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SweetLove with Andrea: The Things Your Friend Did That Changed Your Life
27 Aug 2018STORIESBY Andrea

Another Friday means another day with our resident Catwomanizer and another installment of SweetLove with Andrea. This week, she's bringing some "chicken soup for the soul" in the form of heartwarming stories about friendship. The world needs a little more love everyday and it's stories like these that makes us feel hopeful, knowing that there are good people who are changing lives simply by sharing their hearts.

Take it away, Andrea.

by Marcel for SweetEscape in Bali

Hi everyone,

They say friends are the people who make you smile a little wider, laugh a little harder, and live a little better. They say friends are the people who accept you as you are, but they also help you become who you should be. For me, it was in 2015 when my BFF saw how wrecked I was after my wedding got called off and she signed me up for a group therapy workshop that cost her 7 millions Rupiah! It worked and the therapy helped me let go and move on, and for that I’d eternally be grateful.

Yesterday I asked my followers to share their stories and here are eight heartwarming stories on the things their friends did that changed their lives.

1. He killed my ego.

"My bestie once said, before I fix my business, I had to fix myself, be secure and love myself enough to fix my relationship. The thing is, I’ve always been such a proud person because I’m usually so good in the workplace. But my friend told me to kill my ego, be open to advice, open myself up and work on myself and my relationship first. I did. Now my man and I are engaged, and my friend is my bridesman. And my business? We didn’t fail. Instead, we grew even stronger and bigger. His advice made me more grounded, grateful, and open. He and I are such workaholics that it was weird that he ended up not giving me advice on work. But he’s right. Fix yourself first. Surround yourself with love. Then the rest follows."

2. She saved me.

"I was going to kill myself on my birthday 3 years ago. I was so depressed at the time, I couldn’t think of a better alternative. I didn’t expect it at all, but my friend came all the way to my house, with a cake and a little surprise party. I was so touched by her kind gesture, that I couldn’t help but cried. I told her my battles and she encouraged me to seek professional help. I wouldn’t have stayed alive here to tell you my story if it wasn’t for her."

3. She made sure I knew I was loved.

"I was having a baby out of wedlock. I kept it a secret and pushed everyone away because it was easier that way, especially when I was pursuing an internship out of town. When my baby was 3 months old, my friend from my hometown suddenly got in touch and asked for my address so she could send me something. I thought she was going to send me some snacks or novel or whatever, and it turns out she’d sent me baby supplies! She also included a letter, saying she knew what I’ve been going through, and she told me she wished she could give me a big hug and she wanted to let me know she would always be there to support me no matter what. She made sure I knew that I was loved and I wasn’t alone."

by Rachel for SweetEscape in Monterey

4. She just listened without judging.

"I was struggling with anxiety attacks and it got worse to the point that I cried every time I woke up due to depression. I was thinking of ending my life, and I told my friend about it, and she told me about this self-healing program. She signed me up and paid for everything, saying it was my early birthday present. I was so touched because she acted on it without having to say much, and it really helped me. I feel a lot better now because when everyone kept judging me for the things I did or the things I didn’t, she just listened to me and took an initiative to put me in a self-healing class. That’s the sweetest thing a friend has done for me, ever."

5. She wanted to see me happy.

"I was at my lowest after my breakup. I kept crying and I couldn’t accept it at all. I called my best friend whom I consider my own sister, I told her everything, I cried, I shouted, and I told her I was going to end my life. She kept trying to calm me down, and later told me she had bought a ticket to this Toxic Relationship workshop you hosted, saying she hoped I would be able to let him go, that I would finally find peace. She said this is the best thing she could give me because she loves me and because she wanted to see me happy. I cried again because I was so touched by her kindness. Little did I know, she even bought me a return ticket from where I live in East Java to Jakarta just so I could attend your event. That workshop helped me think clearly and gave me strength to go on. I love her so much!"

by Andi for SweetEscape in Bali

6. She reminded me of God's love.

"I hit rock bottom in 2016. I was depressed and suicidal. I heard noises in my head and it scared me. I just returned to Indonesia for good at the time, but I lived far from my family. During that tough times, I had someone who was the for me, even in the middle of her meeting, she would still give me a call just to check up on me. She gave me a ride, drove me here and there, even told me to move in with her so she could take care of me when I was feeling so lost. I was so depressed that I stopped working, but she kept reminding me of how far I had come, that this was just a test. That for every setback, God has arranged a comeback. She reminded me to keep my faith, to trust in God, even helped me look for jobs. I’m so grateful I met her 15 years ago, she helped me get back on my feet. I wouldn’t have had this job if it wasn’t for her."

