A Slight Change in Plans! – My Route 66 Charity Tour

Hello my little demons!

So, there has been a ‘slight’ hick-up, which has resulted in changing my plans with my Route 66 Charity Tour.

BUT DONT FEAR! I’m still going!

I won’t go into detail, but long story short – I’ll be going on my own now. The friend I was supposed to go with has decided he no longer wants to be my friend. Don’t ask me why, I cannot answer that. As I cannot for the life of me work out what I said or did, I am just going to assume that it’s got nothing to do with me. I also do not want to divulge into it publicly as it’s not fair to do so. I will wish him luck in the future though.

It never really crossed my mind to cancel any of my plans. We had discussed a trip around the Highlands (the NC500 – Scotland’s Route 66), taking camping gear with us, and I’m still planning on doing that in the Spring/Summer once I’ve got my motorbike. And, of course, he was going to come with me down Route 66. If you’ve been following this story from the beginning, you will know that I tried to do something like this before; I was going to tour America and Canada for Charity, I had actually paid for a working holiday visa to Canada already, but my plans fell through. I’m determined not to let my plans fall through again! You can read about it here.

Plus, I really want to raise funds and awareness for Selective Mutism!

In light of what happened recently, it has made me realise that the only person I really trust is myself. People can easily let you down. So, I’ve made the decision to do this ALONE. It kinda feels poetic, actually, like one of those soppy life-changing movies that hit you in the feels. But with cars, motorbikes, food and the open road!

Hell, it’s going to be scary, but I’m hoping that I’ll build up my confidence, work on my skills filming and editing, and plan the socks off it, all in the next year or so until I go. It also has some new challenges that I never thought of before.

The three main challenges are; 1) filming myself – I have limited filming experience, other than just starting filming myself for my YouTube channel I am going to create, which involves me sat… still… at my desk, I have no idea how this will work. I’m going to research into hand-held cameras, go-pros or similar and figure out what the best options are. I know for sure that my beloved Nikon DSLR isn’t a good option – it only records 20 minutes at a time for a start! And I cannot see the screen to record myself – sitting at a desk is fine because I can set it up and sit still…. or try to at least.

2) the other biggest challenge is doing all the driving! With a second person, the driving can be split between us, but now I will be driving it all. Theoretically, I don’t see it being an issue, as I love driving and I will be taking my time seeing sights anyway along the way, so will be doing plenty of stops. I also am pretty handy, knowing a fair bit about mechanics in case something breaks, and will be considering this in the planning stage in case I need to look into breakdown cover options, researching recovery companies in the areas I drive through, and even taking a set of tools with me. But practically, I could get tired and make mistakes, getting lost or stuck. I also have to be weary when I’m taking to a camera and driving!

3) the last, and probably one of the more important ones, is personal safety. I’m sure the majority of the trip will be safe enough. I will be researching how safe areas are, making sure I only stop in safe areas and stay at hotels that have good ratings and so on. I do have some self-defense training from one of my old job roles, but I am also considering taking self-defense classes too. This is going to be one of the biggest things I will be researching and planning, especially being a female solo traveller!

On the up side though, doing it alone has it’s benefits – I can do what I want without compromise. I’m also introverted; socialising can drain me and I need to recharge, doing a whole month-long trip with someone else can get very tiring, and I know I like my own company. I can also be in control of the music. Also, being a solo-traveller, you’re more likely to get upgrades! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, although it was a huge shock and was a little upset when I lost a friend, I’m not going to let these things stop me from what I want to do in life!

