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Why I’m nervous about turning 25…

 

Happy Blue Monday everyone… Today is officially the most depressing day of the year! The weathers miserable outside, we’re all skint after Christmas and pay day feels like FOREVER AWAY. January is notoriously difficult for lots of people for lots of reasons, but I’ve always been a fan of Jan as its my birth month and I get so excited to have something to look forward to after Christmas! This year though, I feel completely different, and here’s a few reasons why…

So tomorrow is my 25th birthday. The big 2-5. Halfway to 50. Officially in the mid 20s. When the hell did THAT happen?! It only seems like yesterday I was running around in nappies, or running to get the school bus cos I was late, or running out of a club at the end of a night out as celebrated numerous birthdays past the age of 18. It’s true what they say, time goes by so fast, and I notice it more with each year that passes.

 

Why can’t I be this small and sparkly again ๐Ÿ˜ญ

 

Im usually excited about my birthday, I am excited about tomorrow as I’ve got an amazing day planned with my friends and family, but the age thing is really getting to me this time round. Last night I had a bit of a rant on Twitter – I was actually crying as I posted the thread – and I got a few things out my system.

 

Head to my Twitter @jessica16_x to see my little rant

 

By the age of 25, I always thought I’d have my life figured out. I thought I’d be married, or at least engaged, and I thought I’d have had my first baby by now. I thought I’d have bought a house, got on the property ladder, put down some roots. I thought all of these things because that’s what my mum did, and my two nans, and my aunties. By the age of 25 they’d all got married and had two kids. They’d bought a house, they had a family, and they were happy. I look at what my mum had and compare it to what I’ve got now and I just feel so incomplete. I don’t fit in to what she did, in fact I’ve never felt further away from it in my life. I’ve not met anyone I want to committ to, I’m nowhere near ready to buy a house and I’m definitely not close to having kids and that’s something that upsets me the most. Anyone that knows me will know that all I’ve ever really wanted to do in life is be a mum, and being so far away from that life at the moment is something that plays on my mind daily.

 

Love you mum – I hope I make you proud ๐Ÿ’–

 

All my friends are either married/engaged/in long term relationships. Most of them have bought houses or are renting together and are either expecting children or are parents already. I’m so so different to them and it scares me. Yes I love my little life and travelling has and always will be my passion, and I’m so happy I can just hop on a plane without having to take a buggy or a changing kit with me, but deep down I know all I want is to have the family life my mum had and still has.

 

A lot has changed for us girls in the past 25 years. We have more opportunities now, we work more, we travel more and we see more of the world. I love that, and I’m proud to be born into an era where those things are normal. Looking at what I have achieved in my short 24 years on this planet does make me proud – I’ve ticked so many incredible things off my bucket list, bought 2 cars, built a career for myself and my blog and become a charity ambassador too. I’ve travelled by myself, made friends with strangers, faced my fears and pushed myself to the limit and I’ve done all those things with enormous pride and happiness, but I still feel apprehensive about turning 25 tomorrow for all the reasons I’ve mentioned above.

 

Looking at what I have done, not what I haven’t done, gives me my greatest sense of achievement

 

I think as we near 30 we worry that we haven’t got out life figured out yet – I know I certainly haven’t! I always thought I’d find someone straight away and that I’d live happily ever after, but I guess my fairytale just hasn’t happened yet…

 

So all in all I am looking forward to having a nice day with my nearest and dearest tomorrow, but I’m scared because I just don’t want to be another year older, and another year further from all the things I thought I’d have by now. Does anyone else get the quarter life crisis/ mid 20s anxiety? Quite a lot of you tweeted me yesterday after I had my little Twitter rant and your comments meant so much to me. Let me know if you’re feeling the way I’m feeling right now – it would be nice to know I’m not alone!

 

Love Jess X

 

I don’t know what’s next for me as I enter my 25th year, but here’s to making it an amazing 2018 ๐ŸŒŸ

 

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January Newsletter!

Hello and welcome to my first newsletter of 2016!

I have soooo much news to share with you all, soย this jam packed edition of my monthly newsletter will give a round up of my oh-so-busy January! It’s been a crazy month and it seems like its dragged on FOREVER but I’ve squeezed an awful lot in to the past five weeks! Without further ado here it is, are you ready?…

I MADE MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!

I kick-started my 2016 with a positively inspiring challenge which is the motivation that’s going to see me through these dull winter months! I’ve tasked myself with visiting 25 countries before I’ve reached the ripe old age of 25! Find out how I’m going to achieve it here

I’VE BEEN SHORTLISTED FORย MY FIRST EVERย AWARDS COMPETITION!

So on 4th January I entered my little blog into its first EVER awards competition, UK Blog Awards 2016,ย and I’m delighted to announce that, after over 70,000 votes across 18 different categories, I’ve been shortlisted as a FINALIST in the travel category!! You can read more about my big announcement here… I’m still so thrilled and can’t quite believe it, a big THANK YOU to all who took the time to vote for me, it means everything! <3

I CELEBRATED MY BIRTHDAY!

