So long 2015; its been a blast

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It seems fitting that as we move into a new year I take the opportunity to reignite my blog with a refection on the last 12 months. I have to say, I am quite sad to see the back of 2015 – it has filled my life with some fantastic opportunities and amazing memories.

Firstly, I have travelled more than i ever had before. I ended 2014 in Amsterdam, followed by a trip to Egypt a week later where I went diving with sharks on the Brothers Islands.

Then, in March i went to New York with my niece – i love, love, love this city and it was amazing to fly in a helicopter over the bright lights, watch another show on Broadway and finally go ice-skating in central park.

May saw my first experience of Eurovision and boy did I love it. I went my a friend from work, it was an impromptu trip but we managed to squeeze in sightseeing in 2 cities and a night at the Song contest too. We’ve already booked our tickets for Sweden in 2016!

In June I finally went away with the hubby (and another 20 friends) on our annual summer diving holiday to Hurghada, Egypt. I love spending time in this place with the people i now call my friends. We’ve already booked our return summer trip for 2016 too.

There was a short 3 weeks break and i was out of the country again, in July, with a once in a lifetime opportunity to the Maldives. This place was absolute paradise and it was here I got to swim with sharks, turtles and a whole horde of giant manta rays. I was literally speechless for most of the holiday and anyone who knows me, knows this is unheard of!

The next trip was a work related one, and I travelled to Changsha in the Hunan province of China. China is a country that I would never have chosen to visit but the experience really opened my eyes and I really enjoyed finding out about the Chinese culture, meeting staff and students studying at the University there and finding out more about life on the other side of the world to me.

I then travelled to Vegas a week later with another work mate and I have to say, this was one of the highlights of my year. We took a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and landed on the side of the Colorado river for a champagne picnic. This was one place on my bucket list but it was somewhere I never expected to want to come back to, but its safe to say that I will be making a return visit one day in the future. There’s still half a strip to explore and even more shopping to be done!

It was really nice to spend Christmas at home this year, after all the travelling, I was definitely looking forward to a rest, but I’ve already got itchy feet and am looking at holidays for the later half of 2016 – I most definitely have the travelling bug!

So, its fair to say that 2015 has taken me far and wide, to places I have never been before and to places I definitely want to visit again. It hasn’t all been bright lights, big cities,  fun and games. There have been days Ive cried and days I’ve been so mad and couldn’t wait for it to end. But I know that I am so lucky to be experiencing the life I have, the opportunities I have been given are not for everyone and I know that.

I didn’t actually manage to stick to any of the goals I set myself in 2015 – I was 2 books short of reading 52 this year, so Im not counting that as a complete fail – but do you know what, I actually don’t care about the goals I haven’t achieved, because I know that I have had one hell of a year with the people I love, doing the things I love, and I am so lucky to be ending the year saying so long 2015; its been a blast.

 

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The one with the bucket list update

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As I am approaching another birthday, I thought it was fitting to evaluate how i am getting on with my bucket list, if for no other reason than to give myself a little kick up the bum to actually do some more of this stuff!

Well, after a quick scan, it is safe to say I have not quite achieved as much as I would have liked to but boy, have I had a good time trying.

Now, I am still yet to make someone laugh so hard a little wee comes out, and although I haven’t set myself a specific goal of doing this (honest) I have decided that I should be funny around my pregnant colleague as my success rate might be slightly higher with her (so I hope!).

I also haven’t yet had champagne and strawberries in a posh place, or took a ride in a hot air balloon. I mean, these are not that far out there as far as lifetime goals go, but I have not yet managed to do it! What i have done is visit Paris and Amsterdam (tick Anne Frank’s house) I have booked a flight to Vegas, a helicopter ride across the Grand Canyon and I’ve travelled along the longest zip wire in Europe.

The one thing that is concerning me though, is Cliff Richard’s autograph. I mean, I am going to his 70th Anniversary concert with my mother next week – so I’m hoping to just casually bump into him outside the Royal Albert Hall, and be like, “yo, Cliff, give us your signature, mate” – but if this plan fails, i am massively running out of time – i mean he is 70 and hes parading around that stage like an 18 year old, he’s a high risk case for pulling a muscle.

On a more serious note though, I actually have just over 3 years left to achieve the rest of my list and when i wrote it i genuinely had no idea of how fast time goes. Like, it literally zooms by and before you know it, its over. So, I am going to make sure that I enjoy every single second of it. Life is precious and way to short.

So, if you’re reading this now, Go, make that list, set some goals and have the best time ever achieving them.

I might not be quite where I had planned in terms of number of ticks yet, but boy I am having fun working my way through them!

The one with the 2015 Goals

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Once again I have done my usual of falling off the face of the Earth when it comes to the blogging world. It seems every time life gets a little hectic, I end up MIA! I have so many posts to edit and actually put out there it is unreal!

So here I go with the first one. My 2015 Goals – I hope that by starting at this point it might actually help when it comes to more frequent blogging!

