Dress: Spell and the Gypsy Collective 
As cliche as it may sound, there comes with the ever looming 30th Birthday a certain pressure from society to have achieved a tick list of things; buying a house, a certain step on the career ladder, getting married, having children, the outward appearance of having your shit together.

The one which I feel myself and my single females friends getting increasingly more frustrated with is the items on that list that require falling in love to achieve. As more of my friends fall in love, buy houses and get married to their partner of a billion years the more I feel like Rachel in Friends, frantically working backward from 35 and realising to be in the same position as those around me by that age I would need to have met the love of life, um, now actually.

Before you think it, there is absolutely no bitterness involved, weddings as it turns out are my absolute favourite thing ever and make me so blissfully happy I think I might enjoy them a little too much. Both of the weddings I have been to of close friends are amongst some of my favourite memories and I cried happy tears from the overwhelming presence of love on both occasions, those days still make me smile thinking about them now. 

It is more the pressure to find that special someone and announce it to the world in a gleeful social media post that I struggle with. Particularly so with my recent decision to go travelling. From my mother telling me all of her friends daughters who have gone to Australia didn't come back because they met a man, to friends asking about 'the man situation' on the reg, and even before I went away, to absolutely everyone I spoke to about it going "you might meet a guy!" with an excited squeal. The prospect of it was indeed very exciting, and don't get me wrong there have been some incidents while away that now allow me to drink to something new when the inevitable round of 'Never Have I Ever' happens at a hostel bar.  (Sorry Mum if you're reading this).

But I didn't go travelling to meet the love of my life, nor am I on a 24-7 right swiping Tinder quest to meet men as is the impression I get I should be. I am however on a mission to fall in love with myself again and find something that resembles inner peace and gratitude toward the world. I think I am getting there, even in the short three months I have been away so far I have fallen in love with the world, and most importantly myself all over again. I don't recognise myself from the woman I was at the start of this trip, let along before it. I am stronger and more fiercely independent than even I ever realised. I am confident when I want to be, and happy to take a back seat at times too. I am as capable of making friends with a wide variety of different people as I am navigating my around the other side of the world by myself. 

Often I find myself wondering if this frame of mind will continue when I get back to the UK, and if my resolve of being happy within myself and working on myself will continue. A question I can't yet answer, but I sure as hell know that I won't let this feeling go without a fight. I am also certain it will take some sort of magic for a man to sweep me off my feet again. Not because I don't believe in love, but because I believe myself worthy of only something that comes along once in a lifetime. Something that is worth waiting for, and something I would never have to settle for. 

There might be a lot of pressure for this to happen by a certain age, but I have always believed it happens exactly when it is supposed to, even if I might forget that at times. In the meantime I am making it my mission to make myself as happy as possible, and enjoy my time around those I am already head over heels in love with; my friends and my family and myself.