Stockholm, Sweden
Roundups, Sweden, Washington

Month in Review: September 2016

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…wait it’s October already?!  Whoa whoa whoa HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

I had big plans for September, I really did.  I started the month off in Sweden where I spent two weeks enjoying Stockholm’s “Indian summer” (just kidding, I blinked and missed it) before packing things right back up for my trans-Atlantic flight back to Washington state.

I accomplished some things, I suppose, but as usual, it wasn’t as much as I would have liked.  Even on my best days, I still struggle with personal accountability.  Sometimes the urge to go outside watch HIMYM reruns drink wine do other, unproductive things is just too great.  But I’m working on it.  And I have high hopes for October.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my highlights and lowlights of September.

In September of 2016…

My time was split between Sweden and the United States.

Following a week of fun in Ibiza and a few days to recuperate in London, I found myself back in Stockholm for one last hurrah at the start of September.  It would be impossible to sum up those final two weeks in Sweden in just a few words or even a few sentences.  It wasn’t…how do I put this…a good time in my life.  But I think I made the most of it and still managed to have a few fun new experiences before shipping off.

I soaked up the fading summer sunshine while watching boat races, I tried some fabulous new restaurants, and I spent time with people close to me.  It was a bittersweet end to a bittersweet summer.Stockholm, Sweden

Since my arrival back in Washington, I’ve spent most of my time catching up on the work I failed to finish while in Stockholm and catching up with lots of old friends.  Moving forward, I plan to spend the majority of my energy on many of the same things as last month–caring for my physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and improving my business.

I had one of my worst travel days of the year.

Now that it’s over, this is actually kind of a funny story, but at the time it most certainly wasn’t.  On my journey back from Stockholm to Seattle, I had two layovers, the first in Brussels and the second in Washington D.C.

Things started out smoothly enough.  My first departure was a painfully early 6:55 am, but luckily I was leaving from Bromma, the airport closest to Stockholm’s city center.  The bus ride took roughly 20 minutes and I was at my gate in no time.  Once on the plane, the pilot announced we’d be delayed for about 20 minutes, as they wanted to see if the fog over Brussels would clear.  Little did I know how disastrous that “harmless” (and unnecessary) 20-minute delay would be.

By the time we landed in Brussels, my connecting flight–according to my watch, anyway–had already completed boarding.

*Cue freak out number one*

I pushed and shoved past every man, woman, and child to get off that plane and began frantically searching for a monitor that would tell me what gate I needed to sprint to only to come up empty-handed.  When I finally located a Brussels Airlines agent, he helped me locate my departure gate.  It was in another terminal.

*Cue freak out number two*

Upon learning that the plane hadn’t yet left, the gate agent politely informed me that I should “try to run a little.”  I took off down Terminal A headed for Terminal B.  If you’ve ever been to Brussels Airport, you know this is no small distance.

I went from thinking I’d have time to grab a coffee and a quick breakfast to sprinting through an airport faster than I’ve ever sprinted before.  And my path wasn’t without its obstacles–namely, passport control (I unintentionally shrieked at the people in front of me as I begged them to let me skip the line), a circular duty free store (I felt like I was competing in a track and field event), a gate that was all the way at the end of the $*&#ing terminal, and YET ANOTHER CHECKPOINT where more panicked shrieking ensued until the staff agreed to let me skip the line.  Oh, and then a pat-down security check before they finally let me on the plane.  You know, for funsies.

I’ve never arrived to a flight more sweaty or more stressed out.  There were moments during my run when I wanted to give up because my legs were burning so badly.  I kid you not, they were sore the next day.  I must have run a full mile through that airport.  And the airport personnel at that final checkpoint gave absolutely no fucks.  And not in the good way.

The day eased up on me from there and presented only minor annoyances in comparison.  My seat mate was a rather large man who spilled into my personal space for most of the 8-hour flight.  There was no vegetarian meal option on the way to D.C., so I ate nothing but bread, cookies, and cheese.  On my final flight, when all I wanted in the whole world was to sleep, I was seated in the very back row of the plane, next to the toilet, in a seat that wouldn’t recline.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic to finally touch down in Seattle 20-something hours later.

