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First off I want to start by putting it out there, I hate dating. I especially hate dating by selecting a person from the curated photos and minimal content provided on a dating app, ‘matching’, and then creating a false sense of connection prior to actually meeting the person face to face.

Can’t we just be drunk in a bar and give someone the eye like the good old days?!

Thanks COVID (and antisocial behavioural norms pre COVID)…

So here we are, stuck in our homes, social distancing ‘the new normal’, trying to find that special someone to join our…

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This is not ok.

Suddenly the face in the mirror has lines and bags and this weird cheek excess that my Grandad had. My body jiggles independent to itself and my hands are definitely betraying my years spent in the sun.

And I’m not the only one.

When the F did this happen, and why were we not better prepared?!

We hit our 30s happily, full of zero fucks and adult sass. We know who we are, what we want, and how we plan to get there. We’ve got our lives together. …

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Being a digital nomad sounds great. Loading up a backpack with essentials, grabbing your laptop and travelling the world, new places, new experiences, exploring different cultures.

Sleeping in hostels with ever-changing, interesting people, sharing rides to the airport before catching a flight to the next adventure, exchanging stories over bottles of local beer, laughing about that one taxi ride you took with that crazy driver who did that crazy thing.

Fleeting romances that feel like first loves, the passion, intensity and intimacy, but knowing it will all be over when one of you moves on or goes back to ‘normal…

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What does intimacy look like to you?

Is it sex? Is it physical affection? Is it the comfort in baring your soul to another?

Is intimacy something you consciously look for in your potential relationships or do you primarily look for something else?

Do you look for security, whatever your version of that is? Or do you look for a companion, someone to fill the void of life, to stave away the loneliness of potential solitude?

Aside from the usual prerequisites of attraction, compatibility, etc, do you even think about intimacy when selecting your partner?

The quest for love is determined by our own self-image. Countless gurus…

Oh, you gentle souls! You creative geniuses, who broke the mold, moved away from your dull and boring family and hometown because NOBODY UNDERSTANDS YOU!

You are BRAVE! You are AMAZING! You are SO DIFFERENT and CREATIVE! We WISH we could be JUST LIKE YOU.


Because you know what, get over yourself.

People don’t watch your Instagram from their dull lives back in Nowheresville to seek inspiration and release from the mundane. They don’t scroll through your ‘grid’ to read your captions waxing lyrical about life in your new country/city and how different it is and how you fight…

2019 was a big year for me, I set myself up in a great apartment in Morocco and completed some renovations on it myself, and traveled back to England to spend time with family so often that my nephews barely got excited about me coming back. I was also able to finally (for the first time in my life) go to a friend's wedding and stay in a hotel room alone without panicking about the cost of everything (a fact which I had a little happy cry about in the hotel room). …

It’s ok to lose your way sometimes.

You take that huge leap away from your normal life, you’ve upended everything you ever knew to be part of your day to day living and now you’re living this strange, weird, wonderful new life.

And you are happy.

Genuinely, truly happy.

​You feel life is beautiful, you realise you are stronger than you thought, you realise how adaptable you are and how much you love these new experiences.

But still, you feel a little… off.

The culture is different to what you are used to, you are treated differently, even those…

Travelling, relocating, anything that means you leave the place you call home for a significant period of time is daunting.

It is also exhilarating, amazing, exciting but also sometimes, lonely.

You leave behind the familiar faces, you live in no place you can call your own and you lose your security blanket of home.

​But, (for most!) it is absolutely worth every uncomfortable moment!

I left a northern English city for North Africa, for a new life in a quirky little surfer village on the beaches in Morocco.

For me, almost instantly, I felt more at peace in this new…

Summer is here.


By Summer of course we mean we’ve had a few days of glorious sunshine, a few weeks of rain and humidity levels that leave us looking like Tibetan Mastiff’s. However, our holidays are booked and we’ve spent HOURS scrolling Instagram and Pinterest gazing at hot models looking glossy, long limbed, bronzed and showcasing outfits we know we MUST HAVE.

​Then we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror…

Natalie Collins

Appreciating simple pleasures in life | Writing, life, freelancing, personal development, and general social observations

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