Lara Lain. Chapter 32 years, 2 months, 16 days

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This week the urge to write has come back, it’s been a long time since I was writing regularly.

In fact the last time I was writing regularly I was in a bad place and I used to feel (at the time) that writing made me feel better. But looking back now; I think all it did was make it worse – the more attention you give a problem the bigger it gets, right.

But that was months ago – now I’m happier (and relieved if anything) to share, life is feeling more like it should do – I found the job I was looking for and when I accepted it I knew it would change my life.

That gut instinct was right.


My role as Marketing Manager Asia Pacific (APAC) for Learn to Trade is a hectic role that fully lives up the ”no day is the same” saying.

At LTT we essentially help people to change their lives. We educate people from all walks of life to ”Learn to trade ..” Forex (Foreign Exchange). If you want more money, more time and more freedom we can help you – yep, believe me, I see it every day with our delegates – message me or sign up for a free workshop on our website if you’re interested in finding out more.

LTT was established back in 2003 by one man on a mission, Greg Secker. LTT grew from Greg’s idea to a major worldwide operation with the Global office in London and more across various regions including Australia and the Philippines (my awesome APAC team;), South Africa and beyond.


I started the job, the Monday after my 32nd birthday, 28th August 2017.

Since then my feet haven’t touched the ground. I see our office as ”small but mighty” – our team is the epitome of ”work hard, play hard”. We run workshops and courses across Australia and the Philippines all year round, it’s a great environment to work in.

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Team outing!

In early October I went to London HQ for two weeks of training, apart from jet lag absolutely being one of the worst feelings to kick (both on the way and back) it was a brilliant experience.

On a work level, the Global team shared so much knowledge for me to put into practice when I got back to Sydney.

I felt like a sponge and came back with renewed confidence and the right mindset to press on and do my best to excel.


On a personal level, I was so lucky to see many familiar faces I have missed over the last two years. I didn’t realise until I was nearly in London that it had been a full TWO YEARS since I had last set foot on UK soil.

As our plane broke through the clouds on the descent into London it was, naturally (just to make me smile;) at the perfect time – we were just above the London Eye. Cue my ”Honey – I’m homeeeeee!” feels.

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My fave street in London, between my old office on Southwark Street and Waterloo station – it’s just so LONDON!

I couldn’t get off the plane quick enough.

What followed over the next two weeks was a collection of inspiration, great learnings, memories and love I will never forget.


Work came first (of course, that was the only reason I was there!), so every day I worked, some days until late, some days into the night, some days super early to be in-keeping with our Sydney office times.

But every day, when my work was where it needed to be I could relax and go and make the most of the precious hours I had at my disposal.

I can’t remember the exact order I saw everyone in, but firstly I saw one of my old besties, Amelia – we went for lunch the Sunday I landed in Covent Garden.

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Covent Garden with Amelia

As is the way with friends you’ve known ‘forever’, nothing had changed. It was pure joy to see her face to face (it really is odd how you get so used to living through Messenger and FaceTime while living half a world away).


After starting on a high, the feeling continued.

Every night I caught up with different friends, some travelled to me – Lucy and Nyall came from Oxford, Bambie flew in from Amsterdam!, Helen got the train up from near Brighton (Helen, if you read this I can’t remember exactly where you live now, forgive me;) and some were London locals.

We did ALL the good stuff.

ALL the things I missed about London were suddenly within my grasp and my friends were back at my side.

Many nights I was fighting to keep my eyes open but I kept going – I didn’t want to let this opportunity of re-connecting slide in favour of sleeping. No way!

We visited our old post-work haunts in Southwark and London Bridge. We walked the cobbles of Covent Garden and got lost in the voices and banter of ‘London boys’. We went to Soho to check out how the GAY scene was going and found one of our fave old spots closed but the GAY (anything goes and everyone is fun!) vibe was still in full flow. We walked across London bridge and Tower Bridge. We got Black Cabs instead of Ubers (because ”London!!!”).

Basically we had a ball.

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Back on my stomping ground – London baby!


I was shattered in the nights and honestly felt the first week was a bit muddled in my mind (as I fought hard to ignore the travel-tired issue thinking ”if Rihanna can do it, I can do it!’) but it was awesome.

Work kept me on my toes in the day and my friends kept me full of love and laughs in the evenings – there was no real time for jet lag!.

I definitely had some of the best sleeps ever while in London, although I went out every night I didn’t stay out late and was passed out by 10ish most nights. The term ”slept like a log” springs to mind. As does ”slept like I was dead!”.


