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Happy New Year! My 2018 Resolutions

 

Happy new year everyone!

Welcome to my first post of 2018! It’s my first post of many for January and, given that we’re celebrating the start of a new month and a new year, I’m kicking off with a traditional resolutions tick list for you! If you read my 2017 resolutions post last January (how has it been a year already since that was published?!) you’ll know that I’m a big fan of making new year’s resolutions, and I do actually stick to them, promise! Last year I vowed to:

  • visit 10 countries (TICK)
  • grow my blog as much as possible (TICK)
  • get a part time job (TICK)
  • start spending more time with family and friends (TICK)
  • spend less time on social media (FAIL) – ooooops
  • stop buying scratch-cards (SEMI-FAIL) – these two were harder than I thought!

I’m really proud that I managed to achieve most of these things within a year, and even more so that I managed to surpass my expectations by visiting 11 countries instead of 10, got a part time job to run alongside my freelance business and then landed my dream full time position and started my career in the travel industry, and grew my blog to the biggest it’s ever been, going on press trips and working with some incredible brands.

All in all, 2017 was a pretty amazing year for me, but as one year ends another one begins and this brings me on to my resolutions for 2018. I’m already thinking ahead to the next few months and am super excited to fill in the empty pages of my new chapter for this new year. Here are my 2018 resolutions…

 

Visit at least 5 countries

 

 

Last year I was lucky enough to visit a whopping 11 countries as I embarked on my greatest year of travel yet as a full time blogger and freelancer, but this year I have annual leave restrictions that I need to be careful of, so that will definitely impact on how many trips I can take! I’ve already got two trips planned and am in the process of planning a third which will take a few weeks to get organised. My first holiday will (hopefully) be an inter-railing trip starting in Paris and Luxembourg and ending in Brussels and Bruges – I’m really excited to go inter-railing for a third time and can’t wait to finalise everything for this week-long European adventure with my sister! I’m then going to be hopping over to Amsterdam and Rotterdam with some of my fellow blogger friends for my third annual Traverse conference and I’m soooo excited that it’s going to be held outside of the UK this year for the first time ever! My next holiday will be a cruise round the Mediterranean taking in the sights of Croatia, Malta, Sicily, Greece and Montenegro. I’ve never been on a cruise before and I’m nervous/excited in equal measures but can’t wait to see how the week unfolds, and I’m going with 13 of my crazy family members, so whatever happens I’m sure it’ll be a week to remember. I’m sure that more last minute trips will pop up over the course of the next 12 months, but I’ll definitely be making use of my weekends off as well!

 

Reach 10,000 followers across my social channels

 

It's the last day of 2017 and I'm reflecting on everything that has happened in my little life over the past 12 months… My highlights include press trips to #Spain #Switzerland and #Germany with my blog, a holiday to #Tenerife and my #European interrailing adventures. 🌍 I celebrated my 24th birthday, freelanced full time, took 17 flights to 11 countries, bought a new car, started my career in the travel industry with my new job, opened a help to buy account to start saving for a house, became a charity ambassador and shared my story with the national newspapers, went on countless day trips, weekends away and nights out with my friends and family and pushed myself to say YES to things and make the most of every minute. 🌟 Sadly I've ended on a low note after losing my beautiful Cassie, but she is in a better place and she'll remain in my heart forever 💖 I'm so grateful that I've got amazing friends and family and am surrounded by love each and every day. 2017 has taught me a lot and has brought me so much, but I'm so excited to see how 2018 will top it and can't wait to see what the future brings. Happy new year everyone, here's to making every second count! 🎉 #2017bestnine #HappyNewYear #2017

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This is going to be a HUGE milestone and I really hope that it’s something I can achieve within the next year. Currently, I have 4200 Twitter followers, 1800 on Instagram, 600 on Linked In and 540 on Facebook, so I’ve got a long way to go before I hit my target of 10,000! I do think it’s going to take a lot of effort and hard work to get it done, but I love a challenge and am determined to make this happen, plus my stats on my media kit are going to look pretty damn good if I finally reach the big 10k!

