It’s that point once more! It’s arduous to not really feel reflective because the 12 months – on this case, the last decade – attracts to an in depth, and I all the time love trying again on the 12 months I’ve had with a round-up submit.
This 12 months, I nearly didn’t hassle. Between a latest visitors nose-dive (thanks Google) and a few personal-life points, for the previous few months, it’s probably not felt like 2019 was my greatest 12 months. However then I began serious about all of it correctly and remembered that there have been lots of unimaginable highlights – so I figured I’d higher write this, if solely simply to remind myself.
Over the previous decade, I’ve graduated uni, had my coronary heart damaged, travelled the world, pushed my limits with every kind of loopy challenges, made some unimaginable pals, learnt to drive, and built up a career as a full-time travel blogger. Life hasn’t all the time been simple, or good, and even all the time superb – however the highs positively outshine the lows, and isn’t that every one you’ll be able to ask for in life?
Right here’s this 12 months’s journey round-up: the statistics, the highs, and the lows. Whether or not you’re me feeling nostalgic in ten years time (hello future Emily) or only a reader with a spare 5 minutes, I hope you take pleasure in…
2019 Journey Stats
Nations Visited: 7
New Nations: three
Variety of Nights Spent Exterior England: 66
Flights Taken: 19
Beds Slept in: 50
Lengthy-distance Buses: 13
Miles Flown: 48,778*
Longest Time Spent out of England (in a single go): 22 nights
Furthest Latitude North Reached: 51.4619° (Drumheller in Alberta, Canada)
Furthest Latitude South: 19.4326°(Mexico Metropolis, Mexico)
Longest Overland Journey: 1,375 miles (roughly) highway journey round West Coast USA with TrekAmerica
Weblog Posts Printed: 110
QuickFire 2019 Favourites
Favorite Nation of the 12 months: Mexico
Favorite Metropolis: Morelia, Mexico
Most Memorable Meals: Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia, one of the best turkey mole ever from a country little restaurant in a village in Mexico’s Michoacan state, all of the tacos, plov in Uzbekistan, prehistoric dinner with a caveman in Trentino, and Christmas dinner cooked by my brother in legislation this 12 months!
Greatest Dawn: From my tent on the shore of Lake Ontario on my TrekAmerica journey
Greatest Sundown: Isla Holbox, Mexico – watch the video!
Most Standard Weblog Put up: 50 Unique Things to do in Dorset
Most Standard Instagram Put up: This one:
Favorite Achievement: PASSING MY DRIVING TEST!
Favorite Lake: Idro Lake within the Valle del Chiese, Italy
Greatest Animal Encounter: Snorkelling with turtles and eagle rays in Antigua
Favorite Second: Strolling into the theatre to observe the Cursed Little one!
Greatest Pinch-Me Second: Attending to discover the brand new Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars land at California Disneyland on opening weekend. For a celebration. Whereas it was closed to the general public.
Most Adrenaline-Pumping Expertise: Paragliding in Trentino, Italy
Greatest Problem: Solo road-tripping around Alberta, Canada
Greatest Running a blog-Associated Expertise: IPW
Most Standard Video: Singapore to Vietnam by Rail – the video of my epic overland journey in SE Asia on the finish of 2018.
Most Distinctive Lodging: Staying in an precise citadel in Durham
My Favorite Weblog Put up: 7 Life Lessons from 7 Years as a Travel Blogger
The Lows of 2019
Usually, in these posts, I give attention to all of the optimistic issues. Solely optimistic issues. I feel social media makes us really feel a bit like we are able to solely share the good things, and I often desire to recollect the nice over the unhealthy anyway.
However this hasn’t been my greatest 12 months. There have been downs in addition to ups, and whereas I can not deny that there have been loads of wonderful ups, I’d be mendacity if I mentioned that the unhealthy moments didn’t have a reasonably large influence on the 12 months as a complete.
This 12 months, I found out I was sick. Hyperthyroidism, which isn’t the worst factor I might have, however which has nonetheless made my life fairly sh*t. I came upon in July and have been taking treatment since, which has the enjoyable facet impact of creating me uncontrollably emotional, mood-swingy, and anxious. It’s additionally meant travelling much less – which isn’t one thing I’ve been coping effectively with!