Let’s not forget one of the most important things about my London trip: the weekend in the middle WITH MY FAMILYYYYY! Well! What a hoot!

We stayed in Essex for the weekend, in my Uncle’s parents house. I actually used to live there for a few months before I properly moved in London way back about 10 years ago now, so it was a trip down memory Lain – this time with the best company.

Of course, a lot has happened since I’ve been away in the last two years. There’s definitely been some rocky times for me and, I admit, some arguments with my family (mainly caused by me amidst my melt-down a few months back) – but seeing family cements the fact we all know; Family is Everything.

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Family

We got my Nan drunk (she never drinks so it was hilarious) my Uncle was on fine form as ever with his stories of growing up as a little sod in Essex and London, my Aunt was beautiful and funny as ever and my little Cousin wasn’t so little anymore.

It was just the best, best.

We spent the full weekend together and although of course, it never feels enough, in a weird way it kinda did – because it was a case of ”2 days is better than no days”, so we cherished every moment, just doing normal things.

Like my Nan and I sharing catch ups, about the silly boys in my life, in the garden over a cuppa and me and my Aunt going shopping for new jeans.


As for London itself; well, London I always loved you and nothing had changed!.

I absolutely LOVE that city, the very bones of it, the vibe, the greyness, the -dog eat dog I’m in the rat race and I’m guna come out on top- culture that you see everywhere, the buildings (especially St. Pauls Cathedral), the history, the cool people who dress better than anyone else on the planet.

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My fave building in beautiful London – St. Paul’s

My visit to London felt extra good because I knew, if I ever had to; I could live there again.

The previous two times I have been back over the last (nearly 4 years of being away now), I loved it but I was very unsettled and felt weird at the thought.

But this time, likely because I knew that I was coming back to a good life ahead in Sydney, I left feeling like London would always been an option.


When I had left Sydney for my flight out; I left my home in Bronte behind in high spirits. Three people moved out while I was gone and two new ones moved in.

The vibe in my home is completely different to when I left, it’s quieter but it suits my lifestyle.

In the week all I care about is work and on the weekends I want to chill. 

Recharging has become a vital part of my life, whereas I used to just bowl through and go crazy on the weekends.

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My back yard

I was looking back at pics of this time last year yesterday; I realised that at this time I was in full party mode, a mode which continued many nights during the week and without fail every weekend (all through the Sydney summer) until April this year.

I couldn’t think of anything worse for me right now; a part of me has definitely grown up, thank God. 

Because me continuing the party/work/party lifestyle age 32 would not be a good thing. It fact it would be plain stupid.

Last year was different, this year, I have a real focus – my career.

With the job I have now I know I have found what I missed after London; high pressure and high reward.

Since leaving London behind in Jan 2014 (I stopped working in Dec 2013), I have not worked a job I cared about – sorry any old employers reading this;) … what I mean is; a job I cared about enough.

Over the last 4 years I have worked contracts and ‘travellers’ jobs. Running a hostel and boat parties on Koh Phi Phi in Thailand and running a Best Western in Queenstown, New Zealand took me 10% concentration and allowed me to have 90% fun on the side!

But when you’re a career-driven person (which I always have been) those kind of jobs are never going to be enough.

I know I have talked about my job a lot here but it is something I am really excited about every day. 

It just feels GOOD to feel GOOD about something that is such a huge part of my existence after not feeling this way for such a long time.


So what else has been going on?

Health: I have been going in circles of running regularly then not, mainly depending on if I have been out on the weekend or not. Classic me. 

Before London I was -in the zone- with my morning runs. When I was there I brought my running kit with me, with full intention of running before work – but that was too much for me to do alongside everything else so running took a back seat. 

Since then I haven’t got fully back in my routine – I’m starting again this week. I don’t mind when I don’t run for a bit because I know my fitness snaps back within 10 days or so, and any holiday weight drops off quickly.

Mental Health: Is a world away from where it was a few months ago – thank God. Some days I have shit days, who doesn’t right?. But on the whole I’m ok and putting focus into things that make me feel good and that are good for me.

Men: There is no one. I had a ‘boyfriend for a week’ a couple of months back and that turned out to be an expensive week of being led up the garden path, lied to and all that jazz that I’ve experienced so many times before. 

I am literally a magnet for being walked over and I’m way too nice – I always see the best in people and although it never seems to workout in my favour I won’t change that part of me ever. 

Where are the genuine guys, on my level, at hey?. They’re out there I’m sure of that, but as with life – timing is everything and although I’ve been single for 6 years (!) now, it seems now is evidently still not the ‘right time’ because I’m yet to meet anyone right for me.

