Monday, 1 January 2018

Reflecting Back On 2017


Happy New Year!

Now that 2017 is behind us and we welcome in 2018, I seem to find myself once again in a philosophical mood. 
Looking back over the year, and seeing how far I've come in 12 months has made me reflect on many things, including how the whole year seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye!
As with any year, there have been highlights and low points, but all in all I think it's been a pretty good year for me and I definitely welcome in the year feeling wiser, more experienced and more accomplished than I did back in January. 

Here's a little retrospective photo diary down memory lane:

TRAVEL
2017 was a pretty good year travel-wise for me, I managed to go on 3 trips abroad, including a couple of UK staycations as well as several day trips. 
The feeling of wanderlust seems to be deeply imbedded in me, and I never feel quite myself unless I've managed to go on holiday and discover somewhere new; after all, adventure is good for the soul.
In July I went to Porto, which had been on my wishlist for quite some time. I absolutely loved the laid-back atmosphere, the fact the sleek tiles contrasted so well with the crumbling aged mismatched buildings, the hidden alleyways, the buskers, the smell of freshly caught seafood in the air and the bustling city centre. It's an amazing city and one I'd highly recommend.
Next, in September came Lisbon (to carry on with my Portuguese theme). Again - it was filled with interesting architecture, including the strange little fairytale castle town of Sintra, which was my personal highlight. If I'm honest Lisbon itself held less appeal, but the neighbouring villages of Cascais, Estoril and the aforementioned Sintra were definitely worth visiting.
Finally - I jetted off to my second home of Nice in October. Nice has always held a special place in my heart, and always makes me feel like I'm perfectly at home the minute the plane wheels hit the tarmac. This short break was to celebrate my birthday when I felt like I needed a few days away to relax and organise my thoughts, and as ever the beautiful city did the trick.
        

LIFE
The last 6 months seems to have spun by in a whirlwind of days out, festivals, local exploring, making new friends and weekends away. I celebrated my best friend's wedding with her as her Maid of Honour which was an incredibly beautiful and emotional day. She also moved away to start a new job in Yorkshire, so I had a couple of trips up to see her and got to finally try the legendary champagne afternoon tea in Betty's. I also met loads of new people, ticked Festival No.6 off my bucket list and last but not least - became a homeowner!
I also grew in confidence, fought my corner in work and won, dipped my toe back in the dating pool and dyed my hair pink.

MUSIC
Seeing live music has always been a passion of mine, and I've been lucky enough this year to experience plenty of that. In May I saw KT Tunstall who was possibly one of the best - and most inventive - live acts I've ever had the opportunity to see. In June my Mum fulfilled one of her bucket list moments by seeing Robbie Williams as I bought her tickets for her birthday. He put on an incredible show and in the aftermath of the shocking Manchester Arena terror attack, the positive attitude of solidarity in Manchester was quite sobering. In July I saw Bryan Adams who rocked my socks off (wasn't expecting that but my god the man still has it!) before going to Festival No.6 in September and seeing Rag n Bone Man, The Bootleg Beatles with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Arab Strap and The Flaming Lips in the beautiful surroundings of Portmeirion.
In November I FINALLY got to see The Killers which has been a massive goal of mine for the last decade (they were AMAZING!) as well as seeing a childhood favourite - Steps and The Vengaboys, which was one of the campest and most fabulous shows I've ever been to!

Christmas was quiet and family-filled, and last night I saw in the New Year with good friends, and the remnants of a nasty virus that's been plaguing me since Boxing Day.
I'm now more than ready to move onto 2018 and see what new challenges and experiences are in store for me, which is a pretty wonderful feelings.

Bring on 2018!

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