Can you believe 2018 is almost over? I swear I blinked and this entire year flew by. Where did it go?
It really hit me in November. I was looking at something I wanted to do this year and found myself thinking, “Oh, no problem. I’ll just do it later.” But then I realized, there was no later! This was November. The year was over and later was now.
So even though I swear 2018 barely happened, it turns out I did do quite a lot throughout the year.
Care for a recap? I knew you would!
January marked the end of my official first year as a full time freelance writer! Even though I quit my 9 to 5 in October 2016, I spent November in Vietnam and December doing Christmas stuff in Vancouver and Toronto. So I didn’t really start freelancing fully until January 2017, making 2018 my one year freelance-iversary!
There were also some low points in January 2018. Colin’s grandmother passed away and my New Zealand flight deal got cancelled.
The big highlight of February was spending a weekend at the coziest log cabin in Hope, BC. After letting go of my New Zealand dreams, I was craving a little travel. So Colin suggested we do a weekend trip. And we managed to find the most adorable log cabin in Hope, complete with views and a huge tub. It snowed all weekend, which suited us just fine!
March 2018 was a pretty big month. We took off to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit Colin’s cousins, watch a Canucks game and celebrate Colin’s birthday. It was nice to break up a rainy Vancouver spring with a little Arizona sunshine.
We also booked our tickets to Southeast Asia (!!!) and I decided to take this blog public.
April was another big month where we set off on our 10 day trip to Ireland. We had been planning this trip since August 2017, and it was finally here! We loved drinking Guinness in Dublin, climbing around Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, marvelling at the Cliffs of Moher and eating the best food in Cork. If you haven’t been before, I highly suggest you get to Ireland!
We also celebrated our third anniversary in April and took in the Sedin twins’ last home game as Canuck players. I loved surprising Colin with those tickets!
We thought we’d take it easy in May 2018 after our big Ireland trip, but turns out that wasn’t the case. We headed off to Austin, Texas just a week after Ireland thanks to an insane flight deal. Austin was all about BBQ and lots of fun. And when we got back from Texas, we headed up to Whistler! It was so fun to go axe throwing, eat all the Cows ice cream, and walk Ellie around Lost Lake. And I got to go to the P!nk concert in May!
In June, I headed to Hawaii with my good friend, Cassie, for a girls trip. It was super fun to see Hawaii, a place I had never been before, and enjoy all of the delicious food they had to offer. Back in Vancouver, Colin and I took in a basketball game and visited the Richmond Night Market with friends. And we booked our Europe tickets for October! You just can’t pass up these kind of flight deals.
July began with one of my favourite family traditions: spending a long weekend at Pender Harbour. We had a bit of rain this year, but it was still a blast to sit out by the fire, watch the horseshoe tournament, and enjoy a weekend with family.
We rolled into August partway through our 30 days of sugar free eating. This was our big challenge of 2018 and I’m proud to say that we made it. Though I’m not sure it has had any lasting effects on us…
August was a pretty smoke-filled month in BC, so we spent a lot of time hiding from the grey skies. We also started thinking about a potential move to Europe in the future.
September 2018 started off perfectly with a couple days of camping at Porteau Cove. We went at the best time. It was right after Labour Day, so all of the kids and crowds were gone. And we managed to catch the only few days between the smoke and the rain. We had a blast!
We also began making some plans towards our big move to the UK in 2019.
October 2018 was all about Europe! First, Colin and I set off for just over a week in London and Iceland. And then, 10 days later, I met my dad for a week in Amsterdam and Paris. To say this month was a whirlwind would be a huge understatement. I think I was jet lagged for most of it. But it was also incredible. Even though I have been to all of these places before, it was amazing to go back and experience them with my favourite guys. And how could I ever say no to London, my favourite city, or Amsterdam, my old home?
November was a time for rest. After a crazy October, I needed to buckle down and get back to work. I won’t lie – I definitely struggled to stay motivated and on task during November. It’s hard to go from gallivanting through Europe to sitting at a desk during a grey Vancouver winter. But luckily, we did have some sunny days, I went on some awesome friend dates, and we got to decorate for Christmas!
And here we are in December! This month has felt busy with Christmas activities and buckling down to finish some work. We’re off to Toronto on December 21st for a week with my family (spoiler: I’m writing this before we leave). I’m really excited to see my family and friends back in Toronto, and to bring Colin home for Christmas with me. And then we’ll be back in Vancouver in time to ring in the new year!
For us, 2018 was supposed to be about settling. After a crazy 2017 where we moved in together, adopted a dog and bought our first house, we really wanted to just stay still for a little while. We didn’t want any major life changes. And I think we did pretty good! Yes, we (or I) travelled quite a bit. But we didn’t move or adopt anything, so I think we did all right.
