There’s no shortage of new years resolutions posts at this time of the year and you know what, I don’t judge, I even did one last year! However the start of this year has been a little different.
Twenty seventeen was probably the best year of my life (so far!). I traveled the world, I smashed all my work goals, I even bought my first house, but since the start of 2018 I can’t seem to shake this feeling of feeling a little lost. After recapping on my goals and highlights of last year (in the hope to find some sort of inspiration for 2018), I realised I’ve actually learnt a hell of a lot in the last 12 months. I’ve also realised I’ve done a lot of growing up in that time too!
So before I tackle 2018 head on, I thought I’d just share with you a few things I learnt in 2017 about every aspect of my life. I know posts like this can get a little long and boring so instead of writing a whole essay I thought I’d just list a few bullet points for each area of life to make it a little more digestible for you. I’d also love to know if you’ve learnt any of these things in the last year as well so leave a comment at the bottom, I can’t wait to hear your stories!
Things I learnt about… Being a home owner
Get ready to be broke!
- Buying your first Christmas tree is pretty exciting- I’ve never ever put my christmas tree up in November but this year we were so excited we put ours up the day we bought it.
- You find a new found love for inanimate objects- I was excited to see my sofas after getting back from holiday. What’s that all about?!
- Say goodbye to dinners out, drinks after work and new clothes- adjusting to life with mortgage payments and bills can be hard so lots of life’s luxuries have to give.
- Kitting it out is expensive- we’ve been in our house 7 months now and we still have so much to buy. You never realise how expensive buying furniture for every room of the house is until you have to do it.
- Be ready for things to go wrong- Since living in our house we’ve had to replace both the washing machine and most recently, our boiler (which is the biggest one to avoid!). These things are expensive so get ready to start spending your christmas money on a boiler instead of clothes.
- Get ready for unexpected bills- It takes a while to find your feet with bill payments. When you think you’ve got your head around it, bam, a random sewage bill will turn up a week before payday.
- You become lazy- This is so real. Now you have all this space to yourself you become so lazy but it’s just because you like being at home so much and sitting on the £700 sofas you’ve just bought.
- Don’t eat on the sofa- It’s so easy to get in habit of sitting on the sofa in front of the TV when it’s dinner time. But try actually sitting at the table and have an actual conversation. It’s easy fall down the trap of not talking to each other when you live with your partner.
- Dinner parties are so much more fun than going ‘out out’- No painful heels or waiting at the bar, you can drink as much wine as you fancy and when everyone leaves, you can close the front door and get into bed.
- Having a house is going to benefit you more in the long run- This is one thing I have to remind myself on a daily basis. Having a property is going to bring you so much more in the long run than a £1000 designer bag is.
Things I learnt about… Travelling the world
- There’s no right way of travelling- Travel the way you want to and don’t let anyone tell you how to do things. So many people told us that the only way to explore ‘real Thailand’ is to go backpacking and stay in hostels. Um, no thanks!
- Flying on your own is pretty daunting- I’m not a great flyer at the best of times so flying on your own can be pretty daunting. The way to make yourself feel better? Just have a glass of wine and watch something you’re familiar with when taking off (The Big Bang Theory is always my go-to!).
- Spin your money: Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive and there are so many ways to get away without paying much more than £100. On our trip to Brussels the hotel (gorgeous 4* in the centre of town) cost us £16 and we paid £20 for the tunnel crossing. How you may ask? It’s a wonderful little thing called Tesco Clubcard points.
- Don’t rely on other people- Be aware that if you are visiting people whilst you travel and plan on staying with them, don’t plan to spend every minute of your time with them. They have a life as well and most of the time it’s not going to stop because you’re visiting.
- Appreciate the UK- This may sounds like an odd one, but when you live in the UK it’s not as bad as you may think. So many people from the US or Australia are so jealous of you. Why? Because if you think about it, London is so full of rich history and landmarks, and because Europe is so close! They can only dream of popping to Paris or Prague for the weekend.
Things I learned about… Careers
Do the work, show an interest and you’ll get there!
- Be honest- Honesty at work is your biggest friend. If you communicate with people properly, tell them how you feel, put all the cards on the table, you’ll find your attitude at work is a lot more laid back. If you’re not happy about something, tell someone and they’re more likely to help solve the problem.
- Don’t moan- People notice when you’re being negative a lot more than when you’re being positive. So if you moan a lot, people will associate you with bad vibes.
