21 Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 21
Following the passing of my sister last month I have had a complete “life is short” mentality overcome me. Maybe it’s just my way of coping with grief and not letting myself fall into misery, but I feel even more determined to make the most out of life. Since I’m currently interrupting my studies at Exeter University until January 2018 I have more time than ever to focus on myself and what I am most passionate about. This is my first time out of full-time education since I was 4 years old so I don’t just want to throw the year away and wallow in self-pity. I want to make the most of it. So here are 21 things I want to accomplish before I turn 21 next November. (This post is inspired by Sophie’s Suitcase.)
1. Travel to at least five new places
With trips to Belfast (in January) and Madeira (in July) already booked I really hope I can accomplish this. However the main reason I have been able to travel is my huge student loans, but these have obviously been cancelled as I am technically not a student anymore *cries*. But with spare time, a car and some savings, I may be able to do a few more UK based trips as well!
2. Do at least one internship
My main goal for this year is not to waste my time. I plan to get some valuable internships under my belt to help boost my career. As I’ve only had a part-time job in the past and have never done an internship/9 to 5 job before, this will probably be very daunting and a pretty big step for me. I also really want to enjoy the internships and make the most of them, and not just do them for the sake of doing them.
3. Launch and grow my glamping website, The Glamping Guide
If you don’t follow me on social media, you may not know that I am currently creating a glamping website called The Glamping Guide. This was a completely spur of the moment decision and not an idea I had until after Caitlin’s death. But it’s wonderful having a new outlet to focus on. So far I have only launched our Instagram page which I would LOVE for you to follow, and will be launching the website in January 2017 if all goes to plan. The website aims to be the largest online directory for all glamping sites in the UK. We also plan to have a regularly updated blog, lots of glamping competitions, and partnership opportunities for both glamping sites and bloggers. Alongside this I also want to go glamping a lot more before I turn 21. It’s one of my favourite things to do and I have a sneaky feeling I’ll be doing quite a bit of it in 2017.
4. Attend Traverse 17
I wasn’t sure whether I could make Traverse 17 when the tickets first came out. This was before Caitlin died and I interrupted my time at university. Traverse 17 was going to take place around the time of my end of year exams so I thought it wasn’t smart for me to attend if I wanted to do well. Since exams are now out of the window I should be able to make Traverse 17 unless an internship or work experience gets in the way. Fingers crossed I will be there – it is such an incredible event. If you haven’t heard of Traverse before you can read about my experience of Traverse 16 here!
5. Go on another press trip
I was so thrilled to go on my first press trip last year to beautiful Ibiza with icelolly.com. I had an absolute blast and would love to go on at least one more press trip in 2017. Similarly, I’d love to take on lots more sponsored and paid opportunities with this blog. Since I’ll have a lot more time on my hands, I’m really excited to just throw myself into this blog and see where everything takes me!
Exercise, for god’s sake, woman. Just do it. I am one of the most unfit people you will ever meet, it’s pretty embarrassing. I eat pretty well but I just do not exercise. My mum and I have no excuses now that my sister has passed and we both have no obligations, so we’re gonna try hard together to lose weight and also have some much needed mother daughter bonding time. Gym memberships will be bought in the new year.
7. Grow my social media followers to 5000
This is probably way over ambitious but a girl’s gotta dream, right?! I’d love to have over 5000 followers on my Twitter, Instagram and my glamping Instagram by the time I turn 21. 1000 likes on my Facebook page would also be pretty neat. Give us a follow and you’ll be helping to make this girl’s dream a reality!
8. Treat my parents
God knows that these two wonderful and selfless human beings deserve a treat. Whilst they won’t feel up to doing much or travelling for quite a while, if they are ready for it by my 21st birthday I’d absolutely love to spoil them rotten with a weekend break or trip away.
9. Get out of my comfort zone
My boyfriend’s mum is probably getting worried right now. Sorry Sharon. But I want to do something really thrilling this year. Last summer I ziplined through the Thailand rainforest and went parasailing in Ibiza – both of these things were so exhilarating and I’m keen to make my life just that little bit more adventurous. Whilst I probably won’t be throwing myself out of a plane just yet (though this is high up on my bucket list), I really want to go paragliding in Madeira, do more high ropes courses and ziplining (which I loved as a kid), and do more adventure sports. Gaz and I also had such a blast at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen so we are keen to go to a theme park sometime in 2017. When I was only 11 years old on holiday in Australia I went on the tallest and fastest tower drop in the world and the fourth tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. My life was clearly more exciting when I was a kid… I haven’t been to Thorpe Park for years so that’s definitely on our agenda.
