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This post was last updated on April 27th, 2019 at 05:18 pm
I am a bit late to the party this year (how is it January already?!) but I wanted to keep up the tradition of writing my annual highlights post. It’s been another productive year for travels, work and family. Yay!
Happy New Year in Sri Lanka
It all kicked off with an epic trip through Sri Lanka where we welcomed in 2018 from our hotel balcony as Isla slept through the fireworks and celebrations.
I loved Sri Lanka and I definitely want to go back and explore some more at some point. You can read all about our Sri Lanka travels with a baby here.
I then managed to get 3 new academic publications in January/February which boosted my CV for 2018- get in! You can find them here-
- The ‘Blogosphere’ as a platform for interpretative phenomenological analysis: the case of TEFL tourism,
- TEFL tourism: the tourist who teaches,
- The commodification of English language teaching in tourism: A sustainable solution?
One Year of Being a Mum
In March we celebrated Isla’s first birthday! It feels like she has grown soooo quickly, yet I can barely remember life without her! She brings me so much joy and makes me smile every single day!
April was the month of one of my biggest achievements to date when Philip and I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro! We then visited the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater on an epic safari-I would highly recommend!
I am working on a number of blog posts about this trip (it’s hard to find the time with a full-time job and a toddler!) but for now my most popular posts are- My Love-Hate Relationship with Mount Kilimanjaro, I’m a Girl- What Do I REALLY Need to Pack for my Kilimanjaro Climb?and Will I Die When Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?
Girls on Tour in Nepal
In May I ventured over to Nepal with my mother-in-law and baby Isla for a work conference. I presented my paper on TEFL tourism which was very well received and we did lots of exploring around Kathmandu. Baby Isla was the centre of attention as usual!
I really liked Kathmandu and I hope to return to explore Nepal some more in the future JYou can read about our trip in this post- Kathmandu with a baby.
Last of the Summer Wine
In June I had a lovely child-free weekend away with my best friend in Lisbon where I had my last alcoholic drinks before starting the nine month count down for baby number two who we are due to meet in only 9 weeks time!
I am super excited about having another little baby. I even shared my excitement for breastfeeding again on my Instagram account where I had an overwhelming response!! You can see the post here.
Busy, Busy, Busy
July was a busy month. I launched my new Cabin Crew website, becomingcabincrew.com and my online Cabin Crew course. I am really happy with the course, but so far I have not made the sales that I had hoped… I think that this is largely down to marketing so I am working on building up the new site- a target for 2019!
Towards the end of the month we travelled to Spain to visit my dad for two weeks. I was suffering a bit from early pregnancy fatigue and a bit of morning sickness so this was a nice opportunity to relax a bit, even if it was really hot (I’m sure you can add on a few degrees to what a pregnant lady feels compared to a normal person!).
Hubby made us a great video to record our memories, which are so precious as children grow so fast! You can watch it here.
In August we embarked on our big annual adventure where we travelled through Canada for a month! We went on lots of hikes and enjoyed the spectacular scenery that Canada has to offer. You can read more about our trip and watch our video highlights here- Canada with a baby and a baby bump.
Writing to the Death
September was the month that I FINALLY finished writing my book on TEFL tourism due for sale release in 2019 with CABI Publishing. You know you’re close to the end when you get to that stage where you dread spending any more time working on it… and I was definitely there!!
Thank goodness it’s all finished now and I look forward to seeing it on the shelves soon!
The Road to Full-Time Blogging
In October I decided to focus my spare time on the blog and I have been working on this ever since. My stats on Lifeasabutterfly took a bit hit when I moved all of my Cabin Crew content over to becomingcabincrew so I’ve been working hard to build this up again.
I haven’t really focussed on blogging since before starting my PhD in 2013 and it seems the business has got a bit more competitive since then! There are now thousands, if not more, of travel bloggers that I am competing with for the top spots on Google and prior to 2013 things such as SEO, DA scores, vlogs etc were barely around!
So I feel like I have had to start at the beginning and learn a lot of this stuff for scratch, despite having the blog since 2011! I’ve actually quite enjoyed learning lots of new things though, and I have even encompassed this into my work at the university by undertaking a research project where I’ve been examining travel influencers.
The research is still ongoing but I have started to write up some of the results, which I hope will be of use to many fellow bloggers/influencers. Some of my findings are actually really interesting… like the fact that on average male influencers earn 6x more than females!!! You can read more here- The travel influencer: the first research of its kind.
Baby, Baby, Baby
In November I continued to focus on growing the blog, my bump grew A LOT and we found out we are having a second baby girl! I have been brainstorming travel-themed baby names and I have a few that I love… but we will not reveal our chosen name until the big day- watch this space!
And finally, in December we have had the most amazing trip through South Africa! This is actually the reason that my annual highlights post is late- we have been busy climbing deserted sand dunes, lion spotting and relaxing on the beach!
So, all in all 2018 was another busy but exciting year! I am confident that 2019 will follow suit…. Starting with the arrival of our little baby girl in a few short weeks! In 2019 I plan to focus on being mummy, growing my blog and, of course, travelling!
Happy new year to you all!