#birthday #lastnight #vip #oxford #nightout ๐Ÿ‘ฏ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽŠ

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I turned 23 on the 16th and spent the day with family followed by an evening of celebrations with my closest friends in my home city of Oxford! We headed to the fantastic Varsity Club for cocktails and then onto one of the city’s biggest clubs for a VIP experience in a private booth! A fantastic night was had by all and we rolled inย at 5am so our heads were a little sore the next morningย day/night/week! A big THANK YOU to everyone who celebrated with me. <3

Iย WORKED ON MY FIRST SPONSORED POST!

This month I was given the opportunity to review a fantastic new guidebook for Disneyland California and I relished working on my first ever sponsored post! Read my write up on this fantastic guidebook here – thanks go to Amazon and Independent Guides!

I GOT PAID FOR MY FIRST EVER FREELANCING JOBS!

I’ve recently started writing for US based company www.abnsave.comย and recently received my FIRST paycheck for my FIRST lot ofย freelance work!ย I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing for ABN over the past few months and can’t wait to expand my portfolio. Here’s to many more paychecks!

I WATCHED LES MISERABLES IN LONDON’Sย WEST END!

What a show! Literally had goosebumps the WHOLE way through! Incredible. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐ŸŽญ๐Ÿ‘

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I had an AMAZING time watching the fantastic Les Miserables musical in London recently – it was definitely an experience to tick off the bucket list! The show, which is now in its 30th anniversary celebrations, was incredible from start to finish- everything from the lighting to the music to the cast wasย out of this world! I could watch Les Mis over and over again I never tire of its fantastic score and mesmerising scenes – I was left feeling very emotional that’s for sure!

So that completes my January round up- told you I’ve been busy!ย Stay tuned for some big news coming up in February… I’ll reveal all soon I promise!

Love Jess x

SPECIAL BIRTHDAY POST: JOURNEYS WITH JESSICA TURNS ONE TODAY!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

It’s finally here, my blog turns the big one year today! This time last year I had just started my first ever post, the ridiculously titled ‘Hello!’ with a big smiley face on the front page! The first trip I blogged about was a weekend city break to Barcelona, and since then I’ve been to Prague, Reykjavik, Majorca and tonnes of UK cities. It’s crazy to think how much I’ve grown over the last twelve months. Back then, I could count the number of readers I had on my hand, and now I have over 1700 followers on my combinedย social media channels and over 43,000 readers on my expanding Trip Advisor account, quite an achievement I feel!

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So to celebrate my blog being a year old I’ve decided it’s time to have a complete re-shape and have totally edited the look of my website. I have been bored with the layout for ages so a makeover was well over due. A long running debate in my mind has been the question of should Iย stick with my free WordPress.com template or take the plunge and create a brand new site from scratch? I can now say I have FINALLY decided and I’ve gone for the former, to stick with my trusted WordPress template. There are few reasons for doing this, and I’ve outlined them below:

– WordPress is free (bonus!)

– Itย allows me to easily link all my social media channels

– The brand new Cube design theme is a winner (where have you been all my life!?)

– WordPress has been with me from the start, I wouldn’t be where I am now without it!

I know what you’re thinking, soppy Jess doesn’t like change! But seriously I’ve found a brilliant theme on WordPress, I absolutely love the cube design and hope you do too- it’s something I’ve envisaged for a while and I’m so glad it’s a workable, easy on the eye template for me to use.

I just have a few questions that I hope my lovely readers can help me with…

1) Should the layout be a black background with white writing and blue highlight?

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2) or should it be a white background with black writing and green highlight?

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3) Should I create separate Twitter and Instagram from my personal accounts or keep the current large following I already have and stick with those? I want to be seen to be professional but also friendly and real!

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So what’s next on the 1 year forecast for Journeys with Jessica? Well, I’ve got loads of trips planned with my friends and family and cannot wait for all my adventures. I’m heading to Royal Ascot on 19th June, followed by a trip into Oxford the next day and a theatre show in the evening, and then on 21st June I’m travelling to London for the British Summertime Festival at Hyde Park! I’m also going on a family holiday to Cornwall for a week and then potentially a quick city break either to Budapest or Berlin at the end of July which is super exciting but nothing’s been booked yet so watch this space!

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I’ve also got a special birthday announcement to make… I’M ATTENDING MY FIRST EVER CONFERENCE AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER NEXT SUMMER! AHHHH! I’ve bitten the bullet and booked a space at TBEX Europe 16 which takes place next July- I’ve been wanting to attend TBEX for the last year but haven’t had the confidence to do so until now! The conference is taking place in Stockholm, Sweden and I’m joining loads of fellow bloggers so here’s hoping that my first ever conference will be a success! It’s over a year away so I have plenty of time to plan, but I’m so looking forward to meeting new people and learning lots of new travel blogging techniques. If anyone has any advice on how to get my blog readyย for TBEX please please get in touch as I’m eager to prepare as much as I can!

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Thanks as always for your continued support, and here’s to another year of Journeys with Jessica!

Love Jess x