2018: A Reflection

2018: A Reflection

I know we’re all guilty of saying this every year, but seriously, wasn’t 2018 over in a flash? I just want to take a few moments to reflect on the year, because looking back on life lessons and achievements is totally underrated in my opinion. It’s also super important to recognize growth and see what you need to achieve in the year ahead!

So, here are a few lessons I’d like to remember and some highlights to share from 2018.

January

It was a tough start to the year for me as I was leaving the UK to return to Vancouver after a great Christmas of catching up with loved ones. I’d been home for three weeks and saw in the New Year on a fun night out in London. I then, however, returned on the 9.5 hour flight to Vancouver totally unsure of what to do and how long I’d be there for. I’d just been stung with the prospect of another increase in rent, and I was going through some other life challenges. But hey – no rain, no flowers!

I picked myself up and tried to enjoy Vancouver as much as I could over the month, knowing that the experience wouldn’t last forever.

Highlights of 2018

  • Making sure to explore the city as much as possible.
  • Went on my first ever skiing lesson on Mount Seymour. Yes, a lot of that was spent on my ass!
  • Celebrated birthdays, tried new food in the city, and said ‘yes’ to as many experiences as possible.
  • Travelled to Jacksonville, Florida on a business trip, gaining some sunshine on an otherwise frosty January.
Vancouver downtown skyline at night
Skiing on Mount Seymour, Vancouver
Jacksonville, Florida river
Winter in Kitsilano, Vancouver

February

This was a month of decisions for me. In fact, I had to work out which direction life was taking me in. I got extremely ill and stressed over the decision, and spent time looking for a new apartment whilst being under pressure from my landlord. Being sick and living alone isn’t fun! This was also made worse by super cold temperatures and snow outside, all whilst going to apartment viewings. Finally, I found a wonderful apartment in Olympic Village, spoke to my boss about where my career could go, and suddenly everything began to click into place.

Highlights of 2018

  • Gained greater independence and overcame some challenges.
  • Partied with friends and continued to enjoy the city.
  • Celebrated more birthdays and also met more new people.
  • Enjoyed the last few days in my apartment, living downtown, and those rooftop views.
Dog beach in Kitsilano, Vancouver in the winter
Shameless Tiki Room, Vancouver
Sunset across downtown Vancouver
Sunset over downtown Vancouver

March

Things began to look up for me! I started to feel better, and successfully moved into a shiny new apartment (albeit still having far too much stuff to move into an already furnished apartment). It even has a rooftop pool! I turned another year older (eep) and progressed into my late 20s. I celebrated my birthday and had another amazing month of travels.

Highlights of 2018

  • Moved into my second apartment in another area of the city.
  • Stayed in touch with family and friends back home and also received a lovely care package!
  • Celebrated my birthday with a day at the Fairmont Pacific Rim spa with a massage (thank you, work health benefits!) As a matter of fact, it was wonderful.
  • Travelled to San Francisco for a successful work trip and I learnt a lot about my career.
  • Attended the Rugby 7s in Vancouver which was a really fun (and boozy) day out.
  • Had the most amazing break in Banff, staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Vancouver apartment
Spa at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver
Birthday cake from Small Victory, Vancouver
The View bar at Marriott Marquis, San Francisco
Cocktails at Charmaine's, San Francisco
Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta
Ice skating on Lake Louise, Banff

April

Another positive month! I got out and explored, did more hikes, and met more people, and the weather turned much sunnier. Finally! I brunched like a queen, made new friends, and learnt lessons. At the end of April, I managed to complete a whole year of living in Vancouver which felt like a huge achievement to me. It also meant that despite some wobbly moments, I’d done it and survived all on my own to cap a whole year of living and travelling solo.

