My New Year Travel Resolutions

“OH ANOTHER NEW YEAR POST, THANK GOD” I hear you cry. Well, you lucky things you, I have another one right here. I always set myself goals every year, despite how cliché it might seem (#newyearnewme). This year in particular I wanted to really set myself some travel goals, and for all of my creative outputs including this blog, my photography & Instagram in addition to my monthly newsletter.

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I’m obviously setting myself some more personal goals (like to cleanse, tone and moisturise every morning and night – yep.. that’s one..). I’m also attempting drier January after an absolute mad one of a December and money saving is a yearly one – more about that later!

So without futher ado, please find my travel goals for 2018…

  1. To write blog posts weekly

    Might not seem to be much of a biggun’ but after hitting the 50 post marker last November it occurred to me that after 2 years of blogging that means I had published almost 1 post every fortnight. This year my goal is to try and publish every week (every Sunday morning is my new publishing goal – but I’ll keep ya posted if the schedule changes!)

  2. To expand and vary my content regarding travel that doesn’t revolve around one trip.

    This plays a lot into the previous point but my aim is to vary and expand on the content I produce to not just revolve about the trips I’ve been on. I’d like to explore more ideas regarding travel – ethical travel for example is a big passion of mine, and I’d like to research and report on this more thoroughly.

    I am constantly bemoaning the fact I can’t travel 24/7, and whereas I manage to fit as many trips around my budget and annual leave as I can, I would like to expand my writing to explore aspects that don’t require me to get on a plane/train/automobile to do so. This will also involve trying to expand on my photography and other elements that accompany every post, but I’m willing to give it my best shot to provide the best content I can in 2018!

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  3. To travel as much as I can whilst saving as much as I can – hopefully for a big trip

    As mentioned above, I do try to fit as many trips I can within my budget and annual leave as I can – but last year in particular this idea went out the window and I went on quite a few big trips that blew the budget a bit. This year my plan is take things a bit slower and to take smaller trips, sticking to Europe as much as I can (pre-Brexit in 2019 after all!). My aim is to keep to a budget as much as I can this way – following the old tricks of finding cheap flights on Skyscanner, sticking to cheaper accommodation via Booking.com or Airbnb and researching the best places to eat and drink whilst on a budget – so we don’t accidentally stumble across the most expensive spots.

  4. To develop a logo and revamp my blog design

    Since starting the blog I’ve been through a few designs, and this past year especially I’ve been tweaking away at small bits to try and make it the best – visually – as I can. My aim for 2018 is to really invest time and resources into the design of this blog, and to make the logo I’ve had in my head this past year into a reality.

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  5. To follow more travel blogs and Instagrams, to meet more like minded travel bodies and be inspired

    This is something I’ve definitely grown on in the past year – but I’d like to continue this by growing the number of travel blogs I follow, and also having more of an explore on Instagram. I’d like to do this to build on my inspiration, and to reach more blogs I haven’t seen before – not just for myself, but to also populate my monthly newsletter so you lovely people can see them too! I’m still new to the Instagram game for Grundy Travels, but the explore function is a great way to lose a few hours perusing…

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    There we are! My 5 new years travel resolutions.. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and just give it 11 more months and I can check back in to see how I stuck to these! If you’ve set any resolutions you’d like to share let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!!!

What I’ve Learnt in 2 years Travel Blogging

Well, well, well. Just by chance this week I discovered it was my two year anniversary of this blog, and it started me off on a trip down memory lane! I started this little old blog two years ago and I made a deal with myself that if I really was as serious about travel photography and writing as I wanted to be, I had to prove to myself that I could commit to it! It’s been a bit testing, and it’s been hard for several reasons I’ll go into further on in the post, but overall I’m so proud of the content, photos and write-ups I’ve produced, as well as all of the people I’ve connected with through this blog along the way.

 

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It’s been a lot and I’m proud that the majority of holidays I’ve been on I’ve managed to follow my budgeting rules, whereas others have completely blown that budget! It’s been a blast, and so I wanted to write up this little reflective post of the past two years and  my highs and lows of my blogging experience so far.

I like to use as my little area of the internet, and for a while felt like no-one apart from my mum was reading (hi mum!) but watching and interacting with complete strangers who’ve found my blog, either on WordPress reader or my Instagram, has been such a lovely experience. Knowing that people have discovered my work, even simply through a hashtag, and then continued to read and comment/like my post feels so rewarding!

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Also, I’ve never felt like a top-notch writer, but I’ve been building on that with every post I write. It’s been a great experience to build on my writing, and also how I style my blog posts each time, especially how I’ve built my ‘City on a Budget’ templates, so I can make each post as good as possible.

