Sitting here I cant even believe that I’m about to crack open a 2018 calendar! I don’t know about you guys but 2017 seemed to fly by, even though at times (for me at least) it felt like time was standing still and the days would never end. I ended 2016 in not such a great place, mentally & physically, wanting nothing more than to be content and doing what I loved. I spent a lot of that year struggling to figure it out before just letting go & leaving the decision to come to me. And it did, a few months into 2017 and I had a visa that would ultimately land me here in England ending the year & starting a new year.
With a year ending and a new one beginning, lets take a look back at the highlights through the seasons of 2017 in case you’re a new wanderer or love looking back like I do!
I celebrated 1 year of She Who Wanders, and while it might be a baby step in terms of blogging (in this day and age anyways) I couldn’t be more proud of what I’ve learned & accomplished in that 1st year of writing & taking this blogging thing so much more serious than I had before.
Now let me just put that out there, I seriously dislike the cold. I’m a bad Canadian I know, so leave it to me to pick the coldest winter in 75 years to live in the least snowy place in Canada (thanks Vancouver) but to make the best of the and situation (in my opinion) I got to kick off the new year spending it trying something new with a new group of ladies. Natasha of BC Adventure Girls put on a new Years Day snow shoe adventure up at Vancouver’s Mount Seymour for a group of a dozen+ ladies. While it was cold as hell we were all smiles (maybe frozen that way) while we learned about back country safety & to this day I’m still in touch with some of the ladies.
I had a few visitors when I first moved to Vancouver, but in 2017 there was only one, and probably the best visit of the year. When you haven’t seen one of your best friends in 3 years (or more) and find a flight deal you book it and finally get her ass hour to the rockies. From exploring Vancouver, Squamish & of course Whistler we definitely made up for lost time.
After an epically cold winter, the warmth was welcome (even though the rains came with that). It was incredibly low key, but that’s just because I had a visa to wait for & some plans to make for the adventure I’m currently on.
The tail end of spring had me packing up life (for the umpteenth time) and having a few last minute adventures From the Okanagan to Whistler and all the way out to the Island before I said my last goodbye to BC and headed back East.
My Birthday usually always means summer is starting, and where better to spend it but in Montreal with my family! Exploring Montreal like a serious tourist and falling more & more in love with my home city before taking off on the biggest adventure of the year - moving to England!
That move came with lots of road trips, travel days & seeing England in a whole new light, seeing places I never imagined could exist on this side of the world & feeling epically grateful for it!
(Brighton - Seven Sisters - Beachy Head )
Autumn in the UK had me exploring Northern Ireland & 2 new Countries
First up - Belfast in Northern Ireland. Home to legends of Giants, incredible history, a seriously amazing setting for my Game of Thrones obsession. Not to mention the infamous Carrick-A-Rede Roppe Bridge & the Giant's causeway! For more check out my Best of Belfast post!
Paris was up next, and a seriously huge highlight for me. Meeting up with a fellow travel blogger (Lindsey from SevenDayWeekender) to explore the city of light eating & photographing or way around making the most of the short time I had. I never thought I would be a lover of Paris but I really can't fault it (except for the fact that I'll probably never have enough time to explore it all). To find out more on this whirlwind trip check out my Perfect Plans For Paris Post
And then there was Dublin, a dream of mine for years & made that much better by reuniting with one of my favourite people, my flatmate from my time in NZ to play epic tour guide & show me all the sights & then some. The Cliffs of Moher, Temple Bar, The incredible museums & the lovelies of people. All things that will definitely have me coming back again! More from that trip can be seen on my Dublin Must Do's post.
And that brings me to now..the last month of 2017 has been on hell of a ride (and not really in the best way). I had a job, and one that I was stoked on & had me motivated in all aspects of life, and then all of a sudden I was without a job, alone, it was the holidays & I was spiralling pretty hard. But luckily for me a friend of my moms graciously opened her home to me over Christmas and I was able to check out another part of the UK during the process. That was what I needed to start to figure a few things out and get back on track to being happy with where I’m at (both geographically & mentally) and working towards some new things.
2018 is right around the corner (literally, in just a few hours for us here in the UK) and while I’ve never been one to publicly proclaim resolutions or really celebrate, what I can say is this ; 2017 was hard. I was lost in more than one way for a lot of the year, and started this last month of 2017 feeling incredibly down & out. Slow travel and living abroad can be hard, some of the hardest times you’ll have will be when you would give anything to have your nearest & dearest with you. It’ll hit you at your lowest points when you have to be responsible to pull yourself out of it without the help of the people who love you most. But that, that is what makes you stronger. More often than not I come out of the tough situations realizing how insanely capable I am when I thought everything was impossible. So let me leave you with one of my “mantra’s” if you can call it that. "As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, it's inevitable that you will discover just how capable you are".
Take on 2018 and do any and everything in your power to make your dreams a reality. Don’t wait for that “perfect” moment or the “right time” to do what will make you happiest. Be selfish! Take the time for yourself to make your life what you want it. You’ll be eternally grateful for it in the end, I promise. So here’s to a year of blissful adventure, challenging situations, overcoming them & realizing how insanely bad ass you all are! Peace out 2017, 2018 show me what you got!