A Life Update – Spring 2017

Springtime is here and I’m feeling all happy, positive and floral. So I thought it was time to share a little life update in a personal post. I do these personal posts every now and again and although they’re mostly ramblings, they seem to go down pretty well! My blog is all about inspiring travel content, but sometimes it’s nice to share things about the other small victories of my life. So here goes!

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I’ve Bought A House!

This is definitely the biggest thing that’s going on in my personal life at the moment. My boyfriend Scott and I put an offer in on a house in Leeds and after a little negotiation, it was accepted! WOW! The house has 3 bedrooms so there’s space for a guest bedroom and and my very own office. Anyone else that works from home will know how great this is. The process of buying a house is completely overwhelming as a first time buyer. How do you know you’re getting a good Mortgage deal? And who knew there were SO many stages to buying a house? We had to work all of this out and it’s been a massive learning process for us. But we are in love with the house and we’re so excited to have a place to call home in the North. Next stop, Pinterest interiors inspo!

A Secret Destination

This month I’m jetting off to a top-secret destination that I haven’t been able to mention or tweet about yet. This is because it’s for my best friend Naomi’s hen do. As one of the Bridesmaids, I’ve been involved in the whole planning process from deciding the destination and choosing the activities. I’m so excited for this trip as I can enjoy it without worrying about social media posts or content deliverables. I’ll be leaving my fancy camera behind and plan to just live in the moment. The secret has stayed safe, until now, so I’m trying not to blow it at the last minute. I can’t wait to surprise her. Stay tuned to find out where we’re off to!

Learning to Love London Again

This week I wrote an Instagram post about falling back in love with London again. After making the big decision to move out of London last year, I have made regular trips back down to the capital for meetings, events and press trips. Coming back down on these trips has allowed me to experience new parts of London and I’ve begun to see the city through the eyes of a tourist again.

I love being back in the vibrant fast-paced world of London, but I also love getting back on the train up North when it’s all over. London is an incredible city for so many reasons, but leaving was 100% the right decision for me. I am happier, healthier, less stressed and have much more time (and money) to focus on myself and the things I care about. And best of all, I am only a 2 hour train ride away from it all. If you don’t know the story of why I left London, read my Why Don’t I Love London? post.

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Getting Featured in the Evening Standard

I’ve been on a high all week this week after having my first article published in The Evening Standard Online. It came about after one of my lovely PR friends introduced me to the Lifestyle Editor, who was looking for influencer contributions. Obviously I jumped at the chance and pitched the title; 10 Reasons Why Athens Is Europe’s Coolest New City Break Destination. I always wanted to be a journalist when I was younger so having my writing published in big titles like The Evening Standard is a dream come true for me.

A Spring Time Shoot with Folli Follie

Last week I was down in London for an exciting project with jewellery and accessory brand Folli Follie. I was really excited when this opportunity came up as I am a massive fan of the brand. I’ve worn a Folli Follie necklace every day for the past 2 years, and I love it just as much today as day I received it. I spent the morning shooting with the brand as part of their spring campaign and the photos are going to be used across their website, partner sites and shop windows. I can’t wait to see where they pop up! All of the photos in this post were taken on the Folli Follie shoot, and if you’re coveting any of the jewellery featured you can shop everything at the bottom of this post. Thanks to Sabrina Chakici for being such a talented photographer and making me feel a million dollars!

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Celebrating My Blog’s 4th Birthday

On the 17th March my blog turned 4 years old! I can’t believe it’s been over 4 years since I hit publish on my first ever blog post. I remember feeling nervous and seriously exposed, wondering how my writing may be judged. The world of blogging has evolved SO much in just these 4 years I’ve been a part of it, and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next 4 years. To mark this milestone I ran an Instagram giveaway to win a monogrammed Rae Feather bag worth £195. Congratulations to Cassandra Conyers (@cassielouise0389) who was drawn as the winner, and thank you to everyone who entered.

My First Ever Solo Trip

In June I am going to be taking my first ever-solo blogging trip! The Austria National Tourism Office have challenged me to experience a solo adventure through the towns of Graz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Austria looks absolutely stunning and I am really excited for the trip. But it’s going to be a serious push out of my comfort zone. I am used to travelling with a companion, so I always have someone to keep me company and help with content creation. It will be interesting to see how I cope doing everything solo and I’m hoping to learn a bit about myself along the way.

