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Happy New Year! My 2017 Resolutions…

Happy new year all the way from St Ives 🎉🎉 #NYE #Cornwall #swisbest #lovecornwall #visitengland #visitbritain #lovegreatbritain

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Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to my first post of 2017!

I don’t know about you, but I am sooo happy that a new year is now upon us and I am feeling more motivated than ever to make this year the best one yet! As most of you will know, 2016 actually turned out to be my best year to date, but I am keen to top it in 2017 and am already thinking about my upcoming travels, and my ambitions for the year ahead. Last year I wrote a similar post about my 2016 resolutions, but I’ve been thinking about the new year since before Christmas and have finally settled on my goals for 2017…

 

I want to travel to 10 new countries

 

Planning for my 2017 #travel adventures… It suddenly all seems a little bit real! 🌎✈️🚂 #jessdoeseurope

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For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know all about my ongoing 25:25 challenge. Last January I set myself the task of visiting 25 countries before I turn 25 in January 2018. As of now I am on country number 12 so am only halfway through with only a year left to complete it! It’s going to be difficult for me to visit another 13 countries before 2017 is over, but I know I have to do at least 10 of them if I have any chance of completing this task next January! In an ideal world, I’ll spend 2017 hitting Europe and will then spend my 25th birthday in Australia, stopping off at Dubai along the way, and celebrating my new achievement. Or if I can’t afford Australia I’ll hop over to Dublin, or Edinburgh, or somewhere else on my bucket list that is a little closer to home… that version of the story is much more likely, but a girl can dream, right?! I’m well aware that it will take a lot of time, and money, to complete this challenge, but I am more motivated than ever to achieve it and really hope I am nearly there by the time 2017 comes to an end! Wish me luck!!

 

I want to stop wasting money on scratch cards

 

 

I’m hoping this one will be fairly easy, but I am THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD FOR BUYING SCRATCHCARDS!! I literally can’t help myself, especially if I’m stood at the front of the queue and they’re just jumping out at me. Or if I’m paying on my card and don’t see the money leaving my account until weeks later, because it doesn’t feel the same as paying in cash, right?! I really need to stop buying scratch-cards though, like seriously, it is a really unhealthy obsession that I want to cut out of my life in 2017. I’m not a gambler, I don’t place bets, I don’t go to bingo and I rarely play the lottery (although I won £90 once woooo!), so I feel like buying scratch-cards is my way of trying to get a little bit of luck, but I NEVER win on them and I just feel they are a complete waste of time. This year, every time I get the urge to buy a scratch-card I’m going to put the couple of quid into a little money pot and try to save it up, at least that way I can save instead of spend!

 

I want to get a part time job

 

Trying to work but getting distracted by cuddles from this one! Love my little helper 🐶💖 #freelancer #bloglife

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You’ll probably all know that I’m currently freelancing and working from home and, as much as I love it, I am starting to get a little lonely. I miss the company of having  work friends, and colleagues, and seeing actual PEOPLE on a day to day basis, instead of just my little dog for company (she’s a babe tho, I love her). I miss the social aspect of it; I’m such a people person and I thrive off seeing a friendly smile and having a little catch up with colleagues, so working by myself has proved difficult over the past couple of months.Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE my freelance life and am going to keep building up my business in 2017 – I love choosing my own hours, not bothering with my hair and make up and working from my bed if I feel poorly! I’m quite good at being  self motivating and I won’t lie in bed all day when I know I have deadlines and a to-do list as long as my arm, but I just feel a little part time job would give me the social aspect that I miss, as well as some more money too, which is never a bad thing! As I write this, I have an interview lined up tomorrow for some part time hours in a retail store, so we will see what comes of that, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

I want to focus on growing my blog as much as possible

 

 

2016 was undoubtedly my best year of blogging to date; I was shortlisted for a national award, I received widespread local press coverage, I underwent a major rebrand, worked with several high profile companies, became a brand ambassador, attended my first travel  blogging conferences and even went on my first ever press trip. I’m not sure how I’m going to top all of those things in 2017, but I sure as hell am going to try! Ideally, I would love to start earing some money from my blog, but I can’t be bothered with all the ads/affiliate links that sooo many other bloggers use. I work with a few PR companies and often get sent on all expenses paid days out and overnight stays to enjoy and review, which in itself is amazing, but I feel like I’m ready to take those next steps into blog professionalism and start earning a living from my little space on the World Wide Web. If you’re a blogger and are already monetising your site PLEASE send some tips my way!

