It might be a cliché but it couldn't be more true, this year has been my best year yet! I have to acknowledge that it's been a hard year around the world, and I have felt deeply the sadness and effects of of #MeToo, my beloved Manchester being bombed and the continuation of the Tory austerity funeral march and general political unrest around the world.
In spite of those things, I felt like it was important to round up my personal achievements and all the amazing adventures I've had in order to put this year into perspective and appreciate it for all it's lessons and opportunities, of which I am lucky to say there have been an abundance. I hope you enjoy looking through my pictures and might feel encouraged to take stock of your 2017 highlights, gratitude is important to attract the right energy for 2018, I think. Happy New Year everyone :)
I didn't do a 2016 round-up last year but I'll let you into a little secret, I was worried I wouldn't grow anymore as a person. 2016 was the year I committed fully to veganism and gave up alcohol altogether. But this year I've seen what making changes like those can bring you, and it's having a clear head and strong sense of self (and an outstanding human by my side) that's helped me to achieve everything I've set out to do.
2017 shall be forever known to me as the year I committed to my writing again, and the year of adventure. I summited several mountains, dived in caves hundreds of metres underground, visited no less than 11 countries, started reading books again, went to 12 gigs, protested and campaigned for what I believe in, gained two new jobs doing what I love, saw 12 amazing pieces of theatre, went to 3 weddings, spent more time in art galleries than ever before, and most importantly, remembered that I am a writer.
I started 2017 in a waterfall so I guess it was always going to be adventurous! I took the absolute trip of a lifetime travelling around New Zealand for a month in a campervan. I went beyond what I used to think were my limits by climbing mountains, cave diving, watching glowworms and stars fight for space in the night sky. I will treasure this trip forever.
I was lucky enough to visit Dubai and Melbourne, Australia either side of the NZ journey which was great for the bucket list! You can read more in depth details of all my trips and see more photo's in the linked posts.
Was back to reality month. I spent some time in London, a lot of time walking and hiking after NZ and getting my head down. I work a regular 9-5 job outside all of this so it needed some of my attention!
Stood up for myself and my community and spoke in a Manchester City Council meeting defending greenspace in the city under a campaign I created #SavePlotG.
Took trips to the Lake District and Wales to go out walking and embracing Spring.
Committed to my writing again and attended my first writing course since my MA, Write Like A Grrrl by For Books' Sake. I made lots of new friends plus I got my confidence back.
Took a trip to Amsterdam for my birthday to see the tulip fields, something I've wanted to do for years.
I also climbed Mount Snowden on one of the hottest days of the year!
More walking, more writing plus a very cultural trip to Cologne where I rediscovered my love of galleries.
My partner's Uncle came over to stay with us from Greece and we had some lovely family time filled with good food and great conversation.
It was Manchester's biennial festival MIF17 saw lots of great theatre and art around the city. It was a much needed celebration of the city after the tragic events of May.
Two 2017 weddings amongst friends lead us to a road trip around Ireland and a trip to Aberystwyth.
Continued pushing myself by climbing Scafell Pike for Manchester Mind.
Greater Manchester Fringe was the start of my job writing about and reviewing theatre for North West End.
Was the start of gig season and it kicked of beautifully seeing Bon Iver at a sit-down show in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
Tested my new found fitness some more with bodyboating in Wales.
Was approached by a PR agency for my first interview with a band, which ended up being my most successful post of the year.
I finally started performing poetry in public again.
I took a much needed Barcelona getaway for a bit of winter sun where I found out I'd got my latest role as Twitter Curator for For Books' Sake who champion writing by women, for women.
A very Christmassy