A Life Update: July 2016

July has been a month of change for me so far, so I thought it was time to share a little life update with you all. If you want to know what has been going on in my world recently…get comfy, grab a cuppa and read on.

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Moving out of my flat

Firstly, I have just moved out of the south London flat I shared with 3 of my friends. We lived there for 3 years, which by London rental standards, is a pretty long time. I’ve had some of the funniest and craziest times of my life there and amongst all the travelling, I always felt happy to walk back through the door. Other than my parent’s house where I grew up, it’s the only place that has ever truly felt like home. From hovering up spiders whilst screaming to lazy Sundays spent on the sofa, I laughed ’til my stomach hurt on a regular basis.

Moving out of this flat feels like I am moving into a new and more ‘grown up’ stage of my life. I feel sad that I may never live with my friends again, but I am so excited to move in with my boyfriend later this year and I feel 100% ready to do it.

So for the meantime, my hometown of York will be my base for the next 6 weeks. After this, me and my boyfriend are going on an exciting 6 week trip together (more on that later). I am happy to be away from London for now, as I was really feeling like I needed to escape from the crowds, the pace and the hectic lifestyle (I wrote a personal blog post about that here).

Leaving my Social Media job

This month I also left the London agency where I freelanced as a Social Media Manager. Although I was freelance, I worked for them 3 days a week in their Notting Hill office. I was thrown in at the deep end in this role but I’m proud that I made it work. I ended up managing my own social media clients at a pretty high level as well as another member of staff, which was much more than that I initially anticipated. It’s not hard to run your personal social media, but social media for brands is a completely different ball game. There are budgets, strategies, reports and KPIs to think about, and this role has given me some amazing experience. After a year of working for this agency, it was sad to say goodbye to some lovely colleagues, but I know we will stay in touch.

Going on *actual* HOLIDAY

I am publishing this blog post from Almuñécar in Spain, which is where my parents have a holiday villa (you can read my 7 Reasons to visit Almuñécar here). I’m out here with my best friends for a girly week of sun, sea and sangria. I know it sounds silly as I travel so much, but this is actually my 1 official holiday of the year. When I go on my press trips I have to stick to hectic itineraries with early mornings and long days. I have to remain professional at all times and there is an agreed amount of content that I have to deliver, via social media and my blog. In other words, I am constantly thinking about the end result on my press trips so I never get to switch off. I don’t want to sound ungrateful about it in any way as I Iove going on press trips, but they’re still a part of my job.

So this week I’m letting social media take a back seat. There will be no pressures of meet a tweet quota or take photos of everything I do, which will be a liberating change. I just want it to be a regular holiday where I share things as and when I feel like it. So far so good 🙂  

A Press Trip to Croatia

On the 5th of August I am heading off to Croatia! This is part of a press trip with Thomson and First Choice to stay at The Sensimar Adriatic Beach Resort. Sensimar is a collection of adult-only luxury hotels that have a big focus on wellness and relaxation. I am becoming much more selective on the press trips I say yes to these days, but this one seemed to be a perfect fit for The Travelista. The hotel is situated on the Dalmatian Coast right between Split and Dubrovnik, so I’m hoping to visit both cities whilst I’m there. It looks absolutely beautiful and I will be back to full on content creation mode on this trip. Get ready for copious Instagram snaps!

Visiting my New Client in Mauritius

I’m also incredibly excited to tell you that I have recently signed up my very own social media client! Before now, all my clients came through the agency I freelanced for, but this one has come to me direct, meaning there’s no middle man by way of an agency. This means I am in complete control of everything, which I love. My client is a luxury real estate community in Mauritius where you can invest in property or rent one of the villas for a holiday, so it encompasses luxury travel perfectly. In August I will be going out to visit the resort in Mauritius. During this trip I will be shooting lots of content for their social media channels, meeting the team and generally getting acquainted with the product. It looks like paradise!

