Since this is my first post of 2018, and admittedly, I’ve been completely useless at updating this blog over the past year, I thought I’d bring everyone up to speed – including myself – with a quick 2017 recap.
There are so many things I did that I didn’t end up sharing on here, and that’s a bloody shame because as I sit at my desk trying to reminisce, I desperately wish I could remember all the adventures I had throughout the year.
All I know for certain is that I’ve had a ridiculous amount of fun, and whilst there has been the occasional challenge, river of tears, and a few bouts of self-doubt, I’ve come out of 2017 thinking that life can’t get much better than this, so if this year is half as fun, I’ll be a happy geek!
My year started pretty quietly with lots of Netflix binge sessions. Even so, January was probably my favourite month because Jess and I decided to make things ‘official’, and begin a ‘grown-up’ relationship – I’m in my late twenties by the way, so I’m not new to relationships or anything, but I do still find it all a little awkward, so excuse the inverted commas. Anyway, we were in this unique position where we already lived together, so things moved pretty quickly, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. He’s the main reason this past year has been so incredible, and I’ve never felt so lucky. Gushing aside, I also got to see baby otters at the Animal Sanctuary, which was pretty close to trumping the whole ‘new relationship’ thing if I’m being honest.
In February I got to live out one of my ultimate fantasies and go to Hogwarts – well, I got to go to the Warner Bro’s Studio Tour, which is pretty close to the real thing. It was such a magical experience. Having been a Harry Potter fan for as long as I can remember, as well as being an absolute movie geek, I was in heaven. There were props and sets everywhere, as well as Platform 9 ¾ and Butterbeer on tap – why I haven’t shared all my photos with you yet is beyond me because I took hundreds. Watch this space on that front.
Come March I decided that I wanted to explore my home town a little more, so Jess and I ate our way around Southsea’s cafés and restaurants, including the quaintest little tea shop called Jam and Bowler. We also explored a few parts of town we’d never been to before – one being Southsea Castle, which I’d walked past countless times but never actually registered. It wasn’t until someone mentioned that there was a cocktail bar inside, that my spidey senses started tingling. I’d like to explore Portsmouth a little more this year as well.
April brought Spring to the UK, so at the first sight of sunshine I was dragging Jess to the most idyllic seaside town I could think of – Durdle Door – where we explored the coves and beaches, and wished we never had to leave. We also went somewhere completely new to me, a farm called Finkley, which was full of baby animals that you could hand feed. How did I not know such a place existed!? Towards the end of the month, I went on a family trip up to York to see some relatives. It was the most beautiful town, and I was gutted we couldn’t spend longer there.
In May, Jess and I travelled up to London for a weekend away with my best friend Alice and her chap. We were intending to sight see, but ended up going on a sort of bar crawl around Shoreditch where we found some of the quirkiest places I’ve ever been to, including a café completely dedicated to cereal and a Peter Pan themed rooftop bar. I also took Jess to his very first Comic Con – MCM Expo. We rounded the month off with a day at my favourite music festival – Slamdunk – which teenage Emma never lets me miss. This year I got to see Bowling for Soup.
June saw me cross something new off my bucket list – attend a music festival abroad. After seeing the line-up for Rock Werchter in Belgium, which included Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Linkin Park and Arcade Fire as headliners, Jess decided we had to go. It was our first ‘holiday’ together, and it was amazing – one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The festival itself wasn’t perfect, in fact, it was probably one of the worst organised I’d ever been to, but the bands were incredible. I’ve never seen a line up like it.
In July I took Jess to see Blink 182 for his birthday, who were amazing – even if it wasn’t the original line up. I also went to my first food festival where I tried my first plate of Halloumi fries and now I’m pretty sure they’re my favourite food in the entire world. We rounded the month off with a trip to Oxford to see some friends, though I couldn’t resist popping to the cemetery to see J.R.R. Tolkiens grave and pay my respects. We also found the most amazing comic book themed burger joint which had the best vegetarian patties.
August was American Road Trip month. My friend Mike and I wanted to see the solar eclipse, which wasn’t visible in the UK, so we coincided the event with a small road trip through Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. We saw so many incredible things, and got to spend an entire week in Yellowstone and The Grand Tetons where I totally saw a bear mummy and her cubs, and couldn’t have been more excited. You can read more about Wyoming in my geek guide, and I promise to put up lots more info about Utah and Colorado this year too.
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to top America in August, but come September, Jess and I went to Munich and it was unbelievable. To start with, we joined some friends for Oktoberfest, which was insane. The glasses were bigger than my head, and the food was delicious and plentiful. Everyone was tipsy and happy. We then decided to spend a day at the Munich zoo and it was honestly the best zoo I’ve ever been to. They called it an eco-zoo, where none of the animals were in cages. Not even the lions or tigers. I’ve never seen anything like it and would love to visit more.
October was Halloween month, so we watched a lot of scary movies and decorated the whole flat with Spooky decorations. Jess took me pumpkin picking for the first time, which I’ve decided will have to be an annual occurrence from now on. We also binge watched Stranger Things in an entire day, and I visited the pop-up at Topshop. By far the best thing to happen in October however was getting Thor – our hamster. We’ve both wanted a dog forever, but living in a flat, and working long days meant it wasn’t possible. A hamster on the other hand.. He is the absolute cutest, and I already love him far too much.
My birthday is in November, so it mainly consisted of a lot of meals out with friends and family, but I also got to do some fun, active things as well. I tried my hand at Archery and didn’t suck. In fact, I think I ended up coming second overall, so yay! I also went on a Go Ape course with my sister which was bloody terrifying. You basically climb up into the trees then walk around on tiny ropes, but you do get to go on a lot of zip wires. November ended once again in Oxford, only this time we explored the city a bit more – I basically hunted down a load of Harry Potter film sets.
We ended the year with a trip to Edinburgh which was completely magical, and if I wasn’t so happy living in Southsea, I would move up there in a heartbeat. The whole city was decorated for Christmas and the market was the biggest I’d ever seen. We got to try so many amazing foods, and visit so many places. It was an absolute dream. Even our Air bnb was stunning – right by the centre of town so we could walk everywhere. I also got to visit all the places that inspired JK Rowling to write Harry Potter, though I’ll write more about that another time.
And so another year ends. I don’t really know what 2018 has in store for me yet, but i’m excited beyond belief and I hope you guys all are too. What was your 2017 highlight? Let me know below.