So, 2016 was a whirlwind that I didn’t expect. It was full of milestones, slowly exploring the world and saying ‘yes’ to oppurtunites I didn’t think I was lucky enough to even receive. Another incredible year that featured so much laughter, adventure, dreams and hopes that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. It’s going to be hard saying goodbye to everything 2016 offered.
Knowing I have such wonderful memories to take with me in 2017 makes ending the year just that little bit easier and as the tradition goes… I’ve been reflecting on the last three hundred and sixty odd days and all the little moments they’ve contained, the achievements and even the drawbacks. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the idea of nostalgia, the act of seeing the past through rose-tinted glasses so I’ve been trying to not only acknowledge the ups but also the downs, grab a hold of them and move on.
I’m excited for 2017; it’s the year I should graduate, the year I complete one of the greatest adventures of my life so far and hopefully also many more adventures. I would love to travel again, visiting more of Europe. I want to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone, a little day-by-day, I want to be confidence in myself and I just want to be happy. Uncontrollably, stupidly happy.
So, 2016, you’ve been incredible and you’ve been a pretty big year in my life, but I’m ready for 2017. I’m ready to say goodbye to the year I visited more countries than ever before, the year I realised who my true friends are and the year full of big jumps and learning curves.
But, before we start the countdown into 2017, it’s time to reflect on some of the biggest adventures of 2016, here are just some of my favourite memories I have from the past 365 days.
I couldn’t do a whole 2016 post and not mention the live acts I saw this year. Throwing it back straight to March was Little Mix and boy, these girls sure do know how to put on a show, the performances, staging and vocals were incredible and it was one of those nights where you could just sing and dance along like no-one was watching.
Next up was a childhood favourite, Busted. When these three announced they were getting back together, nostalgia well and truly kicked in and Georgia and I managed to grab some tickets before they all sold out. This show was AMAZING. There’s nothing like being 20 years old, attending a concert of a band you loved as a child, singing the songs you’ve known for over 10 years with an audience that all has that mutual understanding. It was a magical night that took me straight back to being nine years old again, standing on the chairs at Wembley Arena, experiencing my very first concert.
Oh gosh, Rome was just the adventure. It will be increadibly hard to top Rome; one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the opportunity to explore and walk around.
The weather was beautiful and complimented the city’s backdrop effortlessly and one of my favourite feelings was the liberating feeling of walking slowly along the cobbled streets, gelato in hand, the sun beating down, talking about univeristy and life, looking for the next pizzeria to snack in.
It’s been a dream of mine to visit Italy; it was the place that was in all the beautiful romantic movies, it was the destination that people would visit and come back with fantastic stories, it was an honour to visit the country thats been on the travel wishlist ever since I was a little wanderlust-struck teenager.
It was a beautifully cultural adventure as well, spending our three days exploring all the ‘tourist’ sites. The Colosseum was overwhelming in every way possible and the Vatican City really was something to behold. And to share this with my two best friends really made the adventure everything it was and more.
You only turn twenty one once and I was truly determined to do so in style. Flying out to beautiful Barcelona on my birthday was so exciting. We all know I’ve caught the travelling bug and ticking this magnificent city off my travel list was just simply amazing.
Barcelona is such a thriving city with the perfect mix of modern life and historic culture all to be absorbed. We walked around, viewed this city via open-top bus, we shopped, we visited the beach and we ate so much tapas it was borderline ridiculous. The weather was truly stunning, I was celebrating and it was such a lovely little birthday trip away, there was no better way to mark turning twenty one.
Disneyland Paris, France
Just looking back on these photo’s is making me feels so warm and content. Everyone has their happy place; the one location in the world that can make them feel ‘home’, safe, the perfect little haven to escape to. Disney is that for me. A place where you can just run around doing whatever you so wish, just like you would of done when you were five years old.
Even at twenty one, this place is just as magical as it was when I was a young girl running around these parks, begging my parents to let me ride Big Thunder Mountain for the eighth time. Going with friends adds a different spin on the adventure and sharing that with people who love the world of Disney as much as you truly makes the trip.
We spent five days at the parks back in September when the park is in it’s lowest peak. It was lovely, nearly every ride was a walk on, Dreams was as enchanting as I remember it being and any bit of stress and worry that was sitting well on my shoulders disappeared as if by magic the second I stepped on Main Street. It really is the most happiest place on Earth. If you want to share the adventure with us, you can do so by watching all the vlogs on my Youtube Channel.
The Blogging Community
2016 was truly the year for SimplyAbbi. My very first event invite landed in my inbox and then the odd few began to follow. It was such an exciting experience, I’ve been blogging on and off for the last three or so years but I’ve only taken this little space of the web seriously in the last year or so and anyone will tell you it’s an incredible moment when you start to get noticed.
Of course, that’s not the be all and end all of blogging, not even close but going to such lovely events and meeting such lovely, like-minded people… well, there’s just nothing like it! Dove, Farfetch and Boohoo all hosted events that I attended this year and through these events, I was lucky enough to meet some really lovely people including the lovely Kristy from MissKristyAnna, Leanne from LPageBeauty, Bella from ArabellaWright, Rosa from OhDuckyDarling and so many more lovely bloggers and PR’s.
It’s been such an amazing experience attending these events, meeting these people and becoming a bigger part of this blogging community I love so much. The support, the people and the chance to make new friends makes all of this so special and it was so lovely to spend such a huge chunk of 2016 celebrating this industry and the people, brands and talents within it.
What was your number one highlight of 2016 and are you ready for the adventure of 2017?