In this last week of 2017, though shocked that another year of my life is coming to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what this past year has been like: the highs, the lows…all of it. I usually take time for reflection during this week every year, setting goals for myself that I believe are attainable, thinking on how I did or didn’t meet the goals I set for myself the previous year, and also just generally thinking about all of the things I’m generally grateful for from the past 365 days.
When I think back on this past year, I’ll remember it as the year I finally pulled up my socks to do what I actually wanted to do. I wanted to travel and I found a way to make it happen. From a child who never went on a long-distance vacation, to an adult who has planned and executed three trips this year, I feel like this has been a solid foundation for what’s yet to come. That being said, two of the three trips this year included the chance to see my own massive country from west to east coast, the perfect way of celebrating Canada’s sesquicentennial, as well as finally visiting two countries in the United Kingdom, a part of Europe (my favourite continent) that I had never previously been to.
This has been a year of adventure: finally going out west to visit my cousins to happily spending nearly a month away from home, going on a road trip through three National Canadian Parks, seeing lakes bluer than I ever dreamed possible, walking dangerously close to a herd of bison, trekking up a mountain (which I never imagined I could physically do, to be completely honest)… Days spent, in the latter half of the year, wandering through English Christmas Markets, walking along long California-esque piers of Llandudno in Wales, photographing medieval castles, stuffing myself with British food, trying every interesting cocktail I could get my hands on, and spending time with new friends.
In the midst of all these travels, I was able to see many new live performances that I have been waiting years to see. From Swan Lake to a Streetcar Named Desire at the National Ballet of Canada and from the heavy, raw, and purely emotional music of Bring me the Horizon to the bluesy, honeyed voice of John Mayer, I have had my whole heart and mind swept up in the beauty of live performances from the beginning of the year all the way to its close. Along with this, I’ve also had a few albums rotating constantly: Bleachers’ “Gone Now”, Bring Me The Horizon’s “That’s the Spirit” (although “Sempiternal” is also a popular go-to for me), Ed Sheeran’s “÷/Divide”, and Falling in Reverse’s “Coming Home”.
When I think back on what was going on and how I felt in the first month or two of 2017, it feels as if it was at least a couple of years ago… people I called my friends, how I felt, who I spent a lot of my time with has completely shifted since then. To think even, that I started this blog in late January and thus, that I haven’t even been writing on Emulating Emily for quite a year yet, seems a bit surreal to me. I feel like I started this blog a long time ago. However, the fact that this is the first blog that I’ve actually maintained steadily for an entire year — well, that’s one ‘2017 Goal’ that I’ve met. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I finally gave myself the freedom to write about whatever I wanted, not committing to one specific blogging category — that is, not just travel, just lifestyle, just creative writing, etc. My goal in terms of building my blog and social media presence for 2018 is to make more vlogs (read: to suck it up and not dread getting behind a camera so much anymore).
In terms of my everyday life? Spending even more time with friends and family, reading more, more creative writing, *gasp* eating less McDonald’s (insert crying emoji here), and explore as many new places as possible, both here in Canada and abroad.
And now, a quick look at some of my favourite photos of 2017 with my friends…
…and of course, my family…
All in all, 2017 has treated me well and I’m grateful for the abundance of experiences I’ve had and the things that I’ve learned. I’m so excited to see what 2018 has in store for me — I’m ready to completely immerse myself in the highs and brace myself against any lows. I’m ready to live it fully. I’m coming for you, 2018.
How has your 2017 been? What are your plans for 2018? Let me know in the comments!