2018 has been quite the year! I must say, it was a better year than 2017 where both my personal life and my blog are concerned. As today is the 2nd anniversary of my blog, let’s review her first.
Adventures from Elle’s Year
- As I’d explained yesterday, Adventures from Elle is still just a hobby but I’m happy to say its readership and engagement has grown this year. It now has had over 27,000 views, 13,000+ visitors (tripling last year), 700+ comments and now 77 blog posts to date.
- I wrote way less frequently than last year because I had fewer blog-worthy experiences, even if I did have a happier and more exciting year. Life just gets too busy sometimes to explore the outdoors, but I have been having equally as many enjoyable moments with a few special people.
- My travel posts have expanded to 3 new parishes, namely St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon.
- I wrote 18 new travel posts across 9 parishes and in 8 travel categories this year, bringing my place count to 46.
- I met a few local bloggers in person & one reader who was an ex-pat living in Jamaica for some time, and the experiences were definitely memorable. I hope to do more of this 2019.
- I updated some older posts with Pinterest-themed graphics and began adding same to all my new posts, making it easier to pin and share your favourite Adventures from Elle content on that platform.
As I’d said last year, I’m super excited to see where this blog will be in another year’s time. And as always, a million thanks to everyone who reads, comments, subscribes, messages me personally etc., both my online and in-real-life friends. You guys are amazing and it warms my heart when people say hey, I visited this place and that after reading your post on it.
Happiness comes to those who work for it. It rarely happens passively.
God is always good but He has been exceptionally good to me this year. I’m now in my final year of medical school and not owing a dime. I’ve managed to stick with the goal of working out more regularly, drinking more water and eating better for 2018, and I think it’s showing on me. I’ve learnt a lot of important life lessons and shared a lot of priceless life experiences with unexpected people. I’ve been learning to relax, let go and enjoy life more. I’m more grateful than ever before and I find more beauty and pleasure in the simplest of things. Most importantly, I genuinely felt happier on more days than not this year and I don’t think I’ve gone for more than perhaps 2 consecutive weeks of feeling down. For me, that’s a huge accomplishment. I’ve come to accept that perhaps my intrinsic neurotransmitter balance and thought processes make me more prone to depression than the average person, and so I’ve actively worked to be more happy this year. I’m more self-aware. I catch myself faster when I’m slipping, and I reach out to my partner or best friend and pick myself up (God bless their souls!). I do more of what makes me happy and I allow myself to feel each emotion as it comes, but that endorphin rush from more regular physical activity, that greater emphasis on gratitude for my blessings, that taking risks and getting out of my comfort zone and hanging out with loved ones more regularly has really worked wonders for me this year. I’ve learnt that happiness comes to those who work for it, and that it rarely happens passively. And the more you spread happiness and cheer is the more the universe sends it back your way.
- My tapered hair cut from September 2017 has grown out nicely.
- I ate so many sweet potatoes earlier this year I was afraid I’d turn orange (yes that’s medically possible. Carotenaemia).
- I completely failed at bringing lunch this year despite the haughtiness of this post last year. So yes, back I went to regular styrofoam box lunches on more days than not with too much starch, greasy meat and vegetables only as garnish. 😂😭 But I ate very well otherwise, and with more intuition than rote.
- My herb garden completely died when I left home for 2 weeks in March. My mom forgot to bring the pots inside during rain, so their roots got all waterlogged and mouldy and poof! Dead. ⚰
Hopes for 2019
To graduate. That is all. Everything else is secondary. Ain’t even making no resolutions this year besides visiting every parish in Jamaica. I have 3 out of 14 left. That, and to maintain all the good habits I’d worked hard to foster this year. For my blog, I hope to find a way to keep her relevant this year. I apologize in advance for how M.I.A. I will be in 2019.
In the words of soca artiste Voice, “2019 is [ours].” Let’s go forth and conquer! Sending cool tropical sea breezes your way.
P.S. I’d love to hear how your year went. Swing by the comments before you close this browser tab! 😛
‘Til tomorrow, friends! ✌🏽