My Yearly Recap | 2018
Another year is almost over, and as I prepare to go on hiatus over the festive season, I’m taking a look back over the past twelve months. The biggest thing that has happened to me this year is our big move out of Manchester to the countryside. It seems crazy that it’s been over a year since our offer was accepted on our house, nine months since we moved out of our old house, and seven whole months since we officially moved into our new home! So much has changed in my daily life, and I’ve honestly never been happier. It’s strange to think that we haven’t always lived here!
Of course, there have been other events over the past 12 months - it hasn’t all been renovations and settling in. I’ve managed to squeeze in plenty of travels and weekends away, I’ve made new friends, and I’m really pleased at how my work is progressing. I’ve wrote articles, taken photos and collaborated with some dream clients this year, and I’m excited to see what 2019 brings for my freelance work & my blog. I’ll talk more about my plans for the year ahead in the new year, but there is hopefully plenty of travel on the cards!
So here it is - a recap of my 2018 and all the moments that mattered.
JANUARY - MARCH
2018 started slowly, with long walks in the countryside and lazy days spent indoors. Towards the middle of the month, we headed to the Forest of Dean for a weekend of disconnecting from technology. Staying in a Shepherd’s Hut surrounded by friendly alpacas, we spent a couple of days exploring our surroundings. The next few weeks were consumed with filling out paperwork, packing boxes and constant phone calls to our solicitor as we prepared to move out of the house we’d lived in for almost nine years. I’m not going to lie - this entire process was incredibly stressful and time-consuming and I won’t be repeating it in a hurry! In the midst of the chaos, we treated ourselves to a long weekend away and returned to Oslo, where we shunned the city itself in favour of a blissful few days sledging and walking in the forest. I also managed to squeeze in a relaxing weekend in the Lake District with friends, cooking delicious meals together and taking long walks in the hills. Then, at the beginning of March, we finally handed in the keys to our old house and moved in with Dave’s parents for a few months as we prepared to renovate our new home.
Places visited: Forest of Dean, Oslo, Lake District
Blog post to read: Learn more about our decision to move to the countryside in this blog post
APRIL - JUNE
April, May and June were completely consumed with our house renovations. Seemingly every spare minute was spent at our new house, organising workmen, painting the walls and working in the garden. At the time, it felt like we would never finish, and every time we set a moving-in date, something seemed to happen to push it back. We spent this time mainly living with Dave’s parents, an hour’s drive from our house. I was spending a couple of days a week staying with friends in Manchester, and most weekends we were staying with friends in our new town to enable us to spend more time on the house. We eventually finished the downstairs, bathroom and our bedroom mid-June, and finally moved in just in time to enjoy the start of a heatwave that lasted all summer long. The only trip I managed to take in this time was a long bank holiday weekend jaunt to the Gower peninsula in south Wales with a group of friends. We spent four days camping, walking on the cliffs, sunbathing on the beach, sitting around a bonfire at night and even swimming in the sea.
Places visited: Gower peninsula
Blog post to read: I wrote about the battle of comparing yourself to other people back in May, and this remains one of my favourite posts I’ve wrote this year.
JULY - SEPTEMBER
This past summer was utterly blissful. Months on end of scorching sunshine and warm temperatures providing us with the perfect first summer in our new home. I spent as much time outdoors as possible, basking in the sunshine, enjoying late night picnics on the hill and indulging in plenty of wild swimming. The weather provided us with the perfect excuse to get out and explore our new neighbourhood, and we quickly found our new favourite spots. I also travelled quite a bit over these months, starting with a blissful trip to Sardinia with a group of my best friends. We spent a week relaxing in the sunshine, swimming in the sea and eating delicious Italian food, providing me with the break I’d been craving. I then managed to squeeze in a trip to Brighton to visit my best friend, where we swam in the sea as the sun set and made the most of the hottest day of the year. I also visited north Wales for a few nights camping by the coast with Dave and Evie, and returned to one of my favourite festivals, End of the Road, with a large group of friends.
Places visited: Sardinia, Brighton, north Wales, End of the Road festival
Blog post to read: You can read my thoughts on seasonal living and how to embrace the seasons here.
OCTOBER - DECEMBER
Autumn began with a trip to Croatia with my best friend, quickly swapping the busy streets of Dubrovnik for the tranquility of the island of Mljet. This was one of my favourite trips of the year, as I truly embraced slow travel. We spent our days cycling around the lakes, stopping occasionally to swim, and our evenings were spent by the water, dining on freshly caught seafood, sipping wine and catching up. The next few weeks, we finished more work on our house, decorating the stairs, landing and small spare room. I also found time for plenty of walks, and we seemed to have a constant stream of friends visiting us. I also spent a lovely weekend in Bristol, visiting a couple of my bloggers friends and dining at a delicious supper club. At the beginning of November, we flew to Norway to visit Bergen for the first time. I instantly fell in love with the small, creative city as we spent our time wandering its cobbled streets, walking in the forest and taking a boat trip on a fjord. Then it was suddenly December, and the year started to draw to a close as we decorated our house for the festive period and invited friends over for cosy nights by the fire.
Places visited: Croatia, Bergen, Bristol
Blog post to read: In the wake of our renovations, I delved into the subject of what makes a house a home.