I want to spend more time with my family and friends

 

Bit late to the party after being on holiday but so pleased to have ended 2016 and brought in the new year down in Cornwall with my beautiful, crazy family. 2016 was my best year to date; I took my biggest leap of faith by quitting my job, travelling solo to LA and launching my freelance business. I road tripped across America, ticking off 30 cities & 23 states (making 52 new friends along the way) and inter-railed around Italy with my sister, visiting three of the most famous cities in the world. My blog turned 2, it underwent a major rebrand and it was nominated for an award. I've been bridesmaid for my best friend, celebrated my cousins wedding and my sisters 21st and have been to V Fest, the theatre and the races. I've made hundreds of new memories with my amazing friends and family and am entering 2017 feeling the happiest I've ever been! Here's to an even better year with many new adventures ahead as I take on Europe during my next 12 months of travel! Happy belated new year everyone, wishing you every happiness for 2017 🌎✈️💖

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I do this a lot anyway, but I think I’m going to make a conscious effort in 2017 to spend EVEN MORE time with the people who mean so much to me. In 2016 I learnt that having 5 or 6 close, special friends is better than having 10 or 12 friends who you don’t really see that often. Yes, I have a good social circle and I know an awful lot of people, but I’ve learnt who I can rely on, who I can trust and, most importantly, who I actually want to spend my time with, and who deserves my time too! I love spending time with my family, we are all so close and that will never change, but I’ve learnt who my real friends are over these past 12 months! Here’s to cutting out the time wasters in 2017 and focusing on those who I really want to be with instead.

I want to spend less time on social media

 

 

It’s no secret that I’m a total social media obsessive. I’m on social media literally ALL THE TIME, mainly because of my job, but also because I love it and I can’t help myself. A lot of the time I’m genuinely absorbing important stuff, like keeping up to date with the news, researching new travel destinations or thinking of new post ideas for the blog. Sometimes though, I find myself just sat there staring at my phone, totally absent minded and taking in boring content that has no impact or relevance to my life whatsoever. This is what I need to stop doing in 2017 – I need to stop looking at things that I don’t care about, and things which aren’t important to me. Who cares if that couple from down the road got engaged, or if that girl from school has had a baby? If it doesn’t affect my life I am NOT interested! Of course I want to see what my friends and family are up to and I want to be involved in their online lives too, but I’m going to delete people who aren’t important, ignore things that don’t matter to me, and stop comparing my life to other peoples lives. I also think it will help me to have a little digital detox and interact with humans more instead!

I want to stop looking for love

 

🎉👯🌹😘

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After a bloody awful year of dating in 2016 I think I’ve decided to give up looking for love in 2017 – I never seem to get anywhere, I don’t meet anyone decent, and I ALWAYS get hurt! I’ve been on dates, started seeing people, got to the point where I think it could turn into something, and then BAM, it gets taken away and I end up back at square one. I’m so afraid to let someone in, get close to someone and open up to them because I’m so scared of getting hurt again. I know it’ll affect my confidence the longer I leave it, but I feel that, by not looking for something, I might just be lucky enough to find someone when I least expect it. I’m not totally bitter towards men, and I really do believe that there is someone out there for me, I just haven’t found him yet and I don’t want to look for him now. That’s ok, right?!

