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We’re leaving Spain to start our travels again in less than 5 days, and in true Wale fashion we’re not ready at all. If you don’t see us much on here it’s because behind the scenes we’re in a mild panic trying to say goodbye to loved ones, get everything ready, and organize the next week. Yes, you read that right, all our plans have fallen through and we have no idea what’s in store for us the coming days even. But although it may be a bit stressful now, we know that soon enough things will work out, we’ll get amazing opportunities we didn’t even know were possible, and the disappointments (yes, there’s bound to be crap) won’t matter much, as we get to follow our passion. ... Wishing you all a lovely weekend! ♥️

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We’ve recently hit the 500 followers here (WOHO!! 😂), so before we loose some of you to the weird follow-unfollow game, we thought we’d celebrate by sharing some random facts about us: - When we started dating Warner had a ton of rules of what couples have to do (even though he’d never really had a long-term relationship). One of the main ones was never 💩 in each others presence. Well... that’s definitely out the window since we started traveling together 🙈 - Warner often zones out and retreats into his own thoughts, even when having a conversation and still responding. This may explain his huge lapses in memory 🥴 - Ale feels a lot and feels deeply. From squealing with joy, to sobbing her eyes out, any given day can be an emotional roller coaster. She’s also a crier, and an ugly one too 🤪 - We’re both traumatized by our teenage introvert years. It’s one of the first things we bonded over. That, and our dislike for frat boys 🤓 - In our relationship Warner is the dreamer & Ale the one who actually jumps. Warner is the one who talks at parties and other social events, Ale is the one who remembers what we actually talked about. Ale is the big spoon, Warner is the little spoon. We’re basically a good team 💪 ... Tell us something about you!

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IG MINISERIES 6/6 - What you post We’ve already looked into various habits that can help make sure your IG is a space to mindfully connect with others, a place for positivity, inspiration and motivation. But it’s also important to think about how you contribute to it. ... With over 95 million posts (2016 data) and 400 million stories per day, IG can be a noisy place. Between the popular showing off posts, shameless branding, false advertising, and mean call-out culture, sometimes it feels like we shouldn’t be part of the platform at all. But what we have to say IS relevant. In fact, our collective voice may be more important than ever! ... We feel it’s necessary to have a clear mission for our social media usage. Whatever your mission is, take a minute to THINK* before you post. Is the post Truthful? Is the post Helpful? Does the post Inspire or Inform? Is the post Nice, or Necessary? Is the post Kind? *(I have not come up with this clever word play, but don’t know who has) ... We are responsible for what we put out into the world. So let’s make sure we are posting with the right intentions, let’s make sure the content we create adds value, let’s make sure we’re always kind. ... What is your mission when posting on IG?

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IG MINISERIES 5/6 - Intentionality Be it because of FOMO, or that my phone at times feels like a part of my body, lately I have found that a lot of my time spent on IG is not done very consciously. You know, like when you find yourself opening the app without thought, even though you just finished going through it. Mindlessly scrolling down my feed with no intentionality normally ends with me not having gained anything. I’ve just waisted some minutes of my day and tired my eyes further. And I know I’m not alone in doing this. ... What is the point of this? Social media should serve us to connect with others, it should be an opportunity to add positivity and inspiration to our life. If you, like me, find yourself mindlessly scrolling, it’s time to change things around. ... Trying to become more intentional with our social media use means we have to stop automatically opening our IG every moment of the day. If I’m watching a movie, there is no reason to be eyeing my phone. If I have to wait two seconds for a friend to arrive, I don’t need to instantly fill them with stories. Our phones, and by extension IG, is not what we should reach for every moment in the day we’re not completely immersed into something else. It’s not an extension of us. ... This also means that when we do open our IG consciously, we should do it with purpose. I now actually look at the pictures in detail and rejoice in their beauty; I read the captions with care and reflect on what they trigger in me; I take notice of who is posting the things I enjoy and I make sure to communicate it. Instead of ending up with a blur of blue light and letters, I try to gain something valuable of my time spent on this platform. ... Let’s use our little corners of the internet with purpose. To connect, learn, get inspired and grow. From who we follow (already covered), to how we engage (also covered), to how we scroll, it should all be done with mindfulness. ... Are you intentional about your social media use?

