In 2018 I took a MyHeritage DNA test, and after two years of emails telling me I had “new matches”, I finally decided to reach out.

Full disclosure: The original test was sent to me for free by the company. (#Gifted) I created a video about taking the test and never planned to create more, but I was intrigued by all these emails I received over the next two years claiming to have found new DNA matches, so I decided to start contacting the matches.

When I first logged in, I was very surprised to see a genuine cousin among…

Some links in this article are affiliate links.

‘Link in bio’ — the dreaded social media catchphrase.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Before Instagram introduced the ‘swipe up’ feature, Instagrammers all over the world had to paste a link into the ‘website’ section of their profile bio every time they wanted to send their viewers from Instagram to another site like their blog, YouTube channel, etc.

Instagram isn’t the only place where this was an issue. Most websites, including Twitter, give you one spot for your “website”, so users have had to prioritize which platforms, campaigns, or blogs to promote.

While many accounts that don’t fulfill the requirements for the swipe up feature still…

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Netflix show ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’.

Having just finished watching ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ on Netflix, I find myself wondering why this show is so popular, and why exactly I thought it was so terrible.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

I came across the show on the ‘Trending’ list for my country and, as a fan of horror films and series, I immediately clicked play. For the first two episodes, I was hooked and then, slowly but surely, I fell out of love with it.

To the show’s credit, I watched through to the end, stubbornly insisting to know how on earth they could tie all of the seemingly-unrelated storylines together. To that end, the characters — particularly those of Hannah the housekeeper and Flora, the…

Inspired by “Van Life” content on YouTube, I lived in my car for 24 hours to see if “alternative living” is something I could do long-term.

I set myself a challenge to live in my small city car for 24 hours. Photo: Clare Cullen

I first discovered “Van Life” content on YouTube when Jenelle Eliana blew up on the site, and have expanded my viewing to include many different types of ‘alternative living’ content ever since; from ‘Van Life’ to ‘Tiny houses’ and everything in between.

The vast library of inspirational, luxurious-seeming ‘Van Life’ content on social media got me thinking — could I survive as a “Vanlifer”? …

Back when I first joined the YouTube partner program in 2012, there was a rule that you were not allowed to disclose your earnings. Judging by the recent trend of videos on YouTube revealing Adsense revenue, it seems like that rule is no longer be part of the YouTube partner program, and so, I’d like to discuss and compare earnings from two similarly “viral” videos I have had.

The first video was “Shite Irish Girls Say’, uploaded in January 2012, (from here on referred to as ‘SIGS’). It was a short, two-minute sketch jumping on a comedic trend sweeping YouTube…

I was on the Irish version of the TLC show ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ before my wedding in 2018, but I didn’t wear the dress I said ‘yes’ to on my wedding day. Here’s why.

Photo: RTÉ

If you don’t know what ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ is, it’s a reality TV show based on bridal dress fittings — brides attend a chosen shop, try on a few wedding dresses, and, mostly, say ‘yes’ to one by the end of the episode.

A fact that will become important later; a long time before I got engaged, I stumbled across a Buzzfeed…

I spoke to a number of people from Northern Ireland about how the Irish language is treated and viewed in the ‘six counties’.

The country of Ireland — despite, for the most part, speaking English as a first language — has its own language, called ‘Irish’ in English and, in Irish, “Gaeilge”. Irish is a Goidelic or Gaelic language, one of the two groups of insular Celtic languages that originated in Britain and Ireland.

Irish is the “first official language” of Ireland and the “national language” of the Republic of Ireland, according to Article 8 of the Irish Constitution. English…

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

My life as a professional in creative industries has been marred with subtle insinuations that I am, in some way, difficult. I am always loudly acknowledged as knowledgeable, the expert, the point-of-contact for X — but quietly and subtly inferred to be some form of “difficult”, through comments about the “way” I explain things, requests to “speak less” in meetings, and casual accusations of co-workers I barely interact with being “scared of” me.

These recurring insinuations have led to years of introspection and softening spoken, written tone and direction until I’ve effectively become an ineffective communicator. It’s led to repeated…

Lived Through This

I thought my dress was perfect, but I knew it wouldn’t be for everyone

I got married in June 2018. In November of that year, a woman named Erin posted a photograph of my husband and I walking down the aisle after saying “I do,” with the caption “No… just, no.”

Photo: Meriam Alnaman; Scribbles: Erin

To this day, I sometimes wonder who this woman is and how she got a photograph of my wedding. The rules of the Facebook group state that you must block faces unless you have sourced the photograph from a public source… and our faces were scribbled out. Had they not been, I would have assumed she took the photo from my public Instagram…

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

In March, my husband and I completed 14 days of full self-isolation. This means that we didn’t leave our house once, for fourteen days, not even to walk our frustrated dog. We survived mostly on frozen food, because Ireland does not have a Postmates equivalent, and the country’s supermarkets were under so much pressure at the beginning of “quarantine” that online orders were required two weeks in advance. For that reason, family members were doing our grocery shopping and leaving the bags outside the front door, so we wouldn’t infect them.

Clare Cullen

Travel & Lifestyle Content Creator on YouTube, freelance multimedia journalist in Ireland.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store