Celebrating 2016! (yes, really)

2016 has been quite a rollercoaster of a year, which I think we can all agree on - that Brexit thing happened (oh yeah, shit), Trump got elected (even shittier), famous artists and actors left us...just to state a few of the obvious hiccups, ahem. But hey! The grass is always greener, right?! It's important to recall as many good memories as possible that have happened throughout the year even if it means really scraping the barrel for the smallest achievements or hip hip hurraying about the big ones.

In January this year, I wrote an 'Anti-Bucket' list on my blog, where I recalled *nearly* everything I considered a positive achievement of 2015. Because, sometimes, just sometimes, it's alright to give yourself a high five once in a while. I'd be lying if I said 2016 was all rainbows and smiles but it's important to not dwell too much on those not-so good moments and reflect, even if it is just to remind myself that I do actually have a few things to celebrate about and be grateful for. So, in order to get 2017 off to a good start, it would only be appropriate to gracefully bid 2016 farewell...

Right, get the Kleenex out, here's my year in a nutshell...

- I managed to achieve what I set out to do in my 2016 resolutions, see them here..

- ...including travelling to new places (anywhere new ticked off the map makes me happy). I visited Chester, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Formby beach (the most exotic place to be in the Merseyside come summer time), Ile de Ré, St. Emilion and explored more of my hometown, Liverpool.

- Prooobably one of the biggest achievements was going to Madrid for two months working as an au pair for two children and living with a Spanish family. I also went solo travelling afterwards for a week and stayed in hostels. I integrated into a family that wasn't my own, communicated in a language that wasn't my own, helped the children get better at English and cared for them. Considering i've never had any childcare experience, I learnt a lot about the responsibilities of looking after two kids and I like to think i'm a bit stronger of a person because of it. Whilst travelling, I made new friends from different parts of the world, visited new places such as Toledo, Avila, Segovia, Barcelona and Valencia and I visited the San Fermin in Pamplona. I ate a lot of tapas too.

- Passed my second year of university successfully...no deadlines missed and continued to improve with my results. I started out with pretty rubbish results in first year and my grades have slowly creeped up which tells me I must be improving. 

- Went to quite a few gigs including Hinds (twice), Whitney, Public Access TV, The Black Lips, Kagoule, The Magic Gang, Hooton Tennis Club (also several times), Aldhous RH, Juliette Lewis & The Licks (At Festevol) and a few others. I love discovering new talent, or seeing bands i've listened to for a while...getting out and going to a gig and getting lost in the music (cheezzy) is one of my fave things to do.

- Turning 21: I had the most amazing day organised by my wonderful family. I had practically all my family in Liverpool with me to celebrate it with delicious food, a personalised cake, lovely gifts and lots of nice catch ups. I got to go out with my family and friends in town for the evening and had an amazing, memorable day. I felt so bloody spoilt and lucky and the day will stick with me foreva.

- Got invited to more events through my blog from Very to Voodou, The Blonde & The Bears, Revolution de Cuba, The Body Shop, Yard & Coop and have met lots of lovely new people because of it. I've tried amazing food, cocktails, received awesome freebies and been really lucky, which is a nice wee pat on the back after writing a blog for 4 years!

- Wrote more travel guides for this blog (including Liverpool, Chester, Berlin, Limoges, Ile de Ré, Madrid - which was shared on Madrid's official tourism Facebook ooh err, and Pamplona) and wrote more content in the whole year than any other year on my blog. I started a new film club series and many other new posts to the blog and I got a new blog layout, logo and domain name. I realised I want to take my blog more seriously with better, different and more interesting content than ever, whilst simultaneously powering through my 3rd and final year of university!

- Got my first proper, paid part-time job. I've been looking since 1st year of university and finally I got employed, there is a god!! I've also been offered my second part-time job for the new year...wait for a bus and they all come at once...

- Moved in to my first ever 'adult' flat with my pal! It's beautiful and in the perfect location with a wee balcony.

- Met lots of new people in 2016. New friends, boys I fancied lol, grew apart from old friends, caught up with old best friends, became friends with some only for a day, spent quality time with my lovely fam and met people that I didn't get on with... but all have shaped the year and taught me things in one way or another. *sob sob*

- Went to the gay pride in Madrid. Went to my sisters graduation in oenotourism from Bordeaux university. Drank beers backstage 'with the band; ;). Met Hinds and took a selfie with them. Learnt how to make my own raspberry mojito and a burrito. Learnt some Spanish. Met Jon Snow and took a selfie with him (the Channel 4 news presenter). Made a vlog of my travels in Spain. Discovered gin cocktails. Tried hot yoga. Represented my course at university open days. Went to the cavern club. Photographed some gigs. Experimented with Tinder, er. Learnt a bit of drumming. Went to a dog parade in Liverpool. Saw a flamenco show. Got a Gopro. Became a vegetarian then ate meat again, hm. Went on a party bus in Valencia. Saw the Sagrada familia and the park guell. Dined out a lot. Went to a Kanye West themed event, ew. Visited galleries and museums and marvelled at Picasso and Salvador Dali's work. Rode the Liverpool ferris wheel. Got a record player. Bought more records. Sat in the park and ate ice cream. Ate pancakes. Saw the justice for 96 ceremony in Liverpool. Revised. Wrote essays. Took photos. Went gay clubbing. Drank cocktails. Went to a water park. Got a stick and poke tattoo. Survived 2016.

And that's my year, pretty much! I'm feeling so ready and inspired to kickass in the new year and make my achievements more impressive than last. I'll post my resolutions on here too so watch this space, and give the anti-bucket list a go yourself. Come at me, 2017!

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