7. She took care of me.

"My best friend of 11 years, took care of me when I was hospitalized back in college days. She always visited me, accompanied me, even bathed me when I hadn’t had shower for days. I could only sit on the closet lid, and she patiently took care of me, she helped me get dressed. Oh God, we’d been through so many ups and downs together, but never for once we forget about each other. She made me realize, everyone needs this kind of friendship in this crazy world. I’m so grateful I have her in my life."

8. They made sure I finished college.

"When I was on my last uni term in Melbourne, my family suddenly went bankrupt. My friends chipped in to pay for my tuition fee and told me to just focus on my study. When I finally graduated and had to go back to Indonesia for good, one of them paid for my graduation fee and the shipping fee of my belongings, another one got me a plane ticket so I could go home before my visa expired."

Remember, a solid support system is the best medicine. Even if you haven’t met that kind of friend yet, you can still be a friend to someone else who’s in need.

Love, Andrea

by Michalina for SweetEscape in Reykjavik

SweetEscape is online platform that connects you with local photographers around the world. Our mission is to capture your life precious moments, anywhere in the world. SweetEscape is available in over 400 cities around the world. Book your first session and get $50 OFF. Enter the code: FIRSTESCAPE at checkout.

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7 Things To Do Before 2019 Ends
03 Dec 2019IDEASBY SweetEscape

SweetEscape is an on demand photography platform. Tired of hearing the overused new year, new me slogan from your circle of friends and acquaintances? Believe it or not... we are too! It's great and all in the sense that people would like to change within the new year (hopefully) for the better. But think about it, why wait for the new year to improve yourself as a person? At least, SweetEscape would like to (if we may) propose that improving, re-vamping and enhancing yourselves shouldn't be a yearly thing - if anything, it should be an everyday thing! "What? Are you serious?" You're probably asking. Life is short, escapists, and it's definitely too short to not make any changes in our lives so that we better ourselves for others as well. With that said, here are 5 things that you could do before the year finally ends:

by Bruna for SweetEscape in New York
by Bruna for SweetEscape in New York

1. Give Your Home/Personal Space A Fresh New Appeal - Declutter Your Life

As humans, we don't stop growing throughout our lifetime. The things we enjoyed doing when we were younger may differ from the things we now enjoy, and that's because we don't get any younger. Perhaps you adored your toy/figurine collection when you were in your teens, and was your number 1 prized collection in your entire room. Or maybe, you were the type to hang posters of your favorite bands and role models on the walls of your room, much like that of a late 80's or early 90's teen bedroom. Surely you've gone a long way from there, and if you haven't transformed your room that much... now is the perfect time to do so! Rearrange your furniture, or maybe even Feng shui it up - it won't hurt! You'll feel a thousand times better in a freshly organized room.

by Tina for SweetEscape in Rovaniemi
by Tina for SweetEscape in Rovaniemi

2. Get Rid of Old/Worn Out Clothes - New Wardrobe Time!

A whole year is a long time, 365 days long to be exact. When the same clothes are worn repetitively even over a period of 1 year, they can still become over-worn if worn too often. It's now time for you to, if not get a whole entire new wardrobe, re-vamp your closet and outfits. Do your clothes still fit properly? Are they still wearable in the times ahead? Can you still see yourself wearing your current outfits? If you answered no to all or most of them, then chances are that you need to toss them in the bin and purchase new ones. For future reference, go shopping for clothes that are more durable and timeless - that way, you wouldn't need to re-vamp your closet too often (hopefully). If your closet is mostly filled with bright and youthful colors, then try to balance it out by adding more neutral colors to your collection of items.

by Freddie for SweetEscape in Melbourne
by Freddie for SweetEscape in Melbourne

3. Throw Out Items From The Past - Time To Move On

Have a careful look of your belongings, and recall whether were personally purchased or given by a certain person in the past. Perhaps you were in a committed relationship that just didn't last, and that's totally fine! People grow together while some just grow apart instead. In the case that you still have those belongings from your previous partner, or simply any item that brings back memories of your time together - let those items go and head on to a new chapter of your life. It could also be items that remind you of a certain time way back when, and perhaps you were a lot happier then than you are now. Having those items could really make you stuck in the past and eventually hinder you from moving forward. You wouldn't want that, would you? SweetEscape believes in you!

