I guess with Christmas and New Year’s Eve just around the corner it’s time for one of these corny and superfluous posts about the year that just passed and the new year that is about to start. I am really not sure if it is a good idea to write a post like this, even though it seems good practice on nearly all the other blogs that I followed recently.
But then I thought it would be kind of abrupt and not very nice to just trail off into a summer break without saying goodbye to you lovely readers and to thank you for your loyalty and interest.
And then I thought it would also be good to give you a bit of an overview of the last year and my plans for the future.
And there you have it: As it turns out this is going to be one of these dreadful “year in review” articles that no-one wants to read.
But I am going to write it anyway, because I can. And because I know I will enjoy it. And also because it’s quite befitting given all the changes that Happiness and Things is going to go through over the next couple of weeks to set this blog up for the future.
And while we are at it, it would be fantastic to have your feedback on the blog in the comments below this post – tell me what you hoped to find here, what you did and did not find, if you are a regular or just popping in, and what you hope to see in the future? Any comment, any feedback will be greatly appreciated. This would be a lovely Christmas gift from you, my dear readers, to me, a lonely figure behind a Macbook who cannot stop dreaming about all the places she wants to go.
So, in return and as a Christmas gift to you – here is the blog in review and an outlook on things to come.
- I have never travelled as much as in 2015, and all of this despite having a family to look after and no real income to speak of. This is all due to the wonderful support of my husband who sponsors my travels and helps with the kids when I am not around. I realise that this is not normal, and that I am a very privileged person at the moment, so I make sure I enjoy every minute of it. This year I have been to New Caledonia, Fiji, France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, the Vatican, Greece, Malta, and Indonesia. Since the year hasn’t finished yet I can also add New Zealand to the list. It’s been a fantastic year travel-wise and I am yet to finish up with writing about all of my experiences in these beautiful destinations.
- My best travel experiences this year were probably the story how I found a 1,000 year old church in the mountains of Montenegro, the golden interior of the St John Co-Cathedral in Valetta, pretty much all the food that I ate in Paris, a visit to Queen Hortense’s grotto in the Isle of Pines, a visit to the colourful Burano island in Venice, exploring the Roman Forum in Rome, and a cruise in the Komodo National Park where I met some really evil looking creatures.
- Next year is hopefully even better. I have another cruise in the pipeline to explore the eastern part of the Mediterranean. And I am working on an exciting project with London blogger Tea Time in Wonderland that might have the two of us explore Scotland on a road trip. If you knew how bad drivers we both are you would understand how daunting a task this will be.
- Which brings me to my next point: A couple of weeks ago I have made the difficult decision to strip the “lifestyle” and “Sydney focused” part off my blog to allow myself to focus on something that I am more than ready to pursue: travel. They say that you are good at those things that you enjoy most, and I have never really felt comfortable with the “lifestyle” part of Happiness and Things. This will also help with positioning the blog better in the blogosphere, with advertisers, brands, and readers. And I also am really excited about all the structural, layout and brand changes this involves. I will now have more time to put together quality content that will provide you not just with inspiration but also with useful information to set you up for your own adventures.
- A great bonus of blogging is that you get to know so many beautiful people that share the same passion for storytelling and producing engaging content. They add the social factor to an otherwise rather lonely job. I hope I don’t forget anyone in this list, but honourable mention must be made to the following bloggers: Raf from Travel & Lifestyle, Deb from Sydney Chic Blog, Carolin from Breathing Travel, Vic and Elaina from The Freedom Travellers, Dave from Jones Around the World, Jub from Tiki Touring Kiwi, Aga from A Matter of Taste, Chris from Aussie on the Road, Shandos from Travelnuity, and Jasmine from NomadGirl.co. You guys all rock! (and you should start checking these guys out now – they are all such an inspiration!)
- Closer to home I have had also a number of highlights to share, including a beautiful lunch at Cottage Point Inn, a wonderful breakfast at The Deck Bar in Dee Why, naked girls with fruit on their breasts at the Cruise Bar, yummy free food at March into Merivale, and a cooking session with the first Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin. I have also shook hands with Guy Sebastian and have a met a number of world famous cricketers.
- So with all the travel in mind, I am sure there will still be plenty to write about Sydney. It is my city of choice and it has so much to offer that it simply never gets boring. The food is fantastic in Sydney, and I can’t wait to see what the chefs will have on offer next year. Plus, there is always something new to discover – I have no doubt there is still plenty of content to be found in Sydney in my third blogging year at Happiness and Things.
- Lastly, blogging in a full-time capacity has not come without some very significant learnings. By no means would I claim to be an accomplished blogger now, but I did learn quite a few things about writing, photography, SEO, marketing, branding, travelling, networking, editing, and communication that I didn’t know a year ago. And you have no idea how grateful I am for all these lessons.
So what are my goals for 2016? I want Happiness and Things to be one of the top travel blogs in Australia. Ambitious? Maybe – but you need to dream if you want to achieve… I am a big dreamer and believer, which is why I chose a Dr Seuss quote for the title of this post.
And with these words I will stop rambling about myself to wish you a fantastic end to the year and a brilliant start into 2016. See you back in 2016! (and don’t forget to comment below – remember, it’s Christmas after all 🙂 !)