Happy New Year everyone! It has been a while since I sat down to write and I must say that as I stare at this blank page now, ready for the first post of 2018, it feels good.
I had a wonderful Christmas at my family home, my mum would put Rachel Allen to shame with her cooking skills, so spending three delicious days back in the family nest was heaven. For NYE myself & Brian flew to Rome. Five glorious days in the eternal city eating pasta, surrounded by history and spending quality time with my other half. There really is no other way I would have chosen to close what was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best year of my life to date.
So here we are – week one of 2018 down and, at a slight surprise to me, it has hit me like a ton of bricks. 2017 is over. I have never been so sad to see a year come to an end. You see, 12 months ago I decided to make a New Year’s resolution – a goal if you will. My goal was to fly at least once a month for a year; addressing my wanderlust once and for all. I had always wanted to travel and the bi-annual trips to the Canneries were no longer wetting my appetite, I wanted more. No more excuses. I knew it was time.
So I did it. By the end of the year, I had flown no less than 26 times. I made the most amazing memories, visited places I had dreamt of since I was a child, saw work by artists I never thought I would see in person – Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Banksy, Dali, Frida Kahlo, Warhol.. And to top it off I made some remarkable friends along the way who, whenever they pop up on my newsfeeds or into my inbox for a quick chat now, make me smile because they are living reminders of this wonderful adventure.
But it wasn’t always easy, there were times throughout the year when, to be honest, I didn’t want to travel. Times when I was tired from all the go, and times when I was just plain broke! I was absolutely petrified to go to New York by myself in June. I had been on solo trips around Europe, sure, but this was different – New York is, well, NEW YORK! I was scared, and it would have been much easier to just stay home that week and not push myself. Equally, when Brian couldn’t make a recent trip we had planned to London, I really really didn’t want to go without him. But, because it was part of my goal, not going, to be frank, was just not an option!
I have learnt two things from all of this.
Number One: You decide how your life is going to be.
Number Two: Having goals changes everything.
Having something that you are constantly striving for, and pushing yourself to achieve it no matter what, is priceless. It gives you focus, tenacity, energy, a sense of purpose, and is so much more than just ‘something to do’. Getting on that last flight to Rome I felt such pride in myself, proud that I had succeeded. 2017 pushed me beyond anything I had ever experienced before, completely changing my viewpoint on life. Furthermore, it all started so simply; by deciding to set a goal. (It just happened to be the goal that changed everything.)
As I mentioned earlier, the come down has been unexpected. This is the first time in 14 months that I don’t have any travel plans and I feel a little gloomy, to say the least. If I make it to the end of January without booking something then that will be an accomplishment in itself, but I know that flying once a month for the rest of my life is not realistic. There are other things I want to achieve, other exciting directions I want to go in and new goals to set. So, I am welcoming 2018 with open arms – if NYE is anything to go by, getting to kiss my love at the top of the Spanish Step overlooking one of the most beautiful cities in the world – I know I have little to be complaining about!
As for new goals, I want to share them with you, as my way of making them official:
- Get my diploma in Journalism – I have had this lined up for some time, but between work and travelling it just didn’t fit into my life. I have made room for it now – this is the year it gets done. Wish me luck!!
- Cook something NEW every week – I love food and cooking and I know I can challenge myself more, so I have decided to add a food section to this blog where I will share my cooking journey. *Side note: I’m not vegan, but I am allergic to milk (I know – no cheese, no chocolate, no pizza! The horror!), so lots of these recipes will be vegan-friendly which I am excited about.
- Think bigger – ok so I may not be flying once a month anymore but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to travel at all!! I have my heart set on a big adventure this year so watch this space.
- Work on my writing – blog more, keep ideas fresh, maybe fiction??
- And lastly, a more personal one – try to worry less. I have an unfortunate habit of worrying (about everything) so I am going to actively work on being less of a worrywart! Not quite sure how measurable this goal is but I figure saying it out loud is a good start and hopefully I’ll work the rest out along the way.
If anyone feels like sharing goals or thoughts on the new year – or even on how 2017 was for you please feel free to comment or get in touch. For me, writing down and sharing my ambitions for the year really makes them solid – so thank you for reading.
Wishing you an exceptional, inspirational and exciting 2018!
As always, written with love,