I can’t believe that 2017 is almost over. I feel like I say this every year, but 2017 really flew by. I officially moved to NYC, moved apartments, started a new job, traveled to three places and so much more. This post is a monster, given that each section could probably fit in its own post. But whatever. I’m a rule-breaker and I procrastinated on other blog posts in December!
What I’m grateful for in 2017
2017 has had its ups and downs. Luckily, my health, both physical and mental, was pretty good this year. I only got a couple colds and a sinus infection and only fell into a couple bouts of depression and had only a few panic attacks #progress. While I can’t say it was perfect, it was definitely an improvement on years’ past. Maybe it’s because I know my triggers. Maybe it’s because I consistently take vitamins and my meds. Maybe it’s because I am comfortable with where I am in life right now. Whatever the reason, I did not let my health take control of my life this year and I am incredibly grateful for that.
In 2016, I didn’t travel
much at all. I took a trip to NYC, but I eventually moved there so I don’t count that as a trip. I also took a couple trips to Tampa, but again, that’s home for me so I didn’t count it. In 2017, I really wanted to travel more because it’s something I love. I’m grateful for the trips I got to take this year—to DC to reunite with my roommates from senior year; to the Berkshires to visit my friend Kate; to London to visit my favourite place in the world again.
While I might not be traveling every weekend (I need too much sleep to do that), I liked that I got to get out of NYC for a little bit and see new places with people I love. Hopefully, 2018 keeps the trips coming.
11 months ago, I started my job. I had no idea where it would take me or if I would even like it. But, I love it and the people I work with! I’m learning a ton every day, I have a lot of responsibilities and I’m growing closer and closer to my coworkers every day. It’s a good situation.
Feeling at home in NYC
I’ve been in NYC for about a year-and-a-half now and I finally feel at home. I love my room/apartment, my job, my coworkers and friends, and my outings. I finally feel familiar enough with everything to call myself a local (at least in Manhattan) and enjoy showing visitors around my home.
Finding myself (for the most part)
Every once in awhile, I get anxious about my identity. I’m not like most people my age and that can cause me a lot of anxiety. This year, I think I’ve finally started to embrace who I am, and all the weird quirks that come along with that. I might not party, have a billion friends, or jet set every weekend, but I am happy. I can embrace who I am and brush off the weird comments or subtle judgment I get from people who don’t accept who I am. After all, they aren’t worth it if they can’t like me for me.
I’m still not 100% self-confident (is anyone?) but I am feeling more confident in not sacrificing my happiness, well-being, or values for the sake of “fitting in” and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
My friends + family + Watson
I feel like, after one year out of college or high school, you know who your long lasting friends are. They’re the ones you might not talk to every day (though you totally can), but the ones you can connect with immediately and feel like time hasn’t passed. I’m not the best at staying in touch with people, especially when I’m busy or stressed or depressed, but I tried to give it my best effort this year, especially since most of my friends don’t live in the city. I’m grateful for my old and new friends; for hilarious conversations; for delicious meals; for wonderful reunions.
Favourite trips of 2017
I touched on this above, but 2017 brought travel back into my life. 2016 was a busy year what with thesis deadlines, graduation, moving, unpaid internships and whatnot so travel wasn’t a priority in my life. 2017 was even busier with starting a new job, moving apartments, and adulting, but I managed to sneak some travel in there.
I took three trips and they were all wonderful. I’ve written about some and am still processing others but I’m so glad that travel has come back into my life and I can’t wait to travel more in 2018.
In the summer, I took a girls trip to reunite with my roommates from senior year. It was the first time we had all been together since graduation and it was wonderful. We easily fell back into our old habits and it was so hard to say goodbye to them but it’s nice to know that we are all within relatively easy reach of one another.
Exploring DC for the first time since my 8th grade field trip there was great too—granted the summer heat and humidity were dreadful, but I was happy to see our nation’s capital as an adult and make new memories there!
Revisiting London is something I’ve been trying to do since I left there in summer of 2015. I finally got that chance in October and I couldn’t be happier. I was worried I wouldn’t be as infatuated with it as I was when I lived there, but I was just as in love with it as ever! And, if all goes according to plan, I should be going back in the summer.
I don’t know whether or not to be proud or ashamed but going to the Berkshires was my first time properly in nature in ages. And it was wonderful! I still haven’t written about it as it was a trip mostly for relaxation and hanging out with my friend but it’s on the list because the colours were beautiful!
Most-read posts from 2017
Blogging wasn’t my number one priority of 2017. I lost a lot of motivation and found myself exhausted from work on the weekdays or busy with friends and family on the weekends. That being said, 2017 was my first year (somewhat) consistently blogging ever, so I count that as a success!