 

Spend less time on social media

 

 

Ok, ok, so I know this is massively contradictory to my last resolution, but I want to try and spend less time on social media on a personal level, although I want to grow the followers for my blog as much as possible. I have a constant obsession with logging on to my apps, refreshing the news feeds and scrolling aimlessly for hours, consuming irrelevant content about things which mean absolutely nothing to me. It’s something we are all guilty of, but the constant scrolling is what really gets me down and I know I really need to stop. I’ve made a good start by deleting my apps and muting all of my notifications, so now I only get bothered when someone texts or calls me! My accounts are still active but I’m going to try and post less and, in turn, scroll less too. I also want to read more books and so, whenever I get the urge to scroll during the ad break of my fave TV show, or during a quiet 5 minutes on my lunch break, I’m going to read chapters of my books instead and keep my mind occupied on something more productive.

 

Work on new projects for The Pituitary Foundation

 

 

As part of my role as an ambassador for UK charity The Pituitary Foundation, I’m trying to raise as much money and awareness as I possibly can for an organisation which has been hugely important to me since my own prolactinoma diagnosis back in 2011. I became an ambassador last summer and have already taken part in a fun run, national newspaper campaign and a Go Orange event in order to raise awareness of the charity. This year I’d like to step it up a notch and get more involved, take part in more events and raise even more money than I ever have done. My plans include another fun run and Go Orange day, as well as a summer fete and a hike up Mount Snowdon as I aim to challenge myself as much as I can. More details will be emerging when I have them, but for now please wish me luck!

 

Start saving at least £500 a month

 

 

I’ve only been able to do this one since I went back to full time work at the end of last year, but in October I opened a Help To Buy bank account as I aim to start saving for my first house. It’s going to take me a good few years to get a deposit behind me, especially as property prices in my local area are ASTRONOMICAL, but if I can try to save at least £500 every single month then I’ll stand myself in good stead going forwards. Since landing my dream job I’m starting to feel really settled and really positive about creating a stable future for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop travelling and I’m certainly not ready to get married and have kids, but I just want to give myself the best future possible and saving lots of money will definitely help me to achieve that.

 

Incorporate exercise into my weekly routine

 

 

Exercise is something I have ALWAYS struggled with, I hated P.E. as a child and my idea of increasing my heartrate was standing at the back of the rounders pitch having a good gossip with my school friends and doing a few star jumps! As I’ve got older my attitude has changed a little, but I still feel faint at the idea of even going in to a gym, let alone doing a full blown workout. I do however really enjoy the gym once I get some blood pumping, but it’s the idea of going that makes me feel really demotivated, and maybe it’s because I’m a little intimidated by all the amazing girls and guys who go and look like their professionals. I’m going to start doing a small workout at home once a week though to improve my fitness, and my core strength. It’s not about losing weight or toning up, I think I just want to feel good about myself again and I know how much exercise can do for your mental and physical health. Here’s hoping I can do at least one workout a week to help with this – plus daily walks too!

 

Grow my blog as much as possible whilst working full time

 

 

I’m hoping to smash this one as I’ve already had a positive start to the year, but the first few months of being back to full time work meant that my blog really took a back seat at the end of last year. I was just so exhausted doing 40 hour weeks, plus 2 hours of driving a day, and didn’t want to do anything other than watch telly and get into bed during my week night evenings, and my weekends were for catching up with friends and making exciting plans. I also lost my beautiful dog Cassie at the end of last year and this had a massive impact on my motivation to do anything productive. If I’m honest, I barely slept or ate, let alone found the time to blog, and it did affect me. I was totally consumed by grief and loss, which is something I had never experienced before. But with the start of a new year comes new positivity and I’m really excited to throw myself back in to my blog and make proper time to publish regular posts, grow my followers and keep up my social media statuses. I’ll probably schedule in one evening a week and one day of the weekend to dedicate time to my blog and I’m hoping to stick to it over the coming weeks.

 

I like to think that these resolutions are all achievable and are all things that are going to enhance my little life over the next 12 months, and I’m feeling more motivated than ever to make this another incredible year. In addition to these resolutions, I’m also hoping to make more time for myself and put myself first. Little things like having a bath, popping on a face mask or reading a book will all help to give myself some well deserved ME time and I intend to do this a lot in 2018. Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you ever stick to them? Here’s hoping I achieve mine – happy new year everyone, wishing you all a successful, healthy and happy 2018!

