2017 has been a weird year for me. Lots of good things, a few unexpected things and a couple of bad. It’s a bit of a blogger cliche that we all write our end of year review posts but I’ll make no apologies-I love reading those posts by others and I’m damn well writing my own because I like seeing what I’ve been up to when I write it, and I love to look back at past ones. 2017, it’s been emotional.
I started the year with some resolutions. I’m amazed to say that I stuck to two of them (failed the other two, but 50% isn’t bad!) I went to see a photographer do a studio shoot to see what I could learn, even though I was definitely, never going to shoot people. Ahem.
I talked about my IBS on this blog-something I don’t really like to discuss, but I’m glad to say the post got a great response.
I literally posted three times in February. Bad blogger! I booked my first ever solo trip, and I met some blogger friends for lunch. That lunch led to me joining a group chat where the girls in the chat have become my blogger baes (and real life best friends) I am so so lucky to have them in my life. I was approved for a mortgage and started online hunting for houses, I started to learn some new thing at work-everything was looking up.
I took my Mum to her first ever blogger event. At the end of the month I took my first ever flight alone, to Palma, Majorca, for a long weekend-my first solo trip. I hung out with Cristina, we visited Valldemossa, and I had a brilliant time. Other than that, March was pretty uneventful.
I spent the first couple of days in Majorca enjoying sunshine and great company. I reviewed The Firepit for the blog. I went to CarnLIVal, and I spent a day riding electric bikes around a park.
I worked with Smilemakers on a very cool collaboration. I went to Amsterdam, visited the sex museum, tried space cake, and basically had a fun, if slightly chaotic, weekend with three fabulous bloggers. I also spent an afternoon in Camden just because, after driving me and a friend there and back in a day-lots of fun singing along to the radio on that long old drive.
I went to a blogger event where, despite being invited, I was treated differently to other bloggers-kind of like a lower tier of blogger. Obviously that made me really sad, but luckily I was cheered up because the next day I went to Dublin, courtesy of Cheapflights. This was my first ever travel collaboration and I was so incredibly excited to be exploring somewhere I wanted to go to so much. It’s a shame I took the person I did, who cut me out of her life a month later, but you live and learn. I photographed street art in Temple Bar, went to the Leprechaun Museum, and got very close to a tiger at the zoo. And two of my best friends had their beautiful baby girl, Hazel. She’s brilliant!
I lost my job, and started freelancing. Laura Haley Photography was born. During the course of losing my job I found out that, as suspected, most of the person I worked with weren’t my friends-but that one of them is the amazing friend I hoped he was.
I spent a day in Filey purely to take photos, I wrote some really personal content I’m proud of, and hung out with Lizi at Leeds Gin Festival. I went to Cardiff, had a really weird experience, visited Barry Island and drove home a day early. I headed to one of my favourite cities, Durham, for Durham Miners Gala, taking two of my best friends and their children with me too. And I hung out with some of my faves in York, as well as taking on my first paying clients for Laura Haley Photography and really ramping up my paid work for this blog.
I did food reviews at Hive, and The Alchemist, wrote lots of sponsored content, and sold all my ad slots. I took on more Laura Haley Photography clients and had some fun shoots with my close friend Claire, including taking amazing shots at Architects of Air exhibition.
I finally made the decision to step away from someone who clearly didn’t want to be in my life. I miss them terribly, but it’s soul destroying trying to chase someone who clearly doesn’t value your friendship the way you do theirs. I travelled to Amsterdam for a second time this month, as well as spending a weekend in Glasgow. More shoots with Laura Haley Photography happened too.
This month I hit my first freelancing monthly income target. I was supposed to go to Berlin, but decided to cancel the trip. I did to go to London with Travelodge, in my second travel collaboration of the year.
I wrote loads of sponsored content, and was poorly a lot. My best friend had some godawful news and to be honest, that’s really all I remember from November.
I started to think about getting a full time job in 2018, so I can buy a house. I’ll still be running Laura Haley Photography and earning from this blog, too, if I do get a full time job. I turned thirty one. I celebrated Christmas with my family, and spent a lovely week with my favourite dog, Bobbie the Cockapoo. I worked VERY HARD on Inside Laura’s Head to get content finished for the year and half of January 2018 written, before 2017 ended. And I’ve planned lots of exciting things for 2018.
Posts written in 2017: 137
Posts I’d really love you to read: Trying Space Cake in Amsterdam/I believe in karma/Why you should always follow your instincts/But Laura, how DO you travel so much?/Travelling alone for the first time
How was your 2017?