10. Move house
This is a given *fingers crossed* but it’s still gonna be such a huge process and will be very time consuming. Following my sister’s death my parents are downsizing, especially since I normally won’t be at home for most of the year. We are currently in the process of donating most of what we own to charity and only keeping stuff that is very close to our hearts. We’ve lived in our current house for 10 years now and it is too closely associated with our beautiful Caitlin, with both happy and sad memories. I don’t think I’ll be able to properly move on until we have moved out of this house.
11. Complete my outstanding assignments and keep up reading
As I’ve interrupted my time at university until next January, instead of next September, I still have to complete my outstanding assignments from last term. These have to be done by August so I probably won’t think about them for a few months until I know I can actually do a half decent job with them. This will probably be quite hard so I really hope I can do well in them.
I also need to try to keep up reading this year, because if I don’t I will definitely struggle to pick my degree back up next January. I’m gonna try to read/re-read all the books from my first term of my second year at university to prepare myself for both my future assignments and getting back into studying in general.
12. Create more videos
I have been making films since I was 9 years old (yeah, I’m not kidding). It’s always been one of my biggest passions but over recent years I’ve barely created any videos. I am so ready to get back into filmmaking and am currently in the process of making a film of my trip to Thailand in June (it’s gonna be pretty long so is taking forever) and plan to make a 2016 travel compilation video. If you haven’t already read my November/December Favourites post, then you won’t know that I recently purchased a DRONE!!!!! It’s amazing and I’m over the moon to finally have my hands on one. I can’t wait to take it out and about to shoot some awesome footage. In the meantime please subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can be notified when these videos go live!
13. Attend WTM London 2017
Again, like Traverse I wouldn’t normally be able to attend World Travel Market as I’d be at university. However this year is obviously different so I’d like to make the most of not being at uni and not being in a full-time job to attend WTM for the first time in 2017!
14. Do some online courses
I probably won’t feel up to doing a proper internship just yet, so I think taking some online courses, for example the ones you can find on Udemy, could be really beneficial. I’d love to learn more about SEO (seriously it’s long overdue), digital and social media marketing, branding and videography. Plus you get certificates at the end of each course so they look fabulous on your CV as well.
15. Visit North Wales
North Wales has been on my list of places to visit for sooo long – and it’s close to home so I don’t know why I haven’t visited yet! I really want to visit Snowdonia, Portmeirion and go to Zip World and Bounce Below (this ties into the whole adrenaline thing).
17. Attend TBEX 2017
There’s a recurrent theme about attending travel blogging conferences in this post, but these are the type of things I always miss out on due to full-time education. TBEX is going to one of my favourite places in the world in 2017: Killarney, Ireland. This is where my family come from/I visited this summer. I doubt I’ll be able to attend Traverse, WTM and TBEX, so I guess I’ll just have to pick and choose. But attending these events is so valuable for bloggers: to network and make contacts, secure future sponsorship deals, to grow as a blogger and just to have fun!
18. Climb a hill/mountain at sunrise
I’ve always wanted to climb a hill or a mountain in the early hours of the morning and then stay at the top to watch (and capture) the sun rise. Pretty random but it’s moments like these that make you feel truly alive.
19. Start freelancing
It’s all well and good making money through blogging, but I’d like to broaden my horizons a lot more during this year and make money through other means. I’d rather freelance than get a local part-time job so I’ll have to throw my heart and soul into it in order to earn a decent income. Some freelancing jobs I’d be interested in doing is content, social media consulting and blogger outreach for businesses.
20. Go to at least two gigs
My teenage years (especially from 15 to 18) were spent going to gigs all the freakin’ time. I bloody love a good gig more than anything and I’ve barely been to any lately, mainly because most of them are quite expensive and far away. The last gig I went to was The Stone Roses in June and it was one of the best nights of my life. There’s no bands in particular on my radar at the moment so we’ll just have to wait and see.
21. Take a solo trip somewhere
Whether it’s down the road to a different city or somewhere abroad, I’ve always wanted to take a solo trip. I travel solo all the time but always meet people wherever I’m going. I love being alone and can easily entertain myself so it’s surprising that I’ve never done this before.
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