I’ve decided to do something a little bit different on the blog today. 2016 has, perhaps justifiably, been given the label of being a terrible year. Sure, European and American politics have seen seismic shifts and the list of obituaries from January onwards is seemingly endless. However, I for one, have had a relatively successful year and, in the spirit of the festive season, wanted to round-up the things I am grateful for this year.
Probably a good place to start. Mid-way through the year, on 04 June 2016, I was lucky enough to marry the woman that I love. In quintessentially British fashion, it was touch-and-go with the weather and Katie left me waiting (and sweating) at the altar for a good few minutes. However, getting to say the words “I do” in the company of all of our friends and family, in a tiny church in Devon, will be a memory to cherish for the rest of my life. We’ll just conveniently forget the Freudian slip in the first line of my speech and the hip flask of vodka instead of water that awaited us in our horse-drawn carriage.
Coffee Cup Culture.
Ever since I can remember, I have always sworn never to work in an office environment. Post-university, I had managed to dodge this unavoidable truth with field-based sales roles and a few years working in both Australia and Val d’Isere but, eventually, I did my three years’ service in a London office. Sure, it wasn’t exactly torture, but there was no better feeling than going full-time as a blogger/influencer and working for my own success. The world has truly become my office and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. (P.S. by world I am predominantly referring to coffee shops…)
The Double Trip to South Africa.
Round one in the southern hemisphere centred around an incredible honeymoon which began on board the luxurious Rovos Rail. Taking in the glamour of the old world way of life, we spent hours drinking fine wine and eating fine food, with the only breaks taken to explore the local wildlife in the safari parks en route to Durban. Then, we had three days in the beautiful city of Cape Town, spent in a huge pink hotel and on the edge of Clifton Bay. Round two saw me explore Johannesburg in the company of three other influencers; all new acquaintances who are now good friends. The best way to improve your own skills is to be inspired by others.
Hanging with Celebrities.
Slightly self-indulgent, maybe, but a lot of people ask me what one of my favourite experiences has been through blogging. In February of 2016, myself and Katie were lucky enough to attend the BAFTA afterparty at the Rosewood London, as guests of Grey Goose. What followed was an evening of surreal disbelief as we rubbed shoulders with some of Hollywood’s finest figures and even had a close encounter with an underdressed, but still undeniably cool, Leo. It was one of those “pinch me” moments that would simply not have happened without the blog. Utterly priceless.
A Whole New World.
Lastly, and by no means least, this year has seen me meet more and more incredible people that have entered my life. I have been inspired by some truly unique creatives, encountered people just like myself who have now become great friends, as well as characters I thought I would never cross paths with. 2016 has been a year of growing both as an individual and as an industry and I cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all. I’m going to start with wanting a bright orange BMW i8 though…