Happy New Year! What a fantastic year it has been (and it certainly had its lows) but overall it was a success.
Would you be surprised if I told you that when I finished my MBA at the end of 2016 I had every intention of giving this up, getting a real career and staying put in Washington, D.C. where I live? That was actually the plan .. and it sort of happened. I did take on a full time career for most of the year but I could not let this love for travel and entrepreneurship go, so I kept doing both.
Most weeks I worked 40 hours at my job, and 60+ traveling, writing, and running my business.
I want to share with you my current situation. The week of Thanksgiving I was let go from my job because business was slow – I actually hated my job .. it was the most boring, mind-numbing job I have ever had, and to be honest – no job will probably ever be as exciting as the one I have running a travel business and being a freelancer. In a way, my boss did me a favor by letting me go because my soul was being drained everyday that I went there. So thank you sir for forcing me not to go to a job I hate everyday!
2017 in a nutshell: because I went back to work early in the year, my travel schedule was very limited AND I wanted to focus on promoting U.S. destinations primarily. I utilized every holiday weekend and day off that I could to bring you content and travel inspiration (I hope). Often times I would take red eye flights home from weekend getaways and go right to work – that is how dedicated I am to my brand and to sharing the world with anyone who will read it.
Top Moments Of 2017:
- Traveled to Morocco, Africa for the first time … SOLO
- Saw the Northern Lights in my favorite country – Iceland
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!
- Spent a week in Hawaii with my best friend
- Took my mom on some amazing trips around the country
- Spent my first year away for Christmas with my family in New Orleans
- Held my first blogger weekend in Washington, D.C. that was a raging success!
- Ate my way through the Minnesota State Fair
- Fell in love with Arizona … TWICE
- Worked with AMAZING brands that I love <3
- Launched my consulting business to help those who want to work in this industry – and helped so many of you achieve success. <3<3
- WORKED WITH GWEN STEFANI <3<3<3
- and met countless new friends around the globe, some even in far off lands .. like Morocco
What is new for 2018?:
Now that I am back to freelancing full-time, I will be traveling more and covering new destinations for you guys. I still want to travel a lot in the United States BUT I have big plans for global travel. A lot of travel writers tend to cover the same destinations all the time but I like to often go where everyone else isn’t. Some of my bucket list destinations for 2018 are: Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Wyoming, South Africa, Zanzibar, Alaska, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Australia .. ahh who am I kidding – there isn’t a place I would not go.
Here are my goals (lofty) for the year:
- Visit 20 new countries
- Visit my last of the 50 states, Alaska
- Launching my food account – you know I love to eat and share it with you!
- Droning – I got a drone this year but I live in an area I cannot fly it and I truly want to bring you some amazing content with it – so I PROMISE to get to some destinations that will allow me to use it.
- Taking on new clients for social media management – let me know if you are interested.
- Photography packages will be available for restaurants, hotels, family or self photos, etc.
- Group trip(s)
- Working on an Iceland trip – let me know if you are interested 🙂
- Aspiring Blogger/Influencer weekend trips:
- If you are looking to get into this industry and want to do it in a compressed weekend, while having fun with other like-minded individuals – this is the program for you.
- Bloggers Take The City Part 2:
- These are weekend led trips by me of established bloggers/social influencers who come to a city and promote it from their point of view across social media platforms and blogs while having an amazing time exploring a new city, meeting new friends, and learning from industry insiders.
- Consulting changes:
- Those who I work with on consulting will now have access to a private Facebook group with other members and access to me. We can have discussions with members, talk about industry changes, our successes, meet new friends, and more 🙂
- Most of my consulting classes are 60 minutes long and I will continue to offer those. They run by a phone call from me. I will be adding some new classes like “Learn To Maximize Twitter In 60 Minutes.” I have grown and learned so much this year about social media and business and I cannot wait to share it with you and help you achieve your dreams.
- Blog more! I really want to get into the habit of blogging at least twice a week. I have so much content to share with you guys and I want to make it a priority to keep sharing a minimum of twice a week.
- Weekly updates via blog post. Each week on Sunday I will highlight my week for you with some new photos, tell you the highs and lows, announce giveaways (if you love travel keep an eye out – I have some amazing giveaways coming on Instagram), and just have an overall discussion with you in a non formal way about whats coming up/going on.
I don’t even feel tired after going through all of that! That is because I am revved up and ready for this amazing year. I know it is going to be busy and I cannot wait to share everything with all of you. I am ready to work harder than last year and to bring you the best content that I can.
Last but certainly not least, I want to thank you for being on this journey with me. Without you this is not possible. I read all your comments, DM’s, emails – all of it, and I appreciate every single one of you. So THANK YOU for everything you do and continuing to inspire me to share the world.
I wish you all success, friendship, and lots of travel in 2018!