freelance graphic design

What Sucks About Being A Freelance Graphic Designer

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a strange situation that reminded me of all the things I HATE about being a freelance graphic designer.

Usually, most of my work comes from online freelance websites like O-desk, Fiverr and more. I rarely actually do anything for REAL LIVE people standing over my shoulder but I recently made an exception/mistake (which I should have totally seen coming by the way) that I would later regret.

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become a travelling freelance graphic designer

My 4 Top Careers Best For Travelling

Do you want to see the world and make money while you’re at it?

That’s what I wanted to do and somehow my calling of becoming a travelling freelance graphic artist fell into my lap!

But there are several career paths that you could pick that would be great for travelling around the world and you’d be doing it while picking up a paycheck for it every month! How can you beat that?

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My Strange Band Life Before Freelance Graphic Design

I’ve been around…

Wait a second–not the in the way you think! What I mean is that before I decided that I would actually pursue a career in freelance graphic design, I had a few tries at some other jobs and activities here and there.

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Staying Connected While Traveling

While traveling the world as a lifestyle entrepreneur you can become a little disconnected. Sure having occasional phone calls with friends and family is nice. The off hand Skype or google hangout is always fun too. However all of these are just basic communication. You can’t actually do anything with them in a real sense. After long periods of time this homesickness can develop in even the most ardent of travelers. Sending them running for home with open arms and wet eyes. To stave off the inevitable longing for a familiar interaction and maintaining relationships with people physically absent, I have taken to a popular new technique for isolation therapy.

Interacting with others in a virtual environment has a lot of the same healing effects that real human contact has on the brain and body. This is especially true for those who work remotely like my friends at the WordPress support team Bairkan. They mostly work from home, or wherever they may be in the world like I do, but try to keep chats open with each other to feel a bit cloer together. People have been seen to have real and drastic improvements in character and personality from just a short period of playing games with other people. We can use this to our advantage with something all of us know and love. Video games provide this same effect and experience to users. This is something that has only been achievable within the last decade or two. Now that a large portion of world has internet and electricity we can venture further while using digital methods to stay connected. Whether it’s Facebook, email, or League of Legends, these tools are having real impacts on what it means to be away and to travel.

While that is as warm and fuzzy as it is true, I am a single twenty something male. There is of course only one natural conclusion here. This means war. Online competition is hard enough when you don’t know the person making fun of you on the other side. Throw in a mind that remembers your butterfingers with the battle rifle and the game changes a lot. Anyone who is a reader of this blog knows how much of a proponent I am of online education and it’s many applications to our day to day lives. This is no exception. To help me get a boost in my online gaming potential I’ve relied on outside coaching. Video tutorial websites like eloboosted.com for elo boosting and guides has literally saved my rear in more than one thick jungle. The feeling of getting a solid 5 killstreak with your buddies pales in comparison to just running around and providing the enemy with the kills they need to win.

This is just one example too. There are many games and guides online. Whether you are looking for the new Ace the Storm game, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, League of Legends, or Farmville, there are ways to learn how to get better than your friends for fast and cheap. While it may not seem worth it to all of you for those of us with a competitive instinct and a desire to make richer denser moments with our time, these education programs are ideal to improving your best chance and staying connected.

Peruvian Paddle Boarding

I do appreciate being able to work wherever there is an internet service: what would I do without my laptop? Though it can be kind of difficult in some of the more far-flung places where the connection can be crazy slow or even non-existent at times, those are also the places that have the most captivating cultures. You know what I mean, the kind of place that you find really cool to visit but wouldn’t want to live in. Not long ago I was stand up paddle boarding (or attempting to! see this how-to on stand up paddle boarding) in one such place: a remote Peruvian town. It was considerably out of the way and remarkably relaxed. The paddle boards were in okay shape and while everyone had very relaxed attitudes the men also sported big hunting knives — almost machetes — which gives one pause. It didn’t feel dangerous though, and I was never worried about my computer getting stolen.

So, stand up paddle boarding: I can see why interest in it is snowballing. To do it well requires a lot of balance, though. I had sore muscles in my sides and legs later on; I think a lot of the achiness was because of tensing up while keeping balance. Like any sport it gets easier the more you do it, and if you were to find some videos of people paddle boarding or see a good stand up paddle boarder in person you would think it is as easy as can be. It can’t be too difficult if it is possible to do yoga on a stand up paddle board, right? Nope. You will likely fall off a number of times before it gets easy. For that reason (and because warm is just nice) I’m happy my first try was near the equator in pleasantly warm waters. It would be smart to wear a wet suit or possibly a dry suit if you are going to make your first attempt in a cold climate.