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2017: The Year of North America

I want to cover as much of the world as possible on my little blog, but the USA is somewhere I have still never featured on The Travelista. Fortunately, it looks like 2017 is the year where this will change. Just like waiting for a bus and 3 showing up at once, I’ve got 3 different potential trips to the USA planned for this year and I am really hoping they all come to fruition! I won’t reveal the destinations just yet but they are incredibly exciting.

Blog Series: A Local’s City Guide To

Finally, I wanted to say a few words on my new blog series. Until now I have been the only contributor on The Travelista, but I decided to launch a series where I could invite other travel-savvy writers to contribute. I believe that local knowledge and reccomendations are priceless when it comes to visiting a new city, so the idea behind the series is to get women from around the world to share insider tips on the city they call home. I kicked off the series with a guide to York, and since then I’ve featured posts on Melbourne and most recently Edinburgh. There are plenty more posts to come, including Liverpool, New York, Doha and Auckland. If you fancy putting your home city in the spotlight, get in touch!

I’m proud of all my recent accomplishments and I’m feeling excited for the future on both a personal and professional level. Thanks for taking the time to catch up with me 🙂

SHOP THE POST

What did you think of my Spring life update? Can you relate to anything I’ve written about in this post? I’ve you enjoyed reading this style of post and want to see more of them, please let me know by commenting in the box below. Jess x

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24 Comments

  1. 13th April 2017 / 5:47 pm

    I understand your ambivalent feelings about London. I’m a Londoner and I love my city but the cost of living there (especially rent/house prices) meant that I felt like I was gradually being pushed out. I moved to Bogota, Colombia, to live with my Colombian boyfriend, and suddenly I can save money, and afford to go out and travel again! Next step – buying a place! 🙂

    • Jessica
      19th April 2017 / 9:50 am

      Hey Naomi, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you can understand my perspective! Even if you’re from London, it’s nice to get out and experience new parts of the UK and the rest of the world. I think you always come back with a newfound appreciation for home. Glad you’re enjoying life in Colombia xx

  2. 13th April 2017 / 7:24 am

    Jess, so many exciting news! Congratulations on purchasing the house, that is HUGE 🙂 You should do an interior update once it’s all ready and decorated. Also, happy bloggiversary and publishing your article. I’d love to contribute to your City Guide series and write about Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka, if you’d be interested. As always, love your outfits! 🙂

    • Jessica
      19th April 2017 / 9:51 am

      Hey Nano, thanks for your comment! Very exciting about the house. An interiors update may be a little bit off topic for my blog but if I am really proud of the finished result I’m sure I could 🙂 I would love you to contribute to my Local’s Guide to series… Tokyo would be amazing! I will get in touch with you xx

  3. 11th April 2017 / 2:11 pm

    Congratulations on buying a house and all of your other awesome achievements, hard work definitely pays off! You will love Austria (even if it’s pretty daunting travelling alone), I lived there for 6 years and it’s beautiful!
    If you’re interested in featuring Dubai on your local city guides, I’ve been living here for the past 4,5 years and blogging about it as well 🙂
    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedubaidiaries.me

    • Jessica
      19th April 2017 / 10:02 am

      Hey Rachel! Thanks for your lovely comment. Glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Austria! That makes me feel better about it. I would absolutely love you to contribute to my blog series for Dubai! I wam going to drop you an email now. Thank you! xxx

  4. 8th April 2017 / 12:40 pm

    Girl this was such a positive and uplifting post to read! I’m SO proud of you for your published work and for taking your first solo trip – I already know that you’ll love it so much! Can’t wait to follow your adventures this year! 🙂

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

    • Jessica
      19th April 2017 / 9:59 am

      Hey Hayley! Thank you, so pleased you enjoyed this post and can’t believe how many lovely responses I have had! Excited for my solo adventure, glad you’ll be following along xx

  5. 7th April 2017 / 4:58 pm

    Wow so first of all a massive massive well done on buying your first house!! That’s an amazing achievement and second of all OH MY GOD for the evening standard !!! You star ! xxx

    http://www.diaryofanexpatgirl.com

    • Jessica
      19th April 2017 / 9:57 am

      Hey Alexandra, thanks so much for your kind comment! This means alot 🙂 xx

  6. 5th April 2017 / 8:49 pm

    This was such a lovely post to read Hun!!! Well
    Done you for all of these amazing achievements, the evening standard is such a big deal! You bought a house too wowzer! Go Girl! T’was my pleasure to shoot you 😉 Looking forward to seeing another amazing year for you, can’t wait to see all of your US travels, I’m a huge huge fan of the states. Keep going, you are amazing xxx

