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I’ve written a yearly round up post since 2015, usually this post details the best things that have happened in the year or a highlight from each month and mainly travel focused. However gratitude has been on my mind for all of 2018 and it’s importance to me and significance in my life has really changed my life this year in my opinion, so to round up 2018 I want to share some things that I am and have been grateful for this year (in no particular order)!
My Blog & the Opportunities I’ve had this year.
I truly love my blog and my space on the internet, I’ve worked hard and spent many many hours on it in 2018 but it has paid off in money, friends and some really good trips!
10 Days in Greece with Travel Talk Tours with Flights covered by an Airline, the most amazing week on the Caribbean island of Antigua, a weekend seeing a side of Switzerland I had never even thought about, finally getting to go to Rome, getting to go back to the Channel Island of Jersey which I love, going to the Netherlands twice.
There are actually so many more but these trips and the fact that I did them all because of my blog make me so grateful for this space on the internet and the fact that this is a thing!
For the Travel Blogging Community.
I’m also grateful for the people who I have met through travel blogging. I consider so many people real friends who I have met on press trips, events, and online who I didn’t know a few years ago and I couldn’t imagine not being part of this community now.
I hosted 3 meet ups in 2018 too and it was so great meeting people who I’d been speaking to online in real life. I’m so thankful to the people who came all the way to London for the meet up’s!
The Opportunities I have and can Create for the future.
Along this line, I love the internet and I love that there is so many opportunities for us to do jobs we enjoy and live the life we want. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work and it can seem like only some people succeed. I do not consider myself as ‘succeeded’ yet at all but I’m working on it.
In fact, I have a new project that I’ll be working on in 2019 all about India.
I want to make this big, and I mean big! And successful in money, in opportunities, and in community, and the fact that I can do that from a laptop anywhere in the world makes me so happy and grateful for this life!
Having the Guts to Quit my Job and Travel.
If you’re reading this you probably know me well, or well enough to know that I am currently in India and in the Summer I left my job and London to travel and blog full time. This took a lot of guts and I’m grateful to myself for making the leap!
I’ve left so many jobs in the past to travel but at 28 years old, living in London in a decent flat and area, with a good job, plus opportunities for my blog there, in all honestly it would have been easier to stay. But I wouldn’t have been living the life I wanted and had dreamed of and now that I’m travelling and giving this ‘full time working online life’ a go, I’m so happy that I am the kind of person who will take chances and a leap of faith to do what I want to do!
Related post: 8 Years of Travel & Big Life Update!
Living in Hampstead for Half the Year.
Despite being so happy that I am now travelling, I did enjoy London most of the time and what I loved most about my life in London was being able to live in Hampstead. I lived in Hampstead for 2 years in total and loved it. When I think of my life in London Hampstead will always be it and if you’ve been there you’ll know it’s a very nice place to think about!
Related Post: 30 Things To Do in Hampstead London!
The Amazing British Summer.
I know, I’m so British talking about the weather and the amazing Summer of 2018 in the UK, BUT, it was so good wasn’t it? It made my last few weeks in London so enjoyable and fun and for that, and for how happy it made everyone else. I am really grateful!
Having a Job I Enjoyed.
Whilst living in London still I had a job until July that I genuinely enjoyed. It didn’t light up my soul which was the reason I was ok leaving it and I know that I needed a job that does light me up, but I enjoyed going into work everyday, I liked the people I saw everyday, I didn’t carry home any stress, I laughed pretty much everyday, got a free lunch everyday and had flexibility. This enhanced my life incredibly in the first half of the year, it gave me the head space to focus on my blog and made me happy so much of the time, and for this I am very grateful!
Oh and I went to Austria Skiing and to Lisbon in Portugal on fun work trips, not bad hey!
Being able to Move back in with my Mum & keep my Stuff there.
My parents are not travellers but they have always been supportive of me and my travels and I am really grateful for that. I’m also grateful that I knew I could leave London whenever I wanted and had somewhere to live for awhile rent free before going travelling and keep my stuff there too without worrying about it. Having this gives me so much more freedom and I know I am lucky to have this option in life, especially at 28 years old.
My Mum Beating Breast Cancer.
I didn’t speak about this online because it isn’t something to do with me to speak about but in June this year, just as I had dropped my hours from full time to part time at work and was super excited, I called my mum to tell her and she had to tell me she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. The first person in my family to get cancer.
