the long distance relationship_kairamkairam

#14 – The Long-Distance Relationship

“Going the distance every occasion, headed for somewhere out of the way” – Lights.

If you followed me for quite a while, you might have realized that I mention a certain boyfriend every once in a while. Well, in case you were wondering, that guy still exists, and while we are having our ups and downs, we are still surviving this whole long-distance relationship thing. What you might not know however is that we actually spent way less time living in the same city than we did apart while being a couple. There was not always a difference of 8 time zones, but we are rather experienced when it comes to long-distance relationships. And since I fell like in our globalized world more and more couples experience something similar at some point, I quickly wanted to write a few points you might want to consider and keep in mind should you face my current situation.

 

Trust in your relationship
Can you count how many times you have heard the words “what’s meant to be will be”? I can’t. But when it comes to relationships, I have to agree with the saying. According to my own and friends’ experiences, if your relationship works, it works, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, no matter whether you are living together or on different continents. When you and your partner are sure about your relationship, you will be able to maintain a long-distance relationship, so stop worrying. One thing the distance however does is, if there are things that might eventually tear you apart, the distance will lead to a quicker split. For me, distance always makes me realize what is important for me in a relationship, and if your partner and you have similar expectations for your future together. One of my friends, who broke up with her boyfriend after going the distance, told me that she always knew that it wasn’t quite right, but it was nice having someone around. As she spent time on her own she realized what exactly annoyed her about her (ex-)boyfriend, and that this won’t change even if they were going to live in the same place again, so they seperated. Living in a new place on your own always makes you think about what you actually want a little more, and if this is staying with your partner (and they feel the same), it will work. Have faith.

Communicate
For me, this is one of the most important points. Every couple communicates differently, but make sure you stay in contact. In my opinion it’s no relationship if you don’t share at least most parts of your life, and since you cannot be there to experience different moments together, you have to find other ways to live through them together. My boyfriend and I are basically always messaging each other when we are awake and try to cram in a Skype-call once a week, but I know quite a lot of couples who call each other every day whenever they have time. You could send each other estensive love letters, but I would go crazy having only month-old information. I am an impatient person. Try to find a way to communicate that’s best for both of you, and keep it up as regularly as possible. Also, you will get to know your partner on a completely new level as you will be forced to actually talk a lot, and I know that quite a few couples don’t really do that, especially in the early stages. ;)

Don’t get jealous
I am convinced that being jealous is the worst thing you can do when being in a long-distance relationship. There is no way to control what your partner is doing, so you have to believe in what they are telling you. However, I do believe that trust is extremely important in every relationship, no matter if living together or miles apart. You should openly talk about what is okay to do for each of you, and what might upset each other – I know a couple who went as far as being fine with one-night-stands as long as it really was one night only. Just talk about it – if possible before moving – and make sure to stick to it. And if you cannot trust your partner 100%, your relationship might be in trouble anyways.

Make time for each other
This point again is important whether you live close or apart. However, it does get quite a bit harder when being apart. Different time zones, work/uni schedules and other things you want to do will make it difficult for you to find time to talk. Here it is important to plan a little bit ahead and make time for each other. Whether that requires one of you staying up a little later or getting up a little earlier, some things need a little bit of dedication. However, please don’t stop your life just to be able to talk to them (see the last point).

Always know when you will meet next
Make plans together. For me it’s extremely important to have something to work towards, in life and in relationships, so knowing when you will be able to hold each other again makes everything a lot easier – whether that is in a day, a month or even a year. Also make sure to stick to the plans you make, because nothing is more upsetting than being excited about something for what feels like an eternity, and then one party cancels last-minute. Of course, stuff happens and you might not be able to make it anymore, but in that case try to find a new date to see each other as soon as possible – it really does help to make time go by faster and makes you feel like you work towards a common goal.

Surprise each other every once in a while
In every relationship it is nice to surprise each other every once in a while. When living together, you might see something that reminds you of your partner, and simply get it for them. Don’t stop doing things like that just because you are physically not that close to each other anymore. While it might take a little more effort to surprise each other when living apart, in my opinion, it’s still worth it. In times of Amazon (side note: Dear Australia, could you please be normal and sell something other than books on Amazon? :D ), eBay and other shops it’s really easy to order stuff online and simply send it to each other. You can also send beautifully handwritten letters, or little care-packages with things that remind you of each other. Put in a little effort, and let the other one know that you think about them – it’s a very easy thing to do and will make their day.

