An Honest Look Back at 2018
With the close of another year, it’s time to talk about the highs (and lows) of my ‘YES!’ year.
It’s the second last day of 2018 and I’m still questioning how we got from September to December. Anyone? Anyone at all with any answers? Looking back, I have a fairly good explanation for why I feel this way; the past year has been more jam-packed than any before it. That’s not particularly surprising considering that I committed to 2018 being my ‘YES!’ year before it had even begun. As a naturally cautious person who tends to over calculate decisions, I’m incredibly proud of myself for letting go and simply making the most of every opportunity. In fact, I cannot tell you how many times I said to Brad, “Say yes now, worry about it later” and it really was a blessing in disguise.
To simplify it, I think I can categorise my 2018 into four categories; travel, career, home life and the wedding. While I could talk about each in great depth, I really wanted to take this moment to summarise each not only for my own reflection, but also perhaps so that we may discover similarities and learn from each others experiences. After all, isn’t this at the very core of why I began Lion in the Wild all those many years ago?
The travel. ✈️
Perth (home) to Sydney, Melbourne, Hakuba, Tokyo, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Sydney, Nice, Monaco, Berlin, Kraków, Prague, Český Krumlov, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Far North Queensland, Maldives, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Bali, Sydney, South Africa and Switzerland.
Whew. I’m out of breath just thinking about it. 2018 saw me go to 18 countries, some more than once (France and Japan, I’m looking at you), taking my yearly total to over 350 hours of flying and 58 flights, and my lifetime total to 23 countries, 5 continents and 100% more in awe of our beautiful Earth. Pinch me, now. Truly, I cannot believe that I was so beyond fortunate to experience so many different landscapes, cultures and histories alongside new and old friends.
Travel has been a priority of mine, and you could say a life goal, since I embarked on my first overseas adventure at 16 (thanks Mum and Dad!), but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think one year would result in such a wealth of global experiences. Talkin’ about a dream come true!
The work life. 🖥
What a year it has been for Lion in the Wild and my career as a Creative Director and Digital Content Creator! From featuring in a national television commercial for Garnier to working on projects with some of my favourite brands, 2018 proved that the digital landscape is only getting more exciting.
In saying that, a lack of time, and sometimes even inspiration and motivation, meant I didn’t write or blog as much on LIONINTHEWILD.COM as I’d really have liked. Despite Instagram unsurprisingly being a core platform of mine, I’ve always felt that this blog is the heart and soul of Lion in the Wild, so it’s definitely going to be a priority of mine for 2019 (and just creating in general).
Something I haven’t spoken at length about is that not only did Lion in the Wild gain its first full-time employee this year (also known as my business and life partner, Mr. Bradley Jarman!), but we also founded our first company, In the Wild Creative. It’s a very exciting time and I really cannot wait to see what the next year holds for us, including a lot of diversifying, growth and hard work.
The home life. 🏡
Let me first start off this section of my blog post by saying that this year has been the very best yet. All year I’ve said, “When we look back on 2018 at 70-years-old, we’ll have no regrets whatsoever” and it really is the truth. I’m unbelievably grateful to have been able to tick dozens of bucker list items off, but it hasn’t come without struggle, sacrifice and instability.
Without hardly a moment to spare between flights and jet lag, I’ve struggled juggling constant travel, being away from Brad, running a business, making quality time for friends and family, and simply being at home doing nothing but lapping up every moment with Brad and our fur baby, Indi the Cat. This has to be the first festive season I’ve not felt rested whatsoever. In fact, I’m exhausted and I’m burnt out and I desperately need to spend some time just at home.
In saying that, I need no sympathy. I’m the one who said yes to travelling 90 hours in the two weeks leading up to Christmas, the busiest time of the year, knowing completely how draining it would be. Like I said, no regrets whatsoever.
2019 is going to be the year I build foundations and ground myself a little more here at home in Australia, not to say there aren’t a million more destinations I want to explore. I’ve just learnt the value of routine, stability and that warm fuzzy feeling I get every day I’m home.
The wedding. 💕
Of course, I’m ending this blog post with the most wonderful thing to happen in 2018 and my life so far; the moment I married the love of my life, Brad. We got married in September and we’ve been pretty quiet about it. Actually, that pretty much sums up our whole wedding; small, intimate and low-key, just the way we wanted it. Put simply, it was perfect for us and I think that’s really important when it comes to such a big event in your life.
Brad and I decided last year that we’d get married, and when he proposed on top of a mountain in New Zealand (after an epic day of snowboarding, mind you), I knew we’d actually have to plan our wedding now. Fast-forward to three-weeks before the big day, we booked everything (and I mean everything except for the appointment at the Registry, which understandably needed to be booked in advance). Yeah, we were highly unorganised, but it really did come together fantastically.
I guess that’s why you never really heard much, receiving many requests for wedding related content. I just didn’t have any! We did, however, spill the beans on our relationship, the lead up to the wedding, the Big Day and how we did it, and our marriage in this video. Needless to say, it was the most personal video I’ve ever put out there on the Internet.
Being married to my favourite human, the one I can spend 24/7 with, the one I’ve built a life, a business, a home and so much more with, is the very best thing in the world.