Let's be real, in a lot of ways and for a lot of people, 2016 has been the worst. But this post isn't about all the god-awful things that happened this year. Instead, it's a chance for me to reflect on my own personal highlights. To remind myself that despite the terror of this year, there's still a lot to be grateful for. Self-indulgent as ever. Well, what did you expect? I'm a self-declared lifestyle blogger. It's all rainbows and butterflies in this world.
Side note: If you're looking for rants about politics and the state of the world, you're more likely to find that on my Twitter.
This has been the year I made one HUGE change: making the move to New York. But there was also lots of smaller, life-affirming steps along the way. As usual, most of it revolves around travel, it really is what I love most. Let's take a look back at my 2016...
2016, thank you for... My first ever solo trip abroad
With a camera around my neck and a book in hand - aptly, David Ebershoff's The Danish Girl - I had everything I needed for my weekend break in Copenhagen. I was flying completely solo, and I loved it! I could wander wherever throughout the day, with as many pauses for photographs as I wanted: my kind of holiday.
I wish I could travel everywhere twice. Once on my own and once with a companion, because both experiences are worlds apart, and even the atmosphere of the city feels different depending.
Thank you for... The job that took me around the world
This year I was thrilled to have attended two of the conferences in the Web Summit family, RISE in Hong Kong and MoneyConf in Madrid. I was a Content Coordinator for Web Summit, and so, I got to go to the events to create some kick-ass content.
Work hard, play hard. That's my motto and that's certainly what it's like working on one of these conferences. The work is tough - I was interviewing people and turning around the articles within the hour - but when you're getting the chance to talk to your tech idols it's all worth it. I've learnt so, so much from working those conferences, not least how to perform under pressure. And I also got to see a little of both Hong Kong and Madrid in the process. Loved it.
Thank you for... A taste of Croatia
Croatia was a simple girl's holiday all about catching rays and bopping to tunes. It might not sound like much but it was glorious. I think it's because I was in desperate need of a holiday by the time summer rolled around. With the out-of-office auto reply doing its thing, I switched off my work mode entirely. A blissful time was had.
Thank you for... The move to New York City
Wow. I'm in New York City. More than that, I'm settled. It doesn't feel like a holiday, it feels like my life. It's surreal and amazing and scary and countless other emotions that I can't even verbalise. I am grateful that I'm here, and that my family and friends all supported me in this big move. No wait, my family and friends have been incredible, they deserve their own shoutout...
Thank you for... My family and friends
I don't think any of us could of gotten through the insane year that was 2016 without our support network. Personally, I relied on all of my family and friends in one way or another this year, and they were all there for me. They were there for me when I needed reassurance, or a hug, or even just a laugh. So to them I say thank you. You keep me going.