2017 – WHAT A YEAR! BRING ON 2018!

With 2017 drawing to a close, we take a look back at the busiest, rollercoaster of a year and look forward to 2018. This is our 2017 year review!

Our year

Let’s start at the very beginning! (it’s a very good place to start)

January – We spent quite a bit of time in London this month and headed up to Leicester for a weekend and an away game.

February – Well this month was kinda a life changing month. I was offered a job at an International School which I later accept! We also head to Birmingham for a weekend too.

March – I accepted that job and we started getting everything ready for our move to Tianjin, China. Knowing he wouldn’t be able to see any football games from August onwards, Calum planned every moment to watch home and away Chelsea games.

April – We started the month by giving notice for our marriage and planned a small wedding at a local registry office. We headed up to Manchester for the weekend, watching a game at Old Trafford then headed to Wembley for an FA Cup Semi Final. We also headed up to Liverpool at the end of the end of the month and enjoyed a day visiting The Beatles Story Exhibit.

May – We headed over to Birmingham to watch Chelsea win the league at West Brom. We also prepared more of the paperwork for our visa to live in China and purchased some more bits and bobs for the move.

June – WE GOT MARRIED! We also had a medical check (BOO!) and booked our visa appointment.

July – I started the month heading to Wellington College UK for pat of my induction – a historic, beautiful (and incredibly daunting) experience. We spent some time in London this month too…not really because we wanted to but more because we went back and forth to sort out our visas etc etc. We did get to see Lana Del Ray at Brixton Academy though! I also spent some time in London watching Matilda and exploring Covent Garden with my dance bestie Bridget.

August – We moved to China. 

September – After moving to China, we took some time to settle. We found our local produce market and enjoyed some of the amazing Chinese food in our new home.

October – October started with Golden Week in China; we thought it would be a nice week off to explore the city of Tianjin… NO it was packed! However, we had a productive week on the blog and starting our Youtube videos AND began BLOGTOBER! We posted a blog every day (almost) of October!

November – We headed over to Xi’an for Calum’s Birthday, we LOVED the city and created our first daily travel vlogs!

December – This month started very cold! Tianjin became very very cold and we spent more time at home, trying to cook more recipes and recovering from a cold. We then flew to Dubai for a few days en route home for Christmas. We spent the end of the year with our family – we watched some football games at Stamford Bridge, I enjoyed an Afternoon Tea with my mum and we tried to relax as much as possible.

The blog

We are so super proud of how well the blog has grown this year. Our social media numbers have steadily grown and our page view numbers has reached some amazing numbers that surpassed our goals last year.

We have had more time to collaborate with other bloggers to create some great content and we are building our Youtube Channel slowly but surely. We have some exciting projects coming up next year including a few ebooks, some CTG merchandise and another project that can’t be revealed just yet!

My good friend Liz (Digital Travel Guru) and I are working together on another exciting project for 2018 and our Facebook page for Travel Bloggers has grown amazingly!

See our page here!

We are also super excited that our blog is starting to earn some money AND we have even had a few sponsored experiences and stays. I can’t wait to see what the new year brings!

Highlights

2017 Year Review
Getting married
2017 Year Review
First International teaching job
2017 Year Review
Making new friends
2017 Year Review
Moving abroad
2017 Year Review
Trying new local foods
2017 Year Review
Dune bashing in the desert
2017 Year Review
Watching Calum fall back in love with photography
2017 Year Review
Christmas with family

Low moments

Obviously, no one ever has a year without a few hiccups or low moments. Here are some of our low moments:

  • The stress of getting our visa THE WEEK before moving!
  • Shipping Dilemas! The shipping company didn’t end up getting our boxes until two days after we left the country.
  • Getting so sick in November that we missed a planned weekend trip to Shanghai.
  • Not getting our fitness sorted – with moving and getting use to life in China, we have hardly exercised and eaten more junk food than imaginable. This MUST change in January.

Achievements 

Today I was talking to my mum about being proud and moments to be proud of. It got me thinking about the achievements we have had this year and what we are proud of – this is something I really don’t think anyone does as often as they should. Why are we so worried about sharing our accomplishments? If you have managed to read this review all the way to this section, drop a comment below about what you are proud of doing this year!

  • Getting my first international teaching job – so anyone who has any knowledge in teaching in the UK will know that there are A LOT of unhappy teachers. I graduated the end of last year from Brighton University with my PGCE in Primary Education but kept facing the same feedback from schools “apply in two years, after you have completed your NQT year”. I was over the moon to be offered a job in China where I could complete my induction and gain experience teaching abroad.
  • Building our YouTube – when we first filmed our first ever vlog type video, I nearly died! We were in Liverpool, it was cold and windy and we had no clue what we were really doing. I was also nervous as hell to talk to a camera in the middle of a street and felt so awkward. Flash forward and I am so proud of our recent Xi’an vlogs and can’t wait to share our London and Dubai vlogs, I really am proud of how quickly we have learnt and what we are producing.
  • Blog Earnings – When we first started this little blog, we were told to not expect any income for years. We are now slowly starting to earn money from the blog and even had our first sponsored stays and experiences – which is just fantastic! I never thought we would be at this stage already!

2018 Goals

OK these are the goals for 2018 – let’s see if we stick to them!

  1. Finish and publish our first eBook.
  2. Complete a blogging project with Liz.
  3. Post AT LEAST one vlog a week, with the aim of publishing two a week by March.
  4. Grow our social media pages to 5000 by the end of the year.
  5. Reach an average of 40,000 page views a month by the end of the year.
  6. Post 3 blogs a week – CONSISTENTLY!
  7. Explore more and more of China.

Where to next? Travel planning for 2018

So, this is a rough idea of where we plan to visit this year!

January – Harbin Ice Festival and Beijing

February – Bangkok and Pattaya

March – Maybe a weekend away in Beijing but not sure just yet?!

April – Shanghai and Taiwan

May – Seoul and perhaps Qinhuangdao

June – We will probably try to go somewhere for the Dragon Boat Festival

July/August – Trip around the areas of China we haven’t yet been to – Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Guilin etc.

September – More weekends in Beijing enjoying the last of the summer days.

October – Osaka, Japan! With a day in Universal Studios!

November – We have time off in November but not sure whether to head to Mongolia, Tibet or maybe head further South of China, we will see!

December – Home for Christmas again!

So that’s our year! What was yours like? Tell us about your best moment? What your most proud of? What you want to do next year?!

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Year review
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