5 January 2018

Wrap Up 2017

I always feel a bit strange about these kind of posts, they feel kind of cheesy and self-serving (says the girl writing about herself) but there is something about using this time of year as a chance to reflect that can be a force for good.  I am not one for setting goals and planning too far into the future but as a motivator I have to admit I see the appeal.  I didn't think 2017 was all that great until I started to reflect on it and realised just how much I have achieved in those twelve short months.  Let's start by looking at the goals I set myself in a post last year:

Do more traveling

Oh boy did I do this one!  Between early Spring and Autumn I hardly seemed to stop traveling, using weekends and my annual holiday allowance to their full advantage.  I traveled to various countries across Europe and all over the UK.  Sometimes it was a little overwhelming but my travel confidence and my ability to pack light has defiantly improved.  My new found love of travel is stronger then ever because of 2017.

Read less

I set myself this slightly strange goal because I wanted to feel less pressured to hit my reading goals and give myself time to try other things instead.  I changed my reading goal from my usual 40 (which I always surpassed) to 35 and I made it but only just.  What it didn't do make me do is take up other things and I am just left feeling a bit sad at the books I've missed out on.

Relax more

Nope, I can not do this!  My struggle to not spend all my spare time working on blog posts or doing something ''productive' is alive and well.  I have allowed myself more video game time in the last couple of months with Winter setting in and I'd like to enjoy more of this guilt free in the new year.

Stop having negative people in my life

This is one of the best things I did for myself over the last year or so.  Not having time for poisonous friendships has had a massive reduction on my anxiety and stress.  Not only that but I have filled that space with an amazing group of positive women and that is the influence I want in my life.

More self care

I did not manage this, I am awful at taking care of myself in this way.  I never give myself time to take a bath or painting my nails and I'm lucky if I wear makeup once a fortnight.  I really need to start looking after my body better and looking at how I present myself.

Blog more for myself and less for companies

I think I found my stride with blogging this year through my love of travel and writing has become a joy!  Taking on less work for other companies has defiantly helped.  A good balance is important with all things!

Continue to live London life to it's fullest

I have done a lot of amazing things in London this year such as whipping down The Thames on a speed boatgoing underground with Alice and having cocktails at the top of The Shard.  I am falling more and more in love with my city all the time, although I have got a little complacent and found myself favouring weekends at home doing nothing more then I should.

Be more proactive

By this I basically meant I wanted to stop waisting so much time refreshing social media and doing nothing.  I am the queen of procrastination and sadly this hasn't changed this year.  I am frustrated with myself as this is how I could find the time to look after myself.

Be Healthy

I was doing yoga regularly until I hurt my ankle in May and although I've been doing a fair but of walking my eating habits are not defiantly not great.

Learn to budget

I am still not good at this although I don't generally overspend too much, that overdraft does get dipped into by waisting money on lunches etc.

Have a real go at Youtube

Well I did do this although less so in the last few months.  I tried to do a weekly vlog for every month after my birthday in May and I made it to August but I am now so far behind on editing and I wasn't happy with my content so I have decided to give up on that project.  I am still planning on using Youtube for travel content but realistically having a full time job, blogging three times a week and doing 1-2 Youtube videos a week just wasn't feasible.  I started the year with 164 subscribers and currently sit at 335 which knowing how hard Youtube is these days I'm pretty happy with.  My view count is generally pretty low and I'm not the guest at video promotion so this is something I'd like to work on.

Continue to improve my photography and writing style.

I think this is one of my goals every year in some form or another.  Blogging is a work in progress so I like to think I am constantly improving.  I think I have found my blogging voice more this year and my writing and presentation has gotten stronger.  I don't think my technical photography skills have improved much as I've gotten a little lazy but I think my composition and editing skills have grown.

Hit 4500 (or maybe even 5000) followers on Twitter

Number aren't everything but let's face it they are a motivator!  I prefer twitter to any other social media platform and my growth there is natural, slow and steady with the exception of a couple of boosts from giveaways towards the end of the year.  I have ended the year on 4547 so I have made the smaller of my goals so I can't complain as that means I've gained over 1200 followers over the year.

Hit 2000 on Instagram

A big fail on this one!  Instagram is my nemesis, I enjoy creating travel photography and editing them to get the best out of them but the Instagram part itself is infinitely frustrating.  I didn't hit my goal, in fact Ive only grown by less than 400 followers but I did want to improve my Instagram photography and editing and I'd say I've managed that.  Maybe 2018 will be the year I hit the magical 2k, who knows.

What else did I archive in 2017?

Had my first press trips

Travel writing is still a relatively new venture of mine and it's where I have found my passion so I was overjoyed that this resulted in two press trips this year.  The first was a partially funded trip to Hamburg (which you can expect to read much more about soon) and my first fully funded trip to Amsterdam.  I already have my travel planed for 2018 so I doubt I will be able to do any press trips this year unless they are over a weekend but it's always amazing to be considered.

Hit 10k combined social following and increased my DA to 31

Again it's not all about the numbers but seeing a tangible improvement like this for all my hard work feels good.  Passing 30 for my DA really felt like a big mile stone.

Started a Whatsapp group of amazing women.

This sounds so simple but it is honestly one of the best things I have done for myself this year, and actually took some bravery.  For years I saw bloggers I loved starting Whatsapp groups and bonding and I felt totally left out.  Eventually I thought screw it, why not start my own!  It was so obvious I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.  I was missing my Leeds blogger gang having moved to London so I Invited a bunch of them and a couple of my new London pals.  Not everyone accepted my invite but I tried not to get too but upset about it.  Haydy, Hayley, Laura, LiziKellie, Bee, RachelMilly and I have helped each other through a whole lot this year and become the best of buddies!  I don't know how I'd got this far without them and it's been a huge help to my mental health, here's to hoping we all see more of each other IRL in 2018!

Explored nine different countries, taken ten flights, two international ferries and completed my first ever solo flight!

Again travel was the main focus of my year in 2018 and I really fell head over heels in love with it.  I managed to loose a lot of my travel anxieties and got used to jumping on a plane the way I would jump on a bus! 

Got a new job

I don't start till February but I was accepted for a new role at the end of this year so new adventures are ahead!

Got an article published in The Guardian

This one came out of left field as a result of my volunteer work for pride in London rather then anything relating to my blog.  It is one of the biggest things Ive ever done even though I have mixed feelings over the process, read more about why that is here.

Gave my blog a brand new look

Finally, in something I've talked about for years but was too scared to look into I have finally got a new look and layout for this site.  It is now easier to read and looks more professional while still being full of personality.  I am loving my new layout but there are still some tweaks I need to implement. 


So that was some highlights of my year.  It's ended up being a bit long winded but it's nice to look back over my year.  What's your proudest moment of 2017?
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