A 6 Week Adventure 

Now this is the real biggie….on the 6th September I am going on a 6 week trip to Vietnam and The Philippines…AND I’M SO EXCITED! Although I travel frequently, the trips are always very short so this is the longest time I will have ever been out of the UK. Whilst I am in-between renting, I wanted to take a longer trip and make the most of the fact that I can do my job anywhere in the world. I am funding this trip myself, but it does involve a very exciting content campaign with a well-known luxury travel brand. I can’t reveal all the details right now but once my routes and hotels are confirmed I am going to be writing a separate blog post to tell you all about it J

So that’s my life in a nutshell at the moment! With all these changes going on, it really does feel like I am embarking on a new chapter in my life both personally and professionally. When I write it all down like this it all sounds pretty peachy, but none of it would be happening without focus, long hours and a tonne of background work. So it’s all change for me right now, but I am proud of the direction my life is heading.

If you enjoyed this post or have any tips / recommendations / places I MUST visit in Vietnam or the Philippines, please leave me a comment in the box below! Jess x

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18 Comments

  1. Anna from Dubai
    17th August 2016 / 12:14 pm

    Hey Jess, when you go back to Mauritius, make sure you check out Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth. So unique. Also Domaine des Alizees Club & Spa has a cute but luxurious little restaurant and very fun-decorated bar that you should visit, plus a gorgeous “Burj Khalifa of Birds” type tree 🙂 that you can’t stop staring at!

  2. 11th August 2016 / 4:40 pm

    Hi! My husband and I are in Vietnam at the moment and having an amazing time. We are in the middle of an Easy Rider motorbike tour of the countryside which has been great fun and I would highly recommend it. We are doing three days and two nights from Da Lat to Bac Lau then we will get the bus to Ho Chi Minh City. I ride with the guide and my husband rides behind us and we have our bags on the bikes. We have seen waterfalls, minority villages and amazing scenery plus our guide takes us to cool local eateries. You should be able to get an Easy Rider from anywhere to most places and your hostel/hotel should be able to sort it out! I also got a dress tailor made in Hoi An so if you are planning to do that go prepared with specific details and pictures of what you want made! Have a great trip! MaryLou x

    • Jessica
      11th August 2016 / 12:38 pm

      Thanks so much Rachel. I’m so excited for it all! Hope you’re well xx

  3. 3rd August 2016 / 10:07 am

    Exciting times ahead Jess! Enjoy my country, Croatia – I know you’ll fall in love xxx

    • Jessica
      11th August 2016 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you Adriana! I absolutely loved Croatia – it’s so so beautiful. You’re lucky to call it home 🙂
      Will be writing up my experience on the blog soon. Hope you’re well x

  4. 2nd August 2016 / 3:43 pm

    Very excited to follow you to Mauritius xx

    • Jessica
      11th August 2016 / 12:40 pm

      So pleased to hear this lovely! I depart for Mauritius on the 21st Aug 🙂 xx

    • Jessica
      1st August 2016 / 9:14 pm

      Aw thanks for the support as ever Angie! 🙂 xxx

  5. 31st July 2016 / 10:49 am

    Such awesome news! Congrats on landing your first client! x I’ve yet to send you my recommendations for Philippines, oops! I’ll drop you an email soon! x

    • Jessica
      1st August 2016 / 9:14 pm

      Hey Honey! Aww yes I need to drop you an email with tor recommendations. Once I have a route I’ll send it to you for sure 🙂 xxx

    • Jessica
      1st August 2016 / 9:13 pm

      Aww thanks Jasmin! Yes so excited for the break away. Not long to go now. Xxx

  6. Laura
    30th July 2016 / 5:44 pm

    Vietnam is AMAZING!! I spent 4 weeks there after graduating! Make sure you go to Sa Pa in the North – we spent time in the rice fields but also a few days with some buddist monks meditating which was surreal… Hanoi (obvs Halong Bay too) but also Hue and Hoi An – both amazing provincial villages/towns on the coast! Have an amazing time! Looking forward to the blogs! x

    • Jessica
      1st August 2016 / 9:12 pm

      This is all so good to know! We definitely want to do Sapa… It’s quite tricky to get to though – so you definitely think it’s worth it? Sounds amazing. Can you remember which cruise you did on Ha Long Bay too? Thanks so much 🙂 xxx

  7. Christine Holmes
    30th July 2016 / 4:43 pm

    Good luck on all your changes. Looking forward to hearing about all the trips!

    • Jessica
      1st August 2016 / 9:11 pm

      Thanks so much Christine! Appreciate your comment 🙂 xxx