Friendships: Going back to London reminded me how lucky I am with the people in my life, many I don’t see from year to year are still a huge part of my days. 

One of my longest friends, Abby (who I have known since I was 8 months old), I talk to pretty much every day by Whatsapp or FaceTime. We didn’t see each other in London as it wasn’t possible but wherever we are the bond is unbreakable. I really hope to see her and her lovely little family on my next trip back though. 

This year I’ve definitely had more than a few reminders that friendships can and will change. People change, things change – that’s life.

Look Magazine team reunion

My last night in London with two of my fave LOOK magazine girl friends, Helen & Claire

Self Care: Ok, for me this means; running, walks, taking breaks when I need it from my desk, keeping hydrated, brushing my hair (honestly, this can sometimes take an hour!), getting my eyebrows done, reading and SHOPPING!. Well, shopping has most definitely stepped up a gear lately. I work my ass off and I deserve nice things, so that’s one of my great pleasures at the moment. Nice things thank you please Sweetie Dahling Sweetie Dahling!.

Goals: WRITE. I am a natural born writer. The fact I let my writing slip off the radar AGAIN is just silly. Silly and lazy. I have had a blog for a about 7 years now (I wrote two others before this one). 

When I was living in London I wrote about fashion and tales from behind the scenes during my amazingggg job at LOOK magazine. Then when I first went traveling I wrote most days about my ”story” as I was going.

Of course I look back now and think ‘Imagine if I had kept writing consistently, imagine all the amazing memories and tips I could have shared’. But of course I have fallen in and out of writing.

Now I am settling into my job, I know how my days/ weeks ahead are looking. So that means I can make time to write. I know I have been wasting time but there is no time like the present to get back on the horse (hence this post).

I have many, many ideas for what and how I want to write and I will get them mapped out again but for now I am going to get back into a writing when I feel like it routine.

PAINT. I love art and used to paint often when I was little/ growing up. I bought a paint set about 6 months ago and it’s sat in my room untouched. This needs to come out.

READ. Thankfully my affair with reading has made a welcome return to my life. When I was younger my head was always in a book (usually about horses). 

Then when I went to Uni I studied English Lit so then my eyes were buried in Shakespeare and Keats. 

London years working for magazines I felt I was ‘always reading’ but there’s nothing that compares to a good book. 

At present I am reading inspirational and real-life success stories kinda things to keep my energy up for life and mind sharp for work.

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Next time I see my hero, my Nan, it will be in Singers – YAY!

FAMILY: My family moved to Singapore in August and I will be joining them for Christmas on December 20th. 

I can’t wait to see them all (and our dogs!) and explore Singers. From what I can see on my calls and their photos on Facebook, it looks like they have settled in right away and are having the best time – I can’t wait to get involved too;)


If you made it this far, firstly WOW and secondly THANK YOU. This is an absurdly long post, especially if you have read if on your mobile.

Going ahead I will write like nobody is reading. Because that means I am doing it for myself, not for shares or likes or feedback.

It’s not that I don’t want readers, of course I write to share my journey – it’s that I want to write like it’s just for me because I know when I write that way I am being most open, honest and essentially sharing the real-life content I would share with you over a cuppa.

So, that’s me just having written over 2,800 words straight off the bat – welcome back to blogging me!

Ps. I still want a puppy. 

Pps. I still rarely cook (but I do eat well;) …

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Green means good!

Thanks for reading, have a great day!. Special thanks to those who took time out to see me in London.

@LaraLain

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4 Comments

  1. Mum
    November 11, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    Great read Lar
    A good catch up
    I’m so Glad you are happeeeeeee can’t wait to see you on the 20 th

    • November 11, 2017 / 6:32 pm

      Thank you for reading – I must have had this building up inside for a while as this just wrote itself pretty easily. Feels good to write again, need to keep the flow going now. See you SOOOOON. Love you ❤

  2. November 24, 2017 / 5:43 pm

    LARA LAIN. It’s so good to read a nice long blog post from you!! Glad you’re still loving life in Oz. 🙂 You’re a real go getter so I’m sure you’re smashing it. Jade & I will never forget that epicnight in London, you are the karaoke QUEEN!

    • laralain
      June 29, 2018 / 11:54 am

      Hey T! Omg I was just digging into the back of my site and saw your lovely comment from way back when! Thanks for checking my post and for your kind comment. I am happier now than I was back then lol – life is good 🙂 Hope you and Jade are also super well and happy! Ah #TheLOOKShow mems! x

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