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A Year in Review: My 2016 Highlights

Goodbye 2016, what a year!

22 flights, 10 countries, 3 continents, countless hours of flying, no lost baggage. I travelled for 56 days but only took 26 days’ annual leave. Who said travelling could only be done outside the 9-5…

I have to say this year has gone both quickly, but slow at the same time. There have been ups and downs, at a push I would have to say, mostly ups. And there is hope for the coming year. I knew I had been busy this year but I don’t think I had realised how much I had actually done until it came to writing this post.

The things I did at the beginning of the year seem like a lifetime ago, and it is so odd to think the year has gone in a flash. However, lucky for me, having a blog it means I can look back on my year easily and remember all of the highs and lows, I can look at the photos, the videos and the memories I have made this year.

Some of the things I have mentioned in this post I had actually forgotten about, but when I looked back I remember what great moments they had been, and the majority of them involve being with those that I love, friends, family and T.

So here we go, my 2016 highlights…

Exploring Aruba

I was incredibly lucky this year and got to visit the wonderful island of Aruba with the Aruba Tourist Board on a press trip. I fell in love with this incredible island immediately and I loved the five days I spent there. I also got to meet up with my boyfriend’s family who live there and celebrated my 24th birthday in paradise!

Staying in luxury at Daios Cove

Another wonderful individual press trip this year included visiting the beautiful island of Crete with Classic Collection. I spent five days exploring the island, and the stunning resort with T and my step daughter. Sun, sand and sangria was had! It was the first trip abroad me and T had had with Arabella so it was amazing, and we made lots of memories.

A friend-retreat in The Cotswolds

In April me and my friend Sophie went to Ellenborough Park in The Cotswolds near Cheltenham for a night in a country manor. It was perfect with great food, amazing rooms, perfect spa and lots of long walks. We chatted, drank and chatted some more!

Mum-daughter time in Mallorca

Another key moment in 2016 was flying to Mallorca with my mum in June. We spent five days exploring the island in our hire car and visiting many a beach, lots of restaurants and relaxing in the sun. It gave us chance to sit back, relax and unwind with each other. It was needed after a busy few months!

Working with Fat Face

Another blog thing, but a big achievement this year was working with some incredible brands and companies. One of these was Fat Face, an incredible brand I have loved for years, with a great ethic, and brand identity, and one I was so happy to work with this autumn. They are such a kind team, brand and family, and I cannot wait to work with them again next year!

Visiting Amsterdam

The trip I took to Amsterdam in March was one I had been looking forward to for months, years in fact. It was a great opportunity to completely immerse myself in another culture and me and Theo loved spending a chilled five days here. We visited all the tourist attractions, took a boat along the canals, visited the Heineken Brewery, rented bikes and quite simply enjoyed being somewhere different. We can’t wait to head back here again next year!

Making more time for me

A big one this year was finding myself. Yeh I know what you’re thinking but it’s been a tough year with some real shit points, but I am ending the year in the hope that 2017 can only get better. My mental health can only get better when I really put effort into looking after myself both in mind and soul. I have continued CBT, I have been more open about my struggles and I have found myself in a job that I love, and in a good place with this blog. I have also given myself a break, and taken the pressure off, resulting in me really loving life again. Here’s to 2017!

Romantic weekend at Rockliffe Hall

This was a recent trip but it was well needed after a tough few months for me that had put pressure on me and T’s relationship. A romantic weekend of drinking, chatting, laughing, walking, and exploring Darlington, Newcastle and Northumbria. And our stay at Rockliffe Hall was divine, I’’d say the best hotel of the year…. maybe.

Solo travel in Copenhagen

This wasn’t 2016 technically but it was literally at the end of 2016 so I feel like it was part of this year, and it was a big thing for me, solo travel. It set me up right at the beginning of the year, heading off to Copenhagen for a few days exploring Copenhagen on my own. I initially found it difficult and at times felt lonely, but overall I was proud and I am looking at doing it again this year.

University reunion in Rutland

Not such a big trip and only a staycation but I rented a log cabin in Rutland in August for me and my friends from university. We headed up on the Friday and back home on the Sunday and stayed at the wonderful Lantern and Larks. We loved sitting on our decking with a Pimms talking about life, careers and relationships, and once the sun set we lit the fire and played games in the living room. It was the catch up we all needed.

Challenging my comfort zone in Morocco

I am not great at getting out of my comfort zone, but Morocco really pushed me to my limits. For some reason I didn’t always feel safe and that made me really challenge my emotions and ability to travel. I loved Morocco don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t what I was used to and at times I felt unsafe. However, I am glad I went, and I am happy I was able to see a different side to Morocco that I wouldn’t have seen had I stayed in the hotel and resort all holiday. It is a beautiful country and I will be going back, just maybe with a better attitude.

Thank you so much for your support this year, and for helping this grow ultimately grow even bigger! I hope you have had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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