Be open about your feelings
This point is very closely linked to the one about communicating. You are not close to each other to sense what the other person is feeling or going through at the moment, so you will have to tell them. When something upsets you, makes you happy or furious, tell your partner. It doesn’t matter if they are the reason for your feelings, but if you hate the world, you will also hate them, and they will not understand what is going on without you telling them. Spare yourself the fight, and let them know. However, please don’t be afraid to fight just because you cannot scream into each other’s faces. Whether you fight via Skype or some kind of messaging, if something bothers you about each other, discuss it, or it will eat you up. And in case your feelings towards each other should ever change – which can happen, we are all just humans after all – make sure to also talk about that too. Don’t make each other suffer because you desperately want to break up in person – that just doesn’t always happen. Just be respectful and don’t just send them a message and then block them (and yes, also that has happened).

Enjoy Life
You will have a lot more time on hand when you suddenly basically live the life of a single. Do stuff with friends, explore your city and – especially in the beginning or when you have an episode when you miss them terribly – make sure to keep yourself busy. Don’t stop your life because you are not with your partner – you will never get these years back. Plus, living on your own will let you grow and make you a much stronger person, so make the best of it and gather loads of experiences you can later on share with your partner. Please don’t crawl into a hole and be sad 24/7 – that will not make it any easier for anyone of you.

 

All in all, I don’t think that you have to be afraid of turning your relationship into a long-distance one. Just keep in mind that it will be hard at times, stick to it if you think it’s worth it and end it if you think it’s not. And who knows, maybe some time apart is exactly what you needed in order to know why you started your relationship in the first place.

 

xx, K (:

how to survive camping_kairamkairam

How to Survive Camping as a Non-Camper

You might not know this about me, but I used to be a Scout. Be prepared and awesome uniform included. Since then, quite a lot of time has passed and I turned into a rather girly girl who actually preferred sleeping in a car to building up a tent during a festival – although to my defence, it was pouring down and the tent would have been full of mud inside and out by the time we could have built it. Long story short, when I got invited to a camping trip, I was slightly sceptical. However, it sounded like a fun opportunity for a nice weekend with friends, so I decided to risk it and believe it or not, it was one of my best and most relaxing holidays ever! So I decided to give you some tips on how to survive a camping trip – even if you might think that it’s not quite your cup of tea.

 

Get the most amazing spot
One of the cool things about camping is the fact that you can access place you would otherwise have no chance of going to. We put up our tent right at the beach, so whenever we got up in the morning we just opened our “door”, felt the sand under our feet and jumped right into the water – what’s better than that? Especially when you enjoy your wildlife, there is no better thing to do than camping. My friend told me that when touring through the outback at quite a few stops they were having breakfast with kangoroos and dinner with wallabies. As most Aussies prefer to camp in national parks you also get your fair share of wildlife, and the animals often are used to people so you will get your awesome kanga-selfie.

Get chairs and a table
Now I know this might sound like a minor thing to you, but trust me. At some point you will be sick of having sand and/or dirt all over your body, and the “special ingredient” makes everything taste funny. By sitting on an actual (camping) chair – or at least a stool – you can try to avoid at least some of the dirt, and the food is just so much nicer without the crunchiness of sand and dirt. Hence, try to have something to prepare your food on – and just a plate does not really do the job. My cheese kranskies tossed in sand can tell you more about it.

Make a bonfire
What’s camping without a bonfire? It keeps you warm, heats your food and creates the perfect atmosphere. Just bring allong your marshmallows, sausages, corns and everything else you could possibly grill on a piece of wood, toss some potatoes in the fire and try not to get too much dirt on your munchies. Enjoy!

.. but also bring a gas grill
I seriously am a foodie with all of my heart, so I have to really stick to my point of telling you to not toss all of it into dirt. While bonfires are amazing, after about two days you will be sick of all the food you can prepare with just a piece of wood, so a gas griller is your rescue – and it’s much easier to not accidentially dump your food on the floor while manically pointing at a firefly with your stick when using a grill. Easiest thing to prepare on a gas griller are all kinds of stews, but if you feel like that’s too much work, you can also just fry up some eggs or bring along baked beans and heat them up – it’s never too late for breakfast, right?

Invest in a sleeping bag (and maybe an airbed)
First time I was camping outside my house with a friend we just brought all of our bedsheets, pillows and stuffed animals into our little tent – and about 30 minutes later we decided that we didn’t like it and just moved all of our stuff back into the house. Especially when you camp further than 20 metres away from your bedroom, you will need a good sleeping bag. I am freezing basically always, so I invested in a rather good one, but you can find really cheap ones for instance at Aldi – they generally offer quite good value-for-money camping stuff, so check if they have something in the near future before you go camping, and maybe even get a sneaky camping chair. My friend also got herself an airbed to sleep on – I’ve never seen that before, and to be honest, I would be way too lazy to pump it up especially because I sleep like a stone no matter the ground, but if you want a nice and cosy bed, getting an airbed (and a pump) is a pretty genious idea.

