Travelling Unmasked

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During a recent month-long trip to Bali, I finally became okay with not wearing make-up. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually a big achievement for me. Usually I wouldn’t dare leave the house without makeup on. I am very self-conscious of my skin – my blotchy complexion from years spent in the Australian sun, the dark circles under my eyes that show the signs of my insomnia, the sporadic appearance of pimples that skipped my teenage years and decided to make their debut during adulthood. I usually cover all of this up.Whether I’m going to work or even just a walk up the street, I lather on the concealer and smooth on foundation to hide my blemishes. Heck, I even blot powder under my eyes when I am going to the gym. It’s never been about vanity or what others think of me; it’s my own self-confidence (or lack thereof) that has led me to live a life of hiding behind a mask.

But something happened in Bali. I stopped giving a fuck.

Appearance suddenly became a “who cares” affair. Make-up went from being a non-negotiable part of my morning routine to a non-existent task. The unbearably hot weather and constant stickiness in the air meant it would instantly melt off with salty sweat anyway. Not only did it feel gross wearing foundation in a 95% humidity tropical climate, but I legit stopped caring what I looked like. I barely wore makeup and I didn’t let the fact a couple of pimples were exposed affect my confidence, or my day.

There is something about travelling that changes our perspective on what is important. Showering becomes a once every second, sometimes every third day thing (because swimming at the beach or jumping in the pool totally counts as washing too). Clothing gets worn on repeat for as many times as possible before masking unpleasant smells with deodorant loses its effectiveness. Hair goes unwashed for days – either covered up with a hat or scrunched up in to a messy-bun somewhat reminiscent of a birds-nest. Sometimes even “teeth brushing” gets replaced by chewing a piece of gum or gurgling some mouthwash. It’s just that our priorities change. There’s shit to do and people to meet. Places to go and shit to see. Ain’t nobody got time for excessive personal hygiene.

I have travelled before, usually for weeks or months at a time, and on every single one of these trips I didn’t go a day without wearing makeup. Sometimes I would even rise early in the morning to sneak into the hostel bathroom before anyone else emerged from their hangover slash jetlag slash both to put on my face for the day. Because #iwokeuplikethis. I couldn’t bare facing the world as foundation-free me. Even when it was just my travelling partner who would see me, self-consciousness always won.

Ridiculous I know.

Yet something changed this time round. I can count the number of times I applied a full face of makeup on one hand. Two fingers in fact. Some days I would sweep on a thin layer of mineral powder to cover up sunburn but most days it was al naturale baby. While to some this could seem like a meaningless and kind of vain feat to celebrate, for me it is a milestone. Finally feeling comfortable enough to ditch the cosmetics and just roll with it is insanely elating.

I’m still self-conscious about my imperfections. Aren’t we all? But I am embracing them and learning that life is much more free when you focus less on appearance. Now my next challenge is to implement this “traveller’s mentality” into everyday life. Just maybe not the minimal showering part. There are some hygiene rules that shouldn’t be broken.

Love Eloise xx

Originally published by Global Hobo

 

 

What A Healthy Relationship Looks Like

First and foremost, a healthy relationship begins with YOU! You must first have a healthy relationship with yourself before you can even consider delving into one with someone else. So often people fall into relationships for the wrong reasons – whether they know it or not. Commonly to fill a void or to compensate for a self-love deficit.

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Obviously I can only write this from the perspective of a woman. But a woman who was once a young, fragile girl with no self esteem and no sense of self worth. A girl overcome with so much self hatred that she (unknowingly, until now) relied on others to feel any kind of happiness and love. A girl who is now transformed into a strong and independent woman. A woman who has finally learnt to love herself and is completely content in her own skin.

In hindsight, (along with life experience), I can now see that my self-love deficit was a huge contributing factor to why my one and only true relationship broke down. Yes I was in love once and yes it was magical. It was five years ago and it was three years of my life. I was so happy and so in love. I look back on it with fond memories but I was also young and I didn’t know who I was. I was insecure and easily broken. I was emotionally weak and far too dependent. I put up with things I probably shouldn’t have but I also caused a lot of my own heartbreak by failing to love myself first and as a result settled for less than I deserved.

It is only now, five years on, that I realise how important self-love and self-acceptance is in order for a relationship to work. You need to be content with who you are as a person and have an understanding of yourself. You need to have established your own beliefs and be grounded in your values. You need to love yourself fully and accept yourself as you are. You need to do all this before you let someone else in, so that you can be sure you are embarking on a relationship for the right reasons.