For the most part, my most-read posts aren’t too surprising. I spent a lot of time on the eight top travel posts researching, writing and finding pictures so I’m glad they’re as popular as they are and that they continue to drive traffic to my site. What’s funny is that the 10 Personal Achievements post is number 8 on my most-read posts for this year. I wrote it back in 2015 on my old blogger site and hadn’t looked at it until I saw that I was ranking for that phrase in Google. It draws consistent traffic to my site, which always makes me laugh a little. I’m also really happy that my Netflix post has performed so well—as the queen of binge-watching I’m happy all my ‘hard work’ has paid off. ;)
- The Ultimate Guide to Food in Paris
- Five Reasons Strasbourg Should Be Your Next Destination
- Day Trips from London: Cardiff
- Places to Visit in South Wales
- What I Learned After Being Verbally Assaulted in Brussels
- 15 Must-Visit Churches in Rome
- Day Trips from London: Cambridge
- 10 Personal Achievements
- Must-Watch Movies and Shows on Netflix
- The Morgan Library: A Book-Lover’s Paradise
Favourite Posts from 2017
It’s one thing to write for analytics, it’s another thing to whip out a post for fun with no thought for analytics or rankings or SEO. These were some of my favourite posts to write in 2017.
- Inside the Weekend of a Highly Introverted Person
- What Adventure Means to Me
- Where to Find Inspiration
- The Art of Mindful Travel + Tips for Mindful Travel
- The Best Quiet Spots in Central London
- Why It’s Important to Celebrate the Small Things
- 10 Little Ways to Practice Self-Care
- Girls Weekend in DC
- Practical Study Abroad Tips from Someone Who’s Been There Before
- Travelling Back in Time at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in NYC
Blogging goals for 2018
I didn’t really have any blogging goals in 2017. I wanted to work on SEO for old posts, which I did somewhat. But other than that, I was pretty much just floating along. It could be the flux of 2017 and all the new things I was dealing with, but blogging wasn’t my priority in 2017. It ebbed and flowed depending on what I was doing, how I was feeling and how tired I was. In 2018, I hope to make it more of a priority and hopefully grow my readership even more.
- Publish once a week: I’ve got so many drafts that are 99.9% ready to go, but for some reason, I can’t bring myself to hit publish. Hopefully, I can work through that in the new year.
- Stop comparing myself to others: My weakness both personally and in the blogging realm—just as people define success differently, people progress differently. Comparing myself to other bloggers/people who have been working at one thing consistently for 2-3 times longer than me isn’t getting me anywhere!
- Write what makes me happy not for SEO: See above. I have myriad ideas for posts but as soon as I sit down to write them, I can’t because I know they won’t reach page one of the google search page or do well on Pinterest. Or, I have a post in mind that would be great for SEO but I can’t bring myself to write it because it sounds so boring. Hopefully, I’ll find a balance between the two this year.
- Engage more with other bloggers: I have dozens of bloggers that I low-key fangirl over. I engage with a few every once in a while but I’m looking to engage even more this year.
- SEO old posts: Something that will forever be on my to-do list because I hate reading my old posts. But it should be done!
- Plan for monetization: Probably not in the cards for this year, but who knows! It’s something I can definitely begin thinking about though.
Personal Goals for 2018
I did pretty well on my goals for 2017. I don’t like to make too many per year as that’s just unrealistic, so here’s what I hope to accomplish in 2018.
- Practice gratitude daily: This is something I make myself do whenever I’m depressed but I want to make it a daily habit. I’ve got a post on this in the queue as I’ve already started practicing gratitude, so get excited!
- Finish my photography classes + practice: I’m signed up for three photography classes. I finally got a nice camera and I love it! The only problem is, I’ve never truly learned about photography or how to work a camera in manual mode. Everything I know I’ve taught to myself. I’m excited to see my photography grow this year as it’s something I love.
- Get back into meditating!: When I was in London and not on medication, I was incredibly anxious every day. Meditation was something that helped take the edge off and I got pretty into it for awhile (I like to consider myself an OG Headspace fan before it became big!). I still meditate every once in a while but I want to hone my practice even more this year.
- Travel more: I’ve already got one trip in the books for 2018 (yay!) and I hope to get a few more in there as well. I’m hoping for a couple day trips once winter is over and perhaps a weekend trip or two. Stay tuned!
- Reconnect with old friends: I’m really bad at keeping in touch with people. I usually feel like a burden in reaching out to them even though that’s probably not the case. I love hearing about where people are in their lives, especially if we haven’t talked in a while so hopefully I can make myself do that more this year!
- Get out more: I’m super introverted and rarely need to be around people so getting me to do anything super social is a big deal. I need like a day to ‘recover’ and am always exhausted after being around people. However, there are many things and people I miss out on because of my introversion. I’m looking to find that balance between my introversion and my need to be with people this year.
- Stop comparing myself to others: See above :)
If you made it this far,
Leave a comment below. We should be best friends! What are your goals for 2018? How was your 2017?