My story so far

Welcome to my page!

So, if you’ve just come here for the first time and you’re wondering what this “journal” and “photography” stuff is all about, look no further. Here is a short story of who I am and what my goals for this page are.

Once upon a time, in a small Portuguese city, there lived an ambitious little girl who dreamed of studying abroad, learning a million languages, reading all the books on earth and pursuing an impossible amount of hobbies. A few years later her dreams came true: she moved to the UK, enrolled in a Psychology degree – realised a BSc in Psychology wasn’t actually for her – and transferred to a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies with French and Russian after a short existential crisis. Now, she is living St Petersburg, Russia, studying Russian and trying to figure out how to order coffee in Russian because that’s an essential life necessity.

Hello, nice to meet you!

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My name is Helena, I’m a 22-year-old student with a passion for photography, art, knowledge and life, and essentially a nomad (this year alone I’ve lived in the UK, Portugal, Russia and in a few months I will be in France).

Throughout all these years of soul-searching, trying to figure out who I am and what my place in the world is, I always had a small fantasy of writing about all these experiences, about life abroad, my path to becoming a professional polyglot, my attempts at learning 1001 skills. Now that I’ve moved to Russia, I’ve felt that it’s time that I stop fantasying and start taking action.

In my journal, you can expect to find out about:

Me, overawed by the beautiful St Petersburg evening

Me, overawed by the beautiful St Petersburg evening

My life as a nomad

  • Travels and adventures
  • Experiences and reflections as a foreign language student
  • Insights into foreign lifestyles and culture – currently with a focus on Russia
  • Eating abroad (because I’m a huge foodie – I mean, who isn’t?)


  • As I travel the world and live through all these amazing experiences I will be pursuing my passion for photography. I will be updating my photography portfolio and writing travel posts followed by photo galleries. As I progress, I will also write insights about my experience mastering this art, and if you’d like, how you can start doing it yourself (let me know in the comments!).

Personal development

  • Books: I will write short reflections and thoughts on books that leave particularly strong impressions on me.
  • Skills: For example, I am currently taking violin, singing and piano lessons in Russia, and will be documenting my progress in these skills;
  • Productivity: I am dedicating myself to becoming my most organised and productive self, and I’m hoping to see results in these area
  • Health: I just joined a gym and properly decided to become fit and healthy (presently being a very lazy, unfit girl). I will be writing updates on this.
  • Spirituality: Meditations on life, individuality and mindfulness. Inspired by daily experiences, readings and people.

In short, if you’re curious about what living abroad is like, how you can change yourself and start living the life of your dreams, or you just like photography, subscribe!

Also, be sure to drop me a comment with any questions, comments or suggestions you may have about anything I’ve mentioned. If you’d like to know more about something in specific – Russia, me, life, anything - ask away! I only dream that my experiences will one day be useful to someone.

Helena CoutoComment