Third Blogversary!

Let’s talk about blogging for 3 years, what I’ve learned and take a trip down memory lane today.

Hi! Today is a milestone post. I made this very blog on the 7th of February in 2016 and published my first blog post the next day(Click here to read it!) which means I have now completed 3 years(on and off) blogging! Happy 3rd blogversary, Musings Of A Whimsical Soul and all you wonderful people who have given a young girl’s thoughts and opinions value here!

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In 3 years, the kind and content of the blog posts have changed and grown, much as I have. I made this blog when I was almost 17 and now I’m almost 20.  These have been very transformative years for me as a person and I feel quite fortunate to see my thoughts and their growth through the blog. In these 3 years, I became an adult(Read my post about my thoughts on that here!), I graduated from school (Read my post about that here!), I started college (Read my first post after starting college here!  ) and now I’ll be finishing with my teenage and starting my twenties. I am so thankful that I have all these milestones recorded on this blog. I find it to be the most wonderful thing and I love rereading the posts and cringing(a little) at little 16-year-old me.

3 years ago, I received just the most insane amount of love from this community when I joined it so much so that I ended up with 100 followers in one month! How crazy is that! Today, I’m at almost 1000 which completely blow my mind because just the fact that 1000 people care about what I have to say is HUGE and so completely wild.

I haven’t been the most regular around here because like I said, these are some of the biggest years of my life. When life got too hectic, the blog took a backseat. I wish it didn’t but I’m only human. Still, I can say I have 3 years of experience and there’s a lot I’ve learned and that might be helpful for new bloggers. I don’t want to be to sound too preachy but still, I’ve got three main tips that might be helpful to new bloggers or maybe even old ones and would love to hear some of yours. God knows I’m only an amateur here.

  • Be regular with your writing and posting

That is rich coming from me, i know, but I will tell you this. Regularity, having a posting and writing schedule will not only help you stay productive but also keep your readers engaged. You can stick to what works for you, I(try to) stick with a once a week schedule. You can choose twice, thrice a week or maybe even once a month. It will bring an organisation that will be so helpful to your blog for yourself and the readers.

  • Be careful to save your drafts 

This one comes from a painful,painful experience. I wrote an entire post on the Leaning Tower of Pisa for my Visting World Wonders series ( Click here for the last post of the series! and here for the first!) and then by chance, my browser refreshed,the draft hadn’t been saved and I lost all the pictures, the writing, everything. I was devastated and I am pretty sure I cried over it. (And as you might have noticed, I still haven’t got around to making that post again. This was in September 2018.) So, learn from my mistakes and always ALWAYS save your drafts.

  • Read, read and read!

WordPress has many wonderful blogs with many different kinds of content in them. Find your taste, your niche and read as much as possible. This goes for all writing, reading is the best thing you can do for your writing!

In conclusion, thank you for being so amazing to me for the last 3 years. It has been a blast. If the last three years are anything to go by, I cannot wait to see where the next 3 years will take us. To the next three!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: When did you start blogging? Do you have any tips from what you’ve learnt over your time blogging?  Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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Visiting World Wonders: The Black Forest

Let’s talk about The Black Forest today.

For the previous post in the series, click here.

Hello everyone! Today’s wonder is a natural one and one that I personally have been intrigued by for years. I studied German as my third language in middle school and for one of my assignments we had to do research on tourist spots in Germany. That’s when I first came across the Schwarzwald, or literally, The Black Forest, named so for being so dense that it actually appears black. My interest was piqued; Could it really that dark?

The more I looked into this mythical place, the more interested I got. The Black Forest region is responsible for many good things in the world today. To name a few, cuckoo clocks, black forest cake and the most fascinating to me, fairytales. This area has most commonly been associated with being the backdrop for many of the Grimm Brothers’ fairytales with notable ones being Hansel and Gretel and Little Red riding hood. (If you couldn’t guess it yet, I ended up doing the assignment with the biggest portion of it dedicated to the Black Forest.)

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Now that you have somewhat of a backstory on me and the Black Forest, I hope you can understand the level of my excitement to visit the forest of literal fairy tales. We stopped at the Black Forest while driving from Mannheim to Zurich and it was an actual dream come true. I had been so fascinated by this place and now, I was actually there. It was mind-blowingly unreal.

To answer the most obvious question, yes, I honestly believe it really is that dark. It’s huge and it stretches over the mountains as far as you can see. I only walked through a very small portion of it and that too in peak daytime but it was pretty dark inside and this is at the edge of the forest. I can only imagine how dark it would be further in the forest.

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We stopped at one of the charming little towns that are in the Black Forest and did two really awesome things; We had an authentic Black forest cake and we went to a Cuckoo Clock workshop. As a cake lover who has had many different Black Forest cakes growing up, the best one was definitely the original, in the heart of the Black Forest itself. Plus, I get to say I had Black Forest cake in the Black Forest. It is immensely satisfying.