 

I want to focus on MYSELF

 

Back in my happy place 🌊🐬 #Cornwall #lovecornwall #stives #swisbest #GB #UK #visitengland #visitbritain #lovegreatbritain

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This kinda follows on from my last point, but I honestly think that, unless I start focusing on myself and looking after number one, I’m not going to find anyone who wants to be with me. I really want to look back on 2017 as the year I started to love myself, because I haven’t done a lot of that in recent years. I’m quite a confident, bubbly person on the outside, and I’ll always put a big smile on my face, but, inside, I’m this little girl who constantly compares herself to others, and overthinks just about everything. I put myself down, I take 20 attempts to get the right selfie, I breathe in when I walk past a mirror because I think I look fat, and I let my health get the better of me sometimes. It’s not something I do on purpose, I just can’t help it, I’ve been like it since I was a teenager, since I encountered some problems when I was 15.

 

Yesterday was a bad day, today will be a good day ✨👸 #selfie #happywednesday

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I won’t go into the details but, ever since then, I have suffered with occasional bouts of mild depression. Sometimes I just have days where I don’t even want to get out of bed. It’s like everything around me is dark and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes things trigger it, but other times it can be something so small, like a ridiculously sad advert on the telly, and I’ll start bawling my eyes out and crying like a baby. It doesn’t happen too often, and I know people deal with things that are much, much worse, but, this year, if/when I start to feel this way again, I’m going to tell myself that I’m a strong, smart and independent female who CAN and WILL achieve great things, and that might help me look at the bigger picture a bit differently! I want to focus on what I HAVE got, not what I haven’t got, and I think that will really help me to look after myself this year.

 

I'll keep dancing on my ownnnnn 💃💃 #boysarecheatsandliars

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I’m hoping that, by the time 2017 comes to an end, I’ll have ticked off all of these resolutions and will be feeling super proud of myself! I like to think that they are all manageable, and achievable, and that 12 months gives me enough time to complete them all. I know that travelling to 10 new countries is a pretty big ask, so I’m not going to beat myself up too much if I don’t complete that one, but I’m feeling so determined this year and am confident I can do it!

What are your New Years Resolutions? I’d love to hear your 2017 goals!

Love Jess x

 

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My End of Year Review: 16 Highlights from 2016!

What I would give to be back here 💖🇺🇸 #throwbackthursday #washington #DC #tbt #contiki #noregrets #Contiki #starttheadventure

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2016.

It gave us Brexit, Trump and Honey G. It gave us the crisis in Aleppo, multiple terror attacks in Europe, and it gave us one of the most tumultuous years in history. We also lost an awful lot of famous, truly inspiring people in 2016; David Bowie, Terry Wogan, George Michael, Alan Rickman and Prince to name but a few.

For me, on a personal level,  2016 actually turned out to be one of the best years of my life. I’ve crammed a ridiculous amount in to the past 12 months; I road tripped across America, inter-railed around Italy, rocked out at V Fest, got dressed up to go to Ascot Races, enjoyed two amazing family/best friends weddings, visited London and Liverpool more times than I can even remember, celebrated my mum and dad’s 25th wedding anniversary and went to the theatre numerous times.

 

 

Oh aaaaand I quit my office job to become a full time freelancer – no biggie! My blog also went from strength to strength; I was nominated for an award, attended my first ever blogger conferences, received local press coverage, went on my first press trip and underwent a total rebrand.

Time has gone super quick, although January seems like AGES ago and I still can’t believe the amount I packed in to this year! I’m so grateful for the amazing places I have travelled to, and I’m pleased to announce that planning for my 2017 European Adventure is well underway! But let’s take a step back first, run through the year between January and December, and see why 2016 was so great for me. Here are my highlights…

I watched Les Mis in London’s West End (January)

 

What a show! Literally had goosebumps the WHOLE way through! Incredible. 😱🇬🇧🎭👏

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I announced my new life decision to the world (March)

 

 

I was shortlisted for best travel blog at UK Blog Awards (April)

 

 

I celebrated my sister’s 21st birthday (May)

 

Cocktails for our hannys 21st! 🎉🍹 #birthday #varsity #oxford #sisters

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I went to two amazing weddings in two days (June)

 

 

I flew to LA by myself to start my American adventure (June)

