This year has been a bit of a funny one.
I’ve spent most of my evenings and weekends chained to my desk, earnestly squirrelling away trying to master shorthand, media law and public affairs. Lunchtimes were often spent trying to chase up people to interview for articles, while my commute home would involve me attempting to write up stories for a local newspaper.
It was a hectic 10 months, and at times I felt like I hadn’t the time to even sit still, let alone work a full-time job.
So in June, when my studies finally came to an end, I had to take stock.
For so long, I’ve worked towards a goal, whether it be getting into uni, earning my degree, or becoming a fully qualified journalist. And now that I’ve reached the end of my formal studies, it all feels a bit odd.
I’m so used to working towards something, that for the first time in my life it almost feels like I’m anchorless, just waiting for something to steer me in the right direction and give me some sort of purpose.
Although quite new to me, this drifting is actually starting to grow on me. I’m feeling a new sense of freedom – and I actually quite like it.
For once, I don’t have to stick to a rigid schedule of studying, writing and working. In other words, the blinkers are off, I’m eager to see what else is available, and I’m ready to make my own destiny.
But, in true Emily form, I like to have some goals to work towards to, even if it’s just for that wonderfully satisfying moment you tick something off of your list. So, I’ve put together 10 things I’d like to achieve by the end of the year:
1. Visit at least three new countries
In August I’ll be visiting Amsterdam for the first time, and in October I’ll be heading over to Athens. Maybe it’s me just being greedy, but I’d love to slot in a third new country before the year’s out. The three days of annual leave I have left are burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket…
2. Take a travel writing or marketing short course
Even though I’ve literally just finished my journalism diploma, I’m still on the look-out for another course to keep me occupied. I love all things travel and, since starting this blog, I’ve really got into the basics of marketing, so it makes sense to look into a course in this area. If you know of any good ones around London, please let me know!
3. Keep on going with the blog
Most – if not all – of the travel bloggers I’ve spoken to recently have spoken of how disheartened they’ve sometimes felt when they feel like no-one’s reading their blog, no matter how much effort they put into posts. I would be lying if I said I had never experienced this before. You kinda feel like, ‘Well, no-one will care if I don’t write anything this week’. But I say, so what? Who cares if I write the best blog ever to grace the interweb (unlikely) and no-one reads it apart from my mum (who was probably looking for badgerbadgerbadger.com and took a wrong turn somewhere along the way).
I write this blog because I enjoy it. I love writing about my passion, talking to other bloggers on Twitter and researching numerous hotels, holidays and travel adventures. So long as I enjoy this, I will keep blogging – hopefully for many more years to come!
4. Lose weight
I know, I know. Strictly not travel related, but it’s a goal I’ve put off for FAR too long. I’ve decided now is the time to do something about it. Now that I don’t have my course to worry about, I’m looking into taking a weekly exercise class, and making my own healthy lunches to take into work with me (should probably make ‘learn to cook’ a 2014 goal too)
5. Save money
I haven’t even finished planning my trips for 2014, and I’m already thinking about holidays for next year! So far, I’ve (semi) organised a trip to Russia and South Africa with friends – but, of course, to do this, I need money. I’d also quite like to get myself fully out of my overdraft so that everything I put to one side I know is mine for travel.
6. Try not to break my retainer again
…’cos having to shell out £450 for more braces is NOT COOL.
7. Take some day/weekend trips in England
It’s easy to forget about what’s on your doorstep when you’re constantly looking up exotic holidays to Bora Bora and the Maldives (which you CAN’T AFFORD, Emily). I’d love to visit some places around England that I’ve never been to before – including Oxford, the Lake District and Cornwall.
8. Catch up with friends
Because I’m the first to admit I’ve let this side of me slip since starting my studies…
9. Have more work published
I’ve been lucky enough to have had work published in a number of magazines and newspapers over the last few years. Now that I’ve got my journalism diploma under my belt, I feel that now is the time to really push myself to pitch to places and not be scared of rejection. I’ve proved to myself I can do, I just need to convince others…somehow.
10. Spend New Year doing something different
For the last few years I’ve spent New Year in London – which is absolutely fine, but this year I’d love to do something a bit different (if I can find something that doesn’t force me to sell a vital organ – or even worse, a cat)
So, that’s what I’ve got planned for the rest of 2014. I’d love to know what’s on your agenda!