Well hello to you my reader chums! 2016, where do I begin? For me, it has been the most incredible year. Both of my best friends have called it 'my year', as over the past 12 months I've had many accomplishments and done things I never thought were possible. It's been a year of growth, through my confidence, overcoming anxiety and saying yes to every new experience; I've truly found myself.
Let's take a look at what made 2016 a year to remember...
La Rambla, Barcelona
Gran Canaria beach
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
Athens, the ancient city
View from Cologne Cathedral
It's safe to say, I've done my fair bit or travelling this year. I've been lucky enough to go on 5 different holidays and experience some astounding locations. Not only have I witnessed them, but also created unforgettable memories with the people who made my adventures something else. By constantly planning my next trip in the past year, my love for adventure and embracing new cultures has grown immensely. I no longer fear the unknown in new places abroad but allow excitement to overtake with what the trip shall bring. If you've been following along on my adventures, then you'd have seen I've visited Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Rome, Athens and Cologne this year. Many fb city breaks with an unforgettable girls holiday thrown in between. 'Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer' - I couldn't agree with that statement more. Admiring sights abroad and eating local delicacies will forever fill my heart with warmth. I can't wait to continue these adventures, flying out to destinations even further away and absorbing what the world has to offer.
I don't even know how to put into words how grateful I am for the circle of friends I have. 2016 has been the year we blossomed even more into our own little squad, doing practically everything together and building each other up. Through the adventures abroad, London days out and endless sleepovers, they are my world. I never thought I'd be apart of a group so solid and feel as cherished as I do. They bring endless amount of happiness to my days, never fail to make me laugh and are there when I need a shoulder to cry on. I couldn't wish for a group of best friends who support every single decision I make, put up with my bad days and are always cheering me on. Thank you girls, you crazy bunch, I love you with all my heart.
I've come out of 2016 feeling 1000 times better than how it began. My confidence has truly come along leaps and bounds. I'm more confident in my looks, where I can go out the house with no makeup on and test out more 'daring outfits'. My belief in who I am has improved massively with a change in mind-set from thinking ' I can't do it' to 'I can and I will'. I just feel more content in myself. Through persevering and saying yes to a lot more things, I was able to turn my perspective on life into something positive. The world isn't out to get you, the world is your oyster and it's what you make it.
Another aspect of my personal growth is tackling anxiety. It's not gone completely and it will still creep up every so often but I've come to grips on how to control it. A year ago, I would never imagine what I've done now because of my anxiety. Visiting London used to be more of a worry than fun because of the crowds and cramped tubes but now the tables have turned. I'm lucky to only live 2 hours away from London by train so have consistently visited this year and by doing so, slowly overcame the panic attacks and dread a day in the big city would bring. By travelling to various locations, I overcame the anxiety flying brought or entering a new place. I've stopped being so worried about everyone around me and what they think. Over the year, I learnt to put myself first more and that it's okay to be selfish with my time sometimes, focusing on me. In order to keep my mental heath on track, I've slowly trained my brain to stop overthinking as much ( even if this still tests me at times). Ultimately, my anxiety has been put on the low shelf, I've rose above it and some how tackled through which I never thought I'd do. I'm a stronger, wiser and more determined individual.
Above all the incredible adventures I've experienced and the gratitude I have of those around me, I couldn't be more prouder of the achievements I've accomplished in 2016.
1. Flying alone - My highlight of the entire year and proudest moment has to be getting on the plane and travelling alone to a different country. It took every ounce of courage and mindful games to get me there but I did it and flew all the way back with no trouble. I used to have massive fear of flying and airports, which brought on my anxiety immensely, however I did it. I managed to sit on the plane, fly to Greece and meet my aunt with ease. Anxiety or fear didn't win!
2. Parasailing - When I was in Gran Canaria on our girls holiday, we decided to go parasailing. I wanted to do it to enforce my 'just say yes' mantra and to not be so afraid of new experiences. Before parasailing, we went on a boat cruise ( and I have to admit, I'm really not a big fan of boats) so it was scary enough before flying in the sky. However, again I did it. I may have cried as I thought I would fall but after a minute or so I got used to it. I tackled my fear or heights, water and boats all in one. It's crazy what you can do when you put your mind to it.
3. Overcoming fear of travel - Travelling and seeing new places was always wishful thinking before I just did it. I was always scared something bad would happen to me, I'd be trapped or the new place wouldn't feel safe. After going ton a few trips, instead of that dreadful worry, I get excited what the new culture and location will bring.
4. Just saying yes - This is something I've tried to implement into my life for years now but really got to grips with it in the past 12 months. Whether it's a party, meal out, meeting up with new people or venture up town, I've always aimed to say yes. I think pushing yourself and just going for it is something everybody should take on. If you don't try, you'll never know.
5. Starting driving lessons - I wanted to start driving ever since my twin did but couldn't pluck up the courage to book in a lesson until August 2016. I finally did it and couldn't be happier. I thoroughly enjoy my lessons and surprisingly I'm very confident behind the wheel, not as anxious as I thought I'd be. I can't wait till the day I'm on the roads in my own car.
I hope you enjoyed my 2016 highlights post. What was your favourite moment of the year?
Thank you for reading <3