Watch this space for more updates soon!
Also, watch this space for my first YouTube video – it’s currently being edited and will be uploaded soon!

~~~

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Reflections – The Girl Who Whispered… and kept fighting!

Hello, my little demons! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

I just want to say thank you.

Bare in with me as I explain why.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Today it hit me how far I have come. A few weeks ago I got verified on Google and bought my first domain thegirlwhowhispered.com. Six months ago I started my new career and moved to the highlands. Nearly a year ago I handed in my thesis for my master’s degree. Two years ago I graduated with a BSc and published my second book; “I Fell in Love with a Psychopath“. And, three years ago I published my first book; “It’s My Mistake“.

It had it’s ups and downs, not quite passing my master’s degree, break-ups, health scares, cancelling trips, blood, sweat and tears. A few times I questioned what I was doing, if I was on the right path, if I was wasting my time. But I somehow kept going.

It doesn’t stop there either, as you may know, I had selective mutism as a child (hence ‘The Girl Who Whispered‘) and I was diagnosed with depression after coming back from Australia. And I will admit, I was suicidal at one point.

(c) Penny Hooper

Now, I am waiting for my start date on my new contract, moving yet again! This time to a different country! I will be (finally) finishing my Master’s Degree in the next month or so. And my thesis is being published in a research journal! I am working on getting another book published (editing isn’t fun, guys!) I am planning on setting up a YouTube channel (this is a big deal, for someone who had selective mutism!) I am also planning a charity tour down Route 66 with a good friend of mine (I already have an invite to the Harley-Davidson Museum!) filming it for my new YouTube channel, and I have plans on setting up my own publishing business!

I’m damn proud of myself. Proud that I kept fighting on the bad days. Proud that I finished my BSc (which took me 5 years!). Proud that I fought to contest my master’s degree (and won!). Proud that I have two books published.

I’m also excited about my future!

From that little shy girl who whispered, and who only wished for happiness.

Not to be rich.
Not to be famous.
To just be happy.

I wish I could go back in time, to tell little Penny… keep fighting! One day, you will be proud of yourself!

Now, why do I say thank you?

Well, I say thank you to everyone who had my back. To my close friends who stuck around. Who had my back on the bad days. Who made me laugh. Who supported me when I felt no one ever would (Lee, Gabi, Dan, Dave, Mozz to name a few, and of course, my mother too!)

I also say thank you to those who didn’t have my back. As weird as that sounds. Those who said I was a nobody, those who didn’t believe in me, who bullied me and belittled me, who went out of their way to send me nasty messages. Thank you, for giving me something to prove you all wrong.

I also want to thank myself, for being so strong and badass… because my success means I can continue to help others!

~~~

Donโ€™t forget to like, reblog, share, comment and/or follow! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

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Potential Career pathway – Data Scientist

 

Recently I’ve been really considering what to do after I have completed my Psychology Undergraduate Degree at the Open University, and when I first got into the degree, my initial idea was to just explore the subject because of my interest in Psychology and Criminology.

I went through stages throughout my undergraduate degree learning, thinking about becoming a Forensic Psychologist was one, and although I had since talked myself out of it – because, let’s face it, I’m not really a people person! I have since come to the conclusiong that I really love a) working behind the scenes and b) statistics!

I have a few options, some more to do with psychology than others:

1) A neuropsychologist,
2) A Forensic Scientist,
3) A statistician,
4) A Research (in another field other than neuropsychology),
5) Investigator/Intelligence (E.g. National Crime Agency) or
6) Data Analyst or Data Scientist.

I came across a Data Scientist only recently – I can’t even remember how I came across it, only that it was recent – and as such I’ve become increasingly interested.

I wrote about it on my Facebook account and I even started a small discussion with a friend in America about it and after a small conversation about my past experiences (the fact I did a National Diploma in Computer programming (and got good marks too!) and have on a number of occasions proved that I can problem solve independently – one example is that I recently create an Open Sesame experiment as part of my last psychology degree project and I was telling my tutor how to work it!) and not to mention that my interest for problem solving, statistics and maths in general, he actually agreed that Data Science was a good career path for me!

So, with that in mind, I have since gone onto EdX, a Free Online Courses website which has top universities on there – such as Harvard and Berkley- and I have found there are a few courses on Data Science and Data Analysis, one such course is actually a Microsoft Professional Program.

I’m currently auditing the Introduction to Data Science course and I have to admit, my interest for the subject is only increasing!

Here is the link to the course if you are reading this and interested yourself: https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:Microsoft+DAT101x+1T2018/course/

So far I have got as far as the speakers importing a small data file into Excel and running a few simple Excel functions to clean and analyse the data, most of which I already know from doing a previous course on EdX, but I am going to continue watching the videos and going through this short introduction course to see what else being a Data Scientist involves.

The good thing about this career path, is not only is a well paid job and a challenge (I do like a challenge! I got bored as a simple Administrator!) but that it is in High Demand, especially since the emergence of Big Data but also that it’s universal to different companies and organisations. Which means, I could use these skills to combine two or more of my above career options; for example, I could be a Data Scientist for a governmental organisation and work within an investigations/intelligence environment!