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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.

2018 Travel Goals

I set myself the target of visiting three new countries in 2018, and I achieved that with trips to Denmark, Switzerland and Finland. Each of these trips was thanks to my Trusted Housesitters membership (yup, this is an affiliate link) – I embraced house sitting last year and was rewarded with some wonderful experiences. It’s a fantastic way to travel, as you experience life as a local and get to hang out with an array of delightful pets – what’s not to like?

I also set myself the goal of going on a weekly travel date. This may sound strange when I’m travelling most of the time, but I still spend a lot of time staring at my screen, and when I settle in a place for a few months it’s easy to get lost in work and daily routine – shopping, dog walking, cleaning… Inspired by Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Dates, I took myself out to discover something new and explore my surroundings with curious eyes at least once a week. Some weeks I juggled if I was particularly busy, moving around, or it was terrible weather, but overall I stuck to it. It was a great reminder of why I’m doing this and it led me to some places I may not otherwise have found.

Yellow house on the island of Suomenlinna seen on a travel date in Finland, my third new country of 2018
Exploring Suomenlinna on a travel date in Finland, my third new country of 2018

2018 Business Goals

I completely bombed my business goals – because I was too busy taking care of, well, business.

Last year was incredible for my business financially. I’d been struggling since the GBP took a nosedive post-referendum and I’d built up a fair bit of debt and borrowed from my savings. And I was a bit stressed about money. But I had a few excellent travel copywriting and editing jobs last year that made it my most successful year in business. By a long way.

I worked hard, however, so didn’t spend enough time working on my business, though I was so pleased with where I was at the end of the year that I didn’t beat myself up about this. My only problem now is that next year’s tax bill is HUGE, so I have to repeat that success just to pay it!

2018 Health & Lifestyle Goals

I did pretty well with my health and lifestyle goals. My love of yoga continues, and in 2018 I turned to Yoga With Adriene and fell for yoga even harder – she is SO inspiring and her yoga is so accessible. I also had a lot of success with my skipping rope at the start of the year. However, I did a lot of dogsitting and my exercise routine fell off a bit, as I didn’t always have time for dog walking and exercise (which isn’t always the same thing – sniff, sniff, pee, sniff…).

Out walking with the beautiful Oscar – a blue picardy spaniel – in Espoo, Finland
Walking Oscar in Finland

I continued daily meditation, and moved to Insight after a few years of Headspace. It’s a practice I love and I’ve found many more inspiring teachers on this platform.

2018 Personal Goals

Finally, my personal goals. I finished Greek Duolingo, and just as I did they changed the whole system. I had finished Spanish, Portuguese, French and Greek, but some have had new lessons added and all now have five levels for each class. So I’m going to be tied up here for some time… But I work on at least one language every day, and while I’m not fluent in any yet it helps as I travel and flexes my learning muscles.

Daily gratitude was another practice I began last year and will continue indefinitely. Each day as I write my diary, I note a few things that I’ve been grateful for that day. Even if I’ve had a stinker of a day there’s always something, and that’s the last thing I think about as I switch off for the night.

View from Ruth's Rock on Tilos – I was so grateful to return here in 2018
The view from Ruth’s Rock on Tilos – I was SO grateful to return to this wonderful island in 2018

An Announcement

Before I go into what’s in store for the rest of 2019, I have an exciting announcement…

This is the last post you’re going to read on The Road to Wanderland.

Yup, I’m officially retiring this website. But I’m not giving up travel blogging.

Both my websites have been frustrating me for some time, as I set them up myself and I’m self-taught on WordPress (and sometimes a little technically challenged with the backend stuff). So I set out to find some help.

I found myself a super talented husband-wife, developer-designer team to sprinkle their magic over my virtual homes. And they immediately suggested that I merge my freelance travel writing website with my travel blog. Which makes complete sense. When I started travel blogging, I was still writing about everything from WordPress and podiatrists to pianos and limo hire over on The Wandering Wordsmith. So I kept them separate.

But now I specialise in a range of travel writing, from copywriting and content marketing to travel articles and travel blogging. So why not keep them in one happy home? And that home is going to be The Wandering Wordsmith, because that’s why I chose the name in the first place.

For the next month or two, we’re working hard behind the scenes to set up the new website, rewrite my copy, and prepare a few new posts ready for launch. Eek! I am SO excited!

My Goals for 2019

So what’s in store for me for the rest of 2019? Well, this year I want to build on last year’s incredible success. I’ve invested heavily in a new website and I need to work on it for it to be successful. I want to build my brand and grow my following. Find more dream clients. Work on my writing and photography skills. And write up some more of the incredible adventures I’ve had so far.

Finding that perfect balance between client work, working on my business, and travel is something I’ve struggled with since starting my nomad life. And I’m not sure I’ve hit the sweet spot yet. So I’m not going to stress myself with a load of goals; I’m not even aiming for my usual minimum of three new countries. I’m applying for as many housesits as possible, to keep my spending down and free up time to really make a name for myself as a travel writer and blogger. And that means going where the sits are.

So I’m keeping it simple. Here are my goals for the rest of 2019:

  • Continue my weekly travel dates – I may not be visiting lots of new countries, but I’m still visiting towns, cities and regions that are new to me, so I’ll still be out exploring as much as possible.
  • Spend a minimum of 45 minutes every day working on my new website and social media. Because little and often is less overwhelming, fits around client work, and can be so effective. (This goal kicks in when the new website is up and running – at the moment, I’m working on it as much as possible!)
  • Work on my personal and professional development for an afternoon each week. I’ve invested in several courses for travel blogging, travel writing, travel photography, etc. plus I’ve bought a new camera and want to learn how to use it effectively.
  • Continue daily meditation and practise yoga at least 3 times a week.
  • Get out in nature as often as possible to keep me refreshed and revitalised.
  • Write daily gratitudes every night before bed.
  • Publish my 2019 Year in Review and 2020 Goals no later than mid-January! (It has to be possible, right?)

And that’s it. These goals feel like a good mixture of working on my business and personal and professional development, with plenty of time to look after myself and feed my creativity and inspiration as I continue my slow travels.

What goals do you have for the rest of 2019? And is there anything in particular you’d like me to write about on my new website? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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