Overall, though, stand up paddle boarding is not so difficult that you get discouraged, and not so simple that you get bored: a good balance. Because you are outdoors in changeable conditions on the water, there is the non-stop stimulation of the changing landscape/waterscape as well as constantly interacting with and accommodating to the conditions. One really cool plus that I hadn’t anticipated is being able to see below the water’s surface with ease. Since you are standing you’re able to look pretty much straight down alongside the board. If you add a good pair of polarized sunglasses to reduce the reflections you can enjoy some amazing (and sometimes a little nerve-wracking) views of marine life.

I’m a visual person — I am a graphic designer, right? — and it was fascinating to see things somewhat differently: that is from the point of view of paddling while standing up out on the water. I can see some small new design ideas coming to light. I would describe the new visuals as more relaxed and organic and less angular. It’s smart to have different styles at ready for the needs of different clients, so that’s another plus, an unexpected advantage of trying something new. A new way of seeing the world is rarely a bad thing.

Establishing An Emergency Fund

We all may like to believe that we are invincible and nothing bad will ever happen to us. Unfortunately hard times befall us all; whether this is something like a catastrophic injury, family crisis, or something even more common like a layoff or cutback in hours; whatever it is you need to be prepared. Establishing and maintaining an “emergency fund” is a really smart way to mitigate the effects of this. But what should your emergency fund contain? What are essential components to your emergency fund? What constitutes an “emergency”? If you haven’t thought of these questions before and others, it would be wise to do so.

Emergency: You might think that there are several emergencies which happen every day. But unless you are a high ranking secret service agent with high clearance or a police dispatcher or something like that, your emergencies probably don’t rise to the level of being “fund worthy.” Certain emergencies include things like pregnancy complications, death in the family, or being given the pink slip; these are all things which would be worthy of your taking withdrawals from your emergency fund.

Components: You may think ‘that’s great,’ but what does this mythic fund have to have in it so that it will serve you well in a crisis situation? What are the basic human needs? It’s food, water, air, shelter. You should be covered on the air component but then what about the rest? When you are in a crisis situation there can be nothing worse than getting an eviction notice for lack of payment. What’s worse may be a foreclosure. You may think that this is something that would never happen to you, but this is why you are creating an emergency fund. A full list of things to consider includes:
• Shelter: You need a place to live; that is a given. Setting aside a good deal of funds for your home expenses, rent, mortgage, taxes and other home maintenance should be on of your main areas of savings. Many people fail to budget properly for home maintenance and pay the price for it. Imagine all of the things that could happen to your home and what they would cost to fix. For instance, live in a rural area? The cost for getting a squirrel removed from your attic could be as high as $1,500.

• Food: Another thing you are going to have to continue to pay for is your food. Eating is not an “option.” Moreover if you begin grabbing fast food to go you are only hurting your own health in the long run. Isn’t it better to get into a routine which flows around your crisis for eating and such? Folks who are close with you will appreciate your struggle for normalcy even when the rest of the world had gone crazy.

• Medical Care: This one can be a little loaded because your emergency may revolve around some type of a medical issue. Even if that is not the case you are going to need to have monies set aside for things like regular care, glasses, inhalers, vaccinations and other regular medical care that you and your family would need.

These are just the basics for your emergency fund. You are going to need to have money set aside for things like cash to get around, car maintenance, and any other unforeseen expenses you may have during a crisis. This money will also have to last you for the duration of whatever crisis it is that is going on, so you shouldn’t be stingy. Hopefully you’ll never use this and it will just add to your personal family fortune.

Great Credit Repair Tips and Secrets

Many people these days are in dire need of having their credit repaired. These tips will help you with your credit score, whether you need to fix a major problem or a small one.

Fixing your credit score can be difficult. To begin with, you should try to get a copy of your credit report. This information is available online at many different sites. A number of these sites offer free, introductory services. You can learn how to fix your credit once you have this information.

