Right now Novella is curled up in a ball in one of my arms as I sit here writing this blog post with my other hand. Mia is off at gymnastics nearby and I am anxiously waiting for her return. Even though my girls are growing up I still have a hard time letting them go off on their own. We have felt nothing but safe here in Tirana, Albania.
Actually, out of all the countries we have lived and traveled through, Albania has felt the safest. Yes, I feel safer here than in the US if that is what you are wondering.
It kind of makes me giggle when people worry about me traveling and living abroad. Why is this same worry not warranted when I am in the US? Statistically, I am much safer here.
The sun did not make an appearance here in Tirana today. This seems to be typical these last few weeks. Secretly, I dream of escaping to a warm sunny place. I might just have to manifest that soon. You’d think I learned my lesson last year when we decided to spend part of the winter months in Canada. Mia wanted snow last year. We sure did find plenty of snow in Canada.
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This is another post that I am writing just because. Maybe I should make a diary category for these types of posts. It feels so good to just write.
I have been working through different decisions lately. Do we stick it out in Albania or move on to someplace new? I am a firm believer in saying Yes to life and not living with regret. If I am not liking a situation, I do whatever I can to change it. You should too. Life is too short to waste it being unhappy. On the other hand, there is a lot of growth in the uncomfortable.
There have been a ton of uncomfortable moments in this journey of traveling and living abroad. I am thankful for every single one. Usually, I am not grateful in the moment but looking back on the crazy, I am thankful.
I’ve been spending more time creating vlogs for our YouTube family. You can check out our vlog from yesterday below. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss out.
Alaya and I have been having a lot of coffee dates. It is our 1-on-1 time which is so important especially when you are a single mom. it can be challenging finding the time to spend individually with each child. I promised you all that I was going to be more transparent in these post. I don’t want anyone believing for a second that my life is perfect. Everyone has their struggles and it is no secret that I have been struggling lately.
Every Few Months
I go back and forth about returning to the states every few months. It is out of my system now but last week it was all I could think about.
For so many reasons. Sometimes I just want to go to Mcdonalds and Starbucks Y’all. Sometimes I just want to spend hours in Target getting all the cute home decor items and eating shitty hot dogs an popcorn. Is that too much to ask?
Like I said, this happens every few months and then I remember how I felt when I was living in the US. I was stressed about all the bills and an unbelievable amount of debt.
I was facing having to put my 3-month-old in daycare. I was trying to comfort one of my daughters who mentioned suicide due to bullying while at the same time I myself was struggling to make it through the day.
That was our reality in the US. Now, that doesn’t mean that since we set off on this adventure of traveling and living abroad that we haven’t dealt with tough times. We certainly have but the good outweighs the bad by so much.
I wrote yesterday’s post and hesitated to hit publish. It was more diary style than anything and I wasn’t sure if it provided any real value to my readers. I didn’t maximize it with affiliate links and SEO but I also didn’t care. I just want to write without always having to worry about that kind of stuff.
The blogging world is a tough business with tons of competition but you know what? My voice is unique and this story needs to be shared because I know so many women can relate.
Girl Wash Your Face!
Single mommas, I hear you. I know the struggle. I know the fight. You are not alone. Lately, I have been listening to a ton of audiobooks and reading. My latest listen was Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.
Yes, this is an affiliate link and yes, I highly recommend it. It was a damn good read. I laughed while listening to the book and appreciated her raw honesty.
Maybe that book is what sparked me to be more transparent in my latest post. I am not entirely sure. She as well started with blogging.
Enough about that though.
I Am Not A Travel Blogger
A vanilla candle is lit next to me right now. I have always loved vanilla candles. On the jar are the words Believe In Whom You Are And All You Can Be.
I like to have the candle lit next to me while I write so I can always remember that. Multiple mommas wrote me yesterday thanking me for the post and telling me that they could definitely relate.
It is crazy because I didn’t know quite where I fit in the blogging world until yesterday. I realized that I am not a travel blogger. You might find a few tips here and there about traveling but I am more of a lifestyle blog. I talk about living abroad, single parenting, overcoming abuse, depression, and divorce, schooling, and other random things that I deal with on a day to day basis.
Currently, I am working on book ideas. I have yet to find any stories of single mommas traveling the world with their kiddos. It looks like I will need to be the one to write that story so more mommas can realize that this is an option for them. You can do this!
I am so thankful to for all my readers that keep returning to the blog every day. I remember when I first created this little old blog and there were zero views for weeks at a time. When people did start viewing it, it was only after I shared a post on social media.
Now, everyday people are finding this blog in Google and that is such a great feeling. I guess I shouldn’t knock SEO so much considering that is exactly how people are finding me.
Good Ol’ College Days
My last semester in college we had to come up with a project of a career we wanted to do. I chose to start a blog called The-Not-So-Blended-Family. At the time I was married with two bonus kiddos so the blog shared the struggle of having a blended family.
I didn’t know it at the time but I would be separated from my then husband and my two bonus kiddos would go back to living with their momma full-time just four months after starting that blog.
I remember my professor asking me my 5-year plan. I told her I would be blogging while nursing my youngest living the absolute dream. At the time I was very pregnant with Novella.
I got an A in the class because I absolutely loved the project. I loved my blog. I remember classmates struggling so much with this assignment of creating something that we could turn into a career. I did not struggle because I knew I wanted to be a blogger.
I laugh now because I had no idea how to make money from blogging at the time. I thought I would just write and people would magically find my blog and I somehow I would be rolling in the dough. That is not really how it works anymore. There is so much that goes into this blogging world but it truly is a passion of mine.
It Is No More
The Not-So-Blended-Family blog is no more. One of my last posts on it was about my husband and I separating which shocked a ton of people.
I chose to delete the blog completely one day as I sat on the floor tears falling. My life had turned upside down in what seemed like moments.
That night I was in the house I had bought with my then husband. Novella was brand spanking new and I was completely overwhelmed with grief. I’d like to say I didn’t see my husband’s infidelity coming but the truth is that I chose to turn a blind eye to it time and time again.
I was under extreme psychological manipulation and I excused every single thing. Looking back now, I can see it all the lies but at the time, I could not see any of it. I will be sharing more and more of those details.
I have spent the last two years healing enough to finally be able to share what happened. I realize that I have blocked a lot of it so it will take me diving deep to remember details.
By sharing my story, I hope to help others who might be in an abusive situation. By exposing what happened to me, it might set someone else free before it is too late.