- Show a will for progression- This is 2018 guys, promotions don’t just fall in your lap anymore. If you show a will for progression and let your manager know your future career plans they’ll be more inclined to help you get there because you have drive and determination.
- Do the work- This sounds obvious, but go above and beyond. Pick up emails from the US at 10pm (replying quickly can be very helpful across time zones), organise couriers at 8am on a Saturday if disaster strikes. Some may even answer phone calls from border control at 7am (yes that happened to me this year), but you have to draw the line somewhere. Don’t work yourself to the ground.
- Traveling is not all fun and games- Going away for work is not a holiday. If you’re lucky enough to go overseas for work you’ll hear lots of people say ‘you’re just getting a free holiday’. But in actual fact, taking time out your weekend to lug your suitcase across London to Heathrow, waking up at 3am from jet lag to an inbox full of emails, and working until 1am in the morning is not fun and games.
- Block out the negative vibes- If you have people on your team who constantly moan, don’t spend too much time listening to them. It can get you down as well which isn’t fun when you have to spend 8 hours a day listening to them. Put your headphones in or go for a walk at lunch to avoid the drama and stay positive.
Things I learnt about… Blogging
If you work full time, don’t push yourself!
- Don’t push yourself- If like me you work full time, there’s only so much you can do when it comes to blogging. You have to remember a lot of the people you follow on Instagram do this for a living, so don’t compare yourself to them. If you physically can’t write about everything you want or post multiple times a day, remember it’s ok, there’s more to life than blogging.
- Don’t force Instagram posts- It can become very easy to post for the sake of it but over the last year, I’ve found if you don’t force it, your next photo will do great, if not better!
- Use your time online productively- Sometimes my brain feels like complete mush after spending half hour scrolling on my phone and I’ve come to realise I need to spend my time online more productively. That means less scrolling and mindless liking and more commenting and following, its more beneficial for everyone!
- Photos you may not like of yourself often do the best- This has happened to me a few times the past year so I’ve learnt not to be so harsh on myself. Give it a try and post a photo of yourself that you may not think is 100%, I bet you’ll get lots of likes.
- You don’t have to write about EVERYWHERE- When you’re a travel blogger there can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to write about every single trip and every single hotel you stay in. That’s not the case at all! If you don’t feel inspired somewhere, don’t write about it or write about why you didn’t enjoy it. If you simply don’t have time to write about every part of the trip, write a highlights post, there’s always alternative ways of reducing the work for yourself.
- Fellow bloggers are your best friends- In the last year or so I’ve made friends with some of the most lovely, understanding and supportive people I’ve ever known. As someone who isn’t a full time blogger it can be a bit daunting making friends with people who do blog full time (what if they don’t take me seriously?!), but I’ve learned that’s not the case at all. If anything they’re even better friends because they’re actually interested in what you’re up to at work as well as just what’s going on on Instagram (although it may help having a pretty interesting job!).
Things I learned about… Friends and Family
Make the time!
- Make time- At the start of 2017 we set a goal to dedicate more time to the little things that matter. This could be anything from calling your nan to say thank you for a gift or just calling your mum to catch up because you’ve been busy the last few days. Everyone has a busy life but you have to remember to make time for these things.
- You outgrow people- And that’s ok! When it comes to friendships, sometimes they just fizzle out. As you get older you start having different interests and priorities and very quickly you can run out of things you have in common. As much as you try, it can be difficult to maintain these relationships so sometimes it’s best not force it and just accept you’ve drifted apart. However don’t block them out completely, always remember they still exist, especially on birthdays and important occasions, they’ll appreciate the thought.
- You don’t have to talk to people everyday- You’re a working adult now, you don’t have to text your bestie everyday of the week to still be friends. You can catch up with them once a week, sometimes once a month, they won’t be offended!
Things I learnt about… Being a better person
- Be kind to yourself- Among everything else you have to deal with on a daily basis, it’s very easy to forget about yourself. This year I’ve learnt that it’s important to sometimes just stop and think of yourself for an hour or so. If that means your boyfriend will gets annoy at you when you spend an hour in the bathroom washing your hair, shaving your legs and having a face mask, well then tough shit! If you need to work from home and take a mental day after working long hours all week, do so, you’ll feel much better than if you push yourself.
- Be kind to everyone else- I’m a strong believer in attracting good Karma and sometimes being nice to people goes a long way. Don’t be ignorant, help someone get something off a high shelf, tell someone you like their new haircut, hold the door open for someone, its the little acts of kindness that can get other people through the day.