2019: A Year in Reflection

2019: A Reflection

2019 has been a really strange year for me, in many ways. It began arriving back to a wintery Vancouver after a lovely Christmas break at home. I wasn’t sure what the rest of the year held for me, or if I’d remain in Canada, and sure enough I didn’t. Since then, I’ve experience lots of change. I’ve seen dozens of new places, partied harder than ever, met new people, see friends get married, switched offices, moved apartments twice, and become a Londoner.

To be completely truthful, I’m not sure how I feel about any of it, but I’ve experienced a lot along the way. In my 2018 year review, I set myself the following goals:

  • To continue living my best life as well as I possibly can! I have certainly continued to do this!
  • Carry on working hard into 2019. I always try my best to work hard, despite reaching a bit of a crossroads in my career.
  • Work out my future and where I want to be before 30. This is difficult as I still don’t know, although I have moved out of a city where I don’t necessarily see my future being.
  • Travel to new places to explore instead of visiting the same cities. Oh hell yes! Mexico, Hong Kong, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Germany are all new places I’ve never been before.
  • Blog more often! At least once a week. It may not have been once a week since moving to London (I’m extremely time poor!) but my blog has had its most visited and successful year yet.
  • Get more into fitness and spin classes (cliche I know, but summer bodies are made in the winter!) My god yes. I joined spin and it pretty much changed my life. More on this later.

Here are a few lessons and highlights along the way.


Yes, of course it’s a cliche but this is where the beginning of my spin bunny journey began. Having been to a few spin classes in previous months, I signed up for a monthly pass and began to go to classes most days. It truly changed my mentality and helped me have a routine and a goal to aim for. I explored more of beautiful Vancouver and its surroundings, and got stuck into work.

Highlights of 2019

  • Exploring more of Vancouver throughout the winter and truly appreciating it, not knowing how long I’d stay there.
  • Got into a real fitness routine, thanks to Spin Society.
  • Planned new travels, and booked my first trip to Mexico.
  • Had a visitor to come and stay.
Welcoming 2019 in Vancouver
Wreck Beach in Vancouver
Charcuterie board in 2019


February brought more local exploring. I visited gorgeous Whyteclyff Park in Vancouver, celebrated birthdays, and brunched harder than ever. I kept busy at work with new clients in Toronto, and was tested in all new kinds of ways.

Highlights of 2019

  • Exploring beautiful British Columbia, with a visit to Victoria and then onto Port Renfrew (although the latter was snowed off).
  • Celebrated Liz’s birthday with dozens of glasses of wine at the Urban Winery.
  • Had the most wonderful hen weekend away in Whistler with my coworkers, celebrating with a spa, the Peak to Peak gondola, and a boozy night out.
  • Kept up my spin classes as I’d set out.
  • Prepared for my upcoming trip to Mexico.
2019: tasting wine flights at Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver
Drinking Empress gin at Fairmont Victoria, Vancouver Island
Visiting the Scandinave Spa in Whistler, BC
Spending 2019 at the Peak to Peak on Whistler Blackcomb


March was a wonderful month. I spent the first ten days of the month in Mexico, which totally blew me away as a country. We started off in Mexico City, a city of which I never had any huge expectation. It’s a magnificent place, so colourful with the friendliest of people. I then celebrated my birthday in Cancun over Spring Break, which was sheer craziness and fun. The weather began to brighten up, and I was sent down to one of my favourite cities to spend a week working there. All in all a great time.

