Category Archives: Travel

“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”

– The Awakening

I’m wearing – ASOS Off Shoulder Mini Dress in red (here
and ASOS sandals (no longer available)
In summer days, the heat is all around us. 
The sun beats down and my head feels dizzy; dizzy of all the things I need to do, dizzy of how time is moving so fast, yet so slow, dizzy from the smell of his aftershave. Dizzy as a girl can be with summer stretching lazily like a cat in front of her, every day a blank slate waiting to be filled.
It’s funny then, that I am feeling all of these emotions and I’m dressed like an emoji. A Bardot dress makes summer feel possible, even if the weather starts to dull down. I’m still smiling, a lady in red, with the world in front of her and adventures to begin. 
As you read this, I’m at home and the thunder is brewing above me, mimicking the sound of my coffee pot. I’ve been dancing around the kitchen with my younger brother, the very personification of the dancing lady emoji. It’s no coincidence then, that Monday night brought a new moon, for new chapters are beginning, both for you and I. That New Moon Monday was two weeks ago and I can still feel the changes happening round me, for one Scotland is as hot as Barcelona. Is that even possible?
As scary as new starts are, the beginning of something shiny and new, I feel myself warm. Warm like I was in the Barcelona sun, smiling and laughing because it’s summer and I’m happy. No longer do I wish for longer days to take my tasks apart slowly like a lover, no I’m rushing to the new, won’t you join me too?

For the here and now, I’m content as one is during summer, to sit back and let it all pass. I think, maybe, this new chapter was the break to catch my breath I was waiting for. Anways. I’ll be the girl dancing in the street in red, both from my attire and the way he makes me blush. Just don’t tell me how it clashes with my dress, will you?
Lou x

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   Time to be firm about your own reality. 

           Own your story. Never
be silenced.”

We’re racing up from the Tube, glancing into the road for oncoming taxis, before hurtling ourselves to the next pavement. I’m stumbling in my gold heels, giggling at passersby expressions before, suddenly and quietly, stopping short. I look over to my friend Anna, who’s smiling but looking like she wants to bite her nails. She’s checking the time and worrying. She looks back.
”It’s just hit me”, I admit. “We’re going to be in a room with women I admire from a-far on the Internet. Proper girl bosses.”  Fuck.
grabs my hand and squeezes it tightly. We’ve got this.

The room was busy,
incredibly busy and there was a deafening chat going on. You know when you’re
in a nightclub and your friend has to kind-of-but-not-majorly shout to you, so
you can hear them? The #CTRLALTDELETE book launch was a club in a way; a band,
a gathering, a group of  kick-ass humans who came together with love to
celebrate a writer who gave nothing, but love to us all. I gazed around, rising
up to my tip-toes in order to grasp the vastness of the room, how many
humans there were with a glass of something in their hand and a smile on their
face, chatting, chatting, chatting. There I was in a room, sharing space
with women who’s words crafted through their keyboards. Women who had
helped shape me, even in a little way. Be it introduce me through social media
to other writers, writers they admired from far-away, or writers who had
grabbed the digital age with both hands and taken a piece for themselves, to
being proud of their work ethic, unashamedly been human in front of the
eyes (and feeds) of many. People who had jobs and careers and people who liked
them, even if it was for the way they wore clothes or said something in a blog
post or article. And then there was me, standing in this room, trying hard to
just take it all it and make the most of it. The most of this moment of
pure happiness.

I could go on about
these women I adored, but really all I can think about when I remember this
evening, is how much hope it gave me and how much love surrounded me. This love
wasn’t directed at me, it was for Emma. Emma who had written the book. Emma who
had taken the chance. Emma who had humans around her that loved her, in some
shape or form, who came into this room to celebrate the fact she did it. Emma
was the author.
In bleak times, it can feel
as though you are shouting into a void, with no clue or indication if anyone is
hearing you and accepting the words you’re saying. With the Internet, this
void grows bigger and you can feel as though your voice gets smaller, even if
only by an decibel. But in this room, although my voice is still small and I’m
in no ways basking in the success so many were, I stood on the side and thought
I can do this too. I can make something of myself, for myself, with no
rhyme or reason to hold me back.”