I’ll be having radiation therapy someday in 2020, which suggests staying put for some time, and hanging round ready on NHS appointments. However hopefully, that may treatment it, and inside a number of months I’ll be again to regular.
Additionally this 12 months, my dad bought our household house – which was only a large, emotional, unhappy time. And, as I discussed earlier than, my weblog visitors has been down the previous few months following a Google replace. I do know lots of bloggers are in the identical boat, nevertheless it’s felt actually disheartening – and left me questioning if there’s actually any future in running a blog. Or if I even need one!
The Highs of 2019
Earlier than I began this submit, I’d form of been feeling just like the unhealthy stuff this 12 months outweighed the unhealthy. I’ve been fairly destructive since discovering out I used to be ailing, and form of allowed myself to simply wallow and moan a complete lot.
However on stability, this has been a reasonably wonderful 12 months. Typically you actually simply must take inventory and spend a second feeling grateful for all that you’ve got, to make the stuff you wish to enhance appear loads much less unhealthy…
Passing my Driving Take a look at
YES! This was the 12 months that I – aged 31 – FINALLY handed my driving take a look at. I handed on the third try in January, after about 10 months of classes. Studying to drive is seemingly a lot more durable as you become old, and it’s positively not a ability that comes naturally to me, so it was a looooong course of. Lastly passing felt wonderful. I purchased a automobile the very subsequent week – and I really like Sirius the Vauxhall Corsa greater than something on the planet!
Harry Potter Play
Genuinely one of the best day of my whole 12 months/maybe my life to date! I can’t clarify simply how a lot of a Harry Potter nerd I’m – however I can let you know that as I walked into the theatre with my sister to lastly watch the Cursed Child, I cried! In truth, I cried a number of instances all through the day – on the unhappy bits, on the pleased bits, on the moments when Ron was simply being so completely Ron, and each time I remembered simply how fortunate I used to be to be there.
These books have meant the world to me since I used to be about 13 years previous, and the play was all the pieces I hoped it could be. Nonetheless can not imagine that my dad really purchased us these tickets – most costly current I’ve ever had. THANK YOU DADSTER!
Star Wars Land
Tied for one of the best day of 2019 was attending to expertise the model new Star Wars land at Disneyland California. It was opening weekend and I obtained to go in with the press for a night whereas the entire park was closed to the general public. I RACED throughout the park to be first in line for the Millenium Falcon trip, and it didn’t disappoint. WE FLEW THE FALCON! It’s a kind of recollections that feels so unimaginable (within the literal sense of the phrase) that I can’t actually imagine it occurred. However it did. I’m so flipping fortunate generally.
Watching the Killers Reside at Glastonbury
The Killers are one in every of my favorite bands on the planet. If I’m completely sincere, Glastonbury itself was a bit up and down for me. I cherished some elements and hated others – however there have been a number of actually wonderful bits. And seeing the Killers perform live was one in every of them.
This 12 months, I labored as a contributing creator on two travel-related books. They’re as a result of be revealed subsequent 12 months so I can’t say a lot about it, nevertheless it actually felt like a profession spotlight and I can’t wait to see my identify in print when the books come out.
My shut pals may be stunned that this makes the “highs” checklist, as I moaned A LOT whereas I used to be engaged on these tasks! It was arduous work and a severe problem, nevertheless it additionally felt extra like “actual” writing than running a blog does, and ending felt like an enormous achievement.
All my 2019 Travels
I cherished Uzbekistan. It was completely completely different to anyplace I’ve ever been earlier than, and severely attention-grabbing. Wonderful structure, nice meals, and wonderful folks. I additionally obtained to fly Enterprise Class with Air Astana, which was a reasonably fabulous expertise!
Learn all about it: Travelling Uzbekistan – An Enticing Glimpse of Central Asia
In Could, I headed to the Caribbean with Traverse for a particular running a blog convention, hosted by Elite Island Resorts. Per week of small-group classes, studying new abilities, chatting running a blog, exploring the island, and stress-free within the solar with my pals. Wonderful.
