God I’m getting old. I started this blog when I was 19 years of age, and now here we are penning the same blog posts a whole seven years later.
Has anything changed since I was 19? Quite a lot actually. Sometimes my life feels quite stagnant and comfortable since I’ve been in London, but when I look back at who I was and where I was at 19, life couldn’t be any more different.
Compared to when I turned 19 in my student halls in Liverpool, I now live in London with my boyfriend back at the same job that I hadn’t even applied for when I was 19 but have since spent a placement year there, left, graduated, traveled and hopped around a few more jobs before now returning to that same job.
I moved to London, then back to Liverpool, then to New York where I spent the first part of the pandemic, then back to Liverpool once again before embarking on an Airbnb tour of the UK and then settling in London for the time being.
There have been many jobs, many life experiences, many firsts, many laughs, many new friends and many memories in that short amount of time that I probably couldn’t have predicted would happen back when I was in that box room in Liverpool.
And now I’m turning 26. Getting ever closer to 30 and quickly leaving my mid-twenties behind.
You can read my previous birthday blog posts here.
The year of 25
The last 12 months have been a mix of emotions.
I’ve travelled more in the past 12 months than I have in my entire life. I’ve remained in the same flat for the full 12 months which is very strange for me and also weirdly doesn’t sit well with me, but more on that later. I started a new (but old) job and delved into the world of YouTube.
Since turning 25 last March, I have visited Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Barcelona, Rhodes, Bali, Copenhagen, New York, and took weekend trips to Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff and Liverpool.
An insane amount of travelling and like I said above, the most I have ever traveled in my life with many new places and continents ticked off my bucket list. I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced these new places and lucky that my boyfriend shares the same values as me about seeing the world and exploring other cultures and places.
I wish I could say that I’ve settled in London in the past year, but I haven’t and I don’t think I ever will. When I first lived in London in 2017, it never felt like home. The same thing has happened the second time around, even now that I have my regular nail salon, hairdresser, coffee shop, gym and places that I go to time and time again where the people there know who I am and have become friends.
But there’s just something about the city of London that I can’t gel with and I don’t think I ever will be able to. I’m not accepting that this is the place that I will end up and this is something I’ve been very vocal about on my podcast.
I started back at my old job that you will know all about if you’ve been a reader since my placement year where I documented the whole thing: going to London Fashion Week, the BRIT Awards after party, and being touching distance from Ed Westwick and almost passing out.
It definitely hasn’t been the same experience this time around I think thanks to covid, events haven’t really come back on the scene just yet, but I’m working on two incredible brands that I’m obsessed with and I can once again truly say that I am obsessed with my job.
But what do you do in the situation where you adore your job, but hate where you live? The only reason I am in London is because of this job. If I could do this job remotely, I’d be off in a heartbeat.
But saying that, I don’t think I would be completely happy anywhere else in the UK. I might have the most incredible job and be living in Manchester, but part of me will still be wishing I was somewhere else.
And we all know where that somewhere else is.
So you could say that 25 has been a year of questions. It’s been a year of self-reflection and really asking myself what it is that I want, what is more important to me – job or location – and what am I going to do to make myself happier and more content with my current situation.
There have been many conversations with my boyfriend and internal crises which you can listen to over on my podcast, but I guess 25 was the age of itchy feet and discontentment.
How I’m celebrating 26
I’ll be ringing in this new age in Viva Las Vegas. I know, a little extra for the age of 26 but the dates of our Vegas trip happened to fall that way and I’ll be having dim sum in a fancy hotel on the Las Vegas strip and trying to win a few dollars on a slot machine or two.
I’m extremely excited to be back in Vegas as it was my first introduction to America back when I was 21 and I knew then that I wanted to live in America someday.
So depending what way the slot machines fall on my 26th birthday will probably indicate the type of year 26 is going to be, so let’s hope they bring me good luck!
What I’m hoping for during my 26th year
In my 26th year around the sun, I’m hoping for more of what 25 brought me. Lots of travel opportunities, a year of loving my job and what I do, but dare I say it, somewhere new to live.
A new country perhaps, and maybe even a new continent. But not new in the fact that I’ve never been there before as I would love nothing more than to return to the one place that I love the most.
The one city that I’ve felt most at home in, the most excited by and the most alive. The one I already have the most amazing memories in but want to make more, and the city that makes me feel like I’m in a movie every single day.
Will 26 be the year that it happens? I really do hope so.
I’ve already got a lot of travel plans for the next few months, but nothing beyond the end of August this year. That’s when I hope things start to take a turn towards moving somewhere new as it would align perfectly with our lease being up on our flat and also the end of any plans we have in place at all.
Are the stars already aligning for this move? Again, I really do hope so.
In a nutshell, I’m hoping to make more travel memories, visit new places, eat a lot more dim sum, make more memories with my boyfriend, have an amazing summer and also move back to New York City.
I’m saying it out loud as the law of attraction does like us to do, so I’m sharing it with the world (not that it’s a big secret as I literally talk about this in every single podcast episode) but it does feel vulnerable putting it down on (virtual) paper in case it doesn’t happen.
BUT, we’re surrounding the thought with positive energy only and bringing positive energy into my 26th year. Well, it all depends how the dice fall in Vegas first.