Wednesday, 2 January 2019

What 2018 Has Taught Me | Blondie Wanderlust

I feel like this will already be an emotional one, I don’t cry at Christmas films, music or speeches. Yet watching the film New Years Eve and listening to Auld Lang’s Ayn?? CHECK, I am like a blubbering baby. For me, it is because a lot can happen in a year, and I am just so grateful to get through it and to go into the New Year with new goals. Is anyone else a total cry baby when it comes to the New Year?

New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect, and boy is there a lot of stuff to reflect on! My best year yet still stays at my time in Barcelona, looking back it all feels like a dream. I can’t quite believe what I accomplished, however I still feel like I can overcome a hell of a lot and make more memories in 2019, marking three years since Spain. This may not be an interesting post to read, but if you want to know more about me keep on reading! 

That I Could Actually Complete University

When you go to open days, you don’t think about how quickly time will catch you up, especially when it comes to dissertation – it is all meant to be fun and games until then. However, from February to May 2016 during my second year of uni, I was so ready to quit. I was going through a bad time, apart from work and uni I couldn’t bear to leave my room cause in my head there was nothing to enjoy. I just wanted to find a placement. I remember asking my tutor if I cold defer a year because nothing seemed to progress. Luckily for me, an amazing man called Michael who owned Waytostay in Barcelona and hired me to work there in 3 weeks time. I embarked on a 14 month journey, finding a love for travel, blogging and marketing. I knew when I came home that even though I didn’t necessarily love my degree, that I could use my skills to get my degree and make it more enjoyable. That year, I got my best grades yet including a 2.1 for my overall degree and dissertation.

It wasn’t always roses and anything else nice, of course there were speed bumps including a lot of doctors visits and loads of sleepless nights doing work. However, walking across that graduation stage was a walk of resilience for everything I went though and karma to those people that set me back. There were a lot of happy tears, it made me realise that ym biggest challenge to date is over and I was ready to take on anything. However, not to take on anything else but to finally ENJOY my time and make the most of it. University is an amazing time if you decide to go down that route, I had a rollercoaster of a journey but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I wouldn’t have had Barcelona. I know people may be sick of me talking about it, but no one really gets why it means so much because my story is so complex but it will make sense in the end.

I Am More Aware of What I Want

I feel like when you FINALLY get an idea of what you want out of life, everyday it becomes more clear. Ever since moving back to England, I knew that I wanted travel, blogging, marketing and adventure out of my life and as long I was making a difference I would enjoy life. It is easy to have a passion and to finally have one, but to motivate yourself to make it a dream is difficult. However, those things that are difficult makes us more determined to make it a reality, that is what I found with leaving university. I felt like the only person in my graduation year, not to have a grad job, a mortgage or a stable foundation. I had been on the grad job hunt for at least 4 months and had been ghosted by two companies. Quite literally gone for interviews (to very far places) and then ignored, it was heart breaking and draining to keep on going. However, I knew that finding a job these days are so difficult when there is so much competition and little jobs in ratio. I remember being in bed crying, mum trying to console me because I was so tired and not looking after myself.

However, I still knew what I wanted that is why I kept on bl**dy going. It worked out because I am now in Southampton in a fab job, with amazing people and come January/February I have some fab news regarding this blog and my travels. I tell you what, it worked out well in the end and don’t worry I celebrated in style with a bottle of Prosecco!

Things Can Surprise You

There are many things that surprised me in 2018, the first thing that surprised me was how I wasn’t heartbroken about not being in Barcelona. Which is exactly how I wanted it to be, because I didn’t want to regret coming back. If anything, I felt like I was working towards another goal of mine and I got to look back to see how far I had come from moving back to England.

I was also very surprised with how much I had to overcome the past year, honestly Steven Spielberg could not have written my past year. I came back from Barcelona very nervous, scared that I would never find happiness that I had in Spain. In fact, I retained the happiness and still have it with me forever so I wasn’t worried about that. It was more the fact that Bournemouth bought a lot of stress in the years before but I had hope. My final year in uni, bought  a lot of happiness but again a lot of obstacles. I remember thinking to myself “why does this stuff happen to me again, what did I do to deserve this”. I just realised that, these things aren’t my fault and you can’t change other situations. So yes, many things surprised me however I used it to my advantage and played it in a way that made it more advantageous to me. However these things that surprise you, aren’t meant to throw you off but challenge you to get past them. 

