April was a busy month for me with many highlights so I though why not share my April highlights & favorites with you.
Thesis Adventure: The Beginning of an End
At the beginning of April, I’ve officially registered my Master’s thesis. I was doing some research before that, but now I’ve got an official deadline (mid-August) and things just got serious. In general I’m 3 full days (early morning until late afternoon) per week locked up in the library writing and during two other days, after my two jobs, I’m ‘only’ working on my thesis afterwards for a few hours. In other words, I’m busy, busy, busy.
I’m not sure if too many people are interested in tips & tricks on time-management and thesis research. I will continue to document my thesis journey on Instagram under the hashtag #mariawritesthesis and occasionally here on my blog. However, if anyone is interested in general tips, leave me a comment and I’ll prepare some posts.
NZ Visa Adventures
On April 3rd, I’ve applied for my New Zealand working holiday visa and on April 15th it got approved! Whohoo! I’ve written a post on that adventure already called Things to Consider when Applying for a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand (with a Disability) . Now that the most important things regarding my New Zealand journey are booked or organized, I really can start to focus on all the things I want to do when I’m there. I’ll be honest, it still feels so unreal that I’ll go back to NZ later this year. I’ve wanted to go back ever since I left NZ in 2009 and I’ve been wanted to do work & travel in NZ for around 10 years and now that it is really happening I somehow can’t believe it. Thankfully, I’m too busy writing my MA thesis to think of NZ just yet.
Bullet Journaling (Mis-) Adventures
Throughout April, I’ve been exploring bullet journaling and came to the conclusion that it is not for me. Not sure what bullet journaling is? Here is the official bullet journal homepage with a guide and information. I was introduced to bullet journaling by my friend Alice from thegeekyburrow.com. At first, I’ve used my bullet journal in addition to my regular pocket Moleskine weekly calendar, but it felt like too much to have a regular calendar, a bullet journal, and a regular journal. I needed to simplify. So in the last week, I decided to only use my bullet journal and google calendar on my phone for an entire week and came to a realization. I’ll be honest, bullet journaling is, to me, not an adequate calendar replacement. I need to be able to plan weeks in advance and you can’t really do that in a satisfactory way with bullet journaling. Also, having to set up and work on the bullet journal spread all the time is too much of a hassle for me. Likewise, I can’t use a digital calendar, I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve also realized that ‘pretty planning’ is also not my thing.
Instead, I came back to my old system of taking a pocket Moleskine with a the week on one page with me while having an inexpensive no-name A5 sized planner with one day on one page at home. The pocket Moleskine is a great way for me to stay organized on the go while the A5 planner allows me for more detailed planning, including to-do lists, editorial blog calendar, and tracking daily expenses. I’ve been using the Moleskine planners for 7 years now and I’ve used different planner layouts (day on one page, week on one page, week on two pages etc) during that time. This great variety, and simplicity is what I love about Moleskine. It isn’t too bulky and I can choose from a great variety of layouts depending on my needs.
Same as with my thesis writing process, if anyone is interested in how I stay organized with my planners & blogging, leave me a comment and I’ll devote an entire post (or more) on it.
Favorite Art & Travel Item of the month
I don’t know about you, but whenever I have a trip coming up, my brain gets obsessed with travel gadgets and items. I’ve been thinking about replacing my current 65L travel backpack for something slightly smaller and with fewer straps and I think I’ve found something. I will wait until next month, for when my budget will allow me to spend money on a new backpack, before I purchase it. This will give me time to research and about it to figure out whether it really is ‘the perfect pack’.
For now, I’m obsessed with a new pencil case that I’ve purchased specifically for my upcoming trips. The reason that I love it are its two mesh-pockets. I don’t know how much time I’ve wasted in life looking for a specific pen or pencil in my pencil case only to find anything, but that pen or pencil I was looking for.
I found this pencil case at my local arts & crafts store for less than 4€ and I can’t wait to use it! You can purchase this pencil case on amazon if you’re interested.
Other than that, April wasn’t too exciting because I’ve literally spend all my free-time locked up in the library. Now, with the beginning of May, the sun finally decided to come back. Maybe I’ll be adventurous this month by writing my thesis in a café instead of the library while pretending to have a social life (which I don’t have). I guess we’ll see that next month.
How was your month? Anything exciting happening? Got anything planned for May? Leave a comment down below!