Sunday, 31 December 2017

Passion And Purpose

2017. I'm sure I say the same every year but honestly, what a year it's been. 

Starting with the positives, a standout highlight was my first trip to Southeast Asia to explore Vietnam and a small part of Cambodia, a trip which I enjoyed so much more than I thought possible.  I loved everything about it - the food, the people, the beautiful sights of Halong Bay, Sapa rice terraces and temples of Angkor Wat, just to name a few. At 27 I worried I'd left it too late to embark on my first backpacker trip but I was truly surprised at how easy it was to embrace the traveller lifestyle and not give age a second thought.

Letting go

Looking back, I can see that 2017 is the year where I finally relaxed about friendships, accepting that they don't all last forever and that's ok. If a friendship is meant to be, you'll make the time to keep in touch regardless of distance or time apart. I've had some great times with old and new friends - laughing more this year than I ever have before.

But with the highs there have also been lows. The hardest being the passing of family members and the complicated process of coming to terms with such losses. I won't dwell too long here as grief is a tricky thing to talk about but I take comfort knowing they are no longer suffering.

Hanging in limbo 

2017 was also a year of uprooting. The first six months were spent organising and preparing - emotionally and physically to move out of our family home - my childhood home of 27 years. The move was a massive change for my family but I realise I used it as an excuse to put off making decisions in my own little world - career, personal life, you know the drill. Of the goals and lifestyle changes I vowed to make at the start of 2017, hardly any stuck past the first few months of the year through no one's fault but my own.

Embracing change 

So now, on the last day of 2017 I write this post in a not so new place which has gradually grown to feel like home. Feeling settled again, and eager to make the most out of the new year, I am energised and motivated to take responsibility, do away with the excuses and start making things happen.

So what exactly do I want from the new year? 2018 will be the year where I pursue passion and purpose. I stumbled upon these words in an article just a few weeks ago but they have stuck in my mind ever since. No 'new year, new me'. Just refusing to fall back into a rut of limbo and indecisiveness. I will continually think about what excites and motivates me and look for ways to make changes - big or small, to push myself and do more. 


And in the spirit of the new year, I leave a few links which have fuelled my pursuit of passion and purpose:

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Handy Handbag

Today I return to the blog to rave about an impulse buy turned everyday staple.

A few months back I realised I was missing a smaller handbag which would fit just the essentials for evenings out and running errands. To further justify a new purchase, I thought about my trusty work backpack which though perfect for carrying supplies for the 9-5 was not so practical when trying to reach for items on the go.

In a moment of genius I convinced myself that carrying a second smaller bag would remedy this problem nicely. Some ASOS browsing later I found a contender, the ASOS Croc Boxy Cross Body bag and hit order minutes later. The rest is history!

Although small in size, the boxy shape means I can pack in the essentials and keep things organised. No rooting around for the oyster card or keys here. I was further sold by the details; a faux croc exterior and silver chain strap. I favour silver jewellery this days and not one for mixing metals liked how easily I could throw this bag on without having to cut down on other accessories.

Best of all, it was easy on the bank balance costing just £20. Winning both on price and details, this really is a handy little bag to have to hand.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Hello 2017

Wow, didn't 2016 just fly by. Despite the shocks and divisions it brought us, I had a good personal year overall.

I've stopped making rigid new year's resolutions but still like to use the time to reflect on my habits and figure out which areas need improvement and will lead to a more balanced lifestyle. 

In 2017 I want to work out consistently, i.e at least 3 times a week, including a 5-10k run. With so many great workouts available on YouTube and Instagram I enjoy the flexibility of working out at home and at my own pace but I also want to try out (and stick to) a group class like spinning or yoga.

I also want to continue working on my blog and publish more consistently. I'm constantly drafting up posts but do find it difficult to finish a lot of them straight away. Plus the pressure of taking Pinterest-worthy images when photography is just not my thing sometimes puts me off. I think if I just sit down and dedicate some time to learn about photography and basic photo editing it will slowly become less of a concern.

2016 was a good year for travel. I work full time so have to plan trips over the year but was pleased to visit 5 countries. I'm excited to plan a trip to Southeast Asia later in the year, and squeeze in as many European getaways as I can!

The final goal is to make better use of my free time. Less online browsing and more doing. Whether that's through reading, working on the blog or sticking to my newly created workout schedule, I just want to channel as much of my energy on positive and constructive things.

I really am excited to channel the new year and make 2017 my best yet. Hope it's yours too. 

Happy New Year!