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IG MINISERIES 4/6 - Comparisons We all know that we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others, specially not by what is being posted on IG. But the truth is that our time spent on social media often triggers an emotional response that, far from being rational, can be more important than we’d like to acknowledge. ... Someone’s online presence can never show the full picture of their reality. A beautiful portrait can hide all the internal struggles a person suffers, and a popular travel account can fail to transmit the loneliness and lack of stability that lifestyle can translate into. These omissions give us the opportunity to delve into envy and self-deprecation. Not very healthy. But the solution is never going to be everyone changing their posting habits. The solution lays in you. ... I’m not going to ask you to stop comparing yourselves to others. Heck I don’t even know how to myself. Instead, I want you to take this occurrence as an opportunity to pause and self-evaluate. Assess where your feelings of inadequacy are stemming from, and what has triggered them. ... When I catch myself giving into the comparison monster, I make it a priority to stop and reflect. The 1st step I take is to add perspective. I think of all the scenarios that could surround that seemingly perfect photo/caption/person. This includes acknowledging the time and effort others put into themselves/their lives, and giving myself a bit of a reality check. The 2nd step is to put higher value on what I have. Many times it’s not so much about what I’m missing, but more about what I’m not appreciating. If after doing both these steps, I’m still feeling uneasy, it’s a clear indicator of what parts of myself/my life I need to work on. It may be something like seeking to gain a new skill, or maybe the yearning for a lifestyle change. It can also illustrate something deeper, like the need to work on my self-worth. ... Ultimately, you should be able to celebrate others’ successes without them tarnishing your own. It takes a great amount of self-love and emotional growth to be able to do this. It involves work, and can be painful at times. But it‘s so worth it! ... How do you deal with comparisons?

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IG MINISERIES 3/6 - Unfollowing Keeping IG a place of inspiration and motivation, you’ll have to constantly be reevaluating the space you’re creating for yourself. A crucial part of this is unfollowing those accounts that don’t contribute positively to it. ... There are respected voices from the ethical and sustainable community we personally don’t enjoy following. Be it because of their tone, focus or presentation, they just don’t help us grow or keep motivated. This is not to say we don’t respect their work, it’s just not for us. And that is okay. Similarly, although I love supporting animal rights causes, there are many relevant accounts whose graphic and disturbing content I just cannot handle. Some people need the triggering messages to get into action. Others, like me, are sensitive to a point where it can completely unsettle their lives. Again, you can appreciate and respect someone’s work, without wanting it in your life. It’s okay to feel this way. ... Wether it be that blogger you’ve been following for years but no longer connect with, or that account that in principle you support but have noticed has a tone in the captions that really bothers you, or that friend that constantly posts things that you are not interested in, it is okay to hit that unfollow button. ... Weirdly there is a lot of guilt associated to unfollowing someone, and FOMO makes it even harder. I myself struggle a lot sometimes with actually pressing that button. But it’s your little corner of the internet. It should be inspiring and motivating for you, no one else. If it has crossed your mind that you no longer want to see that content, just do it. And once you’ve actually unfollowed an account, you will probably not think about it anymore. ... When was the last time you did an IG cleanup?

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IG MINISERIES 2/6 - What you like Liking, commenting and sharing is a great way to show support for the content you enjoy. ... Before we started Wale&Me, I almost never liked anything, let alone comment or send a message to anyone. The truth is, I never thought much of it. I was just as much of an introvert on social media as I am in real life. But this all changed the moment we started this “business” account. I now realize the amount of effort and thought that many people put to get me the feed I so much enjoy scrolling through. And I think if we all stoped to think about the time and care spent behind the content we consume, we’d be much more grateful for it. ... So think about your engagement as a way of showing support to those accounts you appreciate following. If someone posts a beautiful picture that makes you dream, give it a like; if an inspiring caption gets you going, take a second to add a nice comment; and if there’s that one account that always puts a smile of your face, make sure to drop them a quick message of appreciation. It’s a way of spreading love, and motivating those content creators you enjoy, to continue. ... Engaging is also the way to make sure your feed shows you what you enjoy most. The dreaded IG algorithm has messed up things for many, but it also shows you what it thinks you like best. So if you engage a lot with an account, it is bound to put it at the very top, making it more likely for you to see the latest uploads. It’s basically a win win! ... Today we want to thank all of you who follow our journey and support us! We truly appreciate every kind comment and message we receive ♥️