Talk to your creditors often so that you can work together on a payment plan to pay off your debt. Once you have a plan, you will find yourself paying fewer penalties and saving money. Once you have put plans in place for repayment and have it all in writing, you can start paying down the urgently past-due bills.

Identifying poor entries on your credit report is crucial. It is important to know what is in your credit report, so you know if there are any errors. Make sure that if this is the case you contact the companies where the negative information came from.

When dealing with collection agencies, it is important that you understand your personal rights. For example, there is no way that you can go to prison for not being able to pay a bill, and these agencies do not have the right to threaten you. Verbal abuse either in person or through the telephone is illegal, so make sure you report agencies who resort to this. By knowing your rights, you will be able to avoid being pushed around and bullied into things by the collection agency.

A great tip is to keep your balance at about 30% below the limit. This will make your payments easier. Should your balances go over 30 percent, your financial situation could be in trouble.

You can either arrange your own payment strategy, or you can make use of a specialized debt settlement service that can combine your different payments into a single monthly sum. For the most part collection companies just want to know they are getting money from you, so they want to make mutual agreements with you. You debt will not disappear if you ignore the bill collectors. If you avoid them, when you finally do talk, they may be less willing to make a deal. You need to get in contact with a collection agent and let them know your situation, which will make them more willing to work with you. Most of the time, you can talk to them about lowering the amount that you have to pay, and you can even cut your debt in half. Cooperating with debt collectors is always in your best interest, because they will often let you work out a payment plan. If you ignore the debt collection calls, you run the risk of piling up debt at a more alarming rate than you previously experienced.

Years ago, I had a to do a lot of credit repair before getting a job. Broadconnect.com wanted to hire me but couldn’t because my credit was too low. It took me a few months before I was able to get my score high enough to get my score high enough to qualify for a job with them.

Using the suggestions in this article will allow you to maintain a good credit score. Begin repairing your credit ASAP by following these DIY credit repair tips!

Brainstorming for a Planetarium Logo

The freelancing lifestyle definitely comes at a cost sometimes. For people with day jobs, they get to know their bosses over the course of years and can most of the time pinpoint exactly how their boss will respond to certain situations. As a freelance graphic designer, not only are you consistently working for new bosses, but first impressions can sometimes be a deal breaker. For weeks I have been trying to land this graphic design job for Cologne, Germany’s planetarium and now that I finally have it, I am worried about whether or not they will be pleased with my first submission.

My first job is to create a new logo for the planetarium. I adore creating logos and feel that I am quite talented in summing up mission, culture and information in one graphic. However, the people at the planetarium have stressed to me that they do not want any obvious designs in their logo (i.e. planets, constellations, telescopes, etc.) and want the logo to be more representative of Cologne. That sounds a bit hard, but at first I was not worried because the traveler in me figured there is no better way to find out what is representative of Cologne other than going out and experiencing it for myself. Well, after only getting a small glimpse of the city center before too many Kölsch beers and eating some badly cooked bratwurst, I have been bedridden with food poisoning.

Now, I’m using Google as my travel guide as I fight this nausea. Most of you reading this are probably thinking that I should just tell my new boss that I’m sick. Too bad I am a perfectionist and to me a deadline is a deadline. I had a long time to design this logo so I feel a bit odd asking for an extension; on my first project nonetheless.

I’m not exactly sure if it’s the fact that I’m fighting this illness and I’m delusional or just creatively spent, but I am finding it quite hard to wrap my brain around the fact that they want nothing indicative of a telescope/astronomy theme in their logo. I was quite interested in this job in the first place because as a kid, my uncle had a children’s telescope that he would let me and my brother look through whenever we went over to his house for a family gathering. He was quite invested in astronomy and as far as I know it is still a huge hobby of his. Planetariums are like a big, giant interactive telescope, why would they not want to showcase that in their logo?

Regardless, I have to get back to what the client wants and the client wants a representation of Cologne. So here is where I hand the baton to you, my fellow readers and wanderlust travelers. I prefer to crowd-source ideas from people who have visited Cologne and have positive memories of the city. What do you believe represents Cologne? Even better, if you’ve been to the Cologne planetarium, how would you describe it? What feelings come up when you think of this place? Any and all input within the next 24 hours would be greatly appreciated, as I’ve only got about another 48 until I have to get myself over to the planetarium. Thanks, everyone!

