2015 Roundup: London Life
Okay, so this is awkward. I used to post monthly roundups. You may even remember them? No? Okay well, I did. Then, I started missing them....so I posted every other monthly roundups (I think they call that 'bi-monthly'?). Then, I posted every three months and after that -- I stopped posting roundups at all. It wasn't on purpose, and it certainly wasn't a strategic blog decision (not that I tend to make those anyway!) but I guess, well, life happened. Weirdly, I have been posting more than ever this month, so missing out on the roundups isn't because I'm winding down or having a bloggers block.
I just ran out of things to say.
Or, at least, I ran out of things that I thought anyone would want to read. Until my lovely friend Sarah reminded me that actually, she quite likes reading these roundups, I sort of presumed that nobody was interested. I don't write this blog for anyone apart from myself, but 2014 and 2015 saw me really heavily relying on the blog for my income -- so, SEO, shareable content, social media best practice and and all those other boring things took over.
So this year I have made a decision. I write for myself, and no one else. That's not to say I don't value my readers -- nobody could love their readers more than I! I'd happily welcome blog post requests, or ideas on how to improve. I just don't want to be sucked into the whole professional blogger game. I am not a professional blogger because that is not how I directly make a living, and as such, I choose to write this blog on whatever topic I choose, and if I break all of the blogging rules on the way, that's okay.
So, I will continue these roundup posts but after this one, I will be mixing it up a little and turning them into a monthly newsletter, available exclusively to WanderLuce email subscribers.
But wait! I'm not a WanderLuce email subscriber?! Don't worry -- just sign up through the MailChimp form below:
Once you sign up, yes -- I said ONCE, not if -- you'll receive a weekly email with anything I have posted that week (you will never receive more than 1 email weekly, regardless of how post-happy I get!) as well as your super exclusive monthly newsletter, which will drop down to your inbox on the first of each month.
Still not convinced? Well, have a read of this post - as it will be the template which I'm basing the monthly newsletter on going forward. If you want all of my overshares, which won't always appear on the blog as well as stuff I'm hoping to add, such as competitions, giveaways and all that good stuff. Now, onto the point of today's post -- what the hell have I been up to for the past few months?
Wowee, things have changed. In the last roundup I was still living in Koh Tao and somewhat enjoying it however our time there had definitely come to an end. From the start of the year in Bali, which was an absolute travel highlight, to the end -- back in London, it's been a tricky travel year. I realised a lot about myself and what I want from my life and my future. Okay that was a little deep. Sorry.
I already knew that I don't like to travel too quickly, but I didn't realise that I don't like to stay in one place for too long. I'm pretty sure the sweet spot is around three months before I start to get itchy feet and become wholly obsessed with 'my next move'. I mean, it's happening right now and in theory -- London is my permanent home!
2015 was a big 'life' year, because I got engaged. I made the decision not to talk about the wedding on the blog, mostly because I feel like it's private however I'm pretty keen to write a post at some point this year. The other big thing was that Oli and I moved back to London earlier than expected (partially due to the aforementioned wedding) and I had to quite seriously think about my blogging future, and whether or not I actually had a 'career'. Which leads me nicely into.......
Since my last roundup, work has been amazing. Coming back to London was incredibly tough at first and I felt like I was forever fielding 'when are you going to get a job' questions, to the point where I actually started applying for jobs I didn't particularly want, in order to save face. Isn't that insane? Please tell me I'm not alone in this.
Needless to say, I continued with my current employer and took on more responsibility, and I've upped my freelancing game, taking on more copywriting and writing jobs. I even had to hire an accountant, eek. All in all, I ended 2015 feeling pretty lacking in confidence and needing a serious boost.
Luckily, January is shaping up to be my most profitable month yet, which is a great start to 2016!
Note: If you are keen to know how I make a living online, let me know in the comments and I'll write a post!
Food & Fitness
Ah the two F's, my devils. I started 2015 in the best shape of my life, and arguably at my ideal weight. Too many San Miguel's and delicious Thai food left me feeling bloated, fat and feeling like total sh@t. At 5'5 and a size 10, I'm obviously not fat -- yet, I definitely do not feel like I am at my perfect weight, or size. However I recognise that I have always had issues with food, and that I am not the best person to rationalise my 'ideal' weight or size so I am working on trying not to troll myself. There's enough haters out there, right?
That being said, I am trying to be more conscious of what I eat and how much exercise I partake in, and am happily getting back into a good training schedule. The tools I have been relying on are Yoga With Adriene, Fitness Blender and lots of running! Let me tell you, there's nothing like the impending dread of getting into a wedding dress to kick you into gear.
I was a vegetarian years ago, for quite a long time (about 5 years?!) and have always been quite healthy, but this year I have been seriously into eating a mostly Vegan diet. Oh my, it's such a revelation. My skin has cleared up, I feel healthier, my grocery bill is cheaper and, it's surprisingly easy. If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram you will know of my massive Fan Girl style crush on Ainé Carlin and her amazing Keep it Vegan cookbook, which I picked up in March. It's the best. Super easy, and you don't need any weird ingredients to make anything.
Thus far, since I've been back in London, I've lost about 7 pounds.....and I've got another 3 or 4 to go to reach my 'goal' weight. Which is of course, to not have to unbutton my jeans after a cup of tea.......
I have been a little sketchy with my writing, but December was good and I introduced a new category -- Photo of the Week -- which has served to inspire me a little, and remind myself of how bloody lucky I am to travel to all of these amazing places. One of the most popular posts was this one -- all about why I am sick of long term travel. It really resonated with people and I got so many positive comments from people who felt exactly the same. My personal posts always do quite well!
Going forward, like I said previously, I want to write a lot more about London life which I rarely do. I also think it might be an idea to share a little more about my job. People are always wanting to know what I do, how I actually get paid and who pays me, so perhaps this is the year I start to share that. I have been reticent in the past, bordering on defensive, and I think that's because I obsessively compare myself to every one around me. Being a natural born perfectionist, I want to be the best and I want to get there yesterday so it's in my nature to aim high. But that's not even remotely healthy, particularly when I'm comparing myself to bloggers who have been building their online business for years. Actual years!
This little baby was only two last month, and in actual fact -- in the current iteration (aka as WanderLuce) it's not even a year old. So, I'm being kind to myself, and congratulating my achievements, however small.
I recently wrote about some of my favourite bloggers from 2015, but if i'm honest -- I am totally forgetful and actual forgot to include a stack. Anyway, I have also found a load more in the past week, as I resolved to mix it up a bit and get inspired by new blogs. A few that I am currently reading are: Hannah Gale, A Bird in the Hand, Rachel Aust and Kate La Vie.
I've also been reading a lot of Stylist magazine, and can I just say that whilst I love the convenience of the digital edition -- I just bloody love the old fashioned paper magazine. I love the joy of seeing the Stylist dude outside Hammersmith tube, and securing my copy.
So, what did you think? Are you keen for more? Remember that this post is my last one on the blog -- so to receive it monthly you will need to sign up to my newsletter:
Phew. That was a good reminder of what has passed....what's next? Answers on a postcard....or below in the comments.