Dear Diary: Flying To New York

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It’s quarter past eight at home, according to my laptop. And I’m sat somewhere between Ireland and Canada, despo for a wee and fiddling with a spot on my chin with no idea if it’s at a white head stage yet and crying out for a bit of squeezing-in-the-loo action.

Maybe that was an overshare. Soz.

I’ve just eaten a cottage pie and had a cup of tea and watched How To Be Single, which, just FYI, was all kinds of awful and brilliant and is it too much to watch it again? It made me do happy tears and sad tears and snigger irritatingly in my window seat and you need it. You need it with pizza and excess hormones and a pal or two. I’d put it up there near Bridesmaids and Knocked Up. Just sayin’.

And I am excited. So excited in fact that I can feel my second OMG ALL THE EXCITEMENT AND ADRENALINE headache coming on. I also feel exhausted. But that sort of exhausted where you know you’ve got to stay awake for approximately another eight hours but at the end of that eight hours there’s going to be Five Guys and Times Square and you’ll probably cry because ISN’T LIFE JUST SO AMAZING. The type of exhausted where you can find some spare energy hidden in a secret compartment of your brain because magical things are so, so close.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit deflated. We had one of those awkward pre-holiday mornings where we didn’t need to leave the house until midday and we’d packed the night before and we were kind of just sitting around twiddling our thumbs, chasing the cats around the house and refreshing social media.

It’s amazing that even on the cusp of embarking on your dream holiday, social media can still make you doubt whether you’re good enough or doing life right.

It can still make you question yourself, your happiness and your abilities. And I wondered, as I wonder often, whether my time on the internet is up. Whether it’s worth the self-comparison and this unshakeable feeling that you’re always switched on and on the edge of burning out. This feeling that you’re no longer doing the internet right and you’re irrelevant and what’s even the point?

But I love the internet and I love words and I love the excitement and unpredictability of what I do. And I think sometimes I need to teach myself to stop devoting so much energy and thought to the wider picture – to eyeing up what other bloggers are doing and what people think of me. I need to continue to just do me. Because just doing me is where I’m happiest, and arguably, it’s where my best content comes from. When I block out all the outside noise of the internet.

Anyway, this isn’t a post about my place on the internet or my place in the world. This is a post about New York. A post about the importance of living, about exploring, about finding time and money to do the things that the make your life feel the most rich.

Life isn’t about which career path you choose, or whether you buy your own home before you’re 30 or never at all. It isn’t about whether you ever own a bag that costs more than your monthly phone bill or whether you can ever get your hair to a place where it doesn’t split into awkward strands whenever someone takes a photo of you, it’s about moments.

Creating moments that etch themselves onto who you are. Moments that stay with you forever. Moments that you carry about with you like little photos of your children in a drop down photo compartment in a wallet.

I can’t deny that some of the best moments can happen without planning. They just, well, happen. But when I think back to the best moments of my life (lemme do a little sick here and roll my eyes a bit) and ignore all the cliché things like YEY I GRADUATED AND YEY I MET MY BOYFRIEND AND YEY I GOT A GOOD JOB, my memories are always in places that took my out of the ordinary.

They are me sitting in yoga pants and a sweatshirt whilst eating Jambalaya and admiring the changing colours as the sun set on the Grand Canyon.

They are me drinking champagne and laughing over old tales with a best friend as the twinkling lights of Paris and the Eiffel Tower watched on.

They are me playing cards and eating pancakes in the humid Polish summer air with my grandparents.

They are me getting drunk on too-expensive red wine and steak and sharing my soul with Chris in a restaurant in Dublin.

They are exploring the world with people who mean a lot to me.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you ever feel like you shouldn’t be spending the money you work your ass off for, on taking time out from the ordinary, with people who make your world a better place, to explore and adventure and create memories, then you are wrong.

Because life isn’t about spending most of your waking life working and making money and building a career – it’s about those moments. Those moments that make every stupid email or annoying client or irritating boss, worthwhile.

The moments that justify how hard you work and how stressed and overwhelmed you sometimes feel. The moments that restore balance to your life. The moments that, well, make life worth living.

