After writing a very personal post on what I’m grateful for this year, it got me thinking about the future and what will happen in 2018, and of course I was thinking about what I want to achieve along the way. I think it’s always good as each year draws to a close to take a step back and focus on all we have been through – our successes, failures, and the way we have grown as individuals. It’s a great measure to see if we are still on track to where we want to be, or if perhaps we have ended up in a totally different place to where we expected and are now chasing different goals. But most of all, it helps us to take a look at the year ahead to work out exactly what we want to achieve, where we are headed and what goals we want to work towards. This doesn’t just have to be work related, if your career aspirations are right on track, perhaps you want to focus more on your relationships, personal life or even dreams of travel. Whatever goals you set are personal to you, and no-one can tell you whether they are achievable or totally ridiculous – this year I’ve seen people do some incredible things both personally and through their work. It just shows you that you really can achieve anything if you set your mind to it and work hard.

I couldn’t be more surprised at where I have ended up this year – I started out the year in the sunshine, surrounded by friends, living in my own apartment in Melbourne, with a great job and a whole year of travel ahead of me. Now I’m finishing 2017 and I’m back to the cold of the UK, but this year I spent my Christmas surrounded by my oldest friends and my family – as it should be spent. I’m working freelance and I’m even doing some newspaper work again while I figure out my next move, and there’s a chance I could be moving to Germany to live with my boyfriend. The end of the year couldn’t be more different to how it started, but I couldn’t be happier at how things have turned out. My entire life/work balance has changed in the last six months, my priorities have changed and along with that, my goals for the future have changed. It’s a strange feeling at 27-years-old to change so much, so rapidly, but I’m still growing as a person, the more I find out about myself, the bigger changes I will make. Why? Because no matter what things change along the way, my end goal is the same – to live the happiest life I can dream of, a life filled with love, laughter and travel, family and friends.

So, what are my goals for 2018?

Travel

Of course travel will always be a huge part of my life, however, this year I have decided to stay a little closer to home after living the last three years on the other side of the world. I will be spending the first half of the year in Europe – my base is still be be determined but there is a chance I could be based in Germany, or I could stick with England, or I may find a new home in somewhere else altogether! I’m not rushing into any big decision until I’m sure of where I want to be, but I am excited to be a bit closer to my family and friends for a while, and for having more opportunity to discover Europe. The goal for the year is to have a base for a while, to experience living and working in a new country, to learn the language along the way and to eventually save enough money for an epic trip to South America!

Love

It’s very strange for someone who gave up on relationships to suddenly find themselves back in one after three years of solo travel, but my new relationship has had a huge impact on the way I’m thinking about the future. I haven’t talked much on the blog about the new boyfriend, and I’m going to keep it that way, but in the last six months we’ve gone from a few dates to living together almost immediately, we’ve travelled across seven countries and three continents together. This is the first time I’ve met anyone who is as committed to travel as I am, and it’s exciting to plan a future filled with adventures together. Our goal for the year, to get back to living together after spending Christmas separate with our families, to find a place to settle for a while where we can both be happy and work to save money for more travel.

Career

This year has seen me having more incredible opportunities through this blog than ever before despite my taking more time off from writing than ever before. It came at a time when I was feeling less than inspired and was even considering closing down the blog – it was a rough time – but I’m glad I saw it through and came out the other side. I’m finishing the year bursting with ideas for content, collaborations, and a brand new website makeover which I am over the moon with. Being able to say that I redesigned my entire website from top to bottom, that I’ve worked with such incredible brands and lived experiences beyond my wildest dreams is a pretty incredible achievement. So looking forward to 2018, my goal is to continue growing my brand, to pursue even more exciting new projects and to keep giving myself the time and the space to work on these uninterrupted.

When it comes to other work, my main goal is to get back into working a day job that I love, I’ve worked a lot of soul-sucking hospitality jobs this year that have left me drained and desperate to challenge my brain again. I’ve already started on making my goals a reality by getting myself back into a little freelance newspaper work and plan to keep chasing down more writing work that will help me expand my skills while allowing me to save money and retain flexibility and freedom.

Friendships

There’s a lot happening with my friends at the moment and being away for so long, I’ve missed quite a bit over the last few years. Now my friends are getting engaged, married, pregnant and I want to be around to celebrate these huge life moments with them all. One of my absolute best friends in the world is having a baby in a few months, the first one in our little group, and I want to be here for her, no matter what she needs. Living in a different time zone just doesn’t work when you want to be a part of your friends’ lives on a day-to-day basis. I miss being the person they call up night or da to talk about stupid things, the person who can drop everything at a moment’s notice to help. So this year’s goal is to be a bigger part of everyone’s lives – no matter where I am based, to make the most of being in the same time zone.I’ll be spending my New Year’s celebrating with old friends and new, with my boyfriend by my side and a glass of bubbles in my hand, we’ll be toasting to our first six months together and hopefully many more. But if this year has really taught me anything, it is to appreciate every second with a person because you never know what will happen in the future. So this year you’ll find me looking on and relishing every second, because there’s nothing like absence to make your heart grow fonder of everyone you left behind.

How are you spending New Year’s? What goals are you setting for the year ahead? What has been your greatest achievement of the year?