You might remember that I wrote a post about “How much can you do in a year” on our way into 2018. It was a post where I got to reflect on all the things I did and the places I visited. It might be a bit cathartic really, but I do like to look back on my year to really appreciate what I did.
2018: What I did in a year
I will take you through each month, but not bombard you with everything. Perhaps some highlights or a picture that sums up that month. Although it is for me (really) I think it is good to share inspiration for the year ahead too. So here goes, let’s see what I got up to in 2018.
It has been a year of spending time with great friends, exploring new places and enjoying ones I know well. Being a tourist in my own city, taking a look at places from new angles and trying new things. Here is a look back to what I did in a year.
Looking back at January of last year and I am already feeling inspired to hit the towpath for some local adventures. We made the most of living between both the Ashton and the Rochdale Canals, taking a long wintery walk – both as my reverse commute and for general weekend fun. The majority of the walks were in the North West as it is easy to get to and saves some cash after Christmas. Macclesfield Forest was certainly a highlight with the winter air and stunning sunset.
One of the slightly more random activities at the beginning of the year was receiving Summit to Eat camping meals, which I thought would be fun to make in a local park. Oh and I shared some tips on getting outside in bad weather as it seemed to have been a bit of a rainy start to the year!
My February adventures also remained fairly local too, starting with a trip to Blackpool to write-up a walk, we took a drive up to the Astley Green Colliery which is a place we have passed so many times and never managed to get to. Visiting places on our doorstep is certainly something I will be bringing through to 2019 as well.
February was also the month which brought with it the start of the Beast from the East’s visit to the UK. Remember that strange cold snap which lingered for ages? It featured regularly in my weekly vlog!
This was a pretty jam-packed month. As well as saying goodbye to the cold beast, we took a trip to London and spent some time on the Wirral. Oh yeah and it was the month where I “didn’t break my wrist; then it was broken; then it wasn’t broken”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a month with me without a bit of culture too. We headed to the Wirral to visit the U-boat story with my parents and sister – another thing I have wanted to do for a long time.
Ah, my birthday month. Time, generally, for getting away on an adventure somewhere. As it turned out, though, we had other plans around my birthday last year so we stayed local. It was also the month that I attended the Go Outdoors Preston grand opening (where I got my fab Kathmandu Transfer Pack) and headed up to North Yorkshire for another amazing Outdoor Bloggers camp (and got to give my reproofed Vango Banshee another outing)
May totally made up for the lack of foreign adventure when we nipped over to Lodz for a bit, followed by a quick stop in Warsaw for pierogi and a few days in Amsterdam. I didn’t get around to writing them up, but I did vlog about it.
I am sure we did far more than that in May, but I seem to have only documented Poland and The Netherlands!
Swinging into the middle of the year, and the time when the weather started hotting up. We had a varied time, visiting the Manchester Airport Concorde (which was a Christmas present from the year before), the Stars and Stripes American Car Show and plenty of local canal walks following me buying some Nichols books.
July kicked off with me visiting the Tatton Flower show to represent Refill with United Utilities (this post is also proving to be a bleak reminder about how many things I haven’t yet written up – whoops!) and then a super fun camping trip to Shrewsbury with my friend Zoe from Splodz Blogz.
August was a bit of a month of two types of weather – it was either really hot or really wet. I also started my Finish Stuff Friday thing where I get through niggle things which have been lingering and encourage others to do the same too. It means that you complete stuff, get the weight off your mind and also free yourself for an excellent weekend. This is yet another post I will be writing up shortly
We decided to take some time off in August for a staycation on the Wirral at my parents’ house. It is a great base as they are so close to Wales and gives us a different area to explore. We did Trentham Monkey Forest, Welsh Mountain Zoo, Rhyl, Moel Famau and more!
Oh September was a fun month! I joined Zoe for a Get Outside Challenge to see how many activities we could do in 48 hours. We also met up with Katy for some as well. My main memory of the weekend was the amount of fun and laughter we had – as we,ll as how incredibly tired we were at the end of it all.
It was still beautifully warm as we came into October and I spent the first part of the month collecting pictures of Manchester. The city changes so quickly that I want to remember what it was like before so am making an album to revisit in the future. It is also a good excuse for a bit of urban wandering and being a tourist in my city.
October also saw us spending a week in Bilbao after a conference there. I have a vlog in the making, which will hit my YouTube channel at some point. But in the meantime, you can check out my Instagram Highlights for a snippet into what we got up to.
In November, I got to have another fix of the Netherlands with a trip to The Hague. Of course, I also jumped a train for a wander around my beloved Rotterdam too, as it would be totally rude not to! Ah, yes, another one to be blogged about! One day I’ll catch up…
I also got to enjoy a trip down to Bristol for work where I also got to spend some quality time with my friend Allysse. It has certainly been a year for getting around and meeting up with some of my best friends for laughter, food and exploring – definitely carrying this one into 2019 too!
December was the start of the craziness! And I don’t just mean Christmas. We decided to renovate our bathroom and get a well deserved replacement boiler. This has meant that much of our time has been spent at home, they gym or doing my reverse commute. It is all going to be worth it in the end, but it has been a bit of a slog doing it around the festive period – I must be mad…but I think you knew that already!
2018 did end on a high with some outdoor fun though. Not to end in the bathroom, we headed to Liverpool to enjoy the fresh air, river breeze and some shopping for the bathroom (it had to feature there somewhere!)
2018: What I did in a year
It is funny how so much of the things we do and experience fade with time. Taking the time today to reflect on last year, I realise how many places we have been, experiences have been had and the massive difference Finish Stuff Friday has had on my life – we have been putting off the bathroom and boiler for years.
I am now very ready for my adventures for 2019. I know we are going to Valencia and Utrecht this year and have many walks planned once the bathroom is sorted. There are also lots of bits to do around the house too.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it. Perhaps you’d like to see what I have planned for 2019? Let me know in the comments below.
But for now, happy new year and here’s to one filled with friends, adventure and most importantly laughter!!
Oh yeah and while I have you – let me know whether you would like to see more vlogs from me again or more regular blog posts – I have let it slip a bit recently with the house and work, but this year I’m ON IT!!!