 

 

I helicoptered across the Grand Canyon (June)

 

 

I parasailed on Daytona Beach (June)

 

So parasailing whilst watching Dolphins in the sea was pretty special this morning in #Daytona 🐬🌊 #noregrets #grandsouthern #contiki

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I ran around Walt Disney World for the first time (June)

 

 

I celebrated Independence Day in New York City (July)

 

 

I celebrated my mum and dads 25th Wedding Anniversary (July)

 

 

I inter-railed around Italy (September)

 

Ride a gondola in Venice – TICK! ✅✅ Next stop Florence 🚂🚂 #bucketlist #italianescapade #tourists

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I explored the Collosseum in Rome (September)

 

 

I started my freelance business full-time (October)

 

This is how I feel right now. Today I calculated that I've earnt *almost* as much each month as I was earning in my old 9-5 job! I knew I could do it!!! I've started with nothing and built up my little business all by myself. At times I felt like giving up, like I wasn't good enough, and like I had no right to make a career for myself, but today I've felt so inspired and so pleased that my hard work seems to be paying off. Any doubts that may have been in my mind have now been dismissed and I am SO excited to continue my journey in my new career and see where this takes me! Here's to future success and many more adventures 📝💻✈️🌍 #MondayMotivation #freelancer #bloglife #virtualassistant

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I went on my first ever press trip as a blogger (October)

 

 

I celebrated Christmas at home with my wonderful family (December)

 

Only 363 days until Christmas 2017 👋🏻

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So there we have it, my top highlights of 2016! It was sooo hard to narrow it down, especially as so much has happened this year, but these highlights gave me some of my happiest memories that I will cherish forever. I’m now looking ahead to the new year and am super excited to see where 2017 will take me… Happy New Year everyone, see you on the other side!

Love Jess x

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A Little Life Update… Where I Was vs Where I am Now

Don't look back… You're not going that way! ✈️🌎 #Venice #Italy #Venezia #wanderlustwednesday #noregrets

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Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of love, fun and laughter – I know I did! The festivities feel like they’re well and truly over now though and, although I do love Christmas, I am so excited for the new year to arrive and for a fresh start. I’m looking ahead to all my travel plans for 2017 but am also reflecting and putting together my end of year review, with my top highlights from 2016. First though, I thought I’d share a very honest post with you all. As some of you will know, 2016 was a huge turning point in my life, for very personal reasons, and here’s why…

I lost 2 family members

 

2

 

For the first time in my life, I lost 2 close family members. My Aunty Pat left us in January, and my Uncle Terry passed away in July, just six months later. It was awful, I’ve never really dealt with grief, or loss before. I’m lucky that, at the age of 23, none of my close family members had passed away, until this year. My nan gave us a scare too – she has had ongoing heart problems for a while now, but she collapsed and her heart stopped beating. Thank god she was in hospital at the time and was immediately brought back to life – I don’t know what I’d have done if she’d have left me. My nan is one of the most amazing, strong and selfless women I know, and she is my total inspiration. If you’re reading this nan, I want you to know how much I love you, and I hope I might have made you proud this year. <3

My health finally started to improve

 

1

 

This is a huge positive, and one I am so happy has turned around for the better. As most of you will know, I suffer with a health condition called a prolactinoma, which is basically a small tumor on the pituitary gland in my brain. My condition seemed to deteriorate throughout 2015, when I was off and on medication and subsequently felt the worst I had ever felt. However, after a few months of yet more blood tests, eye tests and trips to the hospital I am finally in control of my condition and feel the best I ever have! My consultant and I made the decision to go back on my long term medication, and my prolactin levels have finally been lowered meaning my symptoms have disappeared and I am generally feeling much better. Yes I still have crippling headaches and yes I am often poorly, but I’m a million times better than I was last year and I finally feel happier with my health. I last went to the doctors at the end of November, and my next hospital check up is in March, so I’ll have more news then but, for now at least, I’m pleased to report that I’m feeling on top of the world… Long may it continue!

