365 days ago I packed up a suitcase.
I filled it with presents for friends and family I hadn’t seen in years, and the barest minimum amount of clothes to leave space for all the things I was planning to buy.
365 days ago I got in a car.
That car contained my family, my mum and dad and my little brother and sister.
365 days ago, that car drove me to Cape Town International Airport.
I checked in my suitcase, and said goodbye to my family and I walked through security and I left this country for the start of a five month adventure.
365 days ago, I also started this blog.
Actually, I started it a long time before that – I secretly spent hours creating my original header, adding hundreds of widgets in the sidebar that are now no longer visible. And I scheduled a post (this post) to be published exactly one year ago today, so that while I was sitting on a plane on my way to England my friends and family would be able to read it.
I thought that it would be a nice way to share my adventures on my gap year, and I’m so incredibly glad that I chose to do it like this. I can’t actually believe that it has already been a year since I left. I was looking back at some of my first posts the other day, and it feels like I’m reading a strangers website. My writing style has changed and developed, and the way I put together posts is so different you would never think that those old posts were created by the same person. I have learnt so much in the past year, about travelling, about blogging, about opportunities and about myself.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has ever visited this site, whether you found just one post through a tweet or whether you’ve been here since that very first post one year ago. I never thought that I would continue to write this after I got back from Europe, but I did. I found something in me that couldn’t quite let go of that feeling that I get every time I press ‘publish’ after writing a post. There’s something about knowing that you’ve put a little piece of yourself out there in the world, and it is even better when you see other people reading and commenting and interacting with that work, because it connects you to so many people.
I have discovered a new part of the world through this blog, not just the incredible adventures that I have been on while I wrote it, but also the doors that seem to infinitely open up in front of you when you are wiling to put a part of you out there into the world.
I can’t wait to see what the next 365 days are going to be full of, I can only begin to imagine what incredible things there could be: look at what I’ve achieved in the last year – I went to the festival I’ve dreamt of my whole life, visited France for a weekend, seen some incredible street art, worked in a London PR office, spent 10 days exploring Berlin, worked at an amazing wine event in London…
… explored every museum and art gallery in London, stayed in Earls Court for a week, attended the 100% Design event in London, spent hours exploring the many aspects of the London Design Festival last year…
…went to some beautiful markets both in England and South Africa, seen some insane theatre performances, attended the Design Indaba in Cape Town as Press, bleached my hair, visited some beautiful old houses, eaten some incredible food, visited Chinatown in London, got to know my way around some beauty products, made some awesome cocktails …
… toured Buckingham Palace, dedicated an entire post to Loombands (?), visited the Wines of The Beautiful South, attended a party for the 10th birthday of the Pebbles Project, went to a wine event at the Savoy Hotel, tasted some beautiful wines and chocolate …
… road tripped for a day with my awesome colleagues, spent hours working with those awesome colleagues at Brampton Wine Studio, visited the #BeautyLive event in Covent Garden and saw Tanya Burr, Jim, and Sam and Nic from Pixiwoos, met some incredible people, went for afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason, fangirled at Platform 9 and 3/4s, spent 8 hours in the Warner Brothers Studio Tour for the Making of Harry Potter…
…listened to Gerard Way’s Hesitant Alien album about 500 times, spent too many sleepless nights having an insane amount of fun in Stellenbosch, drank goodness knows how many cups of tea, been to some incredible trance parties, saw the Christmas Tree lighting in Trafalgar Square, worked at the Stellenbosch Wine festival, came up with some (not always so helpful) advice about life and so so so much more!
I hope that some of you will continue the journey with me, and see what the next year has to offer for this girl with a serious case of the wanderlust.
365 days ago, I started this blog – and I have never looked back.
And I hope I never do.