Even though we didn’t have any major life changes (or maybe because we didn’t), 2018 was still full of lots of ups and downs for me. I love looking back at all of the fun things we did, places we went and challenges we accomplished (no sugar!). But I also know I struggled a lot with living a more fixed life and finding the motivation to work from home every day.
How did I do on my 2017 predictions?
At the end of 2017, I made a few predictions for what 2018 would have in store for me. So let’s see how I did!
Career-wise, I didn’t set myself any concrete goals. I basically wanted to get better at what I do and strengthen my relationship with clients. I wanted to find more routine and get used to my home office. I’d give myself a passing grade on this. I definitely feel a lot closer with some of my longterm clients and I was able to onboard some new clients, which is a big freelance win. And while I do feel that I’ve grown, I don’t know that I’ve managed to make more money (likely because of all of those trips I took…) or that I’ve found a great routine in working from home yet. These are things I’ll be looking to work on in 2019!
On the travel front, I was predicting Ireland in April 2018 and a trip home to Toronto for Christmas. Check and check! I also thought we might do Arizona for Colin’s birthday, which we did. But I had no idea we would add Hope, Austin, Whistler, Hawaii and Europe again – twice! I love booking trips and making travel plans so it really is no surprise that I added some more trips to 2018. I’d say the biggest surprise would have to be the two Europe trips in the fall.
2017 was a big year and I predicted that 2018 would be our time to sit back and enjoy all of the big changes we had just made. And, I was right. We’ve spent a lot of time enjoying our pup and our new home. I love living with Colin. And even though I grumble about it, I do love our home in Surrey and think we made the right choice buying where and when we did. Because I didn’t have any huge life goals for 2018, I had hoped to work on the smaller things like date nights, meal planning and going to the gym. I’d say that I did work on those things but they’re still works in progress.
What’s coming up in 2019?
2019 is going to be a big year for us! We’re starting it off with a bang with our trip to Southeast Asia. I am super excited to travel to Southeast Asia again and see some brand new countries. I’m also really excited for Colin to visit Asia for the first time.
My mom is moving out to BC in the new year, so that’s going to be really exciting to have her nearby. I haven’t lived near family for eight years now, so it’s going to be a nice change. I’m excited for all of our sushi and poke dates!
In 2019, we also have some weddings to attend and I’m hoping we get to do some more local travel. I’d love to visit my friend Emilie in Victoria, head up to Kelowna to see Colin’s brother, and go down to Seattle for a weekend. I’m also keeping my eyes peeled for any Vegas deals!
And then in late summer/early fall, we’re planning to move to the UK to start our 1+ year of living and working abroad! I am so excited for this big adventure we’re embarking on. There’s a ton that we have to do in order to get ready for the move – and I’ll be sure to update you along the way here on the blog – but I’m sure all of the hoops we have to jump through will be well worth it.
As for predictions, I don’t know that I have too many. Most of the big stuff that we’re doing next year is already set in stone. But maybe I’ll give myself a few goals to achieve:
- Go on a hike. I’m really not much of a hiker so this is ambitious. But we live in Vancouver, so I really need to take advantage of our natural beauty.
- Speaking of Vancouver, I want to do some more local sightseeing. Since we’re planning to leave Vancouver in 2019, I want to take advantage of our time here and play tourist in my own backyard.
- Go on a local North American trip in the spring or summer.
- Do something really cool for my birthday. I love to travel on my birthday so maybe a local trip then?
- Earn 25% more than I did in 2018. I have a few other freelance goals to do with growing my business, but I’ll keep those under wraps for now. You can learn more about my work here.
- Get into a better work routine. I want to work from a cafe, library or co-working space at least once a week. I want to be more accountable when it comes to my to-do list.
- Get into a better life routine. I’m talking about making time to floss, stretch, work out, meal prep, go on dates and meditate.
- I want to give myself a goal of reading one book per month! I know 12 books over the year isn’t much, but I swear I’m still working on the same book from 2017. I love reading and really want to dedicate more time to it.
- Return to a more minimalist lifestyle. I used to be able to fit my whole life into two suitcases. I kind of miss those days! They say when you live in a bigger home, you accumulate more stuff. I would love to pare down our things, especially since we’re moving and won’t be able to store or bring all of it.
- Keep in better touch with friends. Whether that’s snail mail, Skype calls or dinners, I just want to do a better job of staying in touch with my friends, near and far. And I want to motivate myself to make new friends once we’re in the UK.
- Continue to blog regularly. I want to be posting at least once a week and making some effort to share this blog with readers like you!
Okay, that seems like more than enough goals to start me off for the new year!
How was 2018 for you? And what do you have coming up in 2019?
Let me know in the comments below!