I made the decision to quit my 9-5 life

 

 

On to something less positive now, but it does have a happy ending- promise! Some of you might remember reading about my quarter-life crisis, where this time last year I had a mini breakdown. I was so unhappy with my life; I wasn’t enjoying my job, I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go, and I had this incurable wanderlust that made me want to travel as much as possible, although, at the time, I just didn’t know how to go about it. Then 2016 came along and, all of a sudden, this light-bulb went off in my head and I knew something had to change.

 

 

On 7th January 2016, after a few hours in my local STA Travel store in Oxford, I made the decision to book an epic Contiki trip across America, from LA to NYC, and I knew that there was no turning back. The following Monday, I handed in my notice at work. I knew that travelling across America would make me more determined than ever to travel as much of this world as I possibly could, and I knew that I couldn’t do it without quitting my 9-5 job. So I did it, I handed in my notice ridiculously early, and I started my final few months at work whilst preparing for America and then, subsequently, deciding what I was going to do when I returned.

I travelled more than I ever have before

 

 

The start of 2016 saw me take numerous trips to London and Liverpool, as well as little visits to Brighton and Bournemouth too. As you’ll know, June and July saw me travelling throughout America, across 23 states in 28 days and I had the time of my life! I visited over 25 cities, from LA and Vegas to Memphis, New Orleans, Miami and New York. I helicoptered over the Grand Canyon, parasailed over Daytona Beach, road tripped across Route 66, visited the White House in Washington and went ghost hunting in Savannah. I also celebrated 4th July in New York courtesy of my £471 flight change fees (!!!) the craziest, most spontaneous decision I have ever made, but so totally worth it!

 

September saw me travelling across Italy, from Venice to Florence to Rome, and ticking even more off the bucket list. I rode a gondola around the canals of Venice, climbed the Duomo in Florence, wandered round the Collosseum and threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome. I’m also about to embark on my last trip of the year and will be heading down to St Ives in Cornwall on Thursday ready for some new year celebrations – I’m so excited!!

 

Ride a gondola in Venice – TICK! ✅✅ Next stop Florence 🚂🚂 #bucketlist #italianescapade #tourists

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My blog continued to grow

 

 

I’m so pleased that my little blog had it’s best ever year in 2016, and I couldn’t be more thankful to my amazing friends, family and my READERS who have supported me throughout this past year. Journeys with Jessica has gone from strength to strength; we’ve had press coverage, an award nomination and our first press trip – these were things I could only have dreamed of when I first started writing back in 2014, and I still can’t quite believe that they all happened! I’m excited about the prospect of growing my blog even further in 2017 and can’t wait to continue to share all of my future adventures with you all – THANKYOU for making this all happen, I wouldn’t be anywhere without you lovely lot! <3

 

I launched my freelance business

 

 

When I returned from America in July I took a month or so off to just completely relax, see friends and spend some quality time with my family. I celebrated my mum and dads 25th wedding anniversary, went to Liverpool for a week to stay with my nan and granddad, and I went to V Fest with my cousins. I wanted to have a month where I just had FUN, lived life and totally let go. I think this was really important for me to do as it gave me perspective on what I actually wanted from life, and what truly made me happy. At the end of September I decided to launch my freelance business as an online virtual assistant, and I’ve never looked back! It’s still early days, but my client base is growing and I’m making enough money from it now to go full time – although the dream is still to be a full time blogger, and I’m hoping I’ll make it there one day! For now though, I’m super happy with my new freelance life and am looking forward to continuing this in 2017.