Mate, I’m going to stop reading like a self-help book and think about taking a nap.

But seriously, I’ll be your holiday enabler if you need it. I got your back, gal.

See ya in New York x

P.S. Follow all my lil NYC adventures on Instagram at @hannahfgale, and Snapchat at ‘hannahfgale’. Oh and you can follow boo on Instagram here too.

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  • Absolute perfect timing – as of this time tomorrow I’ll be winging myself to the airport for a MUCH needed break in Barcelona with my best friend! BRING. IT. ON!! Alice xx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • Literally the first thing I’ve read in a while that has really resonated with me! I couldn’t agree more, I’d much rather have happy memories to look back on than an expensive handbag I’d probably ruin anyway.. & thats 100% the best outlook to have!
    Have the best time in New York and I hope you come back with a whole load more of those moments 🙂
    Nicky X | http://www.teaandtakeaways.wordpress.com

  • Liz

    Hi, just wanted to say this post could not have come at a better time for me. I felt like it was written for me and it really made me stop and think and re think A LOT of stuff. Just wanted to share the love and appreciation, enjoy NYC 🤘

  • This post made me do a little tear. HOW do you articulate emotions so well when you’re on a plane? I can just about manage to stay awake for 8 hours. CAN’T WAIT TO SEE ALL YOUR NEW YORK CAUSE I’M GOING NEXT WEEK AHHHHHH CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NEXT WEEK
    http://www.fashionnomads.com

  • LOVE this post lady! Have the BEST time in NYC – cannot wait to see your snaps! P.s your time on the internet will never be up, I love reading your blog! <3

    Hayley x
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

  • Hayley Collins

    Please tell me where you got that orangey/red tote bag from! I desperately need that in my life! I’ve looked everywhere. I love the black one you have too. thanks!

  • Comparison is the thief of joy. I do wish you’d stop worrying that you’re not measuring up. In the words of Elf, “there’s room for everyone on the nice list”. There will be bloggers out there who are smarter, funnier, prettier, or with a better Instagram grid than you: but so what? There’s plenty of room for you as well, because you’re you and you’re different from them. Oh, and there are plenty of people who are less smart, less funny, less pretty and well bad at Instagram all looking up to you, thinking they can’t measure up. Keep working hard, you’ve got loads of fans who luv ya (HIYA) This was supposed to be inspirational and now I’m worried it’s not. :-/

  • This is like a summary of my whole approach to life. People always tell me I go on holiday too much and that I should save my money for better things but they are WRONG because there are no better things. Hope you and Chris have the most acest burger filled trip! x
    Sophie Cliff

  • I love this post so much, I am constantly working out weather I have the money to spend on this that or the other and what should I be saving for or paying off etc. Its so refreshing when someone else says forget all that, make the moments count. I love to travel and cant wait to explore new places, and I have every intention of doing just that! Thanks for the inspo! x

    Caitlyn

  • Ahh so cute and so true, you can’t take any material things to your grave, just the memories! xx

    http://www.shayholly.co.uk

  • My Nan would always give me a little something whenever I went round and she would always tell me to spend it on a treat because ‘you cant take it with you’. These days I do save, of course do, but I also spend whatever I can on enjoying myself and spending time with those that put a smile on my face – I call it investing in happiness!

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

  • Well said! And thank you for being a holiday enabler. You’re completely right and I couldn’t agree more, life is about what you make of it and the moments that come from that.
    I can’t wait to hear/see more about your trip to NY. My sister and I are heading for a long weekend in December so I’m planning on stealing all your food places!
    Have fun!
    Laura xx

  • Amy

    Hannah, you doing you is what makes you my favourite blogger, you are so relevant to so many people and you shouldn’t doubt yourself so much! I’ve been pining for a holiday this year even though I can’t really justify spending any money because we’re doing up our house but after your little self help paragraph I’m thinking maybe I need a holiday more than a new kitchen! Have an amazing trip 🙂
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

  • Katy

    Finished watching How to be Single and immediately started it again 🙌🏻🙌🏻 soundtracks is a fun one to listed to whilst you work btdubs. 🙋🏻