Brazilian Paddle Boarding

I do love the ability to do my work wherever there’s a internet connection: have laptop will travel. Though it can be a little difficult in some of the more exotic locales where the connection can be excruciating slow or non-existent at times, those are also the places that have the most interesting cultures. You know what I mean, the kind of places you find pretty awesome to visit but wouldn’t want to live in. Recently I was stand up paddle boarding (or trying to! check out this how-to on paddle boarding) in one such place: a kind of remote Brazilian town. It was significantly out of the way and remarkably laid back. The paddle boards were in mediocre shape and while everyone had super-relaxed attitudes the men also carried crazy-big hunting knives which makes one wonder. It didn’t feel dangerous though, and I was never in fear of my laptop getting stolen.

So, paddle boarding: I can see why it is catching on in a big way. It does require a lot of balance, though. I had aching muscles in my sides and legs the next day; I think a lot of the soreness was due to tensing up while balancing. Like anything it gets easier as you do it more, and if you were to search out some videos of people paddle boarding or see a good paddle boarder in person you would think it is as easy as pie. It can’t be too difficult if you can do yoga on a paddle board, right? Wrong. You will probably fall off a few times before you get comfortable with it. For that reason (and because warm is nicer) I’m glad my first try was near the equator in comfortably warm waters. It would be a good idea to wear a wet suit or even a dry suit if you are going to try for the first time in a cooler climate.

Overall, though, paddle boarding is not so hard that you get discouraged, and not so easy that you get disinterested: a perfect balance. And because you are outside in changing conditions on the water there is the constant stimulation of the changing scenery as well as the constant interacting with and adapting to the conditions. One really interesting plus that I hadn’t anticipated is the ability to see below the water’s surface easily. Since you are standing up you can look almost straight down along side the board. If you combine that with a good pair of polarized sunglasses to cut down the reflections you can enjoy some fascinating (and sometimes a little scary) views of marine life.

I’m a pretty visual person — I’m a graphic designer after all — and it was cool to see things somewhat differently: that is from the perspective of being out on the water. I can already see some slightly different design ideas emerging. I’d describe the new visuals as more fluid and liquid, more organic, and less boxy. It is good to have different styles at your disposal for different clients, so that’s another extra, unexpected benefit of trying something new. A new way of seeing things is almost always a good thing.

The Truth about Online Gunsmithing Schools

Most professional gunsmiths who have learnt the craft the hard way – by apprenticing at a gunsmith shop or going to a traditional college are somewhat skeptical of the benefits that can be gained by opting for an online gunsmithing degree. In fact, many refuse, point blank, to accept that these schools can produce a reputable gunsmith that can work in the field. Take a look at this article for some excellent gunsmithing schools that you can attend.

The figures, such as those presented out by the American Gunsmithing Institute’s online college, are in favor of these professional gunsmiths’ views but the truth is that the online schools aren’t to blame for the poor placement figures of graduates – the graduates themselves, however, are.

How do Online Gunsmithing Schools Work?

Before you can understand the reason behind the apparent lack of traction that online gunsmithing schools are facing, you have to gain an insight into how they work. Most reliable online gunsmithing schools deliver their curriculum by means of video tutorials – usually in a DVD or online format – that can easily be followed by the students from the comfort of their homes. Digital documents and manuals are also provided, that students can peruse through to gain traditional textual knowledge.

The Root of the Problem

There are some gunsmithing institutes that go a little too far in advertising the scope of these video tutorials and documents, giving newcomers the impression that gunsmithing is so easy that it can be learned by simply going through the videos and PDFs and grasping the concepts they contain. And herein lies the problem which leads to the lack of success that online gunsmith certificate holders face in the field – they do not practice what is taught to them by the online course and thus, are unable to get a firm grounding in the art of gunsmithing. Like every other craft, gunsmithing requires regular and thorough application of the knowledge that is delivered by the teacher in order for the pupil to hone their skills and become a professional.

Therefore, it is apparent that the reservations that traditional gunsmiths have against online gunsmithing institutes are in fact, caused by a lack of dedication towards the craft rather than a lack of quality on part of the schools. In fact, a number of professional gunsmiths frequently rely on video tutorials provided by online gunsmithing schools to deal with the repair / reassembly of weapons that they haven’t worked with before, which indicates the exhaustiveness and reliability of the knowledge contained in online gunsmithing courses.

What is the solution?