Highlights of 2018

  • Made an effort to work out more (summer’s not far away!)
  • Explored beautiful San Diego for a work trip and enjoyed my first glimpse of summer.
  • Made progress at work towards a promotion.
  • Had fun and bonded with new friends.
Deep Cove, Vancouver
La Jolla, San Diego

May

May is always a wonderful month in my eyes. Vancouver becomes super sunny, the air’s warmer, and the smell of summer is just around the corner. I even managed to fit in my first pool day which was amazing! My confidence grew in my role at work, given that I’d been in the job over a year. I was lent a bike and this helped massively in enabling me to get out and about more to see the city, as well as cutting down my scenic commute along the sea wall.

Highlights of 2018

  • Celebrated birthdays and had my first al fresco drinks in a long time!
  • Receiving a lovely care package from a friend back home!
  • An awesome trip to Toronto – catching up with a friend from home, visiting Toronto Islands and the city’s beaches, and also visiting adorable Long Sault.
  • Booked a trip to visit family in Florida over summer.
Summer in Kitsilano, Vancouver
Al fresco drinks at Tap Shack, Vancouver
Stanley Park, Vancouver in the summer
Rooftop swimming pool, Vancouver
Toronto Islands, Vancouver

June

Summer! At last. I began to see greater success at work, and bonded with friends and colleagues. The weather in Vancouver over summer is incredible and instantly means everyone’s out and about enjoying the city.

Highlights of 2018

  • Travelled to Florida for another great trip with work, and went to the beach.
  • Enjoyed more pool time with friends, and Summer Fridays at work certainly helps with this!
  • Spent time at the beach in Kitsilano, which will certainly never get old.
Atlantic Beach near Jacksonville, Florida
Drinks at a pool in Jacksonville, Florida
Rooftop swimming pool in Olympic Village, Vancouver
Summer in Kitsilano, Vancouver

July

The start of July means Canada Day! It also means summer is in full force, and quite often that means holidays. It was full of beach days, pool days, and barbecues. One of the best months of the year without a doubt!

Highlights of 2018

  • Hiking beautiful Eagle Bluffs in West Vancouver on Canada Day, and of course celebrating with cider at the top.
  • Catching up with family in Florida and relaxing by the pool and at the beautiful beaches, including Siesta Key.
  • The fun of the World Cup! As we all know, England put on the best show.
  • Travelling back to Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley for a lovely few days with all of the wine.
  • Went to some awesome house and pool parties.
View from Eagle Bluffs, West Vancouver
Family photo at Siesta Key beach, Florida
Mission Hill Estate Winery, Kelowna
Pool party in Vancouver

August

August was an amazing month! It was full of fun summer activities. One of my best friends from university also visited and we crammed two weeks full of fun activities. As a result, we brunched, hiked, drank, and partied!

Highlights of 2018

  • Exploring the city, and hiking Deep Cove, Garibaldi Lake, and Panorama Ridge.
  • Watched the incredible Celebration of Light annual firework display on the water.
  • Went to Pride and saw Justin Trudeau himself.
  • Went to the North Vancouver night market and made new pals.
  • Saw some cool street art at the Vancouver Mural Festival.
  • Visited San Francisco and also saw beautiful Sausalito for the first time.
  • Made the most of the end of the summer.
Brunching at The Beach House in Dundarave, Vancouver
Celebration of Light fireworks, Vancouver
Rainbow girls at Vancouver Pride
Vancouver Mural Festival
Hiking Panorama Ridge and Garibaldi Lake
Drinks in Sausalito, California

September

The start of July means Canada Day! It also means summer is in full force, and quite often it means holidays. It was full of beach days, pool days, and barbecues. One of the best months of the year without a doubt!

Highlights of 2018

  • Got a promotion at work – yippee!
  • Celebrated a friend’s 30th and partied hard.
  • Went to Vancouver Fashion Week.
  • Celebrated my Dad’s 50th birthday.
  • My friend from university, Alice, came over to stay for a couple of weeks.
  • Had a super fun weekend in Seattle.
  • Booked a weekend away in LA, somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit.
The catwalk at Vancouver Fashion Week
50th birthday cake
Girls with the view of Kerry Park, Seattle

October

October started with a bang, when we began the month having an awesome time in Seattle. We planned more activities for Alice’s trip from ice hockey to some cool hikes, and I began to suss out everything I wanted to do in LA. It was a really busy month that ended by basking on the beach in Malibu. Well, what better way to see in Halloween?!