We all needs somebodies not
only to lean on, but to evoke a burning passion in us, to move and create and
cultivate a life we can be proud of. A life we feel comfortable, supported and
loved in. For a millennial and as part of Generation Z, life is far more
tricky and far more deep than it was in our parents time. With the Internet and
social media, people are connecting far quicker than before. Careers are
being carved, businesses made – the middle man no longer something as an artist,
a writer, or even a business man is needed for success. What is needed is
gritted teeth and determination. It all sounds so simple, a process not unlike
the flow of water from hillside to seaside, yet there’s still things that hold
us back. The pressure of others. The self conscious way we consider
ourselves to be perceived. So the simple becomes entangled in what we
think ‘reality‘ is.

I stood in this room,
tugging my white top down every now and then, listening to the speeches.
Hearing the reactions and cheering with the rest. As the first time going
somewhere as both an Internet human and a blogger, it felt
bloody amazing. Just to stand there and watch someone’s dreams become a
reality, to see the product of what going out there and just doing The Thing
made. Emma is that human, the complete girl
boss who showed me that night the power of doing what you want, to have drive
and passion. If you haven’t checked her blog out, do so here.

can all do The Thing we dream of doing. Nothing holds you back, as long as you
do like Rihanna and work work work work work.

Thank you for
inviting me Emma. This was magical.



Want to send an email? Contact
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_ click here 
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Barcelona is the capital of
Catalunya, a community that is the heart of the city. Whilst we were in
Barcelona we learnt of it’s Catalonia heritage, something often forgotten with
tourists as they race to the beaches or Sagrada Familia. I work in a spanish
tapas bar with many who adore the city of Barcelona, and one wonderful girl who
speaks Catalan so it was natural for me to feel so at home in the city. Spain is a country I adore, having spent every family holiday abroad there, but Barcelona is the place that makes you sit up and pay attention.
There’s no words for
Barcelona but if there had to be they would be; architecture, beer, warmth and
friends. It’s like the city revolves around being as approachable as possible,
with big open streets and a sun that never seems to diminish. It’s that kid in high school who smiled at everyone as they walked through the door, the one you remark years later “she was just so nice”.
I’m a self-confessed
architecture geek – you’ll find me on a drunken night out exclaiming over the way that light hits the side of that building, oh my god do you SEE THAT? Ergo Barcelona is my Disneyland. Gaudí is my Mickey Mouse. 
Antoni Gaudí’s influence is
everywhere, in Barcelona you can see which buildings are his or mimic his style by the
neo-gothic and modern structure, something so easily noticeable as many of
Barcelona’s buildings have a more classical Roman look to them. Some pieces, like the Casa Batlló look
like they’ve been built from a dream, bubbling up away from the straight walls,
with a lizard scale roof. At night, the way this place is lit up is dreamy, the
balconies looking like Phantom of the Opera masks smiling down to you as
you pass.  Casa Batlló is  known as ‘Casa dels ossos’ or ‘House of Bones’ because of
it’s skeletal appearance. To me, it looks like the Garden of Eden once Adam and Eve had been banished. Slowly stripped back and dying.

  I’m sure you will have heard of Sagrada Familia, because it’s taking ages to finish. Like over a hundred years sort of ages. If you haven’t, it’s
Gaudí’s piéce de réstistance (ooooh big words) aka it’s like the Titanic
for Leo Dicaprio. The thing everyone remembers because it is Iconic.
That’s Sagrada Familia. If you climb up to Park Güell you will have the most
incredible view of the city, and what’s the thing to your left? That’s the
Sagrada Familia. It’s so beautiful, incredibly beautiful. It’s out of this world, because it’s genuinely like nothing you will have seen before in your life. It’s iconic for a reason and the length it’s taking to be built is understandable once you see how much detail goes into every cm of stone. I captured a few photographs on my Instagram, are you following? Come join the fun!
It’s always good to have a checklist of essentials for both inspiration and a reminder, I always forget something when I travel. Here’s a list of my summer essentials 🙂 HomeAway designed it and it looks THE COOLEST! What are yours? Let me know in the comments below!

