My 2019 Round Up
Hello and welcome to the last post on Lea Bella Blogs for 2019. What a year its been.
This post is my first, of hopefully many, round up blog posts. This year is such a great year to start with - as I can honestly say this has been one of the best years of my life! Instead of doing this post month by month (which I was originally planning), I am going to share with you my top 10 moments of 2019.
But, before I get into this post, I'd like to share with you a tweet which I sent out a few days ago, which is really important:
1) Visiting My First Wonder Of The World
Visiting Chichen Itza in Mexico in May was undoubtedly one of my highlights this year. It was the first time I have visited one of the "listed" wonders of the world and it was 100% worth getting up at 5am for (I am NOT a morning person!). You can see my vlog on our tour below.
2) New Babies
What a year for new babies! We had 3 beautiful humans added into our lives this year.
Firstly, my cousin had her second baby girl, and she is so cute and smiley. Such a gorgeous little girl.
Secondly, my best friend of 18 years had identical twin baby boys in May. I am someone with a small immediate family, so Carly is more like a sister to me. The feeling you get when your actual sister has a baby is exactly how I felt for Carly, and her wife Ellie. I have never really been a maternal person, until I met the boys. I am so happy for my life long friend - and myself - as newly appointed Auntie, and now Godmother. <3
3) Eating Pizza in The Birthplace of Pizza
Visitig Naples, Italy, in January of this year was the first of my 24 Hour trips into Europe, and the most underrated city I have visited. But the highlight of this trip was most definitely eating Napolese Pizza in the city that put pizza on the map! To this day (and I think ever!) it was the best pizza I have ever had, and I have eaten a fair few pizzas in my time.
4) Having the Biggest Year in Work
This is over two areas.
Firstly, I started my blog, Instagram and YouTube Channel on the 10th December 2018 and in one year I have seen it grow from strength to strength. I am in mini numbers compared to most, but for me this is a personal win.
I have gained some Instagram #ADs and some sponsored blog posts, and whilst it's no where near enough revenue to warrant a full time job, it's helped buy the Christmas presents for this year.
I am most proud of my YouTube channel. I have made several travel videos this year and it's truly where my creative passion lays. I love the whole process of making a video and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who watches, shares, likes and subscribes to my channel. It really does mean the world, and you are making a part time traveller very happy. Thank you.
Secondly, I am so proud of our family business. I have explained what we do over on YouTube, but basically my family own an Educational Supplies business and this year we have had the biggest growth year - on - year we've ever had. It's hard work, it's stressful at times, but it's the proudest achievement for my whole family. The sky is the limit - here's to an even more successful 2020.
5) Visiting a Local Island in the Maldives
This year in October, we were able to re-visit our beloved Maldives for the second time. The first time we visited was our honeymoon in 2018, and we loved it so much that we found a cracking deal to return this year.
Because we were in our honeymoon bubble the first time, we tended not to leave the island we were on and just enjoy the luxury of the island resort. However, this time, I wanted to visit a residential island and see an alternative way of life.
In my humble opinion, I think it is important to immerse yourself in local life as much as you can when travelling, and observe, talk, and learn from others. My mind has been broadened to alternative ways of living this year, and seeing island life away from the luxury of the resorts was an eye-opener. You can see my local Maldives island vlog below.
6) Eating Currywurst in Germany
If you haven't already gathered by now, I am a complete foodie and my travels revolve heavily about what I can eat.
I lived in Germany as a kid, and my favourite food then was Currywurst. Now I have tried making my own, trying a British-German version in food markets but nothing beats the actual thing. SO, this year we headed on a 24 hour trip to Frankfurt, and yes, I ate three currywursts in 24 hours. #winning.
On this trip, my brother and his girlfriend joined us too. It was so nice to travel with my brother and it is a memory I will treasure forever.
7) Travelling With My Parent For The First Time In 10 Years!
This was a major highlight for me this year.
I've not been on a family holiday with my parents since 2009, yet this year we travelled together three times! Nothing like making up for lost time, eh!
Our first trip was for business in Valencia, but fell on my birthday too. So we spent the first day sight seeing around the city and then proceeded to attend our first conference as a family.
The second trip was in September to Salzburg with my mum. What a trip that was! We laughed from the beginning of the trip until the end, and I even took my mum on the "Sound of Music" tour which was something that she had wanted to do since being a child.
The third trip was with both parents to Malta to celebrate my 30th birthday. I am not 30 until February but due to work commitments this was the only time we could do it as a family. This trip was so special to me. Not only is Malta a beautiful country but my parents treated me to stay in one of the most exclusive hotels on the island, The Hilton Malta, and - WOW - what a place!
I learnt a lot this year but one of the most important lessons I learnt is that you only have one set of parents, and they are precious. I am so pleased I have had the opportunity to travel with both parents (and my brother) this year and these trips have made my 2019 just that bit more special.
8) Beach Days With My Dogs
This isn't just something I did this year, but as always it is one of the highlights of my year. I wanted to mention it in my blog post because in years to come, I would like to have this documented as a memory.
Bella and Lilly are our fur-babies. We live in Lincolnshire not far from the coast, and this year in February we visited the beach in Mablethorpe. This visit in particular remains vivid in my memory because of the weather on that day. We had some crazy warm weather and it was something like 15 degrees!! That is unheard of for February in the UK! We walked down the beach for miles, watching Bella and Lilly paddle in the shallows of the water (Bella not so keen!) and even enjoyed an ice cream! In February! What!
9) Visiting 9 Countries - 7 of Them New.
I said in January 2019 that I was going to make a change to my life and travel more. I feel like I did just that - all while working full time too.
I was thrifty with my holiday entitlement at work and utilized weekends and bank holidays too. Both myself and my husband worked hard in between travels so we had enough money to be able to travel and still run our house without using credit cards or loans etc. We did it! It was so worth it.
The countries I visited this year are:
* Naples, Italy - NEW
*Netherlands, Amsterdam - NEW
*Valencia, Spain - NEW
*Tenerife - NEW
*Akumal, Mexico - NEW
*Salzburg, Austria - NEW
*St Julians, Malta - NEW
10) Having My Family Around Me
My biggest highlight of this year as we approach the end of 2019, is having my family close by. We finish this year with my husband out of action on a knee injury. But, he is in good spirits and coping well - apart from being confined to the house and having a bad dose of cabin fever!
Other than a few little bumps in the health road along the way of 2019, we are all still here. Still breathing and still getting on with life.
Surround yourselves with your loved ones. Friends, family, pets - whoever. Make the most of your life each day, as you never know when it will be taken away from you.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHLY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY READERS AND FOLLOWERS. LOVE, LEA BELLA X