Find some camping-experienced company
Never built a tent or made a bonfire? That’s cool. But maybe try to find someone to join you who has actually done both of these things before. While it’s not too hard to get a tent to look reasonable, people with a bit more experience usually know how to make sure it will also be there after a little bit of wind and rain, which can be a big plus. And bonfires can be tricky. On another trip I did this year, the guys tried for about an hour to get their fire to burn, and then someone else took over and the job was done within minutes. Don’t mind me, feel free to be all adventurous and try by yourself, but it makes your life a lot easier when you have someone who can tell you how to put your hammock on a tree without the tree breaking down as soon as you decide to chill in it. Plus, they might even have a big extra tent to stay under if it should start to rain one day.

Bring some entertainment
When camping, you basically don’t have anything to do all day. You might need to prepare some food – but that’s usually rather quick – and that’s about it. So make sure to keep yourself entertained. When on your own bring a book – electricity might be tricky, so don’t rely on your phone – and just relax for a while. When in company, you will naturally have a bit more of entertainment anyways. Bring some cards, maybe a football and a frisbee and in the evening get to know each other in the way you never wanted to get to know each other during a lovely game of never have I ever and a little too much sangria. And don’t forget to look at the stars while out in the wild, they never look as pretty as they do without city lights.

Be wise about what to pack
Now I’ve mentioned quite a few of the essentials before, but also in terms of clothing and beauty stuff, there’s just so much that works slightly different when camping. I had a massive backpack full of things and ended up using probably the upper quarter part – and that was only partly because my backpack sucks and I couldn’t access anything below that point without unpacking the whole thing. Some shorts you don’t care too much about – perfect. A big jumper keeping you warm at night – a must. Foundation and enough make-up to prepare all faces of Cats – The Musical – not quite appropriate, because let’s face it, the make-up will just be all over the place and way to much of a hassle to put on while in a tent with horrible lightning. Generally make sure to pack some things you don’t mind getting dirty, flip flops for shower and bathroom, facewipes and hand sanitizer if you don’t have proper access to running water and try not to overpack, because usually, you will have to carry your things at least for a little while.

Embrace the dirt
And now to the part I dislike the most. It will be dirty. I’m not sure what it is about me, but while most other people tend to look like reasonable humans while camping, I look like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. But even if you don’t have this natural talent like I do, you will not have the hygenic standards you get in a four star hotel. Toilets – if existing – will smell rather bad (never breathe through your nose), and showers are luxury – just hope there’s a river or the sea nearby, or you will have to sacrifice on of our precious water bottles. And about five minutes after the shower you will feel as dirty as you did before. But you know what? Everybody surrounding you is the same! And after your first bonfire night you and your tent will be coated in the lovely smell of smoke, so you luckily won’t be able to smell your neighbours anyways. Just stick through it, and put some oil in your hair before you take your deserved shower back home – or  otherwise, you will end up with a lovely bird’s nest on top of your head.

 

Did you ever go camping? If yes, what did you enjoy the most – or did you hate every part of it?

xx, K (:

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why-you-should-get-out-of-your-city-now_kairamkairam

#12 – Why You Should Get Out of Your City Now

As much as I love living in the city and the possibilities it offers, deep down I cannot get rid of my inner country girl. Born and raised in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing that makes me happier than the soft sounds of a forest. I fell nowhere safer than surrounded by trees, stones, and ideally some water, and nowhere more home than while being completely out of breath from walking up a hill. Although I still could not imagine actually living in the countryside, getting out of the city is something I just have to do every now and then in order to keep me sane. Although none of my problems have magically dissolved themselves during my week off – actually, they became even worse as I got an assignment back and I have no idea why and how I got such a bad grade – spending a few days surrounded by nature made me feel a lot less stressed about everything. And maybe it even provided me with a new perspective on my worries, and that they actually are not as horrible as they appeared to be last week. Now I just hope that I can maintain my zen even as uni goes back in motion – wish me luck.

If you need a little bit of country side in your life, take a deep breath, look at the pictures and switch of your internet for an hour or two. Mine still doesn’t work properly (hence the short post, currently typing away on my phone), and the feeling of having only ridiculously slow internet calms you down to an extent I could not believe myself. I hope you all have a nice and relaxed week!

xx, K (:

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