Monday, 14 January 2019

2018 Take Homes

2018 year in review independence of the seas canary islands

Hey Owlets,

Happy New Year!!

For the last few years I've written "year in review" posts". "yearly goals", "what I learnt in 201X" so I wanted to do something a little different. I just want to chat about the year that's going to stick in my mind for a long time.

When Big Ben started chiming and the roar of the fireworks and cheers from the crowds huddled by the suspension bridge announced 2018 had arrived I felt strangely peaceful - 2017 was simultaneously the worst and best year for me. I was miserable for so long then all of a sudden my life picked up and I was left running after it, enjoying every second but wishing it would slow down, and that's exactly what happened this year.

2018 year in review paris fred olsen balmoral

2018 was the year that I realised that this blogging thing could change my life. 

In January I boarded a ship bound for the city that I'd always dreamed of visiting; during the day I wandered through Paris wondering why I'd chosen to wear a pretty coat instead of a warm one and taking pictures every 10 steps. Back on board I had hours of conversation with the kind PR executive who explained how "these types of things" worked, explaining what I could do and where I could go with my blog - I didn't really believe her at the time but she was right. 

2018 year in review bath somerset

2018 was also the year when I discovered how addicting travel can be. Whenever I'm not travelling I'm planning where to go next, and day trips around the UK have become a big part of my life. I was also invited on my first ever press trip this year which is incredible - I never thought that writing something online would allow me to travel more. For that I'm incredibly thankful to you - the support I get from opening up Twitter on a bad day or asking for travel advice on my Instagram stories is incredible and I truly do appreciate every second you spent helping me.

2018 year in review common people festival oxford

I also went to my first festival ever this year. If I'm honest I've never fancied it. Being around drunk people freaks me out and I imagined festivals to be dens of chaos and alcohol, and I don't do mud or bugs so I thought I'd hate it - turns out there are festivals that are more "me", and Common People in Oxford was exactly that. It was a family friendly, no camping festival and if more festivals in the UK were like that you'd probably never see me!

2018 year in review plus size fashion travel blogger

As well as getting to experience new things, I've learnt a lot this year - the first of which being that you'll never get anywhere without leaving your comfort zone. 

October 2017-2018 was my year of saying yes, and even though my experiment has ended I've carried on. There's been so many things this year that have given me knots in the pit of my stomach, yet those things that have made me feel physically ill have been some of the best experiences I've ever had.

I always used to be a creature of habit, but it's called a comfort zone for a reason. I can't think of anything that I'd achieved in all the time I stayed in my bubble but as soon as I left I got to the good part. It's not easy, but breaking out of your comfort zone always leads to better things.

2018 year in review independence of the seas royal caribbean cruise ship

One of the most difficult pills to swallow this year is that dreams don't always come true, but it doesn't mean you should stop dreaming. Last year Independence of the Seas changed my life - I didn't expect the same miracle this year, but I also didn't expect to leave feeling so disappointed by what they'd done to "my ship". You may have noticed that there was no "follow me on board" or "my thoughts on the refurbishment" posts like I promised but honestly that's because the magic from last year had packed up and taken it's own holiday, and I was too sad to come back and tell you that my dream boat (see what I did there?) didn't exist anymore.

The experience hasn't put me off cruising, and as I write this I'm sat in my Royal Caribbean hoodie by choice, not just because it's all that fits after Christmas. The magic sparkle might have left Indy but it's still floating out there somewhere, so I'm going to keep cruising and find more special ships to call my own. 

2018 year in review honfleur fred olsen balmoral

The next life lesson is a kind of sad one, but important nonetheless, and that's "nothing lasts forever". It's one of those cheesy lines that your parents tell you to shut you up and you kind of roll your eyes at them, but this year I learnt it for myself.

Last month I had to say goodbye to the person I called my "second Dad" after he lost his fight with cancer (but it had to try hard- I'd never seen him lose a fight with anyone or anything before). The world is undoubtedly a quieter place without him around but the thing about "nothing lasts forever" is that it makes way for other things. I lost someone I considered family, but with that I've become closer to the people that he left behind with me.

I hope your example isn't as extreme as mine, but remember that if something bad happens there will be something good on it's way to balance it out.

year in review 2018 plus size fashion travel blogger

My final "take home" from 2018 is that dreams don't work unless you do.

I have worked so hard in 2018, on myself as much as my blog, and while it's taken a lot of time, effort and mental energy it's been worth every second to get to where I am now. Everything I look back on that I'm proud of has come from my own hard work and from the support of those around me, and if I'd never started The Owlet I'd probably be in a dead end job, bored to tears and wondering why my life isn't more like what you see on Instagram. So if you're not there yet, just keep going.

Happy New Year everyone - here's to making 2019 the best one yet.


If you're missing my "year in pictures" post, I decided to make 2018 a video instead, so click above to have a watch and remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel while you're there to keep up to date with all my adventures.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

1 comment:

  1. That polkadot jumpsuit looks amazing on you! I have a similar one and it's super comfortable. Travelling is definitely addictive, I went to Japan last year and now I've got the bug to want to go somewhere else! I'm glad you said you don't like typical festivals as well as I honestly can't think of anything worse. The family friendly ones that you mentioned sound way more up my street. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, that can't have been easy at all. I'm sure he would have been proud of all that you have achieved x

    Alice // http://www.accordingtoalicex.com

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