Love Jess X

 

Happy new year y'all 🍾🍾 #NYE2017

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A Little Life Update: My Half Year Review

 

 

We are now over six months into 2017… OVER SIX MONTHS?! How the bloody hell did that happen?! It feels as though January to June came and went in the blink of an eye. I have done so much, traveled so far, and experienced so many new things, but it’s not until I take a step back and look at my diary, or my Instagram page, that I realise just how much has happened these past six months.

Let’s rewind back to 1st January 2017; the first day, week and month of a brand new year. A chance to focus on new things, make new memories and set new goals. I did all of those things at the start of the year. I spent the post Christmas/New Year period down in Cornwall with my family, taking long dog walks on the beach, eating ice cream sat on the harbour walls, going out for dinner in nice restaurants and waking up to sea views every morning. Just after I got back from Cornwall I made myself some New Years Resolutions. Given that we are now past the midway point of 2017 I thought I’d do a little life update and reflect on the things that have happened in the past six months, to see whether or not I’m on track and if I’m achieving/failing my goals set by my 2017 Resolutions post… Here goes!

 

 

I want to travel to 10 new countries

 

 

This was my biggest and most challenging resolution – definitely the one I was most scared about tackling, but I’m so pleased to say that I’ve been smashing it!! So far this year I have taken seven trips and have been everywhere from Copenhagen and Bratislava to Menorca and Tenerife. I’ve been to five new countries, five new cities and made countless new memories. All of my trips have been totally amazing, but highlights have included my first ever group press trip to Menorca, a last minute city break to Sofia, and a girly holiday with my sisters to Tenerife. In the next two weeks I’ll also be ticking two new countries off my list as I’m heading to Switzerland tomorrow and Germany the week after! Both are group press trips with other bloggers and we’ll be working with the respective tourist boards when we are out there. I’m so excited for my future travels and feel I’m in good stead to complete this challenge as I’ll have done 7/10 by August – not bad going if I do say so myself 😉

 

I want to stop buying scratch cards

 

Amazingly, I’ve actually not done too badly at this one! So I’m not saying I’ve stopped buying them completely – cheeky ones still fall into my shopping basket every now and again – but I have made a conscious effort to try and avoid them wherever possible and I now only use the self service check out at the supermarket to minimize the temptation at the kiosk! I’ve started a little savings pot too and am collecting 50p’s and £2 coins, so whenever I do get the urge to buy one I plonk my change in there and watch it build up –  WAY more fun than losing money every week!

 

I want to grow my blog as much as possible

 

This was probably the single most important resolution for me, and I’m proud to say I think I’m halfway there. I’ve still got a long way to go before I can become a full time travel blogger, but before this year I had never been on a press trip and by the end of August I will have been on THREE in the space of just a few months! For me, a real turning point came when I visited #Traverse17. If you read my post you’ll know that I had an amazing time at the three day travel blogging event down in London, but what I didn’t expect from it was the sheer amount of opportunities I would be opened up to after attending. Just a few weeks after the conference I was lucky enough to be selected to attend the Must See Menorca press trip in April, along with the Spanish Tourist Board and Traverse themselves. And then I was asked to pop over to Hamburg for the weekend with the Visit Hamburg team. I’ve also grown in confidence and have started reaching out to pr companies, tourist boards and local attractions to create new opportunities for myself. So what if there’s no press trip advertised? Make yourself known and start creating things that you might otherwise miss out on!

 

 

I now really enjoy the networking side of things and rarely get nervous. At Traverse everyone was pitching themselves to the tourist boards for trips, I could hear fellow bloggers practising what they were going to say in their speech and it made me feel a little nervous – I certainly wasn’t professional enough to start pitching!! When it came to meeting the brands and speaking to the tourist boards though I actually felt really confident and was completely myself. I didn’t ‘pitch’, I didn’t start reeling off numbers of followers, my monthly page views or my audience demographics, but instead I started talking about the brands and asking questions. I told Visit Spain that I have been to their beautiful country 14 times, and that I have the most amazing childhood memories of beach holidays and tapas and paella. I told Visit Hamburg that I genuinely have always wanted to go to Hamburg because I want to start exploring some of the smaller cities across Europe and promote them to new audiences, rather just writing about capitals like Berlin and Barcelona. I was 100% myself when I was talking to these brands and I think this just might have been why I was lucky enough to be picked to attend these brilliant press trips.