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In the Cuckoo Clock workshop, we saw many different cuckoo clocks of different sizes and different methods of working. Some had just the cuckoo pop out every hour, some played music, some even had characters that moved and played out entire stories with the music but all clocks had an incredible level of detail and were made with a lot of love and it was obvious how proud the lovely people at the workshop were of their work. We ended up buying one ourselves for our bedroom and fulfilling all our childhood dreams of having an actual cuckoo clock in our room.

We also witnessed the hourly show on the giant cuckoo clock in the town square and it was nothing short of magical. The Black Forest was every bit as charming, mythical and straight out a  fairy tale as I imagined it to be and I am so glad I got to actually visit and see it with my eyes and experience the magic in the place in person. I hope I get to go back again someday and experience more of the fairytale that the Schwarzwald is.

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Have you ever been to the Black Forest? Do you think it is actually as ‘Black’ as the name suggests? Comment below with what you think about it, I’d love to hear from you!

Visiting World Wonders: The Trevi Fountain

Let’s talk about the Trevi Fountain today.

For the previous post in this series, click here.

Hi, everyone! Today’s monument is considered to be one of the most beautiful fountains in the world and I’m writing to tell you, from experience, of course, that that is most definitely the truth. Today, we are talking about my experience with the UNESCO World Heritage site, world wonder and one of the most famous fountains in the world the Fontana di Trevi, or the Trevi Fountain as it is more popularly known.

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The Trevi Fountain was our first stop in the city of Rome itself, after having been to the Vatican. The Trevi fountain is one of the oldest water sources in the city of Rome, existing since at least 19 BC and has over the centuries developed into a symbol of the city of Rome itself.

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While we were walking to the fountain on a hot summer’s day through a delicious smelling street (They had roadside pizza. Italy, people. Italy knows what’s up.) the first thing that I saw were the statues on the top of the Trevi fountain almost glowing under the sun. Once we reached the end of the street, the grandeur of the Trevi Fountain hit us with full force. The massive facade of the fountains, the shining white marble, the pristine blue waters tumbling over the stone, the Trevi Fountain is, in my most humble opinion, the beauty of Rome exemplified.

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For me, the Trevi Fountain had a certain aura of myth and mystique, from what I read about it and saw in various movies and books and I feel like in person, that the fountain takes that aura and multiplies it manifold. From the statue of Oceanus standing in the middle in all his glory,to the two divergent horses pulling his chariot,to the arch above them,to Triton blowing his shell to signal Oceanus’ arrival,to the intricate detail on every single other sculpture that adorns the facade of the Trevi fountain the one word that comes to mind is majesty. The fact that these majestic, massive, beautiful fountains, an actual work of art have been around exactly as I see them for nearly 300 years was so mind-boggling to me; that this kind of beauty just exists and for someone, this is just something they pass every day. It is easy to say that I was completely dazzled by the shine of the white marble( and the water) at the Fontana Di Trevi.

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Once, I broke a little out of my daze and looked down at the clear pool of water, the glint of the coins at the bottom of the fountain caught my eye. That’s when I remembered the coin throwing ritual associated with the Trevi fountain. I took out my Euro and turned my back and threw the coin over my left shoulder with my right hand just as I had read it should be done. Legend has it, that ensures my return to Rome. If you throw 2 coins, it means you will fall in love with a gorgeous Italian. Throw three and you’ll marry them. I threw just the one because I had other ideas about finding gorgeous Italians to fall in love with that I’ll just get to.

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I threw my coin and opened my eyes and I’m disappointed to say that neither was I mistaken for an Italian pop star and nor did any Italian pop stars ask me to meet them at the Trevi fountain the next day for a magical day in Rome. With the newfound wisdom that What Dreams Are Made Of are Lies my Lizzie McGuire Movie based childhood expectations were smashed to bits and that was about as magical as my day with the Trevi fountain got.

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With that, we left the fountain soon after to continue with our day out in Rome. There’s a lot I can say about the fountain, but the truth is, just about all of it has been said already. I just hope from the bottom of my heart, that the legend of the Trevi fountain is true and that the coin I threw brings me back to the beautiful city of Rome because my mythology fanatic self has not had enough of the city and I hope it happens soon.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Have you ever been to the Trevi Fountain? Did you find your gorgeous Italian? If yes,was it the coin way or the Disney pop star doppelgänger way? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

A Surprise Can Make All The Difference.

Let’s talk about the magic of surprises today.

For part 1 of this post where I talk about my personal motto this birthday on, click here.

Now I write continued from here on 11th March 2018. So much has happened over the last 24 hours. My birthday turned out to be so much more fun and so much more exciting than I could have ever anticipated. I’ll start from where most good things start, at the very beginning.

