2018: The Best Bits
LIFE THOUGHTS

2018: The Best Bits

I honestly can’t believe another year has gone! I remember when Iwas younger being told that as you get older time passes so much quicker, and it really, really does. 2018 was definitely the busiest and craziest yet, and looking back I can’t believe how much I actually did in the space of one year! It’s been one hell of a ride, so here are a few of my best bits!

Charlotte Rick Bangkok

TRAVEL

This is definitely the main one! Over the year of 2018 I travelled to 10 countries, across 3 continents! I visited so many new places, as well as revisiting some much loved ones I’ve been to in the past. 

My year of travels should’ve started with a trip to Berlin in January, but I was gutted to have to cancel this due to being poorly. No one ever actually believes me when I’m ill, but this time they definitely did! I’d never want to miss out on an adventure, so hated having to pull out of this one. I’d visited Berlin the January before, and fallen in LOVE with the city. It was a shame I didn’t get to go back, but at least I’d seen it before!

In March, James and I flew to Miami! I was super excited, as aside from a couple of days together in Dublin , this was our first proper holiday together. We spent 5 days in Miami Beach before heading upstate to Orlando , where we visited Universal Studios – where we had an incredible time! Miami was great for seeing new places, enjoying good food and lounging on the beach. The fact that both of us are such children, meant that ending the trip in Orlando made it perfect! We both adore theme parks and water parks, so literally went on EVERY ride. This was a holiday I’ll never forget! 

Universal Studios - Charlotte Rick

In April I was lucky enough to be invited to Dubai with my Mum fora week of relaxing in the sun. I’d been to Dubai before for my 18th birthday, but this wasn’t with my Mum so it was really nice to get away with her! We stayed at the JA Palm Tree Court which was beautiful – I spent most of my time swimming, kayaking, tanning & eating the amazing food. Oh, and we had a few cocktails, of course!

Charlotte Rick Dubai

June was when James and I left our lives in Bristol, packed up our big backpacks and jumped on a plane to Bangkok with no plans to return for nearly 3 months. We travelled from Bangkok down to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. From there we decided to head down to Malaysia, so jumped on a train to Georgetown, Penang before jumping on a coach to Kuala Lumpur.

Charlotte Rick Kuala Lumpur

From there we flew up to Cambodia. Starting in Siem Reap then continuing our journey from there down to Otres Beach in Sihanoukville, then to Koh Rong – which was beautiful! After Koh Rong we headed to Kampot where we bought our motorbike, Bruce.

Bruce took us from Kampot up to Phom Penh, where we got our Vietnamese Visas and finally headed across the border into Vietnam! By this point it was mid July, and we spent the whole 30 days of our visa in the country. From Ho Chi Minh, we went to Long Hai, Phan Thiet, Mui Ne, Phan Rang, Cam Ranh and Nha Trang – all on our motorbike. We then put him on a train (to meet him in Danang), and got a bus to Hoi An then a taxi onto Danang. Picking up Bruce again, we drove the beautiful Hai Van Pass to Hue, where we sold Bruce (we’d run out of time to carry on driving him!) and got a train up to Ninh Binh, then a coach to Hanoi. From Hanoi we did a trip to Halong Bay and a trip to Sapa, before flying back to Thailand. Yep – Vietnam was a pretty crazy 30 days for us!! Next we explored the west coast of Thailand, so Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Railay Beach in Krabi and Phuket. The last adventure we squeezed in was a quick trip to Singapore for 2 nights before flying back to the UK. 

These few months of my life were the most incredible experience, and to anyone thinking of travelling I can’t recommend it more. I am someonewho loves a plan, and gets very stressed if I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. The idea of flying somewhere I’d never been and just ‘going with the flow’ really didn’t sound like something I’d enjoy, but once I was out there I soon understood it was how it worked, and that this would be a very good thing for me. I became so much more confident in myself and realised I was a lot more independent than I’d originally thought! 

We got back on Sept 1st, and it seemed like only 5 minutes had passed before we were back at the airport! This time, we were flying out to New York with James’ family for just under a week. We’d booked this before we’d actually booked travelling, and 13 days between us coming back from Asia and going out to New York had seemed fine at the time, but in hindsight we could’ve done with a bit more time in-between as it all felt pretty crazy. Still – I’m not complaining! New York was amazing – it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and it exceeded all expectations. 

In October we headed to one of my favourite places, Barcelona ! This was my surprise for James’ birthday present as he’d never been, so we had a pretty busy few days exploring all the sights and eating ALL the tapas we possibly could. Washed down with Sangria, Beer or Cava. You have to, right?