Similar to above, it also applies for my photography, I’ve always tried to take the best pictures on holidays I’ve been on even before this blog, but having Grundy Travels has really pushed me to up my photography game. Two Christmases ago I bought myself an Olympus Pen E-PL7 in the New Year Sales at John Lewis (it’s now been upgraded to the E-PL8 but trust me the 7 is a treat). This has been a huge help in upping the photo game, but I also think you can take a cracking photo on a trusty old iPhone – sometimes the trick is in the editing. I’ve put some of my favourite photos so far throughout this post, just for a bit of eye candy… My new goal is to get my head around editing software – sometimes just an app won’t cut it! So let’s see where that takes me going onwards…

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The toughest aspect however, would have to be the balance. I find it really hard to find time to write, blog, take pictures and even go (and afford) on holidays all the time. I have a full time job that also involves a set holiday allowance, so I’m making it count where I can. It’s that struggle of trying to be a travel blogger when you can’t travel 24/7, so my goal going forward is to try and think outside the box when it comes to my travel blog posts, and to see what I can produce when I’m still in ol’ Blighty.

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Overall the past two years have been brilliant, and I am really proud of the content that fill up this blog and I’m looking forward to what the rest of the year brings. In the past two years alone we’ve been to Barcelona, Santorini, Iceland, New York  (twice!), Mykonos, Australia, Edinburgh, Berlin, Zakynthos and not forgetting two trips to Glastonbury Festival! Coming up this year I have a trip to Paris and Lisbon, so look forward to what content will follow! Hopefully in the meantime there’ll be posts that I can still write whilst staying in England, I’ll try my best!

To those who’ve been following since the beginning – thank you. And to those who have just found me, I hope you stick around!

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Goodbye 2017, and Bring on 2018!

Well, well well.. 2017 you have been pretty fantastic. Personally it really has been an incredible year, both in terms of my travel achievements and also what I’ve accomplished personally.

Travel-wise this year I really have had an amazing year of opportunities. I’ve been to Australia, Edinburgh, Berlin, My 5th Glastonbury, Secondigny, Mykonos and New York… and I feel incredibly lucky to have done so. I’ve really thrown myself into this blog, my Instagram GrundyTravels, and my newsletter, and I’m so encouraged by the interaction I’ve received as a result.

Below are my ‘2017 best nine’ on the Grundy Travels account, but my personal favourites top way more than nine..! Let me tell you about my 2017 highlights below, with some of my favourite pics from the year too..

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  1. I pushed myself more this year. I travelled to the other side of the world by myself – Australia, and really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I’m quite a big scaredy cat when it comes to the big things, but I gave surfing a go – and absolutely loved it. I also went snorkelling out on the Great Barrier Reef amongst all the fish, jellyfish (!!) and sea turtles. It was incredible to do, and I’m glad I pushed myself to do it as I’m not a strong swimmer – but that’s something I want to work on in 2018! I flew long-haul by myself and learnt to drive in a foreign country – which might seem like small hurdles but I think of them as quite big accomplishments!
  2. I learnt to go with my instincts, and not to take all travel advice to heart. I love researching trips before I go and asking for advice, but sometimes you have to trust your gut on what you want to do. The amount of times in Australia we were told not to have a drink at the Sydney Opera House pier, or to visit Bondi because they were too touristy. But we did! And we loved it! Lesson learnt, listen to your gut!
  3. We did more ‘staycations’ this year. Taking more time to explore the cities in the UK that we’ve not seen as much of. We went to Brighton and I went back to Norwich – my uni city – for a long weekend. We also went to Edinburgh for our anniversary trip (not quite a ‘stay’-cation as it’s Scotland – but it didn’t require a passport or any different currency!). It was a great way to explore, take some time out whilst not having to spend too much money or book any more time off work!
  4. I started my Grundy Travels Newsletter! It started off as a little idea and has sprouted into something I really love doing. I’ve learnt a lot along the way – e.g. that I can’t manage a weekly letter, but I can put more time and effort into making a great monthly one. Watching the follower count grow and seeing the feedback from each letter has been really encouraging and I’ve really enjoyed it. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can follow this link here.

5. I threw myself more into this blog and my Instagram, (as well as starting my newsletter)! I hit the 50 post mark in October and it made me realise how much I love putting into this blog and writing up posts that aren’t just about my travels. I’ve tried to expand what I write about on here and it’s one of my resolutions to continue this in 2018 – I don’t (and can’t) have to travel all the time to create content, I will do it!

As for 2018? I don’t have any resolutions as such, except to take my makeup off before I go to sleep… and to switch to G&Ts rather than prosecco (seriously, that’s my resolution…)

As for travel plans.. So far on the cards we have a trip to Paris, maybe Portugal and a family trip to Majorca. I’m hoping to visit my parents in France in the Summer and hopefully a trip to Greece again. We’re toying with the idea of a big holiday in 2019 – maybe Australia again! But let’s see… I want 2018 to be the year of enjoying what I have and what I can do, without trying to do too much. After 2017 my travel plans and bank balance need a bit of a break!

I hope you’ve all had a great 2017, and thanks for sticking with me along the way. To all new followers and old, thanks for being here. I hope to bring you the best I can in 2018 – whether it be posts, pictures or newsletters!

So, as it is, HAPPY NEW YEAR xxxx