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IG MINISERIES 1/6 - Who you follow Scrolling through my feed does not usually end with me feeling any amount of self-hate, or even questioning my life choices. And that is mostly - not because I’m above having these self-deprecating thoughts - because of who I follow. I have made a conscious effort to follow accounts that make me feel good, learn new things, see the world through a different perspective, and aspire to be better. ... When choosing who to follow, the first thing you should consider is what type of IG space you want to create for yourself. ... For me, IG is a place of inspiration and motivation. Being a very visual person, a beautiful picture can many times trigger me more than other methods of communication. Join this to a powerful caption, and I’m sold. Perhaps its because of this that IG is my personal favorite social media platform. But I don’t expect it to cover all my interests. IG is not where I get my news, nor where I keep up with my friends. It serves a very clear purpose. This makes it easier for me to choose who to follow. In my personal account, I have a great balance of amazing photographers, interesting (and positive) social justice and environmental activists, various cool bloggers whose words or esthetic I enjoy, tons of animals (my personal weakness), and a couple of other interests + friends jumbled in. ... Who you choose to follow is entirely up to you! In your account, you don’t have to conform to others’ criteria or social expectations. Don’t mindlessly follow every account that comes your way to then find yourself suffering from the type of content you’re indulging in daily. Make a conscious effort to follow those accounts that add positively to your life. ... Who on IG brings joy/positivity/motivation to you everyday? I’ll share some of ours in the stories.

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Taking time away from Instagram is an increasing need for many to keep mental health issues at bay. And it's no wonder seeing as a survey from 2017 found it to be the worst social media platform for mental wellness, associating it to high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO. … But let's face it, social media is not going anywhere soon. And while I totally understand the detrimental effects it can have, it can also be a space of inspiration, self-expression and positivity. So to make sure we reap the benefits, we’re going to be sharing here a MINISERIES of how make Instagram a beautiful space. … Is there anything IG related you’d like us to analyse?

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HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! ... We couldn’t be happier to start 2019 with you by our sides. We wish you a beautiful year full of leaps of faith that take you where you need to be; jumps for joy for every step you take in your ethical/conscious/sustainable journey; and surges of growth that fill your life with kindness, compassion and love. Let the magic start!

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Continuing the days of reflection, we find ourselves analyzing what we’re really proud of in 2018. ... * We’re proudest of having rescued Purrito and Waggy (and having fed and medicated multiple other animals along the way). Getting them back to health, traveling with them, and finding them forever homes, has been the most fulfilling and beautiful part of our year. In past travels I often saw street animals suffering but felt like I wasn’t in a position to do anything. It broke my heart. I’m glad we tried harder this time, and hope to help other animals in the future. * We’re also proud of having actually quit our jobs and sold everything to start traveling. We had to battle with our preconceived notions of the “right way” to live a life, and faced so many fears and doubts in the beginning. Now, we’re so happy we left Brussels. Still don’t have life figured out, but at least we’ve realized following your heart whenever possible is key to being happy. * And finally, we’re proud of having started Wale&Me. We may not have many followers, or understand how to successfully convey everything we want to share with the world, but it’s still a triumph in our books. Despite the self-doubt, frustration and confusion having a website + social media, can mean, we’re glad to have pushed ourselves outside our comfort zone. We’ve learnt so much in terms of skills, but also ourselves. We have (re)discovered a passion for photography that I’m sure will accompany us all our life. We have grown in our own practice of ethical and sustainable living+travel. And we’ve done it together! I’m also grateful for all the wonderful people we’ve connected with because of it. Can’t wait to continue developing and growing in this little corner of the internet 🤓 ... So here they are, the things we’re most proud of in 2018. The funny thing, is that none of the “achievements” we cherish have anything to do with the idea of success we had in our minds one year ago. This year has shown us we can value ourselves and our lives by our own standards. And for that, we couldn’t be happier. ... What are you proud of this year?

