It’s well past the midway point of January, but I’m posting my 2018 reflections and gratitude anyway. Better late than never, and I finally have the headspace to translate the chicken scratches from my notebook.
Looking back on 2018, I achieved some of my goals, had to put others on hold, and for the most part, managed to field any challenges with will and grace. (P.S. The reboot is amazing, you need to watch it.) Most importantly, I had fun. In no particular order, these are my favourite things about 2018.
Moving to Victoria
The biggest thing to happen in 2018 was the Brit and I moving to Victoria. His company offered him a transfer opportunity, and I was down for it. But until this move, and as much as I’ve travelled, I had never moved anywhere outside the Metro Vancouver area.
Yes, Victoria is in the same time zone and only a ferry or short plane ride away. But when you’ve lived somewhere your whole, it’s an emotional thing to move away. My parents, most of my friends, my overall network (wellness, yoga, career); all in one place. I didn’t cry when I got on the ferry, so at least there’s that.
That all being said, Vancouver Island life is amazing. We needed the change of pace, and our quality of life is way better. I’ve gotten two hours per day back in my work week because of my shorter commute and different hours. The Brit has NO traffic on his commute, and we pretty much live in Downton Abbey (well, not really, but our apartment is in a very grand mansion that has a name!)
Becoming DEBT FREE
This merits being all CAPS, and was happening come hell or high-water. But not only did I pay off my debt last year, I achieved the goal of paying it off early. *dance break* (And yes, that’s me on the posters and on your HGTV commercial breaks.) My relationship with money is something I am continually working on.
Investing in myself
After four-and-a-half years of working to pay off my debt, it was a treat to have the monetary and psychological space to start properly thinking about what I needed to do in order to build my side-hustles up. Four things I decided to put some money towards were:
- Self-hosting my blog (I will write about this at some point, because it was vaguely stressful, but very educational)
- Signing up for an entrepreneur program (I chose this one)
- The Content Planner
- Professional photography with this beauty of a human being
These are four small steps towards some of my ultimate goals. Spending the money gave me some anxiety, but
One of my goals for 2018 was to dip my toe in the pool of freelance writing. I was a bit chicken about it all, but the universe gave me a break and I was approached to pitch to Tourism Vancouver. More opportunities have presented themselves for 2019 and I am looking forward to writing my little heart out!
Hitting 1000 on Instagram
I was really thrilled to pass the 1000 mark in the spring, but in the way of follow/unfollow (lame), and that darned algorithm, I’ve only gone up just over another 300 since. And have ‘lost’ almost that same amount. It’s a bit disheartening, but even when opportunities to purchase ‘organic’ followers and engagement present themselves (I get DMs and emails on a weekly basis), I can’t and won’t do it.
One of my favourite bloggers has almost 500,000 followers, and they are all earned. It took her years, but she has fabulous content and I appreciate and relate to her integrity. I’m happy and grateful to have an authentic following (thank you!!) and I’m proud of organically tripling my social footprint in 2018.
Meaningful brand partnerships
Something that kind of shocked me in 2017, and in 2018, is that having a smaller following hasn’t really limited my partnership and sponsored opportunities. Some I’ve reached out for some, and others have reached out to me. And I am very proud to be an ambassador for two Vancouver based companies: Orb Clothing/ Orb Athletic and Tilley Vancouver.
My gratitude know no bounds and I love the content and relationships that have developed from being a nano-influencer. As a mentor of mine says a lot: “Quality shines through.” Preach.
The Scots visiting Vancouver
My friends from Scotland (Stephen, Lesley, Jim, and Frances) came to Vancouver in August, and I cannot tell you how incredibly happy it made me to show them around my town, and to introduce them to the Brit. It was also a nice way to say goodbye to Vancouver. A big highlight was whale watching. If you haven’t been, it is SO WORTH IT. (Particularly now that the haze is gone…) I wrote about some of our touristing here.
While I didn’t get to spend my birthday at Disneyland or get my hygge on in Denmark for Christmas – relocation to another city tightens a budget – my love and I spent time on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island, in Seattle, and spent the Christmas holidays in England and Wales. (Here’s a preview of some fun stuff coming up related to our trips to Brighton and Cardiff!) There’s also something to be said about staying local, which has meant some serious #touristinmytown action in Victoria. (More on that soon!)
In short, 2018 provided me joy, stress, opportunities, and personal growth. I am grateful for doing the work to achieve my goals, and so very thankful to everyone who helped make 2018 a special and happy year.
I hope everyone had a beautiful rest of 2018 and that 2019 has started off wonderfully! Happy New Year!
“It’s not about the goal or the dream you have. It’s about who you become on your way to that goal.”~ Rachel Hollis