Highlights of 2018

  • Booked a Vancouver whale watching trip.
  • Went to the ice hockey opener and saw a pretty impressive fight on the ice!
  • Had a (slightly scary) hike up to Ladner Creek Trestle Bridge.
  • Celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with family and friends.
  • Went for autumnal walks around the city.
  • Flew to Toronto for a successful work trip.
  • Watched the amazing Arctic Monkeys.
  • Flew to LA for the most amazing trip to see Melrose Avenue, Malibu, and Venice Beach.
Whale watching in Vancouver
Watching the Vancouver Canucks ice hockey
Al fresco brunch in Dundarave
Hiking Ladner Creek Trestle
Canadian Thanksgiving
Toronto's CN Tower at night
Arctic Monkey in Vancouver
Checking out Hollywood

November

The nights began to draw in and I began to look ahead to my impending trip back to the UK for Christmas. I saw in November with a trip to San Francisco to see a client, and also saw the most amazing sunset across the city from the Coit Tower.

Highlights of 2018

  • Explored San Francisco for a week.
  • Had a Shrek-themed office Halloween party where I went as Cinderella(!)
  • Travelled to Florida and tried my hand at TopGolf.
  • Hiked a ghost town in Whistler and explored a famous train wreck.
  • Saw the first signs of Christmas in Vancouver.
  • My best friend got engaged and asked me to be a bridesmaid in summer 2019.
Sunset across San Francisco
Cinderella for Halloween
An abandoned car at Parkhurst ghost town near Whistler
Christmas tree for 2018 in Vancouver

December

The beginning of the holiday season! And this means time to be back with loved ones and friends in the UK. I faced new work challenges by working out of our London office for a while and spent a few days in the capital catching up with old friends and making new ones. It was then great to be back in the Cotswolds and home with friends and family I’d missed over the course of 2018. Isn’t it nice when you return and it almost feels as though you never left?

Highlights of 2018

  • Had our office Christmas party.
  • Caught up with old friends and family.
  • Became a Londoner for a few days and explored the city.
  • Did plenty of brunching!
  • Ate all the roast dinners I possible could (how I’ve missed you!)
  • Visited Oxford and explored the Cotswolds.
  • Had a lovely Christmas.
  • Had a fun day cheering on our team at the rugby.
Seafood at Bluewater Cafe, Vancouver
St Paul's Cathedral at Christmas
Bottomless brunch at the Fire Station, Cheltenham
A roast dinner
Drinks at the Ivy, Cheltenham
Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds
Cheering on Gloucester Rugby

2019

And so here a few things to aim for in 2019:

  • To continue living my best life as well as I possibly can!
  • Carry on working hard into 2019.
  • Work out my future and where I want to be before 30.
  • Travel to new places to explore instead of visiting the same cities.
  • Blog more often! At least once a week.
  • Get more into fitness and spin classes (cliche I know, but summer bodies are made in the winter!)

The Happiest of New Years to all my amazing readers! How was your 2018? What were your highs and lows? What are you hoping to achieve in 2019?

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Laura
Laura

I’m Laura, a roaming blonde who recently made the leap from my home in the Cotswolds, UK to be based across the pond in Vancouver, BC for a brand new job and plenty of adventures.

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4 Comments

    • Laura
      Author
      January 2, 2019 / 10:34 pm

      It’s the best!

  1. January 1, 2019 / 3:10 am

    Sounds like a fantastic year!! I’m glad everything worked out so perfectly when you didn’t know what would happen at the beginning of the year. 🙂 Here’s to a great 2019!!

    • Laura
      Author
      January 2, 2019 / 10:35 pm

      Thank you! Who knows how long I’ll be here but gotta make the most of things when you can haven’t you!? 🙂 Happy 2019!

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