further content in the future.

Enjoy your travels!

Gareth


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Winter in the Netherlands

Just over a year ago, I decided to take part in an early ‘Brexit’ and move away from my motherland, the UK and begin a new life in the Netherlands. Since then, I have settled into my new life, job and feel very happy within my new surroundings.

My move was relatively straightforward. Firstly, as the distance isn’t too far, so I can visit friends and family, when I wish and it is actually very similar to the UK in many ways. I like the language, humour and weather to name just a few, so the transition has been relatively smooth.

Also, my partner is a ‘Dutchie’ and to build a better future together and establish our family life, it was only right that we were situated in one place. As a result we now reside in the land of cheese and clogs.

Since moving I have feel I have become a little bit more like myself again, more like the person I want to be, perhaps just fully enjoying life and making the of things that come my way. Now I cycle a lot, run a lot and probably rediscovered a part of me that was lost for a while.

I have been really pleased with my new home and surroundings. The Netherlands is a lovely place to live and I feel lucky to be part of the country and the many wonderful things that are on offer. The scenery, the culture and the customs, it is all good.

Moving here is a little bit of a contrast to where I’m originally from. Fair enough, there is no mountains here and a ruggedness I’m so used too. It hasn’t really bothered me though, as I now live close to the sea and as the country is relatively small, you can reach almost everywhere within a few hours.

Besides being slightly obsessed with the outdoors, being outdoors and doing outdoors, I’m also slightly disturbed by my fascination with the weather. I think I do have some answers. I’m a Geographer at heart and feel happiest being in the outdoors seeing and experiencing this that working hand in hand with nature.

The Winter is a season I love. I really like the cold, snow, frost, low light and effect this has on the landscape. To have a proper winter is something I really look forward to and when it happens, I like nothing more than putting the appropriate gear and just getting out there an experiencing our beautiful world.

Sadly, in recent years, it has been well documented that global warming is playing its part and with the ever changing jet streams, it means that what was once a pretty much guaranteed cold and snowy winter, now becomes mild, grey and a little uninspiring.

Thankfully, winter here, has not been like last years and it has certainly been a great delight to see some cold, frost days. Recently, the weather has been cold and clear for a long period, which has lead to some brilliant opportunities to not only discover my surroundings a little more, but also capture some potentially great photographs.

As I continually highlight, I’m not a photographer and everything I do is either through learning from others, being inspired by others, or simply learning from my mistakes. I have a good camera, but predominately take images (out and about) on my smartphone. This winter has given me another chance to experiment with those potential opportunities and where possible I have tried to do that while either being out on my bike or out on a run. It might sound bizarre, but it is good to multi task and due to the fact I’m slightly obsessed with both cycling and running, it seems only natural that I take a few images along the way.

After taking a shot, I generally have to look at the editing process. I’m really not the best at editing a photo, but it is something I have learnt to improve overtime and with the use of many popular apps and computer based software, I come up with something I’m happy with. To bore you with the overall editing process is a pain I wish not to put you through. I personally find it so boring listening to others telling, writing or vlogging ‘how they edit a photo’ and if that ‘floats your boat’ then I will leave that upto the ‘so called’ experts. For me, life all about finding things out for yourself and learning from your mistakes? My job is to teach and develop young minds, by taking control and influencing too much, can diminish creativity and as a result everything just turns out the same.

Maybe it’s really just me, but I prefer to be different and I like it to remain that way. I’m not one to follow the crowd or make out to be something I’m not, there is no point, as you only get found out in the end. Go figure!

Being armed with a bike and camera is a pretty lethal combination, as sometimes the opportunity or moment arises where the perfect shot is just being laid out in front of you. With that in mind, I don’t particularly go looking to shoot, basically I don’t have the time. I just take the chance while cycling to work or completing a training session at the weekend, and to be perfectly quite honest, I like it that way. I work hard in the week (educating and inspiring others) and I really look forward to good family time at the weekend. It is so very valuable, as we’re always so aware that life is so short. Therefore, I actively seek every chance / opportunity to utilise my time management wisely.

I also like the feeling of just living my life, in the moment or I guess, in the context of photography, just capturing the moment. In my opinion, for what its worth, capturing the moment means that if I see something spontaneous that appeals, I will try my very best to capture it, as opposed to purposely going out, setting up and taking some specific. I would be good if I could work that way, but I’m personally someone who doesn’t live there life by a plan. Of course, I have some routines, but I feel when you do go out looking, you don’t always end up finding what you are looking for. Of course… others might see things differently than me and of course have their opinion, but… that is just me, using the time I have.

