Thursday, 31 December 2015

LIFE: A Look At 2015

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

If anybody had said to me at the start of 2015 I would be sat here now having travelled on 30 flights, seen 10 new places, I would never have believed it. When I returned from Australia after nearly 12 months of travelling back in June 2014, I really didn't think travel would be something that would realistically happen to me for another couple of years. The fact I've seen so many new places in the world during 2015 has made me realise just how important it is to see what else is out there. Travel, new places and new cultures really do teach you a lot and I couldn't urge people more to get out there and experience somewhere other than the place they live.

It's been a good year, a really good year. So here's a little month by month run down featuring the highlights (and sometimes the lows) of what I got up to...

I started the year ill, like really ill. I got knocked out by some sickness bug on Boxing Day and it took  me out for pretty much 3 weeks of the beginning of the year. My days were spent in bed, with films, lots of snoozing and basic food. Not the best start of the year but a prime example of your body telling you when you need to slow down! Towards the end of the month I headed down to London with my BFF Emily to the very first Fare Healthy event. It was loads of fun and a day filled with tasty healthy foods, inspirational health/foodie talks and the best thing - the Dance Like Beyonce workshop we took part in. And how can I forget going to see Wicked. I'd wanted to see that musical for so long and it was wonderful.

After a shaky start to the year, February saw the first trip away with work. I knew that Milan would be the place I take trips twice a year for our biggest tradeshow so I was very happy to be given the opportunity to travel with work. At the end of the month I had some amazing news, I was being given the opportunity of a promotion. I also went to my very first London Fashion Week and, if I'm honest, didn't really understand what all the hype is about. People don't actually seem to enjoy themselves, it's more about being seen and having their photograph taken. 

Obviously I accepted the promotion - meaning this year took off in a big way with every trip being to a place I'd never visited before. My first solo work trip was to China for a big show in Shanghai. China was never really somewhere I'd contemplated travelling too and I really had no idea what to expect. I have to admit, being a foodie, my hunger wasn't satisfied for the majority of the trip other than two amazing meals, one at the PuLi Hotel and another on a rooftop overlooking The Bund. Of all the places I could have travelled solo 'for business' China was the most intimdating, but I can't even express how lucky I felt to be experiencing something like this. I had a day to myself to go on a walking tour and actually see some of Shanghai, which was a fantastic day.

In April I turned 24. Where those years between 21 and 24 went I have no idea but I had a brilliant birthday. I visited Sheffield for a day of pottering about and also went to York for afternoon tea at Betty's. Caitlin had also arranged a weekend in the countryside at a log cabin as a joint birthday weekend for myself and one of her best friends from uni. The weekend was a lot of fun and the weather was better than we could have ever imagined.

We thought the good weather would continue throughout May, think again...we had a weekend in the Lakes. Well, actually the Yorkshire Dales, we didn't realise until we arrived that our cottage wasn't actually classed as the Lake District. We definitely didn't let the weather drag us down. We went out on walks, happily drank and made food at our beautiful cottage and pottered about Lake Windermere. It was SUCH a lovely long weekend away.

I spent quite a bit of time away from home in June, travelling around for work mostly. I had work trips to Riva Del Garda (AMAZING!) and also to the incredible Florence. Both places I'd never visited and I instantly fell in the love with the beautiful views, the delicious food and just the perks of being able to travel as part of my job. Big moment - I also dyed my hair ginger. Anybody that knows me will know the most adventurous I've ever got hair-wise is dip dye. I LOVED my ginger hair, this lasted until November but will be back in the Spring.

More work travel, this time to Dusseldorf. I unfortunately didn't see as much of the city as I'd have liked but enjoyed the trip all the same. July always means on things - Tramlines Festival in Sheffield. I had the best weekend in my friends and am so happy I can regularly go back to the place that feels like home.

