2016. You may just have been my favourite year so far.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined it would have been such a whirlwind year; filled with so many fun and fabulous trips, exciting collaborations and projects, and endless opportunities. Memories that will last a lifetime, and moments and experiences that, looking back on, I have to pinch myself to believe that they were real. As we move into the new year, I wanted to reflect on a few highlights of the last (I wrote about the importance of reflection in my last post here); all of which were totally unexpected ‘that will never happen to me’ experiences. Well, they did.
I still can’t believe how much travelling I’ve been lucky enough to do this last year. When I first began my blog, the option of travelling thanks to the blog had never occurred to me, and until 2016, far flung destinations were something reserved for special family holidays – but this year began with a trip to Costa Rica with Piz Buin in January, and from there things just got even more incredible. I got to travel with family and loved ones too – taking my mum out to Abu Dhabi, and enjoying an incredible trip to South Africa with Charlie. Charlie and I also travelled to Milan, Copenhagen, Switzerland, Greece, Croatia, Sicily, Monaco, and then there were the press trips; from the exotic beaches of Barbados and the incredible landscapes of California to the stunning boutique hotels in Kefalonia, and not forgetting Lanzarote, Morzine, Scotland, Cologne and Hamburg as well as my spur of the moment trip to visit Rory in Hong Kong! Here’s to even more exciting travels in 2017, with trips to India, Tahiti, L.A, Switzerland, Paris and more – already being planned!
Being a Full Time Blogger
While I officially started blogging full time in 2015, it was last year that was my first full year of being a professional blogger. Every blogger I meet says the same thing; never in their wildest dreams would they have imagined that their passion could one day become their career, but that’s exactly what a bunch of us have done. Through determination, hard work and passion for creating content, we’ve been able to forge a career from our hobbies and now it’s incredible to hear that being a ‘blogger or YouTuber’ is now the most popular career aspiration for teens! Being a full time blogger has allowed me to work with some of my favourite brands; from being the UK’s ambassador for Piz Buin, to being the face of a new store concept for Boots, I’ve worked with luxury brands from Bulgari and Tom Ford, to some of my most loved brands such as Viktor&Rolf, Pandora, Monica Vinader, Reiss and ghd to name but a few!
When you realise you can’t do everything yourself anymore, or you want to do things better – you have to hire someone! For me this was pretty exciting, it made me feel more professional – and now I won’t look back. This year I worked with lots of incredible photographers for different photoshoots, one of my favourites was the above for Pandora, for which I worked with Kat who also helps create fabulous videos with me now – and I’m sure I’ll continue working with her and other incredible photographers and videographers in the new year. Speaking of hiring people; I’m currently searching for an intern to come and work with me on a part time basis. If this sounds like something you think you’d be right for (or if you know the perfect person), then drop me an email. I haven’t put up the official job notification yet – so you’ll be ahead of the game!
I bought my first designer bag (and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th…)
This may not sound like such a big deal, but for me, it is. When I was growing up, I always lusted over beautiful bags, shoes, holidays – you know, the ‘finer things in life’. While it may sound terribly materialistic, it was the desire to be able to afford these things and earn myself that certain lifestyle, that gave me the motivation to work hard. For the first time this year, I was actually able to buy myself a designer bag, without the help of a parent, boyfriend (or staff discount!). Yes I know, saving for my mortgage is a much more sensible decision, but BOY did I work hard last year, and if a beautiful handbag is within my reach as a little gift to myself to say Well Done, then it’s a purchase that I feel is totally justified. Every time I look at one of my splurges this year, it reminds me of the hard work and achievements that justified its purchase, and to me, that makes them worth every penny.
2016, you’re a tough act to follow. What’s next? Well, I’m not entirely sure. I may be bursting with ideas and inspiration but putting it all into place certainly won’t be easy. This year I wan’t to improve my work life balance and focus on mindfulness a lot more. I want to learn to say no a lot more. It’s hard to turn down travel and work opportunities, but I need to prioritise my long term goals over short term gains. I want to see more of the world, but on my own terms, not tied down by itineraries. I want to work more with the brands that I love, and create higher quality content that is true to me, and not conforming to what everyone else is doing.
While I don’t have any official New Years resolutions, I’m determined to make 2017 the best year yet. I hope that 2017 will live up to the highs of 2016, I hope your 2016 was full of fond memories too!