The solution is obvious – practice what you, as an online gunsmithing student, are taught by your instructor/tutorial. You should obtain cheap, used weapons from local gun shops or antique stores to apply the knowledge gained through the online course so that you can really become adept in the craft.

The freedom offered by online courses in general, not necessarily of gunsmithing, can lead to a lack of seriousness and misconception that the course is somehow easier than what is taught in traditional classes – once you correct this, you will be able to learn the craft just fine from any quality online gunsmithing course you opt for. Gun websites such as Gungods.net is an excellent place to begin your search.

My Online Shopping Addiction

I know the title of this post may come as a little surprise to you seeing as the words "geek" and "shopping" are almost never be found in the same sentence. However, I will admit that I have an online shopping addiction. That shouldn't really come as a surprise to you seeing as I'm a web geek and all.

It first started a couple of years ago when I was looking for housewarming gift ideas for a friend of mine who was Filipino. I knew that housewarming presents are usually household appliances but I wanted to give it a little bit of personal touch by giving him something that would be very useful in a Filipino kitchen. Based on my research, I found out that rice was a staple in Filipino meals. Therefore, I decided I would get him a rice cooker.

Problem was, I didn't know what to look for in a rice cooker. My search in finding the best rice cooker lead me to ricecookergoodness.com. Through the site, I was able to determine what brand and model to get. Then came the problem of where I was going to make the purchase. So I once again went on Google to search for a store in my area that was selling the rice cooker that I wanted. One thing lead to another and I before I knew it, I was clicking the Checkout button at an e-commerce store.

But aside from the rice cooker, I also ended up buying myself a couple of things because I realized that they were a lot cheaper compared to those sold in brick and mortar shops. After a couple of days, my order was hand delivered to my doorstep. I was ecstatic when I opened the package because everything was as it was described on the website. The best part was I didn't even have to step out of my front door. I was able to shop for everything I needed sans stress from the lack of parking at the mall, annoying crowds, and long queues at the cashier. That was the beginning of my online shopping addiction.

Aside from the hassle-free experience that online shopping gives me, another reason I love it is because I have access to a wider variety of merchandise. I can shop from a store that's located in say, Bangkok, within the comforts of my living room. I also have access to items that aren't available in the US. The downside though is the shipping fee. However, I don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience.

Just the other day I was looking for a gift to give my sister who lives in Oahu. She's recently taken up surfing as a hobby and was asking me for a paddleboard for her birthday. I landed on shakasurfer.com in my search for the best standup paddle board or SUP for beginners. After getting a few recommendations, I started searching for a site that offered the best deals on SUPs. I found a website that was selling the exact SUP that I wanted to buy for my sister and the best part was they also offered free shipping to Oahu. To cut the long story short, I already bought the SUP and had it shipped directly to my sister in Oahu. She doesn't know that I already bought her gift so I'm very excited to see her reaction.

That's another thing I love about online shopping, I can buy gifts for friends and family who live in another state and have it hand delivered to their doorstep. This has allowed me to show the people I care about that I am thinking of them even if I am miles away. Indeed, the internet has made it a whole lot easier for people to connect even if they're on opposite ends of the world.  

Top 5 Ways to Keep Fit When Traveling

As much as I love traveling, there are a few downsides to exploring the world. I love to keep in shape, but when you travel it’s difficult to keep up with your workout routine, because you don’t have access to your workout equipment and you are having fun discovering a new place.

In this article I have put together my top tips for keeping fit while traveling.

1.Increase your workouts before you go.

Before I set off traveling I try to fit in as many training sessions as possible, and there are two reasons why I do this.

Number one: Most of the time I don’t have access to any gym equipment unless I am staying in a nice hotel. But even then, working out is still time consuming and I want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the trip.

Number two: I also like to relax during my vacation and if I am exhausted I am able to relax much better.

2.Strict diet before we go.

Another preparation you can do before you go is to be strict on your diet. Two weeks before I am due to travel I remove all the sugar and fat from my diet entirely. I do this because when I travel I want to try new foods, drink alcohol and indulge. If I know I am in the best shape possible before I go, then during my vacation I don’t feel guilty or have to think about every aspect of what I am consuming.

3.No equipment workouts

As I said above, it’s unlikely that I will have access to any gym equipment during my trip. It is still important to exercise, especially if the trip is longer than two weeks.
The answer is no equipment workouts, and one of my favorite ways to do this is with HIIT exercises. HIIT stands for “high-intensity interval training,” and you can see examples here and a video here.