For students in Barcelona? Hostels like Factory Gardens are a win, central enough everything is in walking distance. Just make sure your sandals aren’t the blister kind. La Rambla is a gold mine for fresh juices and cheap street food – you can even sit and eat tapas for a fraction of the regular price in Barcelona. Beer is cheapest straight from the supermarkets, so hang out and make new friends over a few Estrellas. 
Barcelona – where you don’t need much more than a smile, a pair of trainers and a few euros. Just try not cry over the high-end designer shops as you walk to the beach.
Fancy travelling somewhere this summer? Check out HomeAway and their fantastic articles for some inspiration over on their website. 

Want to send an email? Contact
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_
Instagram; @LouRamsay_

Recently I went to Amsterdam (how did you miss my Instagram
spam? Come join the fun). It was impulsive, it wasn’t very well planned on my
part and it was bloody incredible.
In Amsterdam you can legally smoke weed. Naturally this
means there are hundreds and hundreds of coffeeshops (places you can basically
hotbox) and weed shops to cater for the tourists – varying in strength, taste
and appearance. The locals aren’t bothered by it; it’s like smoking a cigarette
to them. And this relaxed unbotherment (is that even a word? Whatever, I’m
going with it) got me thinking; why do we want things we do to be acknowledged?

Yes I got
philosophical about weed and it’s distribution. Hear me out.

You know when every conversation starts to feel like the one
before? Like you’re just repeating yourself and it bugs you, because it’s like
saying ‘yes I have grown up’ to a great aunt and there’s no point in it. You feel like you’re wasting air you might need
later on. It doesn’t turn into something;
it’s just talking for the sake of talking. There’s no definable light bulb
moment where everything becomes crystal clear. And then you start looking around
you at things like social media or movies or art, or even freaking McDonald’s
and you’re wondering – what’s the point in it all?
This isn’t in a suicidal way. It’s in a
feeling-the-pressure-of-life way, a wondering-what-you’re-doing sort of way. I
fee like I’m not making myself very clear right now, so lemme start over.
You know when you’re having a conversation and trip over your
words? Your tongue gets all tied up and you can feel yourself going hot as you
scramble to put yourself back on track. But you can’t, so you just become
flustered and panicky while your conversationee smiles kindly, except it feels
tight and cold instead of kind, so you kind of hate yourself a little bit for
messing up. So the conversation carries on but you don’t really pay attention,
just smile, as you start to overthink your next move or word. Yeah?
I’ve been feeling that permanently for a while now. It’s
like déjà vu for emotions on repeat as life goes on. The flustered ‘you’re so
dumb oh my god help’ mortification whenever I talk to some people, or even
think an idea out. Everything washes over me as I stay quiet, yet
simultaneously when I do talk or do something, I’m expecting it to be noted
down and added to the list of Greater Good in my life. Like it’s important,
when it’s not. At all.
 I don’t know how these two link – I feel constantly on the
defensive, a crick between my shoulder blades making me hunch over, becoming
smaller, quieter.
So seeing how relaxed people were in Amsterdam over weed,
while passing shops selling weed emblazed objects and clothing, the ‘smokes
weed once’ starter packs for better description, I couldn’t help but wonder. Why do people have to take note of our
Even writing this, there’s a voice in my head saying ‘noooo
shut up, this is pointless drivel’. Maybe it’s just an overextended
existential crisis since turning 20. Maybe I’m turning into a cynic. Maybe
Kendall Jenner is the next supermodel of our generation, and maybe Gigi Hadid
and Zayn Maliks spread in Vogue magazine is iconic. No actually, scratch that last part. It’s not and she isn’t. Soz not
I feel like I’m rambling, but that’s kind of the point of
this piece (fun fact: the first draft ((I usually only write first drafts)) was
written on a series of napkins at my work behind the bar). Who cares if I’m
rambling? Why do I feel everything I do or say has to be important or
noteworthy? Why do I feel this insistent pressure that everything has to add up
to some thing big, even the smallest
things most people overlook. Why do I feel
the need to ask or wait for permission to do things?

