Last February, I set a heap of goals for 2018. Much as I’m embarrassed to review them (at least publicly) a third of the way through the following year, I write these posts to hold myself accountable, so I won’t cop out. Besides, I hate leaving loose ends…
As I mentioned in my 2018 travel review I was occupied with a few large projects last year, which is why this travel blog took a bit of a back seat. Unsurprisingly, some of my goals did too. Here’s how I got on.
I started last year with really
good intentions when it came to my blog, but things didn’t quite pan out as
2018 was my fourth year on the road, travelling slowly around Europe while running my business. And it was an excellent year, both in terms of travel and my freelance travel writing business. I had a handful of new clients and several fantastic travel copywriting jobs. Add in a fair bit of housesitting, and financially my year was incredible – I completely sorted out my finances and treated myself to a new camera and phone. Finally.
Aside from the odd affiliate
I’m not making much money from this blog yet, though it serves as a portfolio
for my writing, so I had to concentrate my focus where the money was. My big
jobs involved writing lots of content, and when I finished writing I wanted to
be out exploring the new places I was travelling and living in. And
housesitting isn’t a free ride; there was a lot of dog walking, dog and cat
grooming and playing, and gardening and housework to maintain.
All of which meant my blog took
a back seat for the year. I was stressed about it for a while, but I had to let
go. Sometimes it simply isn’t possible to do everything – a lesson I have
difficultly accepting at times – and sometimes that’s OK.
I think there’s also an element
of struggling a bit with the blogging side of things. Working out what I want
this blog to be, who I’m writing for, what my special sauce is. Plus I’m a
massively private person, so finding that balance between writing about what
I’m doing while maintaining my privacy can be tricky. So I’m still trying to
figure a few things out and find my blogging mojo.
Last year was bloody brilliant
in many ways. Here’s my travel review of 2018.
Well, it’s February so, err, time to commit my 2018 goals to writing! It’s kind of fitting to write them now as late Jan/early Feb is usually when my nomad adventures begin again. I spent January back in the UK, like most years, enjoying time with my family, catching up with friends, and finishing a couple of jobs. Now I’m back in the lovely little house I’m renting in Rhodes, Greece, and I’m fully back into work mode (and on a health kick after all that delicious and not-at-all calorific festive food and drink!).
Like my 2017 goals (see how I got on in my review of 2017), my 2018 goals are very business-focused, because I’m kicking it up a gear with my business in order to achieve more freedom in other areas of my life. Hence I’m hunkering down in Greece for a few months to kick-start the process.
For me, January is a month of reflection and planning (and hibernating from the cold!). It’s also my anniversary of packing up my house in Norwich and heading off with my backpack and Mac. So it’s the perfect time to look back at what I’ve achieved over the previous year and look ahead at what I want to do next year.
My first two years as a nomad were about finding my feet and settling into life on the road. More specifically, I was learning how to balance work with exploring (something I’m still trying to master!). During my third year, 2017, I was focused on building my business and working on my personal development.
In some ways it feels as though I travelled less in 2017, as I embraced slow travel. My business had to take priority so that I can afford to maintain this lifestyle (though I set up my office in lots of wonderful places – the header image is taken from my desk in Halki, Greece). I also love spending a few months in a country so I can really get to know the landscape, culture, food, people and wildlife, rather than zipping through, ticking another box and adding it to my country count.
But I still did a fair bit of travelling.
I spent time in nine different countries including the UK, three of which were new to me. Along the way, I took 10 flights, 6 long train rides, and 14 ferry rides – I spent over half the year indulging in island life – and I slept in 17 different beds.
My highlights included falling in love with gorgeous Xlendi Bay in Gozo, another incredible week of music, sunshine, great vibes and awesome people at the Worldwide Festival in Sète, getting to know the intriguing city of Sofia in Bulgaria, reacquainting myself with some of my favourite places in Greece, and pretty much my entire visit to Israel.
As I mentioned at the start of my review of 2016, I was kinda glad to see the back of last year. It was my second year as a digital nomad and I had another great year of travel. But I struggled with some aspects of my business and I was distracted by the fallout from the Brexit referendum.
So I felt ready for a fresh start.
I love planning for the New Year, and always surround myself with a variety of planners and workbooks, looking back on my achievements and noting where I can improve things.
One of my first posts on this blog last year was my goals for 2016. I felt a little uneasy putting them out there, then realised my blog was new and no bugger was probably reading it anyway. Because promotion… But I realised I liked having them up there to keep me accountable, though my perfectionist tendencies were screaming, ‘but can you admit if you fail so publically?’ Well, yes I can. Because goals are meant to be challenging. What’s the point of setting something that isn’t going to stretch you personally and professionally?
One mistake I did make while setting my goals was not making some of them measurable. So I aim to put that right this year.
Things are still unsettled in Brexitland and I’m still struggling with the uncertainty of it all. Not only do I believe the EU to be largely positive, if in need of reform, we seem to be hurtling out of control towards a ‘hard’ Brexit at the hands of an unelected Prime Minister, which has the power to completely change how I live my life and, depending how things pan out this year, I may need to make some changes. But for now I will only focus on the things I can control.
So without further ado, here are my goals for 2017…