The landscapes here in the Netherlands always offer some great opportunities to take an abundance of water shots, with the many inland waterways and lakes scattered all around the country. Lonely trees, sitting in the wide expanse of an open flat polder and many long, straight cycle paths, that help to give a wonderful sense of perspective and point of view, of the wider surroundings. I live in the South of Holland, so it is predominately flat and exposed to what nature throws at it. Further to the East there is fantastic array of woodland that stretches to the German border. Here too some wonderful images are also be captured and on a regular basis, by talented photographers, who maximize the natural elements of light and shadow, within their beautiful surroundings.

Since moving here I have realised that the winters in the Netherlands can be rather spectacular, as (high above) when the air masses naturally collide, there can be many days where there is an abundance of lingering fog, ice encrusted landscapes, fields, trees and bushes covered in thick frost and snowfalls that can create a wondrous scene, especially in the woodland areas.

Last year, the weather just seemed to be typically the same. With prevailing winds from the south west establishing a gloomy, grey facade that pretty much lasted all season long. As a result the weather was windy and raining, pretty much all of the time. So much so, that it was nasty at times and annoying when I was out and about cycling. Thankfully, so far this year, we have been really lucky and had a varied conditions, that have generally been a great mix of almost everything.



Images of Winter

The above images are some of the many images that I have managed to capture, while out and about on my travels, during the winter months. So far, it has all been pretty good, with a range of weather types, over the past few months. With that in mind, it has simply been wonderful to just experience some days of lingering thick fog, around Christmas and more recently, a long week of hard frost and beautifully clear skies.

For me, that has been really great to see and something I’m sure everyone visiting here, would love to see too, once the ice arrives and the canals begin to freeze over. The popular winter pastime of skating takes hold. I think the the depth of the ice has to be measured and once the all clear is given, everyone takes to the ice, even pretenders like me.

As previously highlighted (further up) it is definitely something I have never witnessed before and actually seeing it take place in small provincial villages on the route home from work and also in some random places is perhaps what you wouldn’t expect to see someone on a cold winters day. In fact the other day I was cycling along, next to a narrow canal, when a man passed me on his skates. He was probably going home from work or doing the shopping, but it was out in the middle of nowhere and just seemed so strange to me.

Whatever the reason, it is a fabulous sight to see and seeing people come together and enjoy something collectively, as a community or club is a pretty good vibe. Unfortunately, what snow we have had this winter has been relatively sparse. I live in the city of Rotterdam and also we are closely located near the sea. Here the winds maintain a warmer feel to things and if I want to see some substantial snowfalls, I would probably have to head to the higher ground near Limburg or even across the border into Germany. Hopefully before the winter is out, I can get to see something of these areas, as I have only visited once in the summer months.


Thank You

I would like to extend a big thank you for taking the time to read my musings. I don’t have all the answers and certainly don’t profess to be an expert at anything I do. I again just live my life to the full and want to experience, as much as possible.

For me, writing a blog is a way of not only sharing thoughts and topics with my friends and family, but also perhaps appeal to a wider audience, that may choose to read, listen and comment, sharing there views.

With that I fully appreciate any comments, support or criticism. I look at it all with an open mind and of course use it as a vehicle of not  trying to improve my work, but also a source of inspiring me to attempt something new.

I will not only ‘forge my own path’, but I’m significantly inspired by others and the things they do, achieve or their own unique view on things. With that in mind I would like to share some others in the Netherlands, who consistently produce work that not only inspires me to greater things, but also captures the wonderful Netherlands in their own personal way.

@claireonline

@vincentcroce

@rjansen1967

@erikhageman

Of course there are many others out there and many I also admire, but in particular these are the people that have significantly influenced me when living in the UK and also now that I live in the Netherlands.

For more of their inspiring work, please click on the links above.

Next month, I travel back to the UK and hope to document something new then. Please look out for some future posts.

If you have any queries, questions or just want to say hi, then please email gm8ty30@gmail.com or contact my Instagram, Twitter accounts in the social media section of this blog.

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Thanks

Gareth

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New Start

After giving it a lot of thought I have decided to revitalise my WordPress account and also start blogging from here.

Slowly, but surely new content will begin to appear and in the meantime you can also enjoy some of my musings via my website Garethmate.com

Thanks

Gareth