You may or may not know, but the number 17 is kind of my lucky number. As the year approached; I along with many others declared internally ‘This is going to be my year!’, and you know what…it actually kind of was. Despite laughing at all the memes of people being run over and K.O’d by this year, I can honestly say on the whole in my little corner, it’s been pretty awesome.
I went to some shows, saw new cities, took on new challenges, and picked myself up whenever I fell down. I even went on a few dates! Which was the biggest shocker; there’s hope for me yet!
Here’s a recap:
January saw me turning 24. I started off the New Year with a pretty bad cold which in hindsight was likely the flu, but by my birthday I was fine. I visited home, caught up with family and saw one of my all-time favourites JoJo in concert. I got my first contracted freelance gig and on the whole, I felt very adult.
It would appear nothing happened this month, according to the extremely limited photo evidence in my phone. I imagine I was quite stretched between my full time job and my part time one; hashtags, social platforms and comments were all I thought about.
A family trip to Jamaica! The Sunshine was much needed. On this visit I met family on my Grandfather’s side that I hadn’t met before. They live at the very pinnacle of St Ann’s in a place called St Dacre. As we drove there I almost lost my breakfast on several occasions. The views from up there were quite spectacular, and whilst I would never describe myself as someone who was scared of heights, I wouldn’t revisit in a hurry. Meeting halfway, or perhaps if they want to come down the mountain, that would be just fine by me.
Saw a return to reality, working in the Netherlands. Coming back after any break is always a bit satiating I think, but reuniting with friends and having these views definitely softened the blow.
With summer around the corner, it was time to try a health kick. During my time in Netherlands my Batavus bike very quickly became an extension of me. I usually cycle everywhere, which whilst does burn some calories, I thought not enough. I ditched my wheels for a while to walk to work, and around more in general. I also attempted to eat better.
I travelled to Amsterdam with friends to see another absolute fave in concert – Ariana Grande! It was everything I wanted and MORE. I get so hyped at shows it’s a bit crazy, but I forewarned my fellow attendees of this so all was fine.
I helped throw a surprise bachelorette party which was wonderful to be part of, and a long time friend visited me that same weekend. We revelled in the festivities and travelled to Brussels to see Shawn Mendes. It was wonderful. I practically voice noted myself the whole concert for posterity. Here are some snippets. We explored the city in sweltering sun, and I got a poster for my wall. What more could anyone want?
Brought a friggin’ heatwave! I live in a loft conversion, so however hot it was outside on the ground, climb two flights of stairs and multiple your body temperature by 10, and that was how hot I felt constantly. Everything costs a fortune in Maastricht so I was adamant that I was not buying a fan. After a few weeks, I caved and had to by one. A friend from London came to visit and I showed her my stomping ground. I attended my first international wedding in Luxembourg! It was beautiful, I cried, as expected. Love is beautiful, as was the setting. A castle where the bride grew up. This is the calibre of friends I’ve made out here.
Onwards to Milano on a stupendous holiday deal which totaled €150! I always have to say this because I can’t really believe it! Flights, transfer AND hotel; and it was a friggin nice hotel. This mini trip was to celebrate my buddy Mareike’s birthday and it was so wonderful. Beautifully sunny, incredible food, and wine just flowing at every opportunity. Just the way I like it. We rented a car, which is a regular thing to many people, but to simple ole’ me never having done this before; my mind was mind blown! I still seem to remember a lot of specifics on this given how choked up I recall being about this car rental so I think I might actually do a separate post on it.
July brought indulgence of West Side Story at an Open Air Theatre, my one year lociversary, and another little trip. This time not quite as good a deal, but just as fun. Dublin! Here I met up with an old school friend in the airport, just like in a movie. We stayed at an AirBnB run by a sweet couple and explored the city by bus on our LeapCards. Being the crazy cultured cats that we are, we took in two shows during our days there, ‘Room’ on our first and ‘Once’ on our last. Between these we took in many many ciders. From Dublin I made the journey home to London. A surprise visit to as no one knew I was coming; I was bubbling with excitement the whole way. The sunshine continued, I caught up with friends and family, and really enjoyed the flying trip.
This month brought another anniversary; one year working in the Netherlands, making it officially the longest amount of time I’ve worked anywhere. Quite the milestone. A few friends and I drove to Aachen for sushi to celebrate. I definitely have never had as much sushi in my life, as I have had whilst living here. I took a day trip to Amsterdam with my friend Rebecca to see a bit more of the city. I did a couple of commissions this month and started Kickboxing classes at my workplace.
I got on the smallest ricketiest plane of my life this month from Amsterdam to Nottingham for a uni friend’s wedding! Accidentally bought a Skillshare membership. Got addicted to Felicity, and it was amazing. Fell in love and obliterated it. Sustained my first kickboxing injury, it was honourable although very upsetting. Oktoberfest!! Legit, one of the best nights of the year for many reasons.
I took part in Inktober for the first time! Only made it to day 11, making something everyday was freaking hard, but also showed me what I am capable of. If I could manage a one day turn around if only for a little while, there’s no reason I couldn’t manage a week long turn around! (*cough cough* Youtube *cough cough*) Regardless it was fun to do, and I look forward to trying again next year, with more gusto, time on my hands, and a plan of attack.
Signed up for NaNoWriMo but hardly even put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard. Will try again in a different setting. Visited Cologne for the first time on the day of Carnaval! It was a miserable freezing day but I was beyond impressed with turnout and commitment of party goers. When we arrived at 10 people were already drunkenly roaming the streets in full costume. It was amazing. The city was littered with bottles and it was crazy but I also appreciated it so much. Definitely will be taking part next year. Saw the city a bit and came back to Maastricht for drinks in an underground secret bar, which was just as mysterious and heady as it sounds. Bought a lechturum to begin Bullet Journaling and take control of my life. LOL LOL LOL.
Brought the countdown to another family trip, and a well wanted break from the routine. This month my addiction to cosmetics moved from online to real life. Every now and again I get to urge to buy makeup and trying making more of an effort with myself and appearance. December was heavy on this also in prep for the Christmas Party. The long awaited shindig. A very messy but also liberating night. Closed some chapters and opened a few others! Visited Aachen Christmas Market and heading home at the end of this month to bring in the New Year in London at on Old School RnB and Hip Hop party!
christmas drinks at Sausalitos!
I’m all about goal setting. I usually set a bajillion, and do not hit many, if any. This year, I’m setting less but they’re more important. I’m not going to post them publicly, but I have written them down so I can hold myself accountable. Maybe at the end of the year if I make it, I can do a post looking back at what was achieved. But ultimately, I’m moving into the New Year excited for what’s to come. Let’s see what we can make happen.