Every so often I like to share a little life update with you guys so that I can talk about all the other personal aspects of my life that don’t necessarily fit into a travel blog post. I like that these posts help you to get to know me a bit better, beyond the travel guides and the hotel reviews. My last life update post was back in July so I this one is well overdue. So grab your favourite drink and cosy into your favourite blanket. It’s for a catch up!
Attending World Travel Market 2017
I am writing this life update with a really positive mind-set after spending the first half of my week in London. I went down to attend WTM (World Travel Market) which is held at the ExCel Exhibition Centre and is one of the world’s biggest travel conferences. It’s a great chance for bloggers to network with travel brands and tourism boards so I went along to seek out some new opportunities and plan my travels for 2018. The experience is completely full on and quite overwhelming, but on the whole I really enjoyed it and came away feeling really positive. It was really encouraging to see that more and more brands were receptive to working with bloggers on a professional level and I am excited to see what partnerships come out of the meetings I took. Watch this space!
The Travel Itch is Back!
At the beginning of September I shared My Big Travel Blogging Confession with you all, which was a pretty open post about how I felt like the excitement of travel was wearing off for me a little bit. Being a travel blogger and all, this was something I was quite nervous to admit. But after some time at home, I am happy to tell you all that the travel itch is officially back and stronger than ever!
Two months have passed since writing that post and upon reflection I think it was a case of travel burn out. I have experimented with solo travel for the first time this year and took trips to Austria, Bilbao and Bern on my own. Whilst travelling solo has been such an amazing experience, I think it’s fair to say that I don’t get half as excited for a solo trip compared trips I take with friends or fellow bloggers. I’ve told myself that next year I am only going to visit destinations that I am genuinely excited to visit, which brings me on to my next subject…
New York, New York!
If excitement for a trip ranged from 1-10 then I am the charts and into space. I have dreamed of visiting New York since I can remember and now I finally get to visit for the first time ever. I am flying out on the 15th November and will be spending 6 nights and 6 days in the city with my friend Harriet. We planned the trip ourselves and I have found some amazing boutique and luxury hotels to stay at including The Royalton, Chambers Hotel and The Tuscany by St Giles. I’m also going to be flying in Premium Class with Norwegian Airlines, which is going to make the experience even more fabulous! I’ve been gathering up tips and recommendations like a mad woman but the choice is almost overwhelming! I can’t wait to share a New York Guide of my top picks when I get back. If you have any last minute recommendations before I go then please do leave them in a comment on this blog post!
My Big Blog Redesign
I’ve been posting a little less than usual in the past few weeks because I’ve been working on an exciting blog re-design and branding project. I’ve teamed up with Cat, who is a talented Manchester-based web designer and owner of Gatto Web. Cat creating a brand new blog design that will be completely bespoke to me as well as a new logo and beautiful new branding.
I just felt like it was really time for me to re-invest in my blog and my business and to take it up a level. You can still expect to see the same type of content, but on a much more beautiful website! Through the powers of Twitter, Cat was recommended to me as a designer and after a Skype consultation I felt like she totally got my vision. The new design is due to be completed around the 8th December and I truly can’t wait to share it with you all!
Working on The House
Another project that has been taking up my time has been getting our house in order. In my last Life Update Post I shared that Scott and I had bought our first home together in Leeds. We’ve been in the house for nearly 4 months now and there is still lots of work to be done. Becoming a homeowner has opened my eyes up to the world of interiors and now taking strolls around the John Lewis and Next home departments are one of my ultimate joys. I think this is a sign that I am officially growing up.
I was pretty naïve at the start and thought it would only take a couple of months to get the house looking how we want it, but things take so much longer than I anticipated! Our bedroom and the office is now complete and we’re now working on the spare room. We still need a bed for the spare room and we’re borrowing my parent’s old dining table, but we’re getting there slowly but surely. If you’d be interested in a few interior posts once I’ve finished then do let me know.
Travel Plans for 2018
Attending WTM this week has definitely helped me to firm up my travel plans for 2018 and I know the countries that are on my hit list. To avoid travel burnout from happening again, next year I am going to hand-pick all of my destinations rather than wait for the opportunities to come to me. First up in 2018 will be an exotic trip to Chiang Mai in Thailand with Qatar Airways. I’ll get to experience Qatar’s premium class and also spend some time in Doha on the return leg. I’m planning to do a few things mentioned my Local’s Guide to Doha, which was written for me by Doha Blogger and UK Expat Polly Byles of Follow Your Sunshine.
After Thailand I have a trip to Alberta in Canada in the pipeline, so I will be swapping tropical climes for snowy mountains and frozen lakes. Beyond that I have India, Slovenia, Utah, The Florida Keys and Malaysia as potential destinations and in terms of UK travel I would love to plan a trip to Northern Ireland with Scott to re-visit his family roots.
Enter My Giveaway & Win a Luxury Hotel Break with Apex Hotels
If all this travel has got you craving a trip of your own, I am giving my readers the chance to win a luxury hotel stay with Apex Hotels. The winner will get to stay in any Apex Hotel of their choice and all you need to do to enter is leave a comment on my Edinburgh Blog Post and tell me which Apex Hotel you’d love to stay at and why! The giveaway ends 4th December. Good luck!
What did you think of my life update post? Do you enjoy reading these personal posts and think I should write more of them? I’d love to get your feedback so please leave me a comment in the box below. Jess x