Highlights of 2019

  • Exploring the colourful city of Mexico, eating my body weight in tacos, and taking a trajinera.
  • Climbing the majestic Teotihuacan and eating delicious Mexican food in a grotto.
  • Relaxing on the white sandy beaches of Cancun in the all-inclusive hotel of Secrets the Vine Cancun.
  • Partying with Tiesto at spring break.
  • Expanding my career horizons by spending a week in San Francisco, presenting more on my job and meeting new clients in Silicon Valley.
2019: vacation in Mexico City, at Casa Gilardi
Spring Break 2019 in Cancun, Mexico
San Francisco at twilight


April had more travels in store, with adventures in Florida. Once again I was lucky enough for work to send me to client meetings. We began our journey in Jacksonville for a fabulous few days, and then hired a car. We set off for Miami, and had an amazing time partying and staying in a luxury condo. A dear friend of mine moved over to Vancouver and we explored the city together, adventuring along the way. It was a tough month too, as I began to question my future in Vancouver, and wonder where I’d be next.

Highlights of 2019

  • Continuing on my spin adventure by keeping it up since January.
  • Hitting up the many excellent dive bars of Jacksonville once again.
  • Partying with Martin Solveig in Miami, and enjoying the awesome clubs of the city.
  • Seeing the art deco of Ocean Drive once again and sunbathing on South Beach.
  • Celebrating 4/20 at one of the largest spots to do so at English Bay in Vancouver.
2019 in Jacksonville, Florida
On South Beach, Miami
Ocean Drive, Miami
420 2019 in Vancouver


Another month, another adventure! By now I’d fully decided I’d be relocating back to London, given my plateau at work and lack of progression. It was therefore imperative that I made the most of the rest of my time in Vancouver and beyond. I explored more of BC, hitting up the Sunshine Coast for the first time and going back to one of my favourite places on Vancouver Island, Tofino. I saw in the start of summer, embarked on some BC hikes, and even booked my first trip to Asia for June.

Highlights of 2019

  • Discovering British Columbia’s beautiful Sunshine Coast, from the south all the way up to the north.
  • Learning to surf in one of my favourite spots in the whole world, Tofino.
  • Hiking Mount Gardner on Bowen Island in BC for the most magical views over Vancouver and beyond.
  • Making the most of being in Vancouver by visiting my favourite parts of town, including Dundarave.
  • Booking a spontaneous trip to Hong Kong with my friend Lucy.
  • Taking a cooking class and learning how to make ramen from scratch.
2019 in the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia
Surfing in Tofino, Vancouver Island
Climbing Mount Gardner, Bowen Island
Ramen cooking class in Vancouver


June got off to a pretty brilliant start, with a trip to Hong Kong on June 1st. I experienced Asia for the first time, soaking in the views, people, new foods, and craziness. We travelled to Macau on the ferry, and explored some of the islands and beaches around Hong Kong. The rest of June was bittersweet. It was also the month I’d decided to leave Vancouver, and so I was leaving some important things and places behind. I tried to absorb as much of it as I could, seeing as many people as possible and visiting all my favourite places again. I cycled around the city, went stand up paddle boarding, and fitted in some hikes. The month finished off with a trip to Toronto, some client karaoke, and some sad farewells to my life in Vancouver.

Highlights of 2019

  • Catching the Symphony of Lights in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.
  • Visiting the beautiful Portuguese region of Macau, and exploring the Taipa Village.
  • Climbing Victoria Peak for the stunning views across Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
  • Cycling around Kitsilano in the summer sun and stand up paddleboarding across the sea.
  • Exploring Toronto once more and relaxing by our hotel’s rooftop pool.
  • Having wonderful farewell drinks with my Vancouver friends.
Symphony of Lights 2019 in Hong Kong
2019: St Paul's Ruins, Macau
Poolside in Toronto, Canada
Laura in Toronto, Canada


July marked new beginnings, with my arrival back into the UK – ironically on Canada Day. I’d had to make a tough decision – moving to my company’s San Francisco office or to London. Choosing London, I said goodbye to loved ones and was welcomed back to others. I surprised my friend ahead of her hen do, and was set on planning that out. I managed to squeeze in a holiday with a trip to my favourite island, Ibiza. Travelling with my mum, we stayed in the beautiful boutique hotel of Ca Na Xica, and visited stunning Formentera. I then celebrated my friend Jo’s hen do in Bath with butlers, gin tasting, and wine and cheese. It was a jam packed month that made for an excellent summer.