HIIT is a very good way to mix up your workouts even when you’re not traveling. Each workout is very different and you can adapt the training to your own level of fitness and increase the intensity with ease.

4.Skipping

One piece of workout equipment I always do take with me on every trip is a skipping rope. A skipping rope is light-weight and easily fits into your bag. Skipping is cardio training and every athlete can improve his or her fitness levels simply by skipping on a regular basis.

5.Running

You can run anywhere and it never costs you any money. All you need is a pair of shoes see dss-tuff, socks, a T-shirt and shorts and you’re good to go. No matter where you are in the world you can run, and the bonus to running during your vacation is you get to see parts of the area you are visiting that no other visitor gets to experience.

Running takes you to new areas and will often improve your vacation experience as you will notice buildings to explore later in the vacation or discover a beach four miles from your hotel that no one would have told you about. I can’t tell you how many local people I have met simply by running around the area I am visiting.

Pregnancy in the Digital Age

It is undeniable how the internet has greatly improved the lives of so many people around the world. Not only has it helped families stay connected despite being on opposites sides of the world, it has also made the task of gathering information a whole lot easier. This does not only apply to researching topics for college papers or in the case of homemakers, getting recipes for certain dishes or DIY tips.

Believe it or not, you can also find information on how to conceive a child with the gender of your choice. Sounds a little ridiculous, right? But it's true. There is a special calendar used by the Chinese that will tell you the exact date you should conceive if you want a baby boy or girl. There are websites that offer this calendar for free. Likewise, there are also sites with calculators that can tell the gender of your baby based merely on the date of your last menstruation. You won't have to wait months to finds out. However, these aren't always reliable so make sure you wait until the gender of your baby is confirmed by an ultrasound before you go crazy shopping for pink or blue onesies.

Say you already suspect that you're pregnant and want to take a home pregnancy test but don't know which one to pick. According to Pregnancy Test Central, there are pregnancy tests available online. However, it is still best to use a home pregnancy test kit that can detect even the slightest increase in the level of hGC in urine if you're only under 8 weeks along. Knowing this piece of information will not only save you money from having to buy one of each pregnancy test kit on the shelves of your local drugstore but it will also prevent you from feeling the disappointment and frustration brought about by a false negative test result.

Let's get to the part where you've already confirmed your pregnancy and now you want to connect with other pregnant women to discuss your excitement, anxiety, and everything else you may be feeling. The internet can also help you with that by means of forums especially dedicated to women who are also expecting. Aside from that, you can also find sites full of articles on how to manage the discomforts brought about by pregnancy. You no longer have to spend money on books about pregnancy because you can get all the information you need through the internet.

Another way the internet has made pregnancy a lot easier for women who are expecting is through online shopping. As you get closer and closer to your due date, the harder it will become to move around. If you still have to do some last minute shopping for your baby's things, doing it online is the best way to go. Not only will a wider range of options be available to you, you can shop for everything you need with a just few clicks of a button. When you're done, all you have to do is wait for your order to be delivered to your doorstep within a couple of days.

The internet has been criticized a lot by educators and parents because it has had negative effects on children. What they don't realize is , the internet has brought more benefits to parents and in effect, to their children. As far as the negative aspects go, it's all about keeping a close watch on your child's access to the internet and implementing boundaries.

Finding the Solution to a Lifelong Insecurity

If you didn’t know, I am actually half British. My dad moved from England to the US in the 70’s to seek greener pastures. He met my mom a little over a year after he arrived, dated for a few months, got married, and had my brother the following year. Two years after that, my mom was pregnant again and after 9 months, I was born into the world. The rest was, as they say, history.

You may be curious as to why I started this post with a background on my family. Well, I’m going to be talking about the one thing that I’ve been very conscious about ever since I was a teenager – my teeth. Growing up, I have always been teased about my teeth because they weren’t pearly white and had gaps in between. My brother was lucky because his teeth are just fine. I totally blame my misfortune on my dad’s genes. You know what they say about the British having bad teeth, right?