 

I want to spend more time with family and friends

 

First night out together now that Baby Buck is old enough! Why do I feel so OLDDDDD 😭 #saturdaynight #sisters #love 👯💖

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I like to think I was pretty good at this one anyway, but I do think I have really started to spent more quality time with the people that mean the most to me, and I’m so grateful to have the most amazing support network. I still live at home so I’m really close with my parents and my sisters (probably too close, we argue constantly, but we always work things out). I live near to all my friends so I go out for dinner and drinks with them every few days and am always making plans to catch up whenever I have the time. Sadly the rest of my family are split between Liverpool and Essex, so I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like to, but we communicate daily and they’re only a phone call away.  Every single person in my life right now knows how much they mean to me, so thank you <3

 

I want to spend less time on social media

Yea this one hasn’t gone quite the way I’d have liked it to. I’m a social media obsessive; it’s my job, my hobby, my whole life, what can I say?! I’m actually quite sad I haven’t nailed this one as I know that the amount of time I am spending on the net is damaging and I really want to cut it down. I just find it difficult to switch off and feel like I constantly have to know what’s going on in the world. I recently read a brilliant article by the lovely Emily Luxton who described how Instagram is ruining her life. I really resonated with a lot of the aspects in Emily’s post, although my blog isn’t as big as hers, so it’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who has an unhealthy relationship with social media. I  know it’s not good at all though, so I’m gonna work really hard to cut down my usage over the next few months… Wish me luck and please send any tips my way. PS thanks Emily for the refreshing, very honest and personal post! <3

 

I want to stop looking for love

 

 

Lol this one is easy. I’ve done it, I’m not going to find anyone, so I’ve given up looking. Ok that’s not strictly true, I was seeing someone off and on for a couple of months, but he found his way to me, I didn’t go looking for him. And we’ve known each other YEARS, so it wasn’t a new thing. Or a Tinder match – that’s deleted, thank God. I’ve finally stopped looking because I genuinely have no desire to be with anyone at the moment. I know that’s quite sad and at times I would love to have someone to share my life with, and I do want that for my future, but right now it’s the last thing on my mind. I don’t have TIME for a boyfriend, I’m travelling too much to want to settle and I’m so spontaneous and carefree that I just don’t want the hassle of a relationship, despite the good things that I know will (one day) come with it. I don’t feel unhappy though, for the first time in months I feel really great about being single and am just getting my confidence up before I decide when/if I want to start dating again. There’s no rush though, I’m still only 24 – sorry mum, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to be a nanny 😉

 

I want to focus on myself

After that last paragraph, I think this goes without saying, but I have focused on myself so much since January that I’m actually starting to feel a bit selfish! Is that a bad thing?! I guess it kind of is, but I’m just looking after number one because one day I won’t be able to do that! So I’m saying YES to new opportunities, YES to hanging out with new friends and YES to doing whatever the hell I want. I’ve been really enjoying every aspect of 2017 so far, and hope that will continue for the remainder of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I still get my down days, and there are (very few) times when I really struggle to be happy, but I’m much better at picking myself up, dusting myself down and painting a big smile on my face.

 

So there we go, I don’t think I’ve done too badly?! It’s quite nice to look back at all the things I’ve done since January and it gives me the confidence to carry on as I have been doing so that I can make the most of the rest of 2017. For now I’m looking forward to heading to Switzerland tomorrow – don’t forget you can follow my journey on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! What new years resolutions have you been sticking to this year? I’d love to know if you have been achieving your goals, so leave me a comment below!

 

Love Jess x

 

Party #2 of #MustSeeMenorca and we're having tapas and cocktails at the beautiful @portbluehotels

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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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January Newsletter!

Hello and welcome to my first newsletter of 2016!

I have soooo much news to share with you all, so 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 FOR MY FIRST EVER AWARDS COMPETITION!

So on 4th January I entered my little blog into its first EVER awards competition, UK Blog Awards 2016, 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 👯🎉🍸🎊

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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 in at 5am so our heads were a little sore the next morning day/night/week! A big THANK YOU to everyone who celebrated with me. <3

I 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.com and recently received my FIRST paycheck for my FIRST lot of freelance work! 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’S WEST END!

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

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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 was 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! Stay tuned for some big news coming up in February… I’ll reveal all soon I promise!

Love Jess x