by Albert for SweetEscape in Kyoto
by Albert for SweetEscape in Kyoto

4. Give Thanks, Share With Those In Need

One of the most important things people tend to forget, is to pause for a moment and reflect upon what they have received in life. Often times we would forget about the things we have in life, and even the little things that matter are often missed. We don't blame you, life can get really tough at times... and during those times it's especially hard to sit back and be thankful for perhaps anything. Clear your mind and start from the smaller things. Do you have a roof over your head? Put aside the fact that your toilet is often clogged, or that your wooden floor is not the kind of wood that you prefer. Be thankful that you actually have a home - be thankful you aren't homeless! Do you have access to enough food and water on a daily basis? Then that's another simple thing to be thankful about. Remember, start with the little things. You'll be surprised as to how fortunate you are compared to many lives out there.

by Zhanna for SweetEscape in Zermatt
by Zhanna for SweetEscape in Zermatt

5. Review Your Failures, Learn From Them

For as long as we're living on this planet, we will be making human errors - and it's inevitable. Mistakes aren't bad because you're expected to make them to be able to grow as a person. The more mistakes you made, the more you learn to avoid repeating the same mistakes again. If you have siblings, you probably have memories of their toddler days. Babies are curious beings, and chances are that you and your siblings were as well. Perhaps your parents told your kid sibling to not touch fire, but as expected, they did anyway. What happened next? Your sibling screamed in shock and pain, and your parents would give them the "I told you so" reaction. After this incident, we would like to believe that your sibling never repeated that same mistake again.

by Alina for SweetEscape in Paris
by Alina for SweetEscape in Paris

6. Take A Solo Trip Somewhere

Growing up is hard, we'll give you that. But adult-ing is even harder! Think about it, first it's the school, then your first job, afterwards fall in love with your special someone, but you forgot to learn about taxes, then you'd have to learn about taxes, and don't forget the bills - electricity, water, and your groceries. We're not even half way done listing all of the adult-ing activities, but you generally get the idea. Since adults live such stressful lives, it's necessary for them to relieve from stress, de-stress and escape from the usual burden-some routine. Not to mention, adult lives seem to attract so much nuisance and irritating people almost on a day-to-day basis. For you and yourself alone, you should remember to take some time for yourself. In this case, we suggest for you to take a solo trip somewhere nice and serene where you can be free of all of your worldly problems for just a little while. It'll help you refresh your mood before the end of the year and beginning of a new year.

by Bruna for SweetEscape in New York
by Bruna for SweetEscape in New York

7. Release/Let Go of Negative Feelings, Grudges And Resentments

Last but not least (pay very close attention to this one) is you should release all feelings of anger, grudges and resentment towards anyone who have wronged you. It ain't easy, we know! But the thing is, having all of those pent up negative emotions are far from good for your mind, body and soul. You might not realize it now, but you'll slowly start to see how everything unravels as you prolong those feelings within you. If you'd like to let go of those negative feelings, try activities such as yoga and mediation. They're highly beneficial for your well being. If that happens to not be your cup of tea, then you could start a journal of all the things you feel. Trace it back, and find out why you feel those things. Once through, ask yourself, "Is all of this anger worth my time and energy?". Chances are, the person whom you have pent up emotions towards have long forgotten about their bad deeds to you, so why waste your time? They too, will get their taste of life later on. Life is short, don't waste it on negativity!

by Yunika for SweetEscape in New York
by Yunika for SweetEscape in New York

Doing something special before the year ends? Whether it’s a little solo trip somewhere beautiful, or as simple as spending some time with those in need, book a session with SweetEscape to capture those memories for you. SweetEscape connects you to thousands of local professional photographers in more than 500 cities around the world, so you can capture every moment and get beautiful photos directly to your devices in just 48 hours after your session. This holiday season, capture more with SweetEscape's JINGLE DEALS, where you can get sessions starting as low as USD 50! Download our app, book your session today and let's #MakeLifeMemorable!