 

This is how I feel right now. Today I calculated that I've earnt *almost* as much each month as I was earning in my old 9-5 job! I knew I could do it!!! I've started with nothing and built up my little business all by myself. At times I felt like giving up, like I wasn't good enough, and like I had no right to make a career for myself, but today I've felt so inspired and so pleased that my hard work seems to be paying off. Any doubts that may have been in my mind have now been dismissed and I am SO excited to continue my journey in my new career and see where this takes me! Here's to future success and many more adventures 📝💻✈️🌍 #MondayMotivation #freelancer #bloglife #virtualassistant

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So that’s my little life update. I guess when you think about it, an awful lot has happened in such a short space of time! Aside from the obvious negatives, and the low points, I think that, overall, 2016 turned out to be one of the best years of my life. I had so many highs and ticked SO much off my ever growing bucket-list, and am so much happier now compared to where I was this time last year. Since October I have been freelancing fulltime whilst throwing myself into my blog too. Fast forward to December and I’m still doing both of those things whilst looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring, and I’m pleased to announce that planning for my European Adventure is well underway… Watch this space!

Love Jess x

#summer ☀💖

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Surviving your first time at WTM London

 

Had so much fun @wtmlondon earlier on this week! Blog post coming soon! #WTMLDN #london #LDN #ExCel

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Hi everyone,

So last week I attended WTM London for the first time EVER and I had the most amazing time! For those of you who don’t know, WTM is the biggest travel trade show in the world and is held in London every November for three days, at the ExCel Centre. Anyone and everyone from the travel world is present at WTM, from tour operators and tourism boards to hotels, airlines and resort representatives. I consider myself to be a little blogger in a big, big travel pond, so I was understandably nervous/excited about the prospect of attending WTM for the first time! Here’s my guide to surviving your first time at this fantastic exhibition…

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

 

 

I can’t stress how important this is when attending WTM for the first time! I feel as if I prepared as much as I possibly could by navigating the website, booking meetings, looking up lectures and planning my journey in advance before the big day arrived. I made sure I planned my tube route (although this changed due to station closures on the day!), I made sure I knew where my meetings were and what stands I wanted to visit, and I made sure I knew which lectures I wanted to attend. Planning in advance really helped me to calm my nerves and take everything in my stride when I eventually arrived on the day. I also reached out to other bloggers who had attended before, Eileen from Crooked Flight held a fantastic webinar which was super helpful and I was SO glad I watched it before I attended!

 

Just one of the fab exhibitors @wtmlondon this year! #WTMLDN #mexico #tourism #TravelTuesday

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Don’t get me wrong, I  was totally overwhelmed by WTM; the ExCel was absolutely enormous and I felt so out of my depth! I had lost my voice and had a terrible cough that day, so I think that just affected my confidence at first, but once I’d had a few meetings and started speaking to more people I felt much more comfortable and began to enjoy myself a bit more! Make sure you research the companies you have meetings with, know the name of the person you’re going to be speaking to, and make sure you know what it is you want from WTM. I wanted to meet with tourist boards and enquire about potential press trips, as that’s the direction I want my blog to take, but others may want to become a travel trade consultant or progress their careers in the industry, so talking to specific brands about what you want to achieve is key to success at WTM.

 

Make sure you look the part

 

 

Treat WTM as you would treat a professional meeting, or a job interview. I wore a skirt and top to look smart, and I took a blazer too but wore flats as I knew I would be doing a lot of walking! I feel I looked professional but not too over the top, and hopefully I went for style as well as comfort! Jeans and a t-shirt is a definite no-no; most of the guys were in suits or a shirt and trousers, whilst most of the girls were in dresses, smart tops and trousers or skirts and tops like myself.

Book meetings in advance

 

 

Booking meetings ahead of my visit to WTM really helped me to plan my day. It also ensured I could spend a certain amount of time meeting brands and a certain amount of time attending lectures, so I could balance my day correctly. I found the WTM website to be extremely helpful when planning; you can contact brands directly, find out about all the lectures and speakers and even see the full A-Z list of exhibitors who will be present each day. There’s also a WTM app which you can download and use to interact with brands and speakers on the day, making sure you’re super involved throughout the whole process. You can also use Twitter to mention brands and exhibitors in your tweets, showing them that you’re excited about the big event and that you’re planning it before you’ve even arrived… everyone loves a build up!

