One more trip around the sun and it hasn’t it been an eventful one? 2016. The year to bring us Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the Rio Olympics, the loss of George Michael, Mary Berry’s last Bake Off and the shooting of Harambe.
Beside everything else, 2016 has been a big year for me personally. I moved into my student house in Leeds, have gone through two jobs and started coaching a cheerleading team. And also came the birth of my blog.
Usually, I’m all one for moving forward. Lets live in the present and aim to improve our futures; the past cannot be changed so why look back? Sometimes it’s important to reflect on the good things. So here’s a stroll down memory lane looking back on the best bits of my blog from 2016.
My Most Popular Post: ‘Healthy Eating on a Student Budget’
“Who doesn’t love student life? Endless friends and possibilities to meet new people. The option to go out every night of the week. Living with your best pals. And the four months of endless summer is an extra perk. Sure, a little tiny smidge of studying is also involved, but out of a full time job and student life? We’d all choose the latter.
Despite our loans and overdrafts and student discount, nights out are always prioritised, bank balances shrivel and every day luxuries go out the window. I’d happily live off pasta and baked beans on toast for two weeks if it meant I could go on the ski trip and to the Christmas ball. And while I did attempt this for a while, my increasingly sluggish mood and even more rapidly increasing waistline made me take action.
So voilà! Here’s everything you need to know about eating healthily on a student budget, so your bank balance will be looking as damn fine as you!”
This was by far my biggest blog highlight of 2016. With the highest likes, views and social media shares, this post was when I started to take my blog seriously. My plans for 2017? To do more posts like this, focused on healthy eating and fitness.
The fitness industry is booming at the moment. I walked past what I can only describe as a healthy pic’n’mix in Tesco last week. A healthy pic’n’mix? All the strawbs and gummy bears and chocolate buttons replaced with selections of nuts and dried fruit.
Health and fitness has always been important to me. When I fuel my body with the good stuff and keep active, my mind is clear and healthy. Now seems the ideal time to share my advice, progress and goals with you and the big world wide web.
My Most Underrated Post: ‘Campervanning Around WA’
“During my travels around Australia, two glorious weeks were spent in a camper van; she was the cheapest we could get our hands on, the bumpiest ride ever, yet she got us from A to B and we ended up loving her very much.
It meant we could wake up with breathtaking views on our doorstep every morning. And if that’s not a living the dream, then I don’t know what is.
Only having a two-week time frame with the camper van, this was the only part of my eight-month trip which was set to a strict schedule. We’d carefully sat down and planned our route before, and it was a stretch; to see all we wanted meant some days of endless driving and few breaks. Luckily for me (and unluckily for my friend) I can’t drive, so for me this was fine. I spent the ‘travel’ days singing at the top of my voice to the radio, reading my books, windows rolled down, hot breeze in my hair enjoying the never ending view of road and red soil.”
This was one of the posts closest to my heart. Most of my posts are around offering tips and advice; five must do’s in…. top tips for… a guide to… this was slightly different. This was a personal post on my trip, journey and experiences.
It is probably always going to sit relatively near the number one spot for me as reading it back I feel like I’m on the road again. I can almost feel the wind in my hair and smell the sea breeze. The euphoric feeling of freedom and excitement for adventure creeps back over me.
For 2017 I’m planning on making my whole blog a bit more personal. When reading others blogs I think it’s key to feel like there’s a real life person with a real life voice sitting somewhere behind the words written across my computer screen. Sometimes it’s nice to hear peoples experiences; their struggles, their view points, their travels.
So be prepared to hear more of my adventures!
My Personal Favourite: ‘Why Being Single May Be The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread’
“Albeit, most things are better than my Morrison’s own-brand 50p brown bread (say hello to student life; bread luxuries’ are long gone!), but why is it the mention of the two words – I’m single – always meet the same response? Cue the pity face: bottom lip up, slight frown, and eyes burning that sympathy stare deep into your soul.
Having been *officially* single for two years, the pity face is a look I now know all too well. Granted, some of you may even be doing it now as you read this: “Oh bless her, she’s single” whispers the little voice in your head. Well I’ll let you into a little secret. Being single is fantastic. Don’t believe me? You probably haven’t been single long enough to realise how much you could love it.
The reason people pity singles is obvious; we are ‘supposed’ to find a partner. And from an evolutionary perspective that’s more or less bang on; if we didn’t have a mate, we couldn’t pass our wonderful genes to the next generation. But does that make finding a partner the sole purpose of our lives? For some of you, the answer will be yes. For me? No, it is not. And certainly not anymore in the modern world. The sole purpose of our lives is to achieve happiness and contentment.”
This is my all time favourite post of the year, and thereby my so far favourite post of all time!
I never intended for this entry to be so long, one day I just got writing and writing and writing. And the reason it’s my favourite? When my fingers finally took a break from typing and my eyes read back my piece I realised how happy and content with my life I actually was. How happy and content I actually am.
This was only the fourth post I wrote and at this stage I was still unsure which way my blog was headed and what key topics I’d talk about. At the time it got such a good response, considering I’d only set up my blog a few days previous and I though maybe people need more positive messages in their lives.
So that’s exactly what 2017 shall bring. What are you hoping for for 2017?
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