I love these sort of posts. I love reading them from other bloggers and I love writing them. Reflecting (or reminiscing) is perhaps one of my favorite things to do.
It’s all too easy to worry about all of the things you want to accomplish in the coming year; to fret about all the things you need to get done before the clock strikes midnight.
But these sort of posts allows me to
indulge myself reflect on all of the things I’ve accomplished already. I’m a worrier at heart; an anxious person who thinks that I’ve never done enough. This allows me to see with my own two eyes that I’ve traveled widely, I’ve succeeded in growing my business, and I’ve written some pretty interesting stuff along the way.
I look back at this year’s travels and I cannot believe how much I’ve packed in. I know last year I said that I wanted to do more international travel in 2018 and I definitely did that.
This is the most international traveling I’ve done in a 12 month period since I traveled around Asia in 2015. I made a vow to myself that I would travel as much as I could this year and I don’t think I could have packed in any more travels without reaching burnout. I averaged one trip a month, but in reality it was more like a month without a trip, then a month with one or two trips, then a few weeks with nothing and then a mad rush of travel for a few more weeks at a time.
I’m not complaining. I loved it all. I loved the moments of peace here in Mexico City where I slept in my own bed and I worked hard from my couch and I binge-watched House of Cards and the Great British Bake-off every night before bed. I cooked my own healthy meals, I did yoga every day. I love my settled life, but I also love to disrupt it.
I love the rush of getting to the airport with enough time for an indulgent breakfast or landing in a new-to-me airport and navigating into the city center for the first time. I love trying to figure out how to buy a subway ticket in another language (spoiler: you can put most machines in Europe into English). It was SO nice to mix my travels around Mexico with international travels and it was so much fun to head back to Europe for the first time in almost a decade.
I started the year in the UK, before heading back to Mexico City. My first trip took me to a brand new country and continent, Colombia. I spent just over a week enjoying the port town of Cartagena and the beaches of Isla Grande.
Blog Posts from Cartagena:
- Best Boutique Hotels in Cartagena
- Isla Grande, Colombia: An Island Escape Near Cartagena
- Best Restaurants in Cartagena
- One Week in Colombia: A Relaxing Trip Along Colombia’s Caribbean Coast
When I got back, I spent a few days at home before heading off again for 10 days exploring Chiapas – a few days in Palenque then a few more based in San Cristobal de las Casas. Both were packed with adventure and activities and lots of fresh air.
On our last day in San Cristobal Luke and I both got food poisoning. So we slept like babies back home for one night before getting on a plane again for a week in Puerto Escondido.
Blog Posts from these trips:
- 10 Day Chiapas Itinerary
- What to Do in San Cristobal de Las Casas
- A Guide to Visiting the Palenque Ruins
- Sumidero Canyon: What You Need to Know
Then it was all about planning our summer in Europe. We were heading back to the UK to go to a few friend’s weddings and decided that in between the weddings we would travel around Europe. It’s been 10 years since Luke and I spent any real amount of time exploring continental Europe. It was tough to narrow it down to two trips, but eventually, flight prices dictated that we’d be spending a week in Berlin and 10 days exploring central Italy.
It was two of the best trips I took this year. We ate so much food in Italy and learned so much history in Berlin. They were two completely different trips, but I loved them both equally. It’s got me itching to get back to explore more in 2019.
Blog Posts from summer Europe:
- 10 Days in Italy
- What to Wear in Italy: A Summer Packing List
- Things to Do in Bologna
- 3 Days in Florence
- 2 Days in Venice
- Best Restaurants in Bologna
- Where to Eat in Florence
We got back to Mexico City in late August and then I was quickly back on a plane to New York for a week. I was pairing a trip home to visit family and friends with a travel blogging conference that was taking place in upstate New York. I learned a ton and got to explore a part of my home state that I’ve never thought of visiting before.
Finally, I was back in Mexico where I’ve been traveling around for the last three months. I’ve been taking tours around Mexico City, eating my way through tons of new restaurants, and spending long weekends visiting other parts of the country (Tepoztlan and Guadalajara).
As this post goes live I’ll be sitting on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, a new-to-me beach town that I’m excited to explore (and read an entire book on the beach and eat ceviche and drink cold beers).
Blog posts from these trips:
2018 Blogging & Freelance Writing
What a year for my beloved baby blog. This blog was initially born out of my passion for travel. I had a “more serious” website and I was dead set on building a freelance writing business for myself. But after 6 years of travel and living abroad, I still wanted an outlet to write about travel. It quickly gained far more traction that any of my other writing, so I went with it.
In the summer of 2016, I committed myself to turning this blog into my full-time income. In August of this year, just over two years after I started it, I did my last copywriting job. I now make about 80% of my income from this very blog and about 20% from amazing projects I get to do with huge international travel publications. Sometimes I can’t believe this has really happened.
This year I wrote a guidebook and I went to my first blogging conference. I have met some awesome people in the travel-sphere here in Mexico and I’ve been able to actually go on “vacation.” By that I mean I can leave my laptop at home for a week without my business crumbling to the ground. It’s a pretty amazing feeling.
I have a few really exciting projects to announce in the first half of 2019 that I believe will really take this business to the next level. I can’t wait to share them all with you.
My favorite blog posts this year about blogging and life:
- Thoughts on 8 Years Abroad and What Home Means to Me
- I Want to Travel the World: Where Do I Start?
- Two Years as a Digital Nomad: The Good, the Bad, & What’s Next
Plans for 2019
New projects, new travels, new countries. Next year is basically completely up in the air.
Other than starting the year in Ensenada, I haven’t nailed in any flights or dates or locations, but I have a lot of plans in the works.
I’m hoping to explore a little bit more of the US with friends, I want to head to Panama at some point, I still haven’t been to Copper Canyon in Mexico, I want to do an intensive month of Spanish in another Latin American country. I also have a yoga teacher training class on my radar which probably depends on a few other things that are still in the works.
So basically, I have zero plans for 2019. I know there will be plenty of travel involved. I know that I’ll still be calling Mexico City my home base for a while yet. I know there will be some fun and exciting work projects to get done and share with you all. But beyond that, there are no real solid plans for 2019, which I think is really exciting.