Highlights of 2019

  • Being reunited with friends and family back in the UK.
  • Surprising friends and having drinks in Cheltenham as a reunion.
  • Relaxing at beautiful Ca Na Xica in Ibiza and swimming in a beautiful infinity pool.
  • Exploring Ibiza and eating fresh seafood.
  • Revisiting Formentera and its beautiful blue waters.
  • Celebrating my friend Jo’s hen do in style in Bath.
Girls in Cheltenham
Ca Na Xica, Ibiza in 2019
Formentera 2019
Hen do in Bath


We started the new month with my brother’s birthday and went for celebratory ramen then dinner later. The next day was a big one – Jo’s wedding. The first of my friends to get married. It was a lovely day full of laughter, dancing, and sun. Just a couple of days later was my next big move – to the Big Smoke. Arriving in London wasn’t quite as I’d pictured and my studio apartment wasn’t anything like the pictures. While exploring London and meeting with old friends, I had to move house. I started my new job and everything was a-go! Exploring London was amazing, from Camden to Primrose Hill, to Notting Hill Carnival. I also met some important new people in my life.

Highlights of 2019

  • Being bridesmaid for my friend Jo’s wedding.
  • Moving to London and having my very own studio apartment.
  • Starting a new job in a new office and making new friends.
  • Exploring London and new places including Camden and Primrose Hill.
  • Making new friends at my office summer party.
  • Moving to Hoxton near Shoreditch.
  • Reconnecting with old friends at Notting Hill Carnival.
  • Ticking off more of my London bucket list – a curry on Brick Lane and my first time at the Sky Garden.
Wedding at Blackfriars, Gloucester in 2019
St Paul's Cathedral, London
Office summer party, 2019
With family on Primrose Hill, London
Girls at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
Views over London from the Sky Garden


My month began with a dear visitor from Canada, who I showed around the London, the Cotswolds, and Cornwall. I adjusted into the London life, soon adapting to the long hours that weren’t so familiar from Vancouver. Picking up the gym again, I also enjoyed London in the sun. I got to know my colleagues better, explored more areas like Notting Hill, and saw friends. With my friend Alice’s birthday, we celebrated and I was reconnected with old friends from the past.

Highlights of 2019

  • Showing my Canadian visitor around London’s best bits.
  • Heading to the Cotswolds and celebrating my friend Jo’s birthday.
  • Taking a trip down to Devon and Cornwall.
  • Seeing the music Wicked in London.
  • Celebrating my friend Alice’s birthday with a trip to a restaurant in the dark, Dans Le Noir.
  • Exploring more of London and having dinner with friends.
Roast dinner at Lygon Arms, Broadway, Worcestershire
Salcombe, Devon
2019 sunset at Sennen Cove, Cornwall
Dinner at Dans Le Noir, London


October was month filled with hard work. With my new role well and truly rolling, I had to adjust to new clients, new colleagues, and gruelling hours. Generally, I felt pretty tired! I had nights out and met new friends, making the most of London’s nightlife. I tried to get Glastonbury tickets and failed, explored more of London, and booked a trip. In fact, it was my first solo trip – a new achievement for me! I booked super cheap flights (thirty five quid, hello!) to Stockholm, Sweden, and relished time alone in a new city. I loved it. Returning, I hit up some cool places with work, partied, and lived the good life all the way through to Halloween.

