The end of the year always gets me thinking. How did it all go? How does 2016 compare to the years that proceeded it? It was a year of mountainous highs and bottom-of-the-ocean lows. Like most people, I find it a lot easier to remember the negative. But the year that brought us the horrors of Brexit, also gave me a lot to smile about.
To spread a bit of 2016-positivity, I thought I’d share some of my top moments of the year. When I think about it, this year was actually a cracker.
Raising money for charity
Before 2016, I wasn’t one for major charity events. I’d done a few long walks and sponsored silences, but not much more than that. I decided to sign up to run a 10km charity race with work to support homeless charity Housing4Women. Much to my surprise, I managed to raise £170 and got fit in the process.
I didn’t stop there. Next, I signed up for my first half marathon. In hind sight, I probably should have waited a bit longer for this. I launched into months of tough training and eventually my body was fit enough to run 13.1 miles. Everyone that knew me from my childhood knew how unsporty I was, so this surprised quite a few people. The race was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Crossing the finish line gave me a feeling like never before. And in the process, I somehow managed to raise £220 for WarChild and The Eve Appeal.
Thanks to running, I managed to raise just under £400 for charities this year. It’s definitely my greatestachievement of 2016.
It was goodbye to my horrible house share with weirdos and hello to a lovely new-build flat with one of my best friends from uni. I didn’t understand how important it is to like where you live until I had to live in a house that I hated. Moving into a flat with new flooring and recently repainted walls where everything works and the bathrooms are clean was better than I ever imaged.
Lots and lots of musicals
From my first front-row experience at Miss Saigon to re-watching my favourite musical, Book of Mormon, it has been a great year for musicals. I quickly lost track of the number that I have seen this year. I love the atmosphere in a theatre just as much as I love the shows so I always seem to be booking more tickets.
I bought myself a good camera in 2016 – a Canon G7x. A lot of the pro YouTubers used this one up until the Mark II came out, so I knew that this would be more than enough for my vlogging ambitions. This little camera has served me well through the year, taking gorgeous photographs and recording in glorious HD. I’ve loved being able to grow my YouTube channel as a result of it.
Worked full-time for a whole year
This was my first full year our of education, which still baffles me. I graduated in 2015 and have been working in the same PR job ever since. The contrast from being a student to working full-time is really tough, but I’ve managed to get on with it. If working 9am-6pm five days a week is not an achievement, then I don’t know what is.
Discovered the joy of the mini break
Now that I only have five weeks of holiday per year, the days off that I take are precious. Taking a few days off to create a long weekend is great, and in 2016 I learned the magic of going on a short city break in Europe. I went to Rome with my friend Jaye and we had a great time trying to see as many sights as possible over our four-day trip. It was just enough time to get a good feel for the city, sample the delicious food and learn a bit about the history.
Sister trip to Florida
I thought I’d leave this one for last as I’m sure you’ve heard about it before!
In October, I travelled to the sunshine state with my sister. Our parents were both bored of Disney World after taking both of us every other year while we were children. We could never tire of the magic, so we planned our own trip. Having grown up at Disney together, we were always on the same wavelength. When one of us wanted to stop for lunch, both of us did. When one thought of the perfect plan for the evening, the other always agreed. It was a Florida trip unlike any other.
What were your highlights of 2016? I’d love to read about them in the comments or let me know if you write your own similar post.
Here’s a a happy and healthy 2017!