“It’s all about falling in love with yourself first and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit” – Eartha Kitt

Once you have established yourself as a person and truly know who you are. When you have learnt to be happy alone and content in your own company. Once you truly and wholeheartedly love and accept yourself. Once you understand the value of your worth and know what you deserve in a partner, is it then, and only then that you will be ready to share your heart.

When that time comes, it is about finding someone who brings out the very best in you. A person who supports your dreams, your ambitions, your goals and drives you to achieve them. Someone who constantly makes you happy, your smile bigger and your laugh louder. A best friend. A soul mate.

A healthy relationship should be nurturing, compassionate, selfless and comfortable. It should be built on a foundation of trust, mutual core values and similar beliefs. You should be able to co-exist as two independent individuals. There should be open and honest communication and unbreakable loyalty. Both partners should be equally committed. It should be real. It should be raw. It should be passionate. It should be fun.

“Why should a relationship mean settling down? Wait for someone who won’t let life escape you, who’ll challenge you and drive you toward your dreams. Someone spontaneous you can get lost in the world with. A relationship, with the right person, is a release not a restriction” – Beau Taplin

People ask me why am I still single. The answer: because I am not willing to settle for anything less than a love that is REAL! Of course I want to find love again. I want to find my soulmate. I want to be able to share my life with someone – to share my greatest hopes, my biggest fears and my wildest dreams with them. To talk together for hours on end with raw authenticity. I am at a point where I am so happy within myself and all I want from here is to continue to grow as a woman. To thrive in my career goals. To travel the world and experience life. And as much as I want to pursue all of this on my own, it would be so amazing to have someone by my side to share all this with as well. But I am just not going to settle for anything less than a love that I deserve.

I refuse to settle for mediocracy. I don’t do things half-hearted. I am either all in or all out. And love is absolutely no exception. Love should be passionate. It should feel like fireworks every time you are together. You should feel excited butterflies and even a little bit nervous around one another. It should feel 100% right. There should be no doubt in your mind. This is what I am waiting for. I am searching for someone who will be build me up and push me to achieve my dreams. Someone I can grow and mature alongside with. A partner in crime, who makes the smallest, simplest things in life fun. I am looking for that elusive spark. That spark I have only ever felt once before, but believe with all my heart that I WILL experience again one day.

“Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.” – Unknown

Until then, I am so content cruising along solo. I trust in the universe and have faith that my person will come along when the time is right.

Love Eloise xx

This is A Story of Self-Love

Last month I turned 25. And in the same week of my birthday, I was told by someone that I looked 18 and by another that they always thought I seemed older. I wasn’t entirely sure how to take either of those comments, but I guess I should be flattered. I am apparently a youthful looking 25-year-old with a maturity level beyond that. Not so bad really 😛

Either way, I love being 25! There is just something about this age that is amazing. I feel like I have reached a real turning point in my life. Not necessarily defined by age, this positive shift really began to take form at the cusp of 2015. It was at this time that I finally found a happy place within myself. I finally learnt to love who I am, embrace my imperfections and be accepting of myself.

I wanted to do something that would forever remind me of this truly blissful feeling.  So I did. For my 25th birthday, I gifted myself with a little piece of love. A present to me, from me, to celebrate my quarter-of-a-century milestone. I had a small little heart tattooed on my left wrist. It is more than just some ink on my skin though, and this is more than just the story behind my tattoo. This is a story of self-love.

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The heart itself is imperfect. Imperfect like me. It is my love heart. The heart I draw on a piece of paper. The heart I have been practicing to draw in that exact position of my wrist for years. Yes, it is something I have wanted to get done for a while. Something I had spoken about with one of my closest friends many times. However, the moment was never quite right. I didn’t want to have something permanently inked on my skin at a time in which I doubted myself, hated myself and abused myself. I didn’t want to have negative associations with it.

But then, this year, the timing became oh so right. It was like, one day, all of a sudden I had a complete shift. To go from being someone who lacked self confidence, abused my body, bullied myself and cared too much about what others thought of me, to the place I am now, is magical. Honestly, I have never been more content and at peace than I am now. I no longer feel the need to impress others. I no longer put such a strong emphasis on my physical form. I am proud of my little quirks because it is my differences that make me who I am. I am 100%, unapologetically me. Dorkiness and all.  It is a truly empowering place to be.

And so this is exactly what my tattoo signifies. It signifies self-love and every time I look at it I am reminded of the reason behind it’s presence on my skin.

“To accept ourselves as we are, means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.”

Love Eloise xx

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