  • G

    Super off point but I love your trousers – where can I buy them? xxxx

    • I snapped them up from H&M last week. I think they were £14.99 and they’re SO comfy! x

  • Ruth

    LOVE this! Makes me want to call all my friends and arrange to meet up or go on holiday with them ASAP and not neglect them because I feel guilty about not working enough or not having enough money. It’s good to have a little reminder to enjoys life’s little moments and experiences. :-)Thank you!
    Hope you have an amazing time in New York!
    Ruth xx

  • LOVE this Hannah! Also love the spot comment, it is my daily struggle.

    Have the best time ever in NYC, I miss that place too much!

    Immy x

  • This post made me smile! From the TMI first paragraph to the last. Have a magically time in NY!

    But I hate to say that sometimes I feel like I’m ‘done’ with social media too. I spend way too much time lurking on other people’s profiles or wishing to have that #BloggerLife

    Once I read, say if you spent all that time you spend seeing what others are doing – and swapped it for focusing on yourself. What do you think life would be like?

    I hated answering that question, but imagine what it would be like? But don’t you worry because we all feel the same! And browsing is my guilty pleasure!

    ENJOY YOUR HOLS!

    Kara x

  • This is exactly the post I needed today! My boyfriend and I are in the process of looking to buy our own first house and it’s big and scary and I’ve cried a few (okay a lot of) times.

    For me, it’s been hard trying to balance things. We’ve seen some nice houses that we could technically afford, but I worry that we wouldn’t be able to have any kind of real life. Everything we did or didn’t do would have become a question of whether we could afford it. And it would’ve been tight.

    I half decided that I’d rather take somewhere a little cheaper – maybe a bit smaller or on a not quite as lovely street – but still be able to afford to have other things in my life aside from a perfect house. But I kept thinking I might have been making the wrong decision.

    You’re so right, the best things in life are the unexpected adventures we take, and if you’re always looking at your bank balance you can’t afford to take those chances. That would really suck.

    So thanks for being my cheerleader today! And never stop posting what you love. It’s what we love you for too 🙂

    Rebecca xx
    http://www.thestyleshake.com

  • Yup. I’m being made redundant and can’t really afford it but I just booked flights home to see my fam because I need it. I need those memories with those people and it’s worth so much more than money to me xx

  • Hannah, awesome post as always and I couldn’t agree more with what the important bits of life are, when you die you won’t regret taking holidays and making memories. Also keep doing you, you are awesome and yours is the blog I always come to when I’m trying to find my voice in the Internet.
    I hope NYC is amazeballs!
    Xxx
    Simone
    http://Www.simplysimone.me

  • After reading this post, you seriously are my holiday enabler. Already you’ve got me wanting to book a holiday and go.

    You are so right though in that life is about the moments and often the unplanned ones are the best ones of the bunch! Hope you have the best time in NYC!

  • Harriet

    Love this post, and it’s made me feel better about the holiday I’m probably going to book next week that I can’t really afford! Hope you have a fab time in New York 🙂

  • Hope you’re enjoying NYC girl and I think this hits home with how you want to spend your time, experience and money – I definitely think I need a kick up the butt more with taking time to travel, stop thinking about it and just do it and live my experiences!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • This and more! I have a packed, but not weighed because I forgot to buy bloody batteries for my scales, carry on at the bottom of my bed and its like 1.30am and I’m too nervy to sleep. I had one of the those quarter-life crisis’ *does a sick* the other night about travel and if I’m doing enough or if i should be packing my life in and living on a beach selling homemade ice cream instead. But thank you for reminding me that I can do a job I love and still travel and create memories. Its possible to have both and that you deserve time to relax/explore/sleep. Enjoy NY Hannah x

  • I really liked this post. It’s one of the first of yours I’ve read and, personally, I really don’t think you need to worry about comparison. Your personality shines through your writing and you seem really warm and approachable!
    I hope you have a wonderful well-deserved holiday!

    Nicky xx | http://www.curious-journeying.com


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