Wednesday afternoon in New York City and I am sitting here reflecting on the year that has passed. Another year come and gone with the promise of a new year ahead. This past year has been a transformative one for me as I’ve both turned 30 (yikes!) and embarked on a new career path as Travel Editor of Culture Trip. I flew to Asia for the first time, retraced a family mystery in Colombia and had some other adventures in between. Here’s a look back…
A Year in Travel
This year alone, I traveled to Indonesia, Colombia, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Iceland, London, and France. While some trips were for pleasure (seeing Asia for the first time with my boyfriend in tow!) others were work-related and in pursuit of stories (such as exploring the dog meat trade in Bali or covering the presidential election in France). Overall, my year of travel is one I am very happy about and want to continue pushing in 2018. It has been tricky to balance travel with my return to a full-time job, but eight countries are not too shabby.
My resolution for 2018 is to solo travel as it has been quite a while since I’ve jet off somewhere completely alone. Also, I am keen to visit Sri Lanka and Guatemala next year as well as want to try and make a trip to South Africa to write about the fight to save rhinos.
A Year in Blogging
2017 was a rough year for my beloved corner of the interwebs. I struggled—and still do struggle sometimes—with finding a balance between creating travel content for my job and then for my blog. If you’ve ever sat down to write a large blog post, then you’ll know that feeling of accomplishment and exhaustion of having spent an hour or two pulling muddled thoughts out of your head and splashing them onto a screen. Now, imagine pressing publish and having to go come up with something else right away. This is how it felt to blog.
Admittedly, I burnt out on travel blogging, didn’t have time to apply or even covet blogger press trips, and stopped updating my site and working on it altogether. Typically, I will spend at least a few hours each day updating my blog, writing a post, setting up newsletters, reaching out to brands and promoting my site; but in 2017, those efforts fell to the wayside. It was only within the past month or two that I have had a reignited love for my blog and realized that I simply cannot and will not let this blog collapse. At the end of the day, this website is my creation entirely. No one paid me to start this, no one told me how to write a blog or set up a page. The Pin the Map Project is entirely of my own imagination and that is worth preserving.
My resolution for 2018 is to keep up my blog and hit the ground running with it again. Expect more posts, weekly newsletters, more videos, more press trips and just more more.
A Year in Personal Health & Wellness
Health and wellness have been a theme of 2017 for me as I have officially crossed the threshold from my twenties to my thirties. I’ve tried to tackle my anxiety head on this year by learning ways to manage stress and in the moment anxiety through natural and healthy remedies. Basically, this means I am now a firm believer in the powers of lavender oil and a hot cup of kava tea. I have also made a concerted effort to work out more, eat healthier (no more red meat!) and drink less (which is really just a byproduct of me being too old to handle hangovers). It’s an ongoing effort and one that (admittedly) I forget when in the presence of a bottle of wine and cheese board.
My resolution in 2018 is to keep fighting the good fight for my health and wellness and to listen to myself. To know my limitations (no, I do not want to take shots at 1 am in the morning) but to also know when to push myself outside my comfort zone (yes, I will visit India even if I am irrationally afraid of getting sick there).
A Year in Love
I consider myself very lucky in love because I have found a wonderful man in my partner, Jeff. I have had my fair share of relationships and (no offense to the ghosts of boyfriends past) but this is the first relationship that just feels mature, adult and wonderful.
It is with no exaggeration that I say I am happy every day in my relationship and look forward until I am back home with Jeff and our tabby cat, Peeps. Jeff is my favorite travel companion and exploring Asia with him this year was an experience I’ll always remember fondly.
My 2018 resolution is to simply never take for granted the people I love in my life.
A Year in Career
Starting my job at Culture Trip back in September 2016 and now passing my one year mark has been an adventure in and of itself. My journey at Culture Trip started with the utmost optimism as I would (literally) skip working with a smile plastered on my face. For someone who had freelance wrote for years on the side of an advertising career, all the while desperate to break into editorial, it was a dream come true to land this job.
Flash forward a year+ later and I still feel very lucky to have landed this job and broken into the editorial industry officially. Since joining Culture Trip, I have been on three press trips to Indonesia, Colombia, and Iceland and have been invited to speak on Cheddar News, the New York Times Travel Show, Women in Travel Fest and Women in Travel Summit. As I am well past that initial “Holy Shit, I’m a travel editor!” feeling, I am learning more and more about the nuances of editing and the many ups and downs of working in an industry that is constantly changing, downsizing and shifting towards multimedia.
My resolution in 2018 is to keep growing my travel writing and editorial career and to put myself out there more! Whether this means speaking at conferences, attending more networking events or simply saying hello to an editor I admire.
Your turn! What are some of your resolutions for 2018?