August was a crazy, crazy month with LOTS of flights. At the start of the month I jetted off to Copenhagen for three days to scope out a new show and take in some of the Copenhagen lifestyle. We ate at Host, one of the most amazing restaurants I've ever been to. The food was out of this world. From Copenhagen, we flew to Budapest for a little holiday and a wedding. The heat was unreal so it meant our days were spent at the Baths, laying outside in the sun and plunging into the outdoor pools to stay cool. By even, we drank at several of the Ruin Bars which was always lots of fun. On our last night we went on a beautiful boat trip along the river to see some of the sights it was way too hot to see in the day. I was back home for a few days before heading to VIIIIVA LAS VEGAS. Possibly the best five days of my life. Yes, it was for work. Yes, I actually did work while I was there. But the place is like no other and, with it being my first visit, I was on a total high that work had actually taken me to Vegas. I stayed in the beautiful Vdara, ate at some fantastic restaurants and managed to get a couple of hours of sunshine in by the pool each morning. Pretty much straight from Vegas it was time for another visit to Milan. The weather was much better this time and we were lucky enough to visit Expo and the British Pavilion - something I'm so pleased I got to see. 

September began in Milan and ended with a week in New York. Yes, the Big Apple. I was there for a few days of work but had an extra four days there. I have to say, this was possibly one of the best weeks of my life. I'd ALWAYS wanted to visit New York. And no, not just because I was hoping I'd bump into Chuck Bass or be a secret extra in Gossip Girl (well, there's talk of a film so it wasn't completely unrealistic...). I originally stayed in Chelsea in the lovely Flower District, which was a perfect spot to see some of the sights. I was 5 minutes from Madison Square Garden, a 15/20 minute walk from the Empire State Building and so many other typically touristy spots. The rest of the week I stayed in Tribeca - which was quirky and cool, just as I'd expected. From here I saw Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and ate at some beautiful restaurants. I pretty much walked about 15 miles every day and it was so worth it. I absolutely loved every minute of it and already can't wait to get there again in 2016.

The travel didn't stop in October. A week after I had got back from NYC, I flew up to Glasgow for a stunning wedding in Lochgilphead. I mean, people often exaggerate about perfection. But this weekend and this wedding were absolute perfection. I cannot wait to get to Scotland again in the new year, so so beautiful. The rest of the month was filled with Sheffield trips, time at home, lots of time in London and an awards evening that ended in a very tipsy fashion! Halloween was also unexpectedly great, even though it was spent in Northampton.

I had a couple of real 'pinch myself' moments in November. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Houses of Parliament for a Graduate Fashion show where I met Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey and a number of other 'WOW' people in the fashion industry. It was an amazing evening and a totally unexpected way to spend Bonfire Night. I also attended a lovely dinner on the HQS Wellington for the Pattenmakers, a really inspiring evening that's spurred me on to try and get more involved. I pretty much lived in London during November and it was so much fun.

The final month of 2015 was a lot of fun - I had a lovely trip to London with my Mum for a day of eating and Christmas shopping. I also headed to the Southbank Christmas Market which was LOVELY. Mulled wine, mulled cider, delicious pizza and so romantic with the big tree and the London Eye in the background. I had a lovely couple of weekends with Emily and co.
Unfortunately, the year ended on a horrible note, I guess. My oldest friend was involved in a terrible accident and has spent the month fighting for her life. It's been and continues to be incredibly hard but she is the strongest person I know and each day she makes a little bit more progress. I can't wait to welcome her into 2016. It really does make you realise just how precious life is - one of the main things I've learned this year.

I'm spending tonight in Sheffield with Emily and the guys to see in the New Year. I'm actually more excited for this than I was for Christmas as it seems fitting to greet 2016 in my favourite place. 

I've probably missed all sorts out but you get the gist, it's been a ridiculously busy but fulfilled year!

I wish you all a very happy New Year and I hope 2016 is filled with happiness, good health, lots of fun and friendship.

Thank you for continuing to read Unorganised Chaos, it means a lot after all of these years that people still continue to read my ramblings!


1 comment:

  1. Thats a whole lot of travel and flights- I wish my job allowed me to travel (or required me to travel) more!! Hope you have a wonderful 2016 xxx

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