10 Good Things: a look back at 2018
At the end of every month I’ve started doing a round-up of ten things that have made each day that little bit sweeter (you can read them all here). As it’s the New Year (and I missed December’s post due to the Christmas festivities and general December merriment) I thought I’d have a look back on 2018 and take stock of the year that’s passed.
I’ve been easing into the New Year a bit slower than normal this year as I’ve been more intentional about setting goals this 2019. As part of that process I’ve taken the time to look back properly over the last twelve months, and I had no idea how cathartic it would be!
Compiling this happy list has been so therapeutic: if you haven’t already put together your own highlights reel from last year I thoroughly recommend it!
It’s been a really exciting year with lots of big life changes and travel going on so here they are… my top ten highlights from 2018.
1. We had a weekend getaway
After a fairly quiet start to the year in London we kicked off our 2018 adventures in March with a weekend away snuggled up in the Hampshire countryside; we stayed in a super cute air bnb, huddled up by the fire and ate our body weight in Sunday Roast. Our car got (mildly) snowed in and I ended up twinning with a sofa (she copied me)…
2. I turned 27 (in Rome)
In April we took a five day trip to my favourite city in the world to do a ton of sightseeing and pasta eating but more importantly to distract me from the fact that I was turning twenty-seven. We spent my birthday at the Vatican marveling at its beauty, waiting in many long queues and smuggling ourselves into Saint Peter’s basilica without a ticket (we are going to hell). The other days we explored Rome, took lots of pictures and generally overdosed on espresso; it was a GREAT trip.
3. I started a blog (and rediscovered my love for writing)
May was spent exploring the U.K a bit more with a trip to Bath with my mum and sister, doing some fun stuff in London and celebrating my dad’s 60th birthday.
And then in June I decided to start my blog. It’s something that had been on my mind for a while, and I finally just couldn’t not do it anymore! I had too many ideas and visions bouncing around in my head, and I knew it would be creatively fulfilling for me to have an outlet. It’s been such a joy rediscovering my love for writing, and I am learning new things every day; it’s definitely been one of the best decisions of 2018.
4. We went swimming in the Aegean Sea
In July we started to pack up our flat and prepare to leave London. With an international move on the horizon we knew that we wanted to do a couple more european trips, and in mid-July we took a week-long holiday to Mykonos. We swam in the crystal clear ocean, ate local delicacies, bathed in the Greek sun, read our books and generally chilled out. Oh, and I took 45978654 pictures (Mykonos is just TOO photogenic)..
It was such a relaxing trip and the perfect way to escape all of the moving madness that was going on back home. We finished off July saying farewell to London and shipping all of our earthly possessions (well two boxes worth) to our new home.
In August we spent a few weeks at my family home in Surrey where my mum and step-dad tied the knot! We’ve also been lucky enough to attend two beautiful weddings since arriving in Perth, and after a few years with absolutely none, it’s been a highlight of 2018. I LOVE weddings!
6. We explored Bordeaux
Before leaving the U.K we decided to squeeze in one last trip and on a whim booked a couple of flights to Bordeaux. As Perth’s a casual 21 hour flight away from home it seemed silly not to take advantage of our last few weeks in England and head on over to France for a few days of drinking red wine, cycling around town and practising our very rusty French (mais oui). We came home bloated from all the baguettes but ready to wave farewell to Europe and start our next adventure! You can read all about our trip here!
7. Saying goodybe to family and friends
This one is also a low point from last year; I had no idea how difficult and emotional it would be saying goodbye to everyone. Even now thinking about say bye to my family at Heathrow makes me well up.
But a few days before our flight to Australia we held a (long overdue) engagement party in my parent’s garden. We decorated it with bunting, flowers and lanterns, made sugar cookies and stayed up late drinking and dancing the night away (sorry neighbours!). Oh, and in typical British fashion it threatened to rain the entire time. It was one of the best nights from last year!
It was an emotional few days preparing to leave but seeing everyone we love in the same place made me feel so grateful for all the amazing people we have in our lives, and how we supported we were in big making this huge life change.
8. Arriving in Perth and settling into life down under!
The end of August was tear-filled and emotional but as soon as I step foot on that plane, I knew I was making one of the biggest and best decisions of my life. As the wheels left the tarmac, I waved goodbye to England and looked forward to our new lives with excitement and trepidation but mainly a deep sense that this was the right decision for us, and that good things were going to come of this move. And luckily I was proven right!
Settling into my new home and starting our new lives down under has been a huge whirlwind of emotions, but over the last few months I’ve felt more and more at home here. It’s truly a beautiful place to live and I pinch myself every (sunny) day that I am lucky enough to call Perth my new home.
9. Finally doing some Wedding planning!
After a year of being engaged but unable to firm up any details for our the wedding it was even more exciting when we finally arrived in Australia and were able to FINALLY start doing some planning! Luckily we had done a whole lot of googling whilst back in London so it was pretty easy to start getting things booked soon after we arrived.
It’s been so exciting to start making my wedding inspiration board a reality and now that the big things are ticked off the list, we can start looking forward to our big day! I’ll be writing more about wedding planning soon so keep your eyes peeled for updates!
10. Learning to deal with stress, upheaval and generally not having control a bit better
I deliberated for a while as to whether this would fall under ‘highlights’ or ‘low points’ from last year, and for a while it firmly sat under the latter. However, learning to deal with my entire life being in flux and finding some coping strategies that work for me has been on the best life lessons to come out of 2018.
I still occasionally have a mini-meltdown or days when I wake up and all the unknowns just feel so overwhelming, but mainly I feel a million times better at dealing with not knowing.
Not knowing where we will be living, not knowing whether I will find work or a stable income, not knowing whether my visa application will be approved and I’ll be allowed to stay in the country. It’s hard to not be in control or having solid answers to life’s questions, but one of the best things to come out of the last six months is being okay with that. So I’ve chosen to see the positive and put this as my number ten!