Highlights of 2019

  • Having a girly night out at Ballie Ballerson.
  • Exploring new areas of London like Columbia Road Flower Market.
  • Taking my first solo trip and loving Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Visiting some wonderful London restaurants, including Roka and Gloria Trattoria.
  • Finally going to the Tate Modern, and seeing the beautiful views across London from the top.
  • Partying hard with new friends.
  • Celebrating Halloween by carving various pumpkins.
2019 at Ballie Ballerson, London
Streets of London
2019: Laura in Stockholm, Sweden
Delicious food at Gloria Trattoria, London


My month was packed with fun-filled travels – my very favourite kind of month! I began by travelling back to Cheltenham and onto Cornwall once again with my family. We had a relaxing few days in Carbis Bay, before I went back to the craziness of London. I saw new things in London, and booked another trip – this time to Helsinki and Tallinn. I hit up Somerset House, went to the wonderful Savoy for the first time, before travelling. Helsinki was beautiful and I took a post-sauna dip in the Baltic Sea. The ferry to Tallinn was amazing and the city and its Christmas markets were beautiful. The following week, I was off again – this time to Berlin. It was a crazy first visit to Germany, full of clubs, beer, and Christmas markets. All in all an incredible month that I won’t forget any time soon.

Highlights of 2019

  • A wonderful relaxing weekend with family, beach walks, baths, and good food in Cornwall.
  • Taking a trip to Walthamstow to finally see God’s Own Junkyard (I’m a huge fan of neon signs).
  • Going for scrumptious roast dinners in London with friends.
  • Having an amazing evening in the Savoy’s American Bar.
  • The most wonderful trip to Helsinki and exploring a portion of Finland.
  • Taking a dip in the Baltic Sea after visiting the Loyly sauna.
  • Sipping on champagne and caviar in Tallinn.
  • Ending November in Berlin, drinking beer and eating incredible brunches while seeing the city’s sights.
A weekend in Carbis Bay, Cornwall
2019 in God's Own Junkyard, London
Views over Tallinn, Estonia
Taking a dip in the Baltic Sea at Loyly, Helsinki
Beer at Hofbrau, Berlin in 2019


The 1st of December – time to finally open advent calendars, and a continuation of my Berlin trip. We visited Christmas markets, saw more sights, and sipped tea from a beautiful tearoom. The rest of the week kicked off the start of Christmas party season – we drank and got very merry. I hit up some pubs and had my office Christmas party. Not too long after I got sick, mainly due to stress, and anxiety with my job and situation. Christmas was lovely despite not being 100%, and I still have a chance to catch up with friends while back in Cheltenham. Bring on 2020!

Highlights of 2019

  • Discovering the incredible history of the Berlin Wall.
  • Going to the amazing Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market of Berlin and eating fondue.
  • Gatecrashing a party at Goldsmiths Hall with dear friends and sipping on champagne.
  • Partying at my office Christmas do at Ironmongers Hall.
  • Having dinner around the Christmas lights of Covent Garden.
  • Surviving months of living and working in London and readjusting to the UK.
  • Being reunited with family for Christmas.
Christmas 2019: Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin
Champagne in Goldsmiths Hall, London
Christmas party at Ironmongers Hall, London
Seven Dials in London at Christmas 2019


And so here a few things to aim for in 2020:

  • Make a significant shift in my day to day – a new job and a change that will make me happier.
  • Work on getting promoted or shift my career to something more creative.
  • Make new friends and meet new people.
  • Continue to travel to new cities and places.
  • Save as much as I can towards a mortgage.
  • Shape a better routine for the gym – I currently go but there’s no real pattern to what I do.
  • Maintain a regular blog routine.
  • Be more grateful for everything I’m lucky enough to have by making a note of things I appreciate each and every day.

The Happiest of New Years to all my amazing readers! How was your 2019? What were your highs and lows? What are you hoping to achieve in 2020?

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  1. Looks like a fantastic year and you’ve visited so many places while moving as well! Hope 2020 is amazing for you! (Btw I am totally going to God’s Own Junkyard next time I’m in London!!! I keep not getting around to it!)

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Definitely go to God’s Own Junkyard, it’s so so cool. There’s also a gin bar next door called Mother’s Ruin which is worth stopping into!

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