And now, for the first time in many moons, I have exactly zero travel plans.

I have a few ideas bouncing around my head, but nothing has come to life so far.  Maybe I’m still waiting for divine inspiration…or a really good flight deal.  But I wouldn’t actually be all that disappointed if I wound up just hanging out in Washington for a while.  I might change my tune when the winter months hit, but for now, it’s a very comfortable and relaxing place to be while I figure a few things out. Leavenworth, Washington

I had a fantastic month for blogging income.

The gods of the blogosphere must have been smiling on me, because September was one of my highest earning months ever!  I can also attribute this newfound success to a smattering of new-and-improved tactics I’ve recently learned and implemented.

I know many people are probably still curious as to exactly how I earn a living through this blog, and I’m composing a post on the topic as we speak.  But the single biggest thing I tackled this month was learning more about affiliate marketing, which was one of my major goals for the year.  Rather than fruitlessly poke around the far reaches of the internet for information, though, I chose to invest in an advanced course on the topic and OH MY GOD was it the right decision.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is taught by none other than Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the founder of the personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents.  I’ve been following her for a long time now (she lives a location independent lifestyle herself, traveling full-time in an RV) and have drawn an immense amount of insights and inspiration from her impressive monthly income reports.

You guys, this woman knows what she’s talking about when it comes to earning money online–she makes an average of $50,000 PER MONTH from affiliate marketing alone.  Needless to say, she is a true expert, and I couldn’t have been more excited to see she was finally offering a course on the topic.  My goal is to create more passive income streams, and that’s exactly what affiliate marketing can provide.

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, no sweat–I’ll go into more detail in future posts.  If you’re already using affiliate marketing as one of your monetization strategies but have struggled to put the pieces together, I highly recommend this course.  There are so many valuable takeaways and I can’t wait to put what I’ve learned into practice in the coming months.  I have no doubt this premium course will pay for itself many times over.  Click here to see what it’s all about!

My Most Popular Blog Posts

I Don’t Want to Travel the World for a Living

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Mark Manson’s New Book Will Melt Your Face Off

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A Few Things I’m Loving

Some good reads – I’m currently attempting to read my way out from under a pile of books I just ordered, and I’m really enjoying them so far.  This month, I’m tackling Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday (I’m actually listening to this one on audiobook, but I might buy the print version as well so I can highlight and revisit parts I like more easily) and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

How to Be Happy – A short but insightful piece by J.D. Roth (founder of Get Rich Slowly, among other websites) on the fundamental components needed to create your own happiness.

Concorde – A new flight searching tool connecting indecisive travelers or people with a lot of flexibility in their schedules with rock-bottom prices.  Check out the “Deals” tab and start dreaming up your next trip!

Stickk – A new website I’m playing around with to hold myself accountable for getting shit done!

That’s all for September…onward and upward!

This post contains affiliate links.

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  • Reply Mani @ A New Life Wandering September 30, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    That The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck book sound interesting. I’m sending the free sample to my kindle as I write this.
    I’m always up to learning more about how to increase blogging income, so anything you write about it in the future, I’m “all ears”.
    And yes, September went by pretty frickin’ fast.
    Happy October Leah!
    Mani @ A New Life Wandering recently posted…Monthly Best Of: September 2016My Profile

  • Reply chewy October 2, 2016 at 1:07 am

    I hope you’re enjoying catching up with old friends. I’ve tried to do more of this every time I’ve gone home, and it’s cool to see what people are up to and how they’ve changed.

    For the veggie meal, you can usually request a special vegetarian or Asian vegetarian meal (I’ve found they are often better than what’s normally available). You also get served before everyone else! You can do this at the time of booking or later when you manage your booking (some airlines may need a phone call).

    Congrats on having a good income month! I’m also a fan of JD Roth! I went through a phase of reading a ton of personal finance blogs hahaha
    chewy recently posted…Favorite projects on Kickstarter October 2016My Profile

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