I Have The Weirdest But Best Family

I already knew that I had the most weird and wonderful family in the entire world, telling my friends my family stories is so much fun to watch their reactions. I spent A LOT of time with family in 2018 seeing as I was away for most of 2016/2017. I had spent a lot of time with family for my birthday, days before travels and weddings, graduation and god knows what else. I have mentioned this to my family, that I felt like the black sheep of the family. NOT IN A BAD WAY. Because I was so shy and would not talk and didn’t seem to have the drive/passion that my other family members had.

Since “blossoming” (AKA becoming more of a loud mouth) I feel way more comfortable in just being my silly self and in turn at family events we all realised that life is too short and we have done some wild things. I have gone to a Tina Turner tribute act with my mum, observed my whole family play Mr and Mrs games whilst I hug an inflatable man because I am so single. All in all, some of the funniest moments I have had last year and sure to have some more in 2019.

My Love For Travel Grew

For a girl who had a dissertation to write, I was able to fit in two trips in one month. Oh and went to two countries in 10 days for a holiday whilst going to numerous UK cities for work. Let’s have a breakdown shall we??

January 2018 – Amsterdam: Firstly, how CRAZY was I to think visiting Amsterdam in Winter was a good idea? Once we got over the near frostbite (only kidding) we explored the city as much as we could. However, I didn’t get to go to a few places including Heineken Factory and anywhere that sold waffles. I am really tempted to go back as Southampton Airport flies there! I got to go to many museums, as well as the Sex Museum, Prostitute Museum, Anne Frank House and Amsterdam Dungeons. The Dungeons were the worst for any one who scares easy like me, and I was feeling fragile from the night before. Be aware you may do a lot of walking, however the architecture is beautiful and do a canal cruise if you can! .

February 2018 – Barcelona: I was VERY lucky to win a 3 night stay in the Sant Jordi Hostel back in my 2nd home. Such a gorgeous hotel and in great distance to the centre of town. Again, very cold but we did everything we could. It was also my first time back to the city since I left, so of course I was very emotional and it felt so surreal. Of course a lot of tapas and sangria was consumed. I also got to catch up with my friend Beki and made a friend for life in the hostel!

Summer 2018 – UK Trips: My job last summer was as an Activity Leader for Kings Education in Bournemouth. Every Sunday we got to go to these places: London, Bath, Oxford, Brighton and Lulworth Cove ..  aka the most Instagrammable places in the UK. A lot of shopping, sight seeing and pub visit occurred on these trips but it was lovely to get out of Bournemouth even for a day.

September 2018 – Barcelona/Rome: I decided that I deserved a holiday after finishing uni and spending a summer working 45+ hours. I spent 4 days in Barcelona, a lot less sightseeing but a lot more spending time with new friends and old ones. I stayed at Kabul Hostel (AMAZING HOSTEL THAT YOU MUST STAY IN) who convinced me not to go to bed even though I had a 6am flight. Then I got on a plane to Rome, finishing off what I didn’t get to see on my first trip in 2017. I got to do an Electric Bike Tour  around the city and meet my favourite YouTuber Imogen Hudson! The best part of the trip was meeting all the amazing people in the hostel, my goodness it really put my faith back into people and making the best memories I could.


I keep trying to write blog posts under 1500 words so it isn’t too long, but it looks like I learned A LOT in 2018 looking at my word count (1800 currently). Anyway … HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone celebrated to the best that they could, wherever you are in the world! I was working, but technically I was out because I work in a bar. I love to keep busy but loved to be around people during the celebration of going into a New Year! What are everyone’s plans for 2019?

Or perhaps you have some New Year’s Resolutions? I have 8, 4 relatively normal and 4 weird, read my list and maybe find some ones you never thought about! This is going to be a good year for many reasons, and I just can’t wait to tell you all about something that is going to happen. Especially regards to this blog!

Mol xo

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