 

Print your media kit and take plenty of business cards

 

And I was sooo pleased with how my press pack turned out too! Who else took one to @wtmlondon this year? #London #WTMLDN #ExCel

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I have never printed my media kit as I think carrying prints around is very old-fashioned, but I am so glad I took copies to WTM with me! I printed around 20 of them, and had 100 business cards on me which was plenty. I gave all of my media kits out, and around 30-40 business cards too, as not everyone wants to see your media kit. I made sure my media kit was given to people I had meetings with, and people that I approached who I was really keen to work with. The beauty of presenting a media kit is that it gives you something to visually share with the person/company you’re approaching, and I think it makes you stand out over someone who is just there to drop off a business card.

 

Look up the lectures you want to attend

 

This was my holy grail @wtmlondon – wouldn't have survived without it! #London #WTMLDN #ExCel

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I think WTM is all about time planning, especially if (like me) you only have one full day there! To me, the lectures are just as important as meetings with professionals, you can learn a lot from the speakers and the Q&A sessions, so I was keen to catch as many lectures as I could during my day. It helped to look them up in advance so I could ignore any irrelevant ones and focus on the ones I really wanted to attend. The WTM guide that is handed out to you upon arrival is really helpful in terms of planning, but there are giant boards and maps dotted about too so that you can get your bearings and make your way to the lecture halls on time. Be sure to arrive early to make sure you get a seat!

 

Catch up with your fellow blogger friends

 

 

WTM doesn’t have to be totally serious; yes, you’re there to learn and meet professionals from the travel industry, but it’s s really great place to have some fun too. I met up with three of my fellow travel blogger friends whilst I was there- Emma (Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles), Kate (Kate Victoria Photography) and Mel (Footsteps on the Globe) – and we hung out, took photos and attended lectures together. It’s really nice to see a few friendly faces during what can be quite a stressful day, so I really enjoyed spending some time with these girls!

Follow up after the event

 

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Following up afterwards is just as important as attending the conference on the day! I did my follow ups yesterday, a week after attending, and sent emails to brands I met and had proper meetings with throughout the day. Following up doesn’t have to be in the form of emails though, you could interact with the brands on Twitter, make it fun, make yourself memorable! Keep in contact and you never know where your initial meetings might lead to in the future.

So there we have it, my ultimate guide to surviving your first time at WTM London. Have you been before? Are you wanting to go next year? Sharing is caring, so I’d love to hear any tips you have too!

Love Jess x

 

Where can you visit every country in the world, all under one roof? @wtmlondon of course! #WTMLDN #london #LDN #ExCel

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Another exciting announcement: Something new in my travel career!

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Hi guys,

So I know I had a big announcement to make last month, and becoming a brand ambassador for the first time with TransferTravel was super duper exciting news, but it’s all systems go in my little life right now, and you probably won’t be surprised to read that I’m taking on another new challenge as well!

As of this week I am now an INTERN for The UK Blog Awards, one of the biggest companies in the blogging industry! I was lucky enough to be selected and am delighted to be working closely with founder and MD Gemma to boost my social media and blogging skills and to learn lots of new things along the way.

 

 

As most of you will know, I entered the 2016 UK Blog Awards last year and was honoured to be shortlisted for Best Travel Blog by you lovely lot. This year I’m hoping to enter my blog into the awards again, and am aiming to be shortlisted for the second year running; who knows, I might even have a chance of winning the coveted award too! *Please be aware that my role as an intern for the company will NOT affect my entry in any way, shape or form and I will be entering in exactly the same way, just like any other blogger.*

I’ll be interning with Gemma for the next three months and am so excited for us to work together. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to attend a couple of events with the company too and I can’t wait to see where this opportunity leads for me! I’m getting myself out there and taking on as much as possible whilst I’m trying to launch my freelance writing & social media consultancy business as well as being a brand ambassador and blogging full time too.

So, it’s going to be a hectic few months between now and Christmas but I cannot WAIT to get started and to embrace this new role alongside my existing commitments! As always, I’ll be sharing everything with you all, every step of the way… Watch this space guys!

Love Jess x