November was our first anniversary, so we headed to Wales for a couple of nights – staying in a castle and then a cabin in Snowdonia, which was perfect. I’ve never properly been into rural Wales (only train journeys to Cardiff ) so I didn’t realise how beautiful the landscape is! This was the perfect little getaway from Bristol, and we had such a refreshing time just exploring the countryside together.

So yeah! Those were my incredible travels and adventures of 2018. I doubt that 2019 (or any other year really) will manage to live up to 2018 travel wise, but I’m excited to slow down a bit in 2019 as I need more of a routine for my own sanity! Please do not mistake that for me complaining though – I’m super lucky to have been able to visit so many places, now I just need to finish writing about them all for you to read!

GETTING OUR HEDGEHOG, HENLO

Meeting Henlo the Hedgehog - Charlotte Rick

2018 was also the year that we welcomed Henlo into our family, our little Pygmy Hedgehog. He was my birthday present from James in January, and I can’t believe we’ve nearly had him a whole year! He’s such a little cutie, and even though he isn’t the easiest pet to have we love him all the same. If you’re interested, have a read about him here!

LAUNCHING MY BLOG

How can I write a blog post about 2018 and not mention that it was the year I launched this blog. I’d tried numerous times to start blogs, but always got a bit shy/embarrassed at the idea of just writing online for the world to see. The whole, ‘Who’d actually be interested in what I have to say anyway?’ thought always popped into my head and I would just scrap it. I guess it’s because I never really knew what I wanted to write about, but this time round I did! I love to travel, take photos of new places and write, so I thought why not combine all of that into a travel blog and just see where it goes. It was a lot harder than I’d originally thought – I hadn’t even considered everything behind actually having a website, but I learnt a lot along the way. I’ve gone through stages over the year of being very motivated to blog to having no motivation at all, but I’ve got so many places to write about still so for 2019 I’m gonna work on getting that motivation back!

MOVING INTO MY FIRST FLAT W/ JAMES

Eee! I like to think this makes me a proper adult. And it also made me realise, adulting on your own is hard. I moved out at 18 when I went to uni, but have always lived with girls and had housemates. And I’ve never really been the one in charge of sorting out bills, except maybe internet which isn’t too hard. Moving into our new flat we had to swap over our utilities companies and it was all VERY confusing. They really should teach you more about things like this at school I think, because to some of us it doesn’t come as naturally… But. Everything else was a positive! We’ve lived together since we got together pretty much but to have our own place, just the two of us, was really exciting. Whilst travelling we picked up random bits for the flat in Asia and were really looking forward to having a whole home to decorate, rather than just a bedroom! I think I got a bit overexcited, because every room has a theme… Maybe I’ll write a post about these another time!

We moved in to our flat in October, but even now we’re still finding new things to hang on the walls. And we decorated our first Christmas tree together! It’s nice to have our own space, as James has his studio to make music in and I like to sit in the lounge to work, as opposed to before when I had a desk in my room. It’s also a massive plus not to be woken up by Henlo every night on his wheel at about 3am, as he now lives in the hall!

GOING FREELANCE FULL TIME

This time last year, I’d just started my first proper full-time job out of uni, working as an Account Exec at a PR company. I was so excited but also terrified! I was only there three short months due to being made redundant, and whilst I learnt a lot in those months I also struggled a lot with the working environment. I hated the fact that I left home in the dark and got home in the dark, then did freelance work in the evenings. I was exhausted, became very miserable and was a bit of a nightmare to be around to be honest! I’ve always been a night bird, and find being creative early in the mornings very hard, so trying to force that at 8.30am made the days seem much longer. I was getting to the point where I’d decided to stick it out a few more months then go travelling, when I got made redundant. I was dreading the day I had to hand my notice in, as I loved everyone there, so this really was a good thing for me at the time! Rather than apply for another job, I built up my freelance work and booked flights to go to Asia a few months later. Whilst travelling I carried on working remotely, and decided that the last thing I wanted to do was go back to being stuck in an office at a desk all week. It just doesn’t suit me as a person, I find it much easier to work later in the day and in my own space. It also gave me the time to set up my blog, as I got made redundant the day before I went on holiday to Miami which is what my first post was about! Since then, I’ve taken on more work, James and I have set up our own Company and I’ve got a lot more ideas of things I want to do in the future. Watch this space!

2019… You’ve got a lot to live up to. But I’m determined to make this year better than the last. I’ll be back to let you know my New Years resolutions!

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Charlotte Rick | A Travel & Lifestyle Blog: 2018: The Best Bits

2 thoughts on “2018: The Best Bits”

  1. I love the style and vibe of your blog & will definitely returning! Especially to read up on your posts about South East Asia as I am doing a pretty similar trip at the end of this year! I hope 2019 is just as great as 2018 for you, especially with your freelance work! x

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad you like it. Aww are you? Let me know if you need any advice/help with planning your trip!! Thank you girl x

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