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I love doing these round ups, I did one at the end of 2015 after an awesome year of travel, and at the end of 2016 after a year of living in London for the first time. Usually I focus on the travel highlights as this is my travel blog and my life does revolve around travel, but I thought I’d give you a slightly more in-depth insight into my year first as things can look a bit different on the internet to what is happening in real life.
2017 has been a strange year, in some ways it’s gone really fast but in other ways quite slow as I’ve done a lot and I feel like a completely different person to what I did at the start of the year. I’m in a different situation & head space even though it may look the same on the outside.
I had to move out of my Hampstead flat at the end of 2016 meaning I started the year in a new flat in Kilburn which was ok but I didn’t like it that much.
I started the year in a relationship which in hindsight, I didn’t really like that much either.
I also started the year in a job I enjoyed but didn’t pay well, meaning I was having to really watch what I was spending and if I wanted to actually save money in the costly city of London I had to limit my travelling.. which I obviously didn’t want to do.
All of the above also got me pondering my blog too and wondering why I put so much effort into this blog, spending my evenings and weekends typing away because I wasn’t getting anything out of it in terms of payment or trips. (Although I had met quite a few friends which to be honest, at one point, was the one thing that kept me going!)
I was a travel blogger and I love to travel but I couldn’t afford to keep going away, and all I seemed to be seeing were other people going away all of the time!
It’s safe to say that I questioned whether I should even be in London and I did call my mum in a panic around April asking if I could bring all my stuff back because I might just travel full time and then move to Canada!
I’m ending the year living back in the gorgeous Hampstead, I moved back to my old flat in May which was such a good feeling. I needed a change in scenery in more ways than one.
I’m ending the year single. I’ve been single for 10 months of 2017 which is a long time really but the first few months of those 10 months were quite hard from a mixture of confusion, anger and annoyance. I’ve spent time really feeling those feelings and now I’m ok and I’m happy for the lesson.
May was actually quite a turning point for me, although I left my job to start a new & better paid job in March, 6 weeks into it the company went into administration and I got made redundant whilst on a trip to Egypt and I came home to no job!
I believe that everything happens for a reason though and although the pay was a lot better I didn’t really like it there. I got a temp job and kept applying for permanent jobs and went to so many interviews. It was pretty stressful, especially as I was moving flat’s too but I knew that I didn’t need to settle for just anything and I was determined to find something I really wanted. I had what turned out to be my last interview and I left the building deciding that that was the job I wanted, an hour later I got a call to say I had got the job. 3 days later I was starting my first day and it has been great ever since! I don’t think I go a day without laughing which is pretty good for a Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00 which is in no way related to travel.
Things picked up from there really.
From January-May I went on 3 trips – Dublin for a weekend, a tour around Egypt and to Georgia with my Dad. These were all great and the Egypt trip was through my blog but they were all partly paid for by me and had been booked since 2016.
From June-December I went on 10 trips!! 10 trips in 7 months whilst working full time isn’t bad! And not to blow my own horn but I’ve saved a lot of money in those months too thanks to a better paid full time job and paid sponsored content on this blog!
In 2016 I could have only dreamt about getting an email asking me if I want to go to Spain, to Jersey, to Germany, to the Netherlands, to Switzerland but this year I got those very emails in my inbox and I’ve had a bloody brilliant 7 months jumping around Europe, still exploring London & holding down a full time job!
It’s really showed me that the hard work I have put into this blog for the last 2-3 years is paying off and my passion for travel and encouraging others to travel is shining through!
Not only that but I have met so many amazing people this year. Mainly through social media and blogging events, and I can confidently say that I have friends that I didn’t know I’d have this time last year and friendships that are so much stronger than they were this time last year!
For those that are also working and blogging, you might like this: The Positives to being a Travel Blogger who Works Full Time.
Soo enough of the emotional bit, shall I tell you what my Travel highlights were?
- Going to Georgia with my Dad was definitely one of the best trips this year. We had never been away together before and he doesn’t go away often so it was so good to spend time with him and show him a week in my travel life. Going to the Kazbegi Mountains was a highlight within that trip too! I’m pretty smug about the fact that its the ‘in’ place to go in 2018 and I’ve already been! Thats how I like to travel and see the world!
- My weekend in Jersey came about via a random email from their PR but I’m so glad that it did! I literally loved my weekend there with Liv, although it was only short it had a huge impact on me, in particular some Surf and Yoga idea’s for next year!
- During the August Bank Holiday I took myself off to the West Coast of Ireland. I spent 3 days driving around on my own and do you know what? I loved it!! It was so good to be in the area where my family stems from and being on my own schedule was so relaxing even though I covered a lot of ground.
- Despite doing 10 trips in 7 months I actually spent all of October in the UK, mainly in London and I had a great month! It was a month of rest that was well needed, plus London is so gorgeous in the Autumn. There were so many weekends where we had bright blue skies, sunshine and cool temperatures meaning it was perfect to walk around with an Autumn related coffee in one hand and my camera in the other. (Looking back, I enjoyed this in 2016 as well!)
- A highlight from the summer was spending a few days in Wales in July as my Step Brother got married and I was Bridesmaid. I decided to combine the wedding with a South Wales road trip and I spent one of the day’s visiting the beaches in Pembrokeshire on the South Coast. The day before it rained non stop (!!) but the day I went out was so gorgeous! I did a lot of walking in the sunshine and countryside and I ended the day watching a gorgeous sunset. I remember feeling so content and happy with life.
I really enjoyed all of my other trips and I’ve also had so many good weekends and days in general in 2017 but the above things just really stand out in my memory as being total highlights!
I also love that most of these are UK related!
What about 2018??
Well, things are going to continue getting bigger and better, I can tell you that. I’m ending 2017 on a high and intend to carry it on!
Travel wise I already have some awesome trips booked – Skiing in Austria & a trip around the Greek Islands are 2 of those!
Blog wise, I plan to keep working with more brands so I can bring even more destination and product content to this blog. I want to continue to inspire others to travel more, and to blog too!
I started a newsletter in November which I’m determined to keep up and keep sending every 3-4 weeks – there’s only been 2 so far so this really will be a 2018 project. You can sign up for my Wanderings & Wellness Wednesday Newsletter here if you wish!
The work I want to put into my blog is going to keep taking time out of my weekends and evenings but after a good last half of this year I can see that it’s worth it and I’m creating opportunities for myself by doing this, so bring it on!
I’ve also been focusing a lot on yoga, wellness and food in my life and I’m going to continue this in 2018 but step it all up a bit! Once I’m at a good stage I hope to start bringing it into my space on the internet and apply it to my travels.
But most of all I’m going to continue to be true to myself, continue to look after my-self, continue to work hard and not over plan tooo much!
This sums it up well!^^
If you have got to the end of this, thank you!
If you have read my blog posts or followed me on social media this year, thank you for the support.
Here’s to an awesome 2018 for us all! x