New Blog, New Life

by Brenna Holeman


London, England

There’s been a foreboding sense to this summer – I’ve known all along that, eventually, I’d be packing up and moving my life to London for an indefinite period of time. This isn’t a surprise; I’ve been talking about it since spring. And yet I’m the type of person who, instead of taking my time packing and organizing and planning, will leave everything until the very end. I leave in four days, and yet I still feel as though there’s a lot to do. I’m the type who panics at that thought, and at 3am I’ll just sit on the living room floor and drink box wine and listen to Nick Drake records and wonder how on earth I will ever finish any of it. That’s the way it always goes, though, isn’t it? There’s a lot to do and we panic and then it’s just done. It’s just done and then we never think about how stressful it was, we’ll just sit on the plane and say, “Wow! This is really happening!”, and eat our pretzels and drink our tomato juice and do whatever else people on planes do.*

I haven’t actually moved anywhere since 2008, when I moved to Japan with two suitcases. Since then I’ve lived out of said suitcases, or the occasional backpack. I always knew that I could come back to Canada, though, so it never felt very overwhelming. This time, it feels overwhelming, mostly because I have no idea when I will ever be back in Canada, even for a visit. I’m not packing a few outfits for a trip around South America; I’m packing books, and things for my new home, and a winter jacket, and so on. I’m trying to fit my whole life into two suitcases yet again. For a sentimental person, it’s not going well. I can’t even fathom saying my goodbyes on Thursday, but it will require waterproof mascara.

On top of that, I decided to make the switch to WordPress – my blog was on Blogger for over three years, but it was time for an update. There are still many kinks to work out, including commenting: as of right now, if you comment, it goes directly to spam (but please still comment, as I’m checking my spam often and will approve it). Little things like that will surely be righted in the upcoming week. I have to thank Cez from eTramping for helping me out with the entire blog; I couldn’t have done any of it without him. I’m surprised he didn’t give up on me after the 30th email at 2am, but he was an endless source of knowledge and experience, and I have this wonderful new blog to show for it. I really can’t thank him enough.

Well…when it rains, it pours, right? Moving to London, starting school, finding a flat, finding a job, planning trips to Berlin and Dublin, and starting with a new blog: I apparently like to do everything at once.

How do you react under pressure? Do you plan ahead or are you like me, and leave everything until the end? 

*Seriously, why does everyone drink tomato juice on the plane? Ew. 

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Cez August 19, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Brenna, you’re an amazing person to work with. It’s been a pleasure to make a switch for you and I’ll happily continue to help you with the blog. Thank you for all your kind words, and no – your emails were certainly not something to give up on.

Good luck in London, I’m sure you will enjoy your time there!

Ps. Comments are fixed now with a little maths test for everyone (I’m pretty sure everyone can add and deduct simple numbers).

Brenna August 19, 2013 - 7:06 pm

Thank you so much, Cez. It’s been really fun working with you and I know I will continue to have questions! I will definitely send people your way, you really know your stuff.

Colleen Brynn August 19, 2013 - 6:48 pm

Congrats on the migration… seems to be a handful of these going around! Cez did an awesome job with mine too. Isn’t he the MOST patient person!?
Have a great time in London. You will do marvellous things.

Brenna August 19, 2013 - 7:04 pm

Yes, I figured it was time to make the switch – I got jealous of everyone else and their cool layouts, hah. Cez is amazing, I basically told him that most of this migration stuff was like me trying to speak Polish. He made everything so easy!

And thank you for the encouragement, Colleen.

Sheryl-Ann August 19, 2013 - 7:16 pm

Oh, good luck Brenna! You will get it done and by this time next week, you will have a brolly walking up and down Oxford Street…lol. When it comes to work, I like to plan ahead, but I am more productive when a deadline is looming so there is usually some procrastination. However, whenever I am visiting/moving to a new country, I am so excited that I pack a week in advance! I have moved from St. Lucia to Halifax, NS, to Antigua, to New Jersey, to St. Lucia, to Texas and finally to Indianapolis. I say finally but…I would love to live in Europe for a while…who knows what the future holds? Once again, good luck and enjoy every moment!

Brenna August 20, 2013 - 12:18 am

Ha ha, thank you! I like that image of London. I really wish I was better at planning these things, but I tend to just leave everything for the end…

Thanks again for your support!

Natália Puga August 19, 2013 - 7:23 pm

Brenna, I wish you all the best in London! Please write about the city as much as you can, I will love to read it since it’s my favourite place in the world (so far!).
One of my life plans is to move there, but it requires a lot of money since I don’t have an EU visa. Sometimes it’s harder to achieve your dreams but it’s important that we don’t give up, right?

Looking forward to your new blog as well!


Brenna August 20, 2013 - 12:19 am

Thank you so much, Nat! I am sure I will write a lot about it over the next few years – with lots of other destinations highlighted, too, of course.

I don’t have an EU visa either, I am on a student visa now. Have you looked into a working holiday visa?