So yes, it is 2015, a brand new year. I literally cannot believe how fast the year has gone. Actually, it is almost the end of January, so not only has the year flown by, the last month has, and once again I am a little late to the party.

Anyways, in the spirit of better late than never, I thought I would share with you my 2015 resolutions. Then I decided, what’s the point in making resolutions, as I don’t really feel any sense of guilt if I don’t stick to them. I don’t really want the year to pass me by without feeling a sense (or no sense in some cases) of achievement, so I thought maybe a better thing to do would be to set myself some goals. 15 to be precise. Its 5 more than the 10 resolutions I made last year (too many of which I definitely did not stick to), but this year I feel I have a much higher success rate, as I hate failing and if it’s a goal then I will be stubborn enough to do my damned hardest to succeed.

So here I go with my 15 goals: (starting from today I have decided, as there is no point trying to back date them, and nobody wants to be set up to fail from that start!)

  1. Read 52 books in 52 weeks (See 52 book challenge to check my progress)
  2. Tick 8 things off my Bucket List (see 30 things to do before I am 30)
  3. Complete my 200th scuba dive
  4. Drink no more than 1 Starbuck’s coffee a week (unless I am on holiday when it is allowed!)
  5. Update my blog once/twice a week
  6. Get fit (not sure how to measure this one, but ill figure something out!)
  7. Make an entire outfit from head to toe
  8. Go the gym at least twice a week (this will help with no 6.)
  9. Spend a month not a penny in my overdraft (buying less Starbuck will definitely help with this!)
  10. Save £20-£40 a month for Christmas so I am not broke in December and January (this happens every year and I never learn!)
  11. Say something I am happy/thankful for, for 100 days (See 100 happy days)
  12. Spend more time with family and friends, and less time behind my office desk
  13. Save an extra £1 every week and actually keep it in my savings account. (eg week 1 save £1, week 2 save £2, week 10 save £10!)
  14. Loose a lb a week (of the weight variety) in time for my summer holiday!
  15. Live life to the full (not so much a measurable target, but this should be a life goal for everyone)

Now I’ve made my goals I have to stick with them! Like anything, some will be easier than others. But as usual I will keep you updated with my progress! Or at least I say I will…

So, I guess I better decide which 8 things I am going to tick of my bucket list, whilst driving to the gym, before updating my blog and putting some money in my saving account, and eating my delicious and nutritious salad of course…because I am totally not still sat behind my office desk, wishing I was going out for a takeaway!

The one with The Bucket List: 30 things to do before I am 30

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Recently I saw on a blog I follow (Lifebeinggirly.com) a post called ‘Goals of Summer’ and it got me thinking about all the things I want to do. Of course, like most people, I have a Bucket List – I mean it’s not actually written down, but it is continuously growing in my head and I am worried that if I don’t start putting some of my hopes and dreams into action soon, I’m going to run out of time. (Like, I’m not planning on going anywhere just yet, but you know, there’s so much out there in the world and actually very little time in comparison.)

So I have decided to split them up into more easily measurable goals – this way I have a bit more of an impending deadline, as opposed to waiting until I, well you know, ‘kick the bucket’. (for you realists out there, I know this can in fact happen at any time – but just go with me on this one, I am trying to manage my expectations!)

So, here it goes, part one of my Bucket List: 30 things to do before I am 30:

1. Go to Paris.

2. Visit Anne Frank’s house.

3. Go on the longest zip wire in Europe.

4. Have strawberries and champagne (in a posh place.)

5. Go on the London Eye.

6. Have a long weekend camping in a VW Camper Van.

7. Make my own swim wear

8. Get Cliff Richard’s autograph for my mum.

9. Make a pair of high heeled shoes.

10. Own a pair of Louboutin shoes. 🙂

11. Go to Vegas.

12. See the Grand Canyon.

13. Write a novel.

14. Have a month not in my overdraft (probably not going to happen if I do all these things!)

15. Learn how to make cakes (like proper ones – with icing and all that jazz!)

16. Have a successful blog.

17. Go on the underground trampoline.

18. Climb Ben Nevis.

19. Go to Isle of Sky.

20. Watch Top Gun.

21. Fit into my size 10 skinny jeans.

22. Be fluent in Welsh.

23. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

24. Ride on a Gondola.

25. Be a child for the day (going to Disneyland Paris counts, right?)

26. Conquer a fear (get back on the horse, literally)

27. Learn how to make cocktails (like, on a proper course!)

28. Make someone laugh so hard a little wee comes out!

29. Dance the night away.

30. Take a ride in a Hot Air Balloon

There it is, my first bucket list – so I will admit are a little ambitious. How on earth I am getting hold of Cliff Richard’s autograph is beyond me, but I will spend the next 4-and-a-bit years doing my very best to cross that and the other 29 things off my list. The whole reason I made it up Kilimanjaro was due to my stubbornness. If I set my mind to something, there is nothing that will get in my way, and I will be dammed if the very first thing to do that is Cliff bloody Richard.

Watch this space. I’ll keep you updated.  🙂