Last you saw me, I was answering birthday messages and calls and writing to you, at night, alone in my dorm room. In the next hour or so, I fell asleep, woke up the next morning and got dressed in the birthday outfit my mother especially bought me. Then I headed out to lunch at a gorgeous cafe with amazing food that I’ve always loved called, ” The Big Chill” with my college friends. Lunch was delicious and we got some good pictures out of it. (And that is Millenial/Gen X speak for: A successful day out)

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Post lunch, I grabbed a cab to my aunt’s nearby. I visit her, mandatory birthday exchanges are made and I settle in and make my Polaroid Camera functional( A.K.A insert new batteries and film) because I wanted to take pictures for the rest of the day. At this point, I was already missing my family horribly despite having video-called them thrice already and was on the verge of crying. Then, my aunt hands me a letter(Yes, the handwritten deal) that came to me, from my best friend back home!

And man oh man, did that let the floodgates lose. It was a beautiful letter that I’ll not quote because it is especially private and special and something I hold sacred. Just know that I cried at my first birthday present this year, a physical letter!

Next, I notice my aunt and uncle trying to repeatedly get me to open the door and I felt a little absurd but I dismissed it. That is UNTIL, I opened the door to find none other than my father, one of my favourite people in the world, standing outside in flesh and blood, smiling and with a ginormous bouquet in hand who seemed to have flown in for my birthday.

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The gorgeous bouquet

I was in shock and I opened the door and hugged him and cried( I do that a lot here its seems, my younger self that never understood my mother’s tears that could fall at anything is scoffing horribly.) He came in and handed me the flowers, one adorable and extremely heartfelt card from my little sister(Which also made me bawl) and a bag full of handmade gifts, my mother had personally made for me and sent. I opened the bag to find: three pieces of personalised framed art and four personalised double-sided bookmarks! (And, then my aunt also handed me a birthday gift, a pretty handbag, so yay gifts!)

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My parents despite being halfway across the country had managed to give me the yearly birthday surprise and make my birthday the most special day for me! All the gifts made my day, my father physically being here made my year and on top of that the really scrumptious birthday dinner I had with my dad, aunt, uncle and cousin at the gorgeous restaurant made my month, to say the least!

Then, we cut my very tasty and very pretty cake in a hospital with my other uncle and aunt, who was admitted to the hospital for some tests at 11:23 P.M., 5 hours after I was exactly 19 years old.

And with that, I was 19.

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Did you ever get a surprise on your birthday or even on a regular day that turned your whole day around,for the better ?Comment below with what you think about it, I can’t wait to hear from you!

My First Love.

Lets talk about my first love today.

I wanted to start off with a little apology cum explanation. I’d been having some eye trouble leading to complete gadget abstinence due to which I couldn’t post on here. I also have a major study load given my position in the last year of school that will only increase as the year passes, so I cannot promise posts always but I will try my best to update regularly. I’m so sorry and I want to thank you all for being the best people ever. I love you all so much! Now, let’s get back to topic.

Are you expecting a love story? A chance meeting, a funny joke, a shared experience and a fairytale-esque metaphorical falling? Now, lets gets you back down from the clouds by telling you that this is not a love story. Well, it is, but not the kind you’re expecting.

When I was about 3,I got acquainted with someone I grew to love so so much. A book. I learned to read earlier than most people and was soon addicted to it. I’ve loved stories for as far as I can remember, my parents used to read to me almost every night during my childhood and those are some of my absolute favourite childhood memories. I learned reading and that calmed down the hyperactive child that I was, physically and mentally. It gave my overactive imagination something to do and made me sit down in one corner, silent as a mouse, which was unheard of before.

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An accurate representation of how I was, although I did not engage in book sitting and would stuck to just chairs instead.

 

With the amount of reading that I did ,I also became really fast at it. As an example, there is an incident from my childhood that made me realise that everyone else did not read like me and was quite an eye opener. When I was 7,my school librarian used to give us books of her own  choice to take home for the week. We had to start reading it in the library and while everyone was at it, I generally would read through the entire book during that half hour and would then come back to her asking for a new book. She thought I was being troublesome and would just turn up to her without reading. I, at that age, didn’t realise that she could see it that way and went to her every time, insistent as ever. Eventually she stopped issuing books to me altogether saying that I didn’t read and would just keep swapping books. Then, when I laid the situation out to my mother, she spoke to her and explained that simply put, I read too fast. I finished every book I said I did and if she wanted to check she could always quiz me on it. So, my librarian, who was unaware of this, started quizzing me and realised that I enjoyed reading quite a lot, which made her like me very much. She kept books aside especially for me in a little drawer in her desk and would give me books way advanced than what other children my age were reading. Eventually, she even started a literary club in the school and I am proud to be the first member of that club. We sat and discussed books and wrote stories.Those were fun days, I’ve got so many fond memories from those.

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Us at the literary  club, basically.

 

My first official favourite author was Roald Dahl, he was the first whose multiple books I’d loved and he had written my first ever favourite book, Matilda, which was about a girl like me who absolutely loved to read! I finished up Roald Dahl,Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew. Encyclopaedia Brown and all the classics by the time I was 8 or so, and then my librarian gave me the book she’d especially kept aside for me, the first book in the Harry Potter series ,Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and that began a love story of its own, that spanned many years. That though, is a tale for another time.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Did you have a favourite book in your childhood? If yes, then what was it? Comment below with what you think about it, I’d love to hear from you!