As I scarily approach Dry January (yep, we’re going to give it a try), I wanted to look back on the best moments of 2019, as there have been some truly bizarre ones in there!
8) CBD Sloth Launch
After a discussion with a colleague, it became clear that CBD was an area of incredible growth, with brands being launched every week in the UK alone. While I try my best to stand out in the travel industry, there are zero CBD bloggers in the UK and I could be the first. So I spent my evenings and weekends in March writing everything possible and contacting all the CBD brands across the country and on the 31st March 2019 it was launched!
I didn’t expect it to grow so quickly however, with meetings up and down the country with various brands, a media partnership in place for one of the biggest exhibitions in the world and an award to boot.
The site now gets over 1,000 visits per month and this is in the quiet December period, therefore I’m expecting these figures to double or triple by the early part of 2020.
7) Toboggan Run
How often do you get to say you flew down a hill on a sled pushed by two old men, it’s a weird sentence to write! But I wish I could pay to do this all day! I loved it, however it could certainly do with going a little quicker.
The toboggan run takes place in Madeira, an age old tradition and not too hefty a price either, helping to transport locals down the hill so they can quickly get to work, however now it has cemented itself as a key tourist attraction.
If you’re not so fond of flying down the hill on a sled then you can take the cable car, but I preferred to do both!
6) Freelance life
Switching from full time to freelance is scary, lonely and frustrating. At the same time, it is relaxing, rewarding and amazing once it all falls into place. Right now, I’m struggling to imagine working in an office ever again, it just seems incomprehensible. It has also offered me the time and the opportunity to seek out new ventures, whether it’s being featured on TV or taking on challenges. I plan to make 2020 a huge year and a lot of my plans simply wouldn’t work if I was limited to office hours.
If you’re considering switching to freelance, do contact me if you have any questions, I’m always more than happy to help.
5) Media Of The Year
I was nominated for Media Of The Year at the Cannabiz Summit Awards and offered a table with complimentary food and drinks; however, it was taking place in Malta so I decided it might be too costly at short notice. However, I certainly didn’t expect to win the award, as a stranger took to the stage to represent me. I do look back with a little bit of regret, as life is about taking those moments, but you live and learn and I have a great big shiny trophy in the house to look at.
Considering I’ve worked on Spaghetti Traveller for over 7 years, it feels bizarre to know my first trophy was for a website newly launched this year.
4) Cheese Rolling
This was easily one of the oddest things I’ve ever witnessed and I’m so glad I went. We videoed the event for our channel and our videos of the Cheese Rolling in Gloucester were played across the world on news channels and on newspaper websites.
Nothing can prepare you for how steep that hill is, we only got a 3rd of the way up before we decided to settle and do our best to stay still. I can 100% recommend to anyone living in the UK to head over there at some point in their lifetime, you won’t regret it.
3) Relaxing On The Kenyan Coast
Sure, it seems a long way to go just to relax by a pool or on the beach, but Kenya knows how to treat you when you’re on holiday! There was barely a moment when my hand didn’t have a pina colada in it while at the Turtle Bay hotel, while I must have put on a few pounds with the constant supply of food.
If you’d love to have a similarly relaxing break then you might want to have a read of my Kenya itinerary.
2) Madeira With The Lads
We’re all getting older but some things never change! Hanging out with my best mates in a villa, you always know it is going to get a little messy, albeit this was a time celebrating everyone at a different stage in their lives. The vast majority were in couples, one of which is engaged, we’re all grown up, but with the most childish attitudes you could ever find, we’re all kids at heart.
I was shocked how amazing Madeira was. I didn’t have the location on my list but it is now somewhere I could easily visit again. From the mountainous views to the beautiful villa and the hilarious tobogganing, Madeira has it all.
If you’d like to visit Madeira then you should have a read of my 1 week Madeira itinerary.
1) Going On A safari
How could this not be number one? The ultimate bucket list item, seeing animals up close in their own environment. An act normally limited to honeymoons. Kenya was many things for us, but our main activity was the 4 day Maasai Mara tour.
We saw the whole big 5, not to mention every other animal possible. It leaves you truly mesmerised and humble by the end. A heart warming activity that will offer you stories for the rest of your life.