Emy August 19, 2013 - 7:33 pm

I plan things a long time ahead. I end up sometimes doing them at the last minute, but most of the time I’m ( to my own surprise) well prepared and ready in advance!
Especially when I’m excited about something, I just can’t wait and planning, packing, taking care of what needs to be taken care of feels like being already in the adventure or on the leave so yeah, I like it!
But moving to Paris, I did things the few days before the actual day of departure because I was… very sad to leave.
I wish you all the best in London and in this new step/part of your life!
Hopefully we can meet there or in Paris or anywhere in Europe! :))
Also, the blog looks really cool ! 🙂


Brenna August 20, 2013 - 4:41 am

I wish I was like you – I’m rarely that prepared in advance, although I always do get it done in the end. I think I’m like you, perhaps procrastinating because I’m a bit sad to leave my family and friends behind, even though my new life will be very exciting.

I plan to be in Paris very soon so I would love to meet up! xx

Nurse-issistic Traveller August 19, 2013 - 7:57 pm

Blogger or wordpress, this is has always been an amazing blog and i’ll continue to follow you. Planning is really not my thing. Hence, my tagline – No plans, no expectation, no regrets.
Continue to inspire Brenna…

Brenna August 20, 2013 - 4:30 am

Oh wow, thank you so much for those kind words! I’m so happy that you enjoy reading my blog.

Nurse-issistic Traveller August 19, 2013 - 7:58 pm

This has* (sorry for the typo)

Alyssa August 19, 2013 - 8:39 pm

I’m a huge plan in advance kinda girl, though I’m looking toward to my move in 6 weeks and I’m like…where do I even start!? It’s a much bigger undertaking than any trips in the past where I worked full time up until the day before I left for seven months or packed the day of….

Take a glass of wine, raise it to new beginnings…then, pour some out for all the homies lost in the struggle.

Yours in Travel,


Brenna August 20, 2013 - 4:29 am

I totally poured one out last night. Now all I have is milk, but I’ll pour some out for all my straight-edge homies.

I thankfully don’t have much left – I’m going to stay up all night tonight and get ‘er done so I can just enjoy the next few days with my family and friends!

Alyssa August 19, 2013 - 8:54 pm

P.S. It makes me happy I don’t have to sign in to my blogger account to comment anymore! 😀

Brenna August 20, 2013 - 4:28 am

Anything that makes you happy makes me happy.


Did that sound creepy??

Steph August 19, 2013 - 11:00 pm

I hear ya! My husband and I are moving to China in a week and I’m completely overwhelmed at the thought of it. We are also packing things we’ll need for four seasons (living in SoCal has been so nice!). I’ve put several things off myself. We don’t have all that much to do but it stills seems stressful. Good luck with your move! I look forward to hearing all about it!

Brenna August 20, 2013 - 4:27 am

Thanks, Steph! Moving to China – wow, I can imagine how overwhelmed you might be. I have to admit that moving to England is quite easy; if I need anything, I can easily ask for it in English. I really shouldn’t complain…

Good luck to you, too!

Chelsea August 20, 2013 - 1:41 am

When I moved to Melbourne, I was up all night packing on my last night at home. Made it easy to sleep on the flight, so there’s that…

Your blog looks terrific!

Brenna August 20, 2013 - 4:26 am

Hah – I am totally banking on that, too. I arrive at 2pm London time on Friday and already have plans for Friday night, so……..

Thanks for the support, I’m happy to have the new blog!

Amanda @ Adventure Year August 20, 2013 - 4:11 pm

I leave everything until last minute too, that’s for sure. Always crying on the floor when I’m overwhelmed too. 😉 I really wish you the best and can’t wait to see what comes soon for you! Even though I’m a first time commenter. Promise I’m not a stage five clinger.

Best of luck this coming week!

Brenna August 22, 2013 - 5:26 am

Ha ha, I’ve definitely shed a few tears. I stupidly went out and got drunk last night, and so at 3:30am I was in an intoxicated tizzy, wondering how I’d get all of it done. Packing today with a hangover was not the most fun!

Please comment more – I don’t mind clingers. 😉

Chanelle August 20, 2013 - 5:49 pm

Can’t wait hear about your adventures in London and beyond!

Brenna August 22, 2013 - 5:23 am

Thank you so much Chanelle!