During the summer she had an operation and went through radiotherapy, thankfully she didn’t have to have chemotherapy and she is now back to work with no sign of it. I am beyond grateful for this.
Visiting 50 Countries.
Lebanon at the end of September marked Country number 50 for me. I remember writing down in 2015 whilst in Argentina that I wanted to go to 50 Countries before I was 30, at the time I was on 16 countries so 50 seemed far away, do-able, but still a challenge.
I reached 50 after a few months of being 28 which is really exciting achievement for me. I guess this is a highlight more than being grateful, although I am always grateful for my ability to travel.
Related post: I DO Count Countries and This is Why!
Going to India after 5 Years of Wanting to.
In 2013 the desire to go to India hit me and although I nearly went in 2014 and in 2015, I ended up going in 2018, 5 years later. I always knew I would go at the right time and I never pushed it too much or made it happen too much otherwise I would have gone earlier on, but as I started making a plan of where to go to start my trip in 2018, there was only one answer – India!
I’m so glad I’ve been able to go to India and be able to visit for as long as I am, I always wanted to go with no timeframe because there’s so much to see and this is what I have now! I’m so grateful for this!
Related Post: My First Impressions of India!
Of How Well India has Treated me.
India is known as a tough place to travel and I can see why but I came to India with a positive mindset and in return, it seems, India has treated me very well.
Do not get me wrong, I’ve had annoying times, sick times, ‘I don’t understand this country and why they do this’ times, but generally it has been so great and no harder than travelling elsewhere, but so much more fulfilling!
And this is why I am going to start my 2019 project about India! 😉
If you have had the pleasure of meeting me this year or last, it’s likely I would have said ‘I heard about this on a podcast’.. literally, most of what I say, especially in regards to health and wellness is from a podcast and I am so so grateful for them and that I and we, can receive so much information from them because I have learned so much and so many of them have honestly changed my life!
From Manifesting to Ayurveda to Astrology to Shamanism, there is so much to this world and podcasts are a great way to learn about it all!
Related Post: My Favourite and Recommended Wellness Podcasts!
I’ve been vegetarian since 2014 although in 2017 I had a bit of a hiatus, I have no regrets but by the end of the year I was ready to go back to no meat. I’d wanted to be Vegan for many years but always put it off saying it would be too hard when I travel or when I used to live at home, but as January came around, so did the hype of Veganuary so I used this as a way to test it out.
If I didn’t like it after one month, no problem, I was only meant to be being vegan for one month anyway but if I did like it, it was a good reason to carry on. What I love is that Veganuary gives people the chance to try being Vegan and even for me working in the head office of a big Chicken Chain Restaurant, I could say I’m not eating Chicken, Cheese, Chocolate etc because of Veganuary and it was just.. accepted! I then carried it on and that was accepted too because a lot of people do carry on Veganuary. For this I’m grateful because although I haven’t been a perfect Vegan, I have enjoyed having a meat and dairy free diet this year and it really hasn’t been that hard!
(Although note I haven’t been Vegan since being in India, that’s for another post).
For Me, for looking after Me.
I think I’ve always done the self love thing quite well without realising but 2018 has been a big year for self love and the focus on it. Due to being pretty much single for my adult life I’ve learned to look after myself, to care for myself, take myself out for lunch, buy flowers if I fancy them. I say no to events that I feel too drained to attend, I say no to friends that don’t give anything back to me in return.
I’m very confident in myself and my outlook on life and I believe this has a lot to do with the fact that I look after me and 2018 has been a big year for that.
I also feel like it feels icky to say I’m grateful to myself, but it’s not, it’s a good thing to say!
A Fun Looking 2019.
2018 has been fun, the start was fun even though I was working full time, the second half was also fun because I started travelling full time.
My plan is to travel for the whole of 2019. I’m not sure where exactly, I’m going to keep my plans quite relaxed, flexible and open for change and opportunity. I’m sure I’ll be ‘home’ at some point for a bit but I have no intention of stopping this travel life now I’m back on it! Not at all! 😉
Well this was a bit longer than planned! If you have read it all, thank you.
I hope it has inspired you to think about what you are grateful for what 2018 provided you with.
I’d love to know, let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn!
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!
NOV-DEC: PROBABLY INDONESIA
If you want to join or read more about the details of the group tour.