 It’s like everything has to
add up to lead somewhere. Everything
has to be noted down, ticked off a list and MEAN something. Otherwise it’s all
a waste.

And that terrifies me, the idea of wasting any and every
scrap of my time. I’m the girl who can’t stand wasting her time; I will
multitask like no other just to cram as much into my day as possible. I’m the
girl who will go on dates on the down low, feeling no need to tell my friends
because I think it will go nowhere. I won’t finish books because I don’t like
how they might finish. I’m the girl who cant stand the idea of a knight in
shining amour, yet will call him when I can’t sleep.

It all has to mean
something, it really does. Otherwise I’m just a newly 20 year old wasting her
time and feeling as much of a failure as she did at 5 years old.

No one cares if you smoke weed in Amsterdam, just like no
one cares all that much what you do. But I want someone to care, for someone to
clap me on the back and say ‘you’re doing it, everything’s fine’.  And I do have people contact me, come up to
me in person and say they love what I’m doing, which seriously brightens my
day. It really does. I just feel this increasing pressure to do more and do
better; writing this down makes me think of primary school and being given back
corrected work, red ink littering the pages as I felt my stomach drop in shame.
I feel that shame right now, because I’m being vulnerable
and that’s always hard for us, but right now I feel both needy and fed up all
at once. I sometimes even get tangled up in myself I just feel like AHHHHHHH
FUCK THIS BLAH BLAH BLAH WHATEVER AHHHHHHH to ABSOLUTLEY NO ONE. No one has upset me or harmed me, I’m just fed
up and my skin is itching for bigger things. Do you know that mood?
There’s a level of guilt for wanting more, wanting to be
noticed or understood that makes us feel like a clichéd teenager with badly
dyed dark hair and a questionable piercing. It feels like small things I do are
boring, even if it’s time to hang at the pub or a coffee shop with friends,
because it takes me away from doing something that could make my life better.
Being in Amsterdam, I could only hang with friends in various coffee shops (or
coffeeshops, I mean it is Amsterdam)
or bars, because that’s what we would do. Or go for walks chatting like crazy
over pointless stuff, which felt… nice. Calm.  Like the rabbiting of my heart took time off
for once in the past 6 months from all the crap that’s been going on in my
life; having to travel like a madman, getting through mountains of coursework,
losing my grandfather, turning 20, running back and forth between a town and a
city because I have two totally different lives and one has to crash and burn
for the other to flourish. I just can’t decide which one.
I started to think about permission; why is there a part of
me that needs it? And if so, why is it when I get complimented on my efforts on
something, do I then start to put less effort into it? Do I still feel guilty
for being ambitious and wanting more, when I know I deserve more?

Am I doubting my own self worth?

Right now I have no clear-cut answer; I feel like a walking
clichéd of a 20 something student. But who cares about clichés? It just means
more people have walked the same road and there’s nothing wrong with that. We
all want to get to our destination in some way, so why not take the road most
So here’s to not knowing our own solutions but carrying on
anyways. Here’s to travelling and good company and itches under skin. Here’s to
doing whatever we need to get to where we want to go, no matter how foolish it
may seem to others. And here’s to being ambitious, even if we don’t know where
it may lead us.
I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend you lovely people.
All the love,

Lou x

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Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_
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