Anyway, my insecurity got worse when I became a teenager. Imagine liking a girl but not being able to smile at her or even open your mouth as widely as you would like when you’re talking because you’re ashamed that she might see how hideous your teeth were? Not good, right? Well, that’s exactly what I had to endure in high school. Sadly, cosmetic dental procedures weren’t as accessible to the common folk back then so even if my parents were willing to pay to get my teeth fixed, we had no idea where to go.

Let’s fast forward to about 8 years ago when I first started freelancing as a graphic artist. One of my first clients was the owner of atlantadentalveneers.org, a website about veneers in Atlanta. Back then, I didn’t exactly know what veneers were but as soon as I was done researching on the internet for the project, I knew that it was what I needed. I saw the project as the answer to my prayers because not only did it lead me to the solution to the problem with my teeth, the money I would earn would be enough for me to get porcelain veneers in Atlanta at the Atlanta Dental Veneers clinic.

It was a good thing that I was a freelancer and thanks to the internet I can work anywhere because based on my research, it would take at least 3 weeks for porcelain veneers to be done. When I finally completed the project and received my pay, I immediately started making arrangements to fly to Atlanta. I was able to get in touch with a cousin of mine who lived there and had a spare room in his apartment which he was willing to rent out to me for peanuts.

I also called the clinic and spoke with one of the dental assistants regarding my concern. He told me to email in some pictures of my teeth so the dentist can see if I was suitable for veneers. After a few emails back and forth, the dentist confirmed that I was a suitable candidate and finally agreed to give me an appointment. I was ecstatic!

Moving forward to today, it’s been almost 8 years since I got my porcelain veneers fitted and they still look like new. They did cost me a little more than I thought initially but I don’t regret getting them. They did wonders for my self-esteem and even improved my way of life because I am able to eat better than I did before I got them.

Purchasing an Heirloom for my Future Kin and Some Money Saving Tips on the Side

About two months ago, I decided it was time to spend some money on a little gift for myself as a reward for all of my hard work in 2014. If you didn't know, I live a pretty frugal life despite earning a higher income compared to regular employees. In fact, my frugality has become somewhat of an inside joke within my family because I rarely spend money on things basic things like say, nice clothing. Why? Well to put it simply, I don't think I need to spend so much money on clothes because I am comfortable enough by wearing jeans and t-shirts from the GAP store. Besides, I travel a lot so I don't really need to own too many things.

However, what I save on necessities are put into funding my travels. Before you get any ideas, let me tell you now that I don't travel first class and I never book a room at a 5 star hotel. That said, I will admit that I have managed to build quite an impressive financial portfolio despite the fact that I am under 30.

Anyway, let's go back to the biggest purchase I have ever made in my adult life so far. I decided it was time to buy something for myself that can be passed through the future generations of my kin. I wanted to buy a really expensive watch that can stand the test of time. The first brand that came to my mind was of course, Rolex. After all, I read on the internet somewhere that a Rolex watch was found in the wreckage of the Titanic and it was still ticking when they retrieved it despite being underwater for decades. Imagine that!

Being the web geek that I am however, I hopped on the internet to see what Time Connoisseur had to say about the best watch brands for men in 2014. Unsurprisingly, Rolex was at the top of the list followed by Tag Heuer. That's when I made up my mind to purchase a Rolex. I won't lie, I wasn't too keen on spending at least thirty grand on a watch. But I kept telling myself that it was a worthwhile investment because the value of a Rolex appreciates over time.

Since I was already on the Time Connoisseur website,  I also looked up their watch reviews on Seiko watches because I needed one which I could wear every day. The Sportura FC Barcelona Chronograph caught my eye and after taking down the name of the model, I started browsing through website after website that offered information on the best place to purchase authentic Rolex and Seiko watches.

Okay, I am not a fool as to buy something as expensive as a Rolex over the internet given the number of scams that some online sellers pull off. But through my research, I found out that if I wanted the best deal possible, I should make the purchase in Dubai. Fantastic! I had a scheduled trip to Dubai less than one month away.

Fast forward to today, my $34,000-worn-only-once Rolex is sitting safely in my safety deposit box in the bank. I am however, currently wearing the Seiko Sportura watch I was able to buy in Dubai with a 30% off deal on its price tag. After all, who wears a Rolex with a pair of worn out shorts and a faded blue t-shirt, right? Am I sorry about the purchase? Not at all! It's something that I can pass on to my future son, he to his, and so on. A family heirloom that started with me. Surely, that's worth its price?