Now that we are well into the New Year, I thought it was about time I shared a little life update with you, including a preview on my upcoming travels. I haven’t travelled since November last year and honestly speaking, it’s been a bit weird! When I came back from Sri Lanka (my last overseas trip) I felt burnt out and the thought of another trip filled me with dread. My body was telling me to stay in one place for a little while and take a slower pace, so that’s exactly what I did.
I stayed in Yorkshire and spent time with my boyfriend, family and friends. I went into hibernation and relished cosy days working from home and enjoyed the run up to Christmas. But by the time January came the inevitable happened and once again I felt the urge to pack a suitcase and travel. Creating new content for my blog and Instagram was much harder than usual, as I didn’t have any exciting travel experiences to document. Would anyone want to see a photo of me sat on my sofa under a blanket, eating an entire box of Maltesers? I realised I would have to create content a little closer to home, which posed a new challenge for me.
A Little Trip to London
In January I took a trip back to London to take a handful of meetings and to meet up with some of my favourite fellow travel bloggers including Angie from Silverspoon London, Aftab from Fresh and Fearless, Katie from Kalanchoe, Ben from Twenty First Century Gent, Suze from Luxury Columnist and Chloe from Wanderlust Chloe. We had a gorgeous brunch at The Ivy Brassiere in Kensington and ended up spending the whole afternoon just catching up.
It felt great to feel the buzz of being back in London but I also felt a sigh of relief when I got on the train to head back up North. I know London is only a 2-hour train ride away and I plan to make regular trips back throughout the year. During this particular trip I stayed at the beautiful One Aldwych, which I blogged about here and I recently shared a city guide to my hometown of York too.
Experimenting with Advice Posts
So far this year I’ve been sharing an insight into how I run my blog behind the scenes, to help fellow and start-up bloggers. I put together two open and honest advice posts; 5 Ways to Up Your Instagram Game and How to Make Money as Travel Blogger – this post is my reply to the question I am most frequently asked as a blogger; how do you make money? I was blown away by the response on these posts – thank you if you’ve already read them. I received double the comments I usually would and the engagement on social was amazing. It just goes to how much you guys connect with honest and straight-talking blog posts.
Signing up to Reward Style and liketoknow.it
In January I also got accepted onto Reward Style, which is a monetisation platform for fashion and style influencers. The platform is by-invitation-only so this is a really exciting development for The Travelista! My blog will always be first and foremost a travel blog, but I always get comments from people asking about where my clothes are from. Through Reward Style, I’ve been able to add a new Shop My Style page to my blog. Here you’ll find a shoppable gallery of all the clothing and accessories featured on my Instagram and my blog.
Liketoknow.it is Reward Style’s Instagram division, which sends Instagram outfit links directly to your inbox. All you need to do is sign-up here and you’ll receive a shoppable email every time you like a liketoknow.it configured post on Instagram.
My 2017 Travel Plans so Far
I’ve been busy planning my upcoming travels and after a bit of back and forth, I am happy to share the following confirmed trips. It feels great to have a string of trips back in the diary and after my much-needed hiatus; I am raring to go again.
Amsterdam – February 2017
I’m heading to Amsterdam this Sunday which will be my first overseas trip of 2017. This trip is part of my collaboration with Accessorize, for which I’m contributing a four-part series of travel posts to the Accessorize blog (check out my previous Lake District post here). My suitcase will be packed full of Accessorize goodies as part of the brief is to shoot travel-inspired photos with my pick of their new spring collection. I’ll be staying at the boutique Pulitzer Amsterdam and my best friend Naomi will be in tow to help with photography.
Athens – Early March 2017
Next up is Athens with Discover Greece. This is a press trip, which came around after a meeting in January with one of my favourite PRs. I’ve been to various Greek Islands, but this will be the first time I’ve visited Athens. Greece has been fairly unstable in recent years, but I’ve heard that Athens is an incredibly underrated option for a European city break. I’m going to check it out and will let you know my verdict!
Montgenevre – Late March 2017
Just when I thought the prospect of skiing this year had slipped through my fingers, I received an invitation from Inghams to join their press trip to Mongenevre. Located in the French Alps, Mongenevre sits right on the border between France and Italy. This means that it’s possible to ski between both countries, which I think is immensely cool! Joining me on this trip is Laura from Heroine in Heels and Sabrina from Clutch and Carry On.
Secret Location – April
I am going away in April too, but right now I can’t reveal the location, as it’s a surprise for my best friend’s Hen do. As bridesmaid, it’s been down to me to decide the location, accommodation and itinerary. I’m pretty happy with the plan, but it will have to remain on lockdown for now as I’m pretty sure my best friend will read this blog post.
Mini Cruise Marseille – May
My final confirmed trip so far is a trip to the South of France with Princess Cruises. It’s not actually a cruise, but during the trip we’ll be stepping on board the Royal Princess in Toulon for lunch. We’ll also be going on a guided wine tour in Bandol in a 14th century hilltop village. Honestly speaking the prospect of sipping rose in the South of France was enough to sell this trip to me, but I’m looking forward to checking out the cruise ship too. I’ll be joined by Claire and Laura from Twins that Travel which makes this trip even more exciting!
So that’s my little life update done and dusted. If you enjoyed reading this post or have any travel recommendations for my upcoming destinations, I’d love you to leave me a comment in the box below! Jess x