2018 is over and I thought it would be a nice idea to document the years highs and lows … not an original idea I know, you’ve probably read many of these already but I think it’s great to be honest, brutally honest in some parts and to use this post as a benchmark for how I’d like 2019’s post to be – as high if not higher than the highs and nowhere near as low or lower than the lows!

So here it goes….

Travel

2018 was definitely my favourite year for travelling. I made 10 trips abroad with a combination of my friends and family for both work and pleasure and it seriously gave me the travel bug!

We headed to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon and Rome in two round trips with Withlocals and it was such an amazing opportunity! We took tours, saw so many sights and got a taste for travelling as a family of four just myself, Pete, Jasper and Jenson.

We then headed on a family holiday to Cyprus; the four of us plus my parents, sister, brother, sister in law, niece and nephew. It was a resort style holiday so incredibly relaxing and fun plus we spent Jaspers birthday there which was great!

I then had another work trip to Lisbon but this time with Martinhal, staying in their Cascais resort and Chiado city hotel! I took Jasper along with me and it was so wonderful to travel just the two of us! We also got to experience the magical Sintra – wow!

Next up was a weekend in Croatia for Lucies hen do! The island was absolutely stunning and as my third hen do abroad it really reminded me how much a girls trip is needed sometimes – sun, sea, chatter and all the sequins!

We then had our longest stint away from home with the kids ever – 5 weeks in Jamaica for Petes work! He went out there 6 weeks earlier so I flew solo with the boys and it was simply unforgettable! There were highs and lows within it; the boys having chickenpox and me feeling rather lonely on one hand but then working with some amazing resorts whilst out there, riding horses in the Caribbean Sea, River Rafting, climbing waterfalls and having our last holiday as a family being such incredible highs!

Finally I topped my travelling off with New Years in Iceland. Myself and my sister jetted off on New Years Eve to Reykjavik which made not only my last trip of 2018 but my first of 2019 … start the year as I mean to go on right? We saw waterfalls, geysers, bathed in geothermal springs and it really was amazing to travel just the two of us!

Fun

On top of all the travelling I got to go on some really fun weekends away, spa breaks to Pennyhill Park and Champneys, hen dos in London and Reading, birthdays, baby showers and weddings … plus a countryside week away in Dorset with Sykes Cottages!

Fitness

At the end of 2017 I was unhealthy and underweight. It wasn’t extreme nor noticeable to anyone else but I felt weak, I had a lack of energy and I just wasn’t happy with my lollipop figure. I made a conscious effort to gain weight through a lot of heavy lifting and a better diet. I went vegan at the beginning of the year but slowly transitioned to vegetarian once we were in Jamaica as it was so tricky to find healthy vegan options there and even though loads of people told me I wouldn’t gain without meat – the results spoke for themselves! I felt amazing, both in my appearance and from within with a new found strength and burst of energy! Admittedly towards the end of the year I did lose a lot of what I’d gained through stress but I’m determined to regain now that I know what my body can achieve!

Work

I launched Everyday Amazing You early September and I’m so pleased with how it’s grown! There’s a real community of like-minded positivity seekers like myself and I have such grand plans for it in 2019 I just cannot wait!

I also accepted a dream job contract with Channel Mum that I’m forever grateful for! You guys may know that I’ve been with them from day dot; I was in the very first round of sponsored vloggers chosen in early 2015 and was recently offered a contract on a more premium basis which gives me much more financial security and the chance of owning my own home this year! It’s a huge leap of faith from them and I’m eternally grateful/ have a little fire under my butt to prove that they made the right decision!

Family

Probably the most significant high for us as a family was Jasper starting big boy school! I toyed with the idea of homeschooling and travelling after such a wonderful year or two of travelling (Turks and Caicos and Ibiza were highlight work trips of 2017) but in the end it just seemed right to send him to our local village school. It’s the cutest school with strong links to the Church and not only has he come on in leaps and bounds, learning so much and making friends but I’ve made some wonderful friends too – we even had a Christmas night out!

Lows

But with highs also come lows. 2018 brought some real lows for me, I’m able to look back on them now with a really positive outlook because I survived them and that’s something to be so proud of. The worst is behind me and I have so much to look forward to with a new found strength and confidence that I can take on anything 2019 throws at me … we wouldn’t be ale to know the feeling of a high without first experiencing a low right?

So here it goes … the big D. 2018 was the year myself and Pete filed for divorce. It’s a decision I still find pretty difficult to accept, one I often feel has been made by the both of us too quickly and I often worry we’ll regret it but hey ho, what will be will be.

The process has been a mixture of straight forward and amicable to heartbreaking and difficult and I think the shock of suddenly realising it perhaps isn’t the right decision threw me into a pretty black hole of anxiety, heartbreak and low mood. I suffered morning depression for a long time and anxiety attacks at the worst they’d ever been but with a lot of work I managed it and although I know the heartbreak, low mood and anxiety will still pop up from time to time, they’re not feelings that consume me at present and for that I’m so grateful.

It’s wonderful to read this post back and see that although the lows were quite prominent, they were only a fraction of a pretty epic 2018!

I’m so excited to venture into 2019 having grown, and with a positive mindset for some pretty exciting goals I have in mind!

What were your 2018 highs and lows?

Thanks for reading,

Jess x