Looking back at 2016

Phew. So this year hasn't been great in theory; Brexit, break ups, and celebrity deaths (anyone else still not over Alan Rickman?) This post was intentionally a 6-month round up of 2016 but then Brexit happened and I wasn't in much of a mood to celebrate. And not just on national level, but personally, this year has had its ups and downs too, with house, job and relationship issues; let's all just agree to write off 2016.

However, with all the bad, comes all the good. And as I look back over the past twelve months, I try and remind myself of this by keeping a list of all the achievements that came alongside the hideousness that is the Trumps and the Farages. If anything, just to prove how much you can do in a year if you put your mind to it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New job and new flat

At the start of 2016, I eventually moved out of my house in Zone 3 and found a much better flat; more expensive but better location and better housemates. I may have lost a garden and an en-suite but I also gained a quicker commute (goodbye Southern Strikes) so it was a much better choice. I also started my new job as Social Media Executive, giving me job security after a year of interning as well as key skills within a field I'm interested in.

New friendships

After four years of not playing, I joined the amazing London Gamblers hockey team this year, which has meant gaining some amazing friends who have been with me through some pretty crappy times this year. I'm a firm believer in having a good network of people around you for support so feel pretty lucky right now that I've managed to meet so many new people, as well as keeping my old friends close too.

New live music

I've made much more effort to do festivals this year, and I've managed to see some of my favourite acts including Flume, Disclosure, James Bay, Zara Larsson, Chvrches, Dua Lipa *takes deep breath* Sia, Bondax, Gorgon City, Arman Van Helden, and being so close to Craig David that I could have stroked him thanks to my pal over at Cosmopolitan. I won't lie, seeing him and Flume have been the highlights of this year for sure.

New places

I'm currently working towards travelling 25 countries before I turn 25, and have just two more to hit up in the next four months which is definitely doable (I hope!) However, this year has been a great one for adding to the list, with some personal trips to Lisbon and Cuba, as well as press trips to Dubai and Sweden, all new places to add to the list. And whilst not abroad, I finally ventured to my best friend's hometown of Norwich which was just as exciting, inspiring me to try other close-to-home places next year such as Dublin and Jersey.

New festivals

Ever since Glastonbury, I realized festivals were some of the best ways to spend a summer with friends. Yet with limited funds, I decided to focus on day festivals mainly this year, and why just stick to music? From fitness festival Sweatlife, to sports festival Summer Social, I even managed to fit in the Swedish festival Way Out West, as well as UK day festivals of Wildlife and SW4. So it's safe to say I'm festivalled out for now.

New achievements

Whilst not as big or life-changing, there are certain things that I'm pleased to have finally done, such as my first political protest, cutting my hair to the shortest it's ever been, and attending the Colour Obstacle Rush; they aren't much but are things I'm glad to say I've done in my 20's.

And as my first full year in London, just doing some of the best events in the city with Taste of London, anything on a rooftop from drinks to croquet and even heading to the Twitter headquarters...Along with this I could hardly forget all the blog opportunities with some brands close to my heart with Aubaine, Cambridge Satchel, Carluccio, Paperchase, Chambord and Barry M.

To top it off? Winning £300 flight vouchers thanks to Powwownow and Flight Centre. So thanks 2016, for both creating the best memes amongst the chaos and for bringing me all the opportunities and happiness along the way. There have been some crap (very crap) times throughout the year as there always are, but keeping this post as a way to steady myself in the lost times and makes me realize I've lived a pretty good year so far.

thumb_IMG_9421_1024-e1481285978294.jpg

New year?

For 2017, I'm planning a few new things along the way, such as two countries before April (with Finland, Poland, Dublin, Norway and Jersey all on the list) as well as a long haul to Sri Lanka. Along with this, more festivals are in the woodwork with Bestival and Isle of Wight up there, and finally? Getting some more work published as I steadily work on building my writing career.

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017!