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“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards” - Søren Kierkegaard ... We’re really looking forward to what 2019 has in store for us. But before we focus all our energies on the future, we think it’s important to look back, reflect, and appreciate everything we’ve lived this past year. ... In 2018 we’ve learnt that: - Taking big leaps, although scary, has taken us further than we could have ever imagined; - Not everything/one you loose is a loss; - You don’t need many things to live a full life; - Nothing is ever easy or perfect. Pain and struggle will always be a part of our lives we need to deal with; - Being kind to ourselves and others is the only way forward. ... What has 2018 taught you?

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2018 has been a year of many ups and downs, but what stands out to us is our new found freedom. Having quit our jobs and left everything we knew behind, has given us the opportunity to dream big and simply follow the path unfolding before us. And it’s a wonderful feeling. ... We’re extremely lucky to have been able to come to Granada for the holidays. House sitting allows us to enjoy everything this city has to offer. And let us tell ya, it’s a great place to be! ... Happy holidays everyone!

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As you know, saving up for a year is how we now afford traveling around the world and working on this project without having to worry about our finances. But the truth is that, this is not the only reason we are able to live the life we want for so long without an income. It also has to do with the way we travel. ... We’ve spent 5000€ in 6months for the both of us. That includes flights, visas, food, accommodation, everything. And because we’ve managed to keep our expenditures low, we’ll be able to travel for much longer! ... Want to travel like us? Check our new post with 10 money saving tips to travel cheap! Link in bio 😊 ... What do you do to cut on costs whilst on the road?

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We love discovering new places. It’s exciting to be exposed to different environments, where everything becomes an adventure. But most of all we like finding spots to make our own. That bakery we go to everyday til they suddenly recognize us, that corner bulk shop no guide would bother mentioning, that hole in the wall where we always order that delicious dish we randomly once tried.. Developing these small routines suddenly make anywhere feel like home. ..... Where is home for you?

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From the moment I became rational being, I’ve struggled with the juxtaposition between my pessimism and the need to have hope for the future. And becoming more aware of our environmental impact, has not helped. ... Climate change, the mass extinction of wildlife, huge amounts of plastic contaminating our oceans, deforestation, and the continuous denial of our responsibility to make thing better... The facts and numbers thrown around never fail to leave me a bit disillusioned (and pessimistic) of what the future has in store for us. But at the same time, I cant help but hope that everything is going to work out. I need to, to keep going. ... We simply don’t know (or cannot comprehend) exactly what the future holds. Thus, am I too negative to foresee a very pessimistic future? Or am I too naive to hope that everything will be alright? And what does this mean for the choices I make today? ... The deniers ignore how our actions are destroying the world. You also have those who believe its too late, or that its not in their hands to change things around, and therefore continue living life as if nothing. But that doesn’t cut it for me. We cannot control the bigger picture, but that’s not a reason for me not to try change the course in the right direction, however minor my impact will be. ... What keeps you going?

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Is education enough to tackle our issue of waste? Or do we also need legislation to take a stance? ... The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of Singapore systematically refuses initiatives related to restricting plastic consumption. This is quite surprising for a country that prides itself on its waste management and sustainability efforts. And it’s not because these initiatives are unnecessary. In 2017, 763.400 tons of plastic waste were generated, out of which only 6% was recycled. Single-use plastics are widely overused in the city-state,and that they’re particularly efficient at burning the trash in incinerators, hardly tackles the issue. The Ministry however claims that they, instead, aim for a “long-term, holistic” approach by building “a national consciousness to care for the environment”. 🤔 ... Education is certainly necessary. But why would that exclude taking positive steps through policy? And tbh, can we really just expect people to do the right thing? Is it realistic to think that once everyone is educated, suddenly people will act in accordance to what is best for the environment? And shouldn’t businesses be held accountable? And if it’s just a matter of consciousness, why is more not being done already? After all, we’re not clueless as to where things are going. And...?? Yup, I have a lot of questions...

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I have to admit that, as much as I love traveling, I don’t know much of Spain. It’s therefore that I’m really excited to be spending this holiday season in Granada. I’ve never been there, but have always heard good things. Can’t wait to discover everything it has to offer. ... Have you been? Any recommendations?

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