Our ‘Top Blogger’ series continues this week with Natalie Lue from Baggage Reclaim. A huge seventy percent of our guests travel come on a holiday for single people with us, that’s why we love Natalie’s blog so much. Natalie describes her goal as to ’empower women’, which she has certainly achieved. Her writing has saved many from terrible life choices and aided the self-esteem of women around the globe. Baggage Reclaim contains relationship advice for not only dating but friends, co-workers and family . We thought our solo guests might be inspired by Natalie’s advice and so reached out to her for a quick interview:
1- Your site, blogging and writing all aim to empower women. If you could only give one piece of advice to women dealing with changing emotions, what would that be?
Keep a Feelings Diary and get acquainted with your emotions so that you learn to listen to you and observe the changes rather than judging them. You will gain an incredible amount of self-awareness and self-knowledge and these provide you with insight into how you can take care of and evolve you. It also makes it so much easier to break patterns and to recognise the things that lift you higher rather than bring you down and away from your authentic self.
2- Many of our guests travel with us solo – though they are not necessarily single. Do you think taking some time apart in a relationship could be useful? – if even just a week?
I’ve told so many people this – one of the best things I ever did was holiday for a week on my own when I was single and I’ve travelled on my own within my relationship too. I don’t think that we have to hold out to travel or try out new things for when our partners are around to do it or for when we find “The One”. Yes it’s nice to have someone to share experiences with but it’s also great to have experiences that are just for us. Travelling solo is a great opportunity to explore and engage in self-reliance in a way that as humans we often forget how to when we get into a relationship. Hobbies, interests and passions don’t have to always be done as a duo.
3- I saw your advice for online dating and using apps to find a new partner. Instead of running to these new sources post break-up, what advice would you give to new singles?
Take some time out post-breakup to not only grieve the loss of the relationship but to also reconnect with you. Many people get a little (or even a lot) lost in their romantic relationships and when they finally take time out for themselves, they rediscover the things that they forgot about. Dating apps straight after a breakup are really about collecting attention and avoiding our feelings. It’s hoping to find a fast replacement so that we don’t have to spend too much time ‘alone’. Rather than seeing being single as a prison sentence between relationships, we really need to see it as an opportunity strengthen up on who we truly are so that when we do meet somebody further down the line, we are in a better position to choose a relationship that’s more befitting of us.
4- What motivated you to start writing?
I rediscovered my love of writing when I spent a semester in the U.S. and was made to take an English class. I nearly had heart failure in the first class when she said that we had to choose one of the topics on the board and using the structure that she’d talked us through, write a 500 word essay before we could leave class. We did this every week and it built up my confidence. I actually properly started writing though due to craving an outlet to talk about my frustrations with dating and myself. I started my first blog in June 2004 and discovered that I wasn’t alone in my personal struggles. Writing has been incredibly cathartic and a way of sharing my journey to loving me as well as empowering people through my words and teachings to overcome their past and to reclaim their true selves.
5- We had to also slip in one travel related question. How often do you get to take a break & have you ever travelled solo?
We go away several times a year – a mix of with the kids, my husband and I (sometimes with friends), or just me. My daughter’s godfather has a place in Mallorca right by the beach, my brother lives in Amsterdam, and I was brought up in Dublin, Ireland, so we spend time in those spots each year – I’m just about to head to Amsterdam for ten days with the kids. Travelling is great for unplugging – we love eating, exploring, cocktails and a spot of shopping. I travel solo a few times a year and with my upcoming tour, I’ll be doing more solo travelling over the next 18 months and am looking forward to the adventure.
Natalie Lue is the author of several books including Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl and she shares ideas, practices and mindset-shifts about self-esteem, compassion and offloading excess emotional baggage so that you can forge healthier relationships, on Baggage Reclaim (www.baggagereclaim.com)
Inspired by Natalies advice? Why not take the plunge and take on a new skill on one of our painting, Pilates, cooking or Italian language holidays this year? Contact us today to find out more and download our booklet with stories and holiday ideas for singles!