Learn all about it: Best Things to do in Antigua
On the finish of Could, I headed off on my second TrekAmerica tour. This time, we had been touring the West Coast of the USA on the Freedom Trail tour, road-tripping from New York to Boston. Tenting each night time, having fun with America’s epic landscapes, exploring Amish Nation, and taking a ship tour of Niagara Falls. What every week!
In 2019 I wound up at lots of conferences – however IPW in California was positively one of the best. It’s an enormous journey commerce present within the USA, and it was not like something I’ve ever attended earlier than. The solid of Frozen the musical carried out at one of many lunches! Natasha Bedingfield performed the opening breakfast. The opening night time celebration was at Disneyland! It was one of the crucial surreal experiences of my life.
In one of many worst-planned journey strikes of my life, I headed straight from LA to Italy for my subsequent convention. Traverse might be one of the best journey running a blog occasion of the 12 months, and their Trentino convention didn’t disappoint. After catching up with my pals, ingesting Trentodoc, and studying new running a blog ideas for a weekend, I headed to the Valle del Chiese and Valle di Ledro for a tremendous week of journey. And lots of meals!
Canada Street Journey
In summer time, I flew to Alberta for one in every of my largest challenges but: an abroad highway journey. Yep, lower than six months after passing my driving take a look at, I took on a solo road trip in Canada. I used to be so nervous, however I did it – surviving unpaved roads, countless highways, loopy climate modifications, and even an in depth encounter with a bear whereas I used to be mountain climbing. Positively among the best journeys of the 12 months when it comes to pushing my limits and reminding myself of one of the best factor about journey!
My final journey of 2019 was to one in every of my favorite international locations on the planet. I don’t know what it’s about Mexico, however I simply can’t cease going again. I connected with one in every of my favorite blogger buddies and some native amigos to spend three weeks touring the nation.
Dia de Muertos around Patzcuaro Lake was an enormous spotlight, and I cherished discovering the remainder of Michoacan state and the beautiful metropolis of Morelia. Within the south, I additionally lastly revisited my favorite spot of Isla Holbox – a spot I’ve actually fond recollections of!
A lot as I really like seeing new locations, one in every of my favorite elements of journey nowadays goes again to locations I’ve already fallen in love with. I feel there may be much more of that in 2020 and the following decade or so – particularly as a result of the checklist of locations I wish to return to is now longer than my checklist of recent locations I wish to go to!
2020 and Past
A number of years again, my ex and I did a factor the place each time one thing good occurred (even one thing small, like we noticed a superb movie on the cinema) we’d write it on a slip of paper and pop it in a jar. Type of like a gratefulness diary.
These posts are my model of a gratefulness diary – one thing for future me to look again on at some point and bear in mind what a trip it’s been. And, though 2019 hasn’t been fairly so travel-filled as I’d like, my well being isn’t what I’d prefer it to be, and I nonetheless haven’t achieved my life-long aim of turning into the primary human to reduce weight simply by wishing arduous sufficient – this 12 months HAS been one hell of a trip.
However what’s subsequent? Effectively, not a complete lot to be sincere. My prime precedence is ditching the irritatingly hardworking cells in my thyroid – so I’ll principally be hanging round for NHS appointments and attempting to squeeze in a number of quick journeys earlier than the 2 months the place I’ll be too radioactive to fly!
This 12 months, I’m probably not setting any New Years Resolutions. I’ve lots of objectives, however their extra obscure, long-term issues. I’d like to purchase a home this decade. Perhaps fall in love, cool down, have a child, purchase a van, reside within the van with a child and a cat, write a e book, win a Nobel prize for mentioned e book, and eventually work out the entire wish-yourself-slimmer factor. Not aiming too excessive or something!
For now, I simply wish to get higher at remembering to be grateful – and improve my financial savings. I’ll determine all the pieces else out as I’m going!
Glad new 12 months guys!
How’s your 2019 been – and what’s in retailer for subsequent 12 months? Scroll all the way down to let me know within the feedback!
Thanks for sticking round this lengthy – and right here’s to an epic 2020 for all of us!