Hayley August 20, 2013 - 7:24 pm

I absolutely love your blog! Particularly at the moment as I’m from New Zealand, currently in Paris and after a few months of travel around Europe, will also be moving to London! It’s refreshing and comforting to read how you tackle everything and, excuse the cliche, pretty inspirational! Good luck with everything! May even see you around London 🙂

Brenna August 22, 2013 - 5:24 am

Aw, thanks Hayley. It’s so great to hear that people take away a bit of inspiration from this blog. It seems as though a lot of people are moving to London, maybe we should all have a meet-up! Good luck with your journey…

Erika August 20, 2013 - 11:01 pm

I can totally relate to this — I handle packing and big stuff in the same way. The procrastination until that very last moment where I’m wondering why I waited so long. And then I forget until it happens again. 🙂

Brenna August 22, 2013 - 5:23 am

Totally – WHY didn’t I start this sooner? I really should know better. Instead I’m leaving in 19 hours and I still have much work to do…

Brendon @ NerdTravels August 21, 2013 - 3:58 pm

I’m like this as well, leaving everything to the last moment. Goodluck with your move :). I’m less than 2 weeks from making an indefinate move to UK and maybe settling in London as well after a few months travelling through Europe.

I’ll keep an eye out for you and your elephant riding around 😀

Brenna August 22, 2013 - 5:22 am

Hah! I’ll also be wearing pink trousers, so there’s that. I’m easily identifiable.

Good luck to you, too! See you at TBEX at the very least.

Lou August 23, 2013 - 2:50 pm

I love the new layout. But I might be bias because I have the same template.

I noticed your blog change, because I had bookmarked your blog to check out later and I had the page open…so then the next day I went and hit refresh and your blog completed changed on me. I was like huh? Did I press the wrong button…that isn’t a thing. But I love the change!

Brenna August 25, 2013 - 10:17 pm

That’s funny! I’m sure it was quite a shock to see the website change right before your eyes. Thank you for reading, and I hope you will continue to check back from time to time.

Liane August 23, 2013 - 6:57 pm

Hi Brenna,

I’m new here. Just stumbled on your blog a week or two ago, but have since spent hours pouring over your words. As an avid and passionate traveller like yourself, I’ve gotten a lot of great advice from you, and been very entertained by your enjoyable stories 🙂 You even inspired me to finally get down to it and create my own travel blog after months of making excuses as to why I couldn’t.
I will continue to follow your words on your new journey in London, and I wish you the best of luck!

Liane xx

Brenna August 25, 2013 - 10:18 pm

Aw, that’s so great Liane, thank you very much for telling me. I’m sure your travel blog will be amazing! Thanks again, and I wish you all the best. I hope you’ll keep reading!

Amy August 26, 2013 - 4:03 am

It sounds like a daunting but exciting time. I left London about six months ago to travel indefinitely and while it’s the best thing I’ve ever done I do still miss London, I think it will always be my favourite city and I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time there. I’m currently sat in a hotel room in Bangkok having just seen my parents off to the airport after a two-week visit so I’m feeling even more homesick for London and England than ever – I know this new life of travel I’m building for myself is worth the heartache though. Good luck with the move, I look forward to reading about your adventures in my beloved home city!

Brenna August 28, 2013 - 11:35 pm

Daunting but exciting – a great way to put it!

In a strange way I’m jealous of your time in Bangkok, I’m dying to get back to Thailand but I know that I need/want to settle for a while (though not for long). All that travel is worth the occasional heartache, but I agree that saying goodbye to family is the worst!

Good luck out there…

Caroline Eubanks August 29, 2013 - 5:15 pm

Yay! Blog looks great and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in London. I hope to visit sometime while you’re there! I can’t stay away from London for too long.

Brenna August 29, 2013 - 11:50 pm

Yes! I’ve been hanging out with Dylan here and you’ve been brought up in conversation quite a few times. You must come visit!

Christine September 6, 2013 - 5:04 pm

I was wondering what happened to your blog. I didn’t see your entries on my blogger feed anymore.

Everyone is migrating to Wordpress, it makes me want to do it as well.

Cristina September 11, 2013 - 9:31 pm

nice new look for your blog but I would follow you anyway because your writing and your pics are so good I wish a happy start in London

Brenna September 12, 2013 - 12:06 am

Thank you very much, Cristina! I’m glad that you follow my blog.

MIlind October 1, 2013 - 11:30 pm

Hello. First time on your blog and i found this article to begin with. I studied and lived in Central London for a year a couple of years ago and i miss my favourite city and my life i had in London. I was on google typing i want to move to London and i found your blog. I feel that the human being is such an inquisitive character that he / she sometimes doesnt enjoy the present but keeps trying to peek at whats around the corner and eventually falls out of the chair. I can feel thats not the case with your travels. I read about how you wouldnt write a “top ten” visit to a particular place and how you miss family but still have the passion and drive to travel and write and meet new people. Exciting. Wish we all could be like you. I have been planning to visit Italy, England and Ireland but just have been putting it off as ive been feeling a bit due to the lack of a travel companion / friends. I enjoy my company and have travelled alone while my stay in London but i just feel like travelling solo sometimes you tend to see things from one dimensional perspective and if there was to be another person you get to do things the other person wants as well and therefore it adds to the travelling experience. Just my feeling right now though im very close to ditching it and flying out on the next flight. Looking forward to reading more of your entries. Thanks. London is one of the best cities in the world. Its going to be difficult to leave London. It will become home away from home and eventually home.

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