    Freakily I wrote a similar post the other day, must be something in the water X

    http://clutchandcarryon.com/life-update-8-countries-im-travelling-next-5-months/

    • Jessica
      6th April 2017 / 9:08 am

      Hey my darl! Thanks for your comment and kind words. So much excitement at the moment! Will be tapping you up for some USA tips! Going to head over and read your post now too… great minds think alike! Hopefully see you soon xxx

  7. susan osborne
    5th April 2017 / 2:26 pm

    Hi Jess, really enjoyed reading your Spring life update. Good luck with the new house. Hope your friend has a fantastic wedding and is thrilled with the secret you have in store for her.
    I really enjoyed your article about Athens as that is next on our bucket list, we thought about staying in Plaka whilst visiting the Acropolis and will look forward to researching that area. We were in Rome last week, and that was a great experience.
    Good luck with the solo trip, we were in Austria last year staying at St Anton on our way to Lake Garda, passing through Innsbruck on the way.
    Looking forward to your next update. Happy travelling.

    • Jessica
      6th April 2017 / 9:15 am

      Hi Susan! Thanks for your lovely comment. I am very excited about the house and fingers crossed we manage to pull the hen do off! Plaka is a great place to stay in Athens but I stayed at The New Hotel and really reccommend it. Check out my review here: http://thetravelista.net/2017/03/24/boutique-bliss-at-the-new-hotel-athens-review/

      Also so pleased you enjoyed Austria. That makes me feel really positive 🙂
      Happy Travels to you too xx

  8. 5th April 2017 / 10:48 am

    Yay congrats on the house lvoe – can’t wait to chat about it when we catch up 🙂 X
    Sophie Cliff

    • Jessica
      6th April 2017 / 9:16 am

      Thanks Sophie! Can’t wait for our little meet up, I will fill you in over a Turkish 😀 x x

  9. 4th April 2017 / 10:12 pm

    Ahh, Congrats on buying a house! That’s so amazing! I can’t wait till the day that I finally get to buy my own house.
    Solo travel sounds so exciting. I keep thinking about it, but I’m just way too terrified for it hah! Hopefully your posts will give me some encouragement!
    xo April | April Everyday

    • Jessica
      6th April 2017 / 9:17 am

      Hi April, thanks so much! It’s all very exciting and overwhelming in equal measure. Solo travel will definitely be a challenge for me, but I’ll be sure to blog about the experience so you know what it’s like xx

  10. Natalie
    4th April 2017 / 7:48 pm

    Congratulations on the new home! Travelling alone is great, I used to do it for work through Europe, embrace it! X

    • Jessica
      6th April 2017 / 9:18 am

      Thank you Natalie! I will definitely embrace it and just take things at my own pace. Who knows, I may absolutely love it! Happy Travels x

  11. 4th April 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Wow congratulations on the house and the blog birthday! Good luck with the Austria trip I bet it’s scary to go out of your comfort zone but rewarding too!

    • Jessica
      6th April 2017 / 9:20 am

      Thanks for your lovely comment Angie! Austria will certainly be a push from the comfort zone but that’s what life is all about right!? xx

  12. Jessica
    4th April 2017 / 5:37 pm

    Jessica, you will love traveling alone! Although it’s uncomfortable and lonely at times, I really think it teaches you to love your time by yourself. Please, you can indulge in so many things (like lazy sleeping and tv or baths) that maybe you wouldn’t always take the time to do. And Austria is marvelous! Salzburg especially. I recommend taking the cable car to the top of Kitzbühel, the views and mountains are stunning. And I live in the US, so if you ever make it to the Seattle area and want to see some of the most dramatic mountain backpacking (in a rather unexpected place), I promise we’ll have an amazing time and get girls together for a couple nights in tents in the backcountry.

    • Jessica
      6th April 2017 / 9:22 am

      Hi Jessica. Thanks for this amazing comment. You’ve confirmed all the positive sides of solo travel that I am hoping to experience and embrace. I know I like doing things on my own time and I like my own company so I am hoping it will be fine. Thanks for the cable car tip! Hoping for some great views. I will certainly get in touch if I ever come to Seattle as that sounds wonderful! Thanks for this kind offer. Happy travels and hope you keep reading. xx