2016... What a year! So many amazing highs and challenging devastating lows. But we made it through, despite facing hundreds of hurdles, and seeing and hearing about the terrifying things happening in the world. Too many to mention and wrap my head around, however, I'm going to sit quietly and not dwell on the awful things that have happened this year.
What I do know is that I consider myself very very lucky. And, I have remembered a few things a long the way. It's important to be there for those in need, support people where you can and most importantly be kind to everyone.
Any who, I have split this blog post up into sections of a reflection on life, travel, people and blogging and YouTube. I thought this would be a better way of summarising the year. And, it's always lovely to look back on the positive, and overcoming some difficult times of the year.
I also just want to say a HUGE thank you to other half Joe, my best girl and male friends (they know who they are), my family and those who support me and my blog or YouTube channel. You are the ones that keep me going, so I'm truly truly thankful for everything.
Life: Well let's start with the biggest, most life challenging moment... I got married this year! 6th November, twenty sixteen - this was honestly the best day of my life by far. I still can't quite get my head around being married to my best friend, soul mate (cheese) and partner in crime. And, we got to share the day with those closest to us, what a dream! I will cherish every moment forever and always.
If I scroll back through my Instagram page back to the start of this year, I cannot forget to mention seeing my work on the big screen at 'Proud Cabaret' for my work's belated Christmas do in January. This was a proud moment, tear.
Anyway, the earlier months of twenty sixteen were a bit of blur to be honest with you. There was so much intense wedding planning and I was dealing with so much personally.
Moving swiftly on to Summer, I passed my driving test back in June! I took an intensive short course with a lovely lady called Barbra and I passed first time. I can't quite believe I managed to pass and I don't know why it had taken me twenty six years of my life to defeat one of my fears, but I did, hooray :). When you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything!
I also remember the warmer months being seriously addicted to Pokemon Go and I would walk for miles and miles to hatch my eggs and catch rare Pokemon. I still play occasionally! I also remember becoming massively obsessed with anything Hygge. I wish I was Danish, they lead such cool and calm lives.
I had the most incredible Hen do in London with some of my best friends at the end of September! And, Joe and I also celebrated our sixth year anniversary at Thomas' (Burberry) restaurant at the end of September too, what a perfect day.
I also cannot forget my birthday weekend with Hanna and Fee (two of my closest and dearest friends) walking around Regents Park catching Pokemon, drinking cocktails and having the most incredible food at Dirty Bones.
On my actual birthday, halloween. Joe took me to one of my food wish-list dreamy places, Bob Bob Ricard. We spent a fortune and I'm still yet to review that place on my blog. But it was incredible!
He also took me to a cool cocktail bar, Cahoots, and we also saw Aladdin in theatre.
I cannot forget our dramatic honeymoon at the end of this year too, which I will touch on in my next paragraph!
Travel: I love travelling and next year I plan on doing more and more. Anyway, around the end of February, early March, we travelled to Venice and Burano for Joe's 29th birthday. A beautiful break wandering the streets of Venice, riding on the boats and eating amazing food. I wrote a blog post on our trip here. And created a short vlog here.
In November, after the wedding, we travelled to Bali, Lombok and the Gili islands for our honeymoon. Incredible and beautiful places but we had a challenging time from start to finish shall we say. I will write some future blog posts on our honeymoon experiences, but, I'm still slowly catching up on happenings in October... I promise I will though. I also have video footage that I need to edit and put up on YouTube, bare with, bare with (*hangs head in shame*).
Bali was my favourite of the lot. We stayed in a beautiful hotel in the jungle Ubud. And we didn't do anything but relax for three days straight, it was heaven.
Speaking of other travels, we also stayed at a beautiful apartment in Haslemere for Joe's Christmas work do this month. This was a lovely break visiting the Christmas market and relaxing and eating/drinking with Joe's work friends. Merry merry times. Sometimes I forget how beautiful other parts of the UK are, there's so much to experience and explore and it's something I want to do more of in 2017.
People: As mentioned a little earlier, I am super fortunate to have some incredibly lovely and caring human beings in my life. The ones that keep me sane.
But, I just wanted to touch upon something that I have realised this year. Not everyone who you think is your friend is actually a 'friend'. These people love to take advantage of your kindness and it's heartbreaking to realise it.
Just because you are kind and would do anything for anyone, does not mean that it will be reciprocated. You're kind of fooling yourself to think 'people will be as kind as you.'
My heart has been broken by a few people this year, I won't mention any names but I have lost quite a few people close to me, including a family member. I could probably count ten people in total that have severely upset me this year. As well as loosing two people in my life this year was enough to deal with...
Anyway, at the end of the day, life is too short to hold grudges and be bitter. Keep your head high, smile always, and be around those who love, make you laugh and support you. Because at the end of the day, that's all that matters.
Blogging and YouTube: This year I have slowed things down quite a bit. It's hard to manage a full time design job, freelance work and my blog at times. But I still love absolutely everything that I do.
I've realised that it's quality over quantity. And, I will always speak from the heart on here, write things that I'm truly passionate about and create fashion and travel video diaries that I love.
The love and support I have received this year has been overwhelming and quite frankly, amazing. So thank you to everyone who has paid an interest in my blog or channel. It's people like you that keep me going. So here's to another year of creating fun content!
If you've read this far, then wow! Thank you so much again and have a wonderful, happy, lovely, exciting 2017. Love, me x
Feel free to follow me on Instagram: @zoeyoliviablog, or tweet me: @zoeyoliviablog. I'm forever responding and interacting on those platforms :).