It’s the time of year again. Annual blog review time! Every year I write a long, rambly post looking back at the last twelve months; something halfway between an end-of-year career appraisal and a lengthy journal entry.
I’ve written one of these review posts every year since 2015, but I wasn’t going to bother this year. Maybe I’m still in that post-Christmas funk, but I just could NOT be bothered! Until I remembered that the only person I write these posts for is, well, me.
Blogs began life as essentially online diaries after all, and mine was no exception. Even though I hardly write any personal posts anymore, and have mainly been focused on my freelance writing career this year, it’s still nice to have these end-of-year round-ups to look back on.
So I decided to bung together a quick 2022 review, with some of my favourite (and most ridiculous) photos of the year, to give Future Emily something to remember it all by. Because it has been a VERY good year!
This year, I’ve worked with one of my dream brands, researched and written half a book (more on that in a sec), visited 11 countries, and squeezed in a lot of adventures!
Career-wise, this is the hardest I’ve ever worked: I’ve felt burnt out a lot, especially over the last few months. In between, I’ve had some amazing adventures – and partied perhaps a little too hard to make up for some long weeks locked up writing! But it has all been worth it.
So, without further rambling, here’s my 2022 review travel blog review…
This year’s big achievements…
✨ I was hired by Lonely Planet to write HALF of their new Devon and Cornwall guidebook! Spent about 2 months visiting every inch of Devon, researching and writing over 40,000 words. Barely left my flat between research trips, poured my heart and soul into it, and finished the whole thing exhausted and so, SO proud of myself!
✨ Also wrote the Southwest England chapter of Lonely Planet’s new Experience England book (coming in February 2023) – and wrote 5 articles for their website.
✨ Lonely Planet’s Experience Great Britain, which I worked on last year, was published this summer. This was a genuine dream come true moment for me – one of the most exciting things in my entire career.
✨ Had my first-ever viral social post when a reel of me getting jump-scared by a dinosaur in Universal Orlando got 4.5 million views!
✨ My Dorset Travel Guide blog grew by 52.21% compared to 2021, with over 800,000 pageviews in total. My goal is to break 1 million in 2023 – watch this space.
✨ This site grew by 33.21% vs last year! Also just spotted that it’s up more than 996.59% since the first year I started tracking pageviews (2015), so that’s nice!!!
2022 Travel Highlights
I’m far too lazy to go into details about all my travels this year. So here are some of my favourite snaps from the year…
January: Hiked part of the Offa’s Dyke Path in Wales. Also headed to Lisbon to eat about 100 pastel de natas in one weekend!
February: Meeting elephants, climbing Sigiriya and hanging out with these three babes in Sri Lanka…
March: London for a few nights – made a dream come true by finally watching Les Mis live on the West End.
May: Chilling in the UK – including Chelsea Flower Show with my sister.
June: Orlando for IPW (a huge US travel conference) with some epic parties (including the opening party at a Disney’s Epcot). Also several days going geek-crazy in the three Universal Orlando parks
Then went to Puerto Rico for a week of kayaking, jungle hikes, zip lines and road trips…
Also got stuck in NYC for two nights after a delayed flight led to me and Teresa missing our connection… which led to us spending a day at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade with some awesome bloggers!
Also June: Took my sister Cheryl on a press trip to Cheltenham and Gloucester – which included a tour of Gloucester prison…
July: A month of paddleboarding adventures in Dorset, and a weekend glamping in Dartmoor.
August: Mountains, adventure and cheese in the Swiss Alps with a summer trip to Verbier. Took a ride on the world’s highest zipline – watch the reel here!
September: Seals and seaside towns in North Devon followed by a weekend of food and wine in Vienna with Lisa.
Also September: Traverse (travel blogging conference) in Brno, CZ – fab week of parties, lessons, networking, and catching up with some of my FAVOURITE bloggers, followed by a short press trip exploring the South Moravia region in the Czech Republic (with some of my fave people!).
October: Exploring what felt like every last inch of Devon for the Lonely Planet guidebook research – and getting to try some seriously cool experiences!
November: A month of extremes: from wearing sweatpants 24/7 and barely leaving the house whilst hustling to finish the Lonely Planet guidebook, to a week of adventure and relaxation in Aruba with Monica (The Travel Hack).
December: Overnight trip to Calais with my dad… then a Christmas full of family time and the birth of my 11th (yep, ELEVENTH) nibling*, congratulations to my little bro Aidan!
*(collective term for nieces and nephews. I really want it to catch on!).
What a year
And here was me thinking I could whistle through that quickly! I end up saying this every year… but WHAT A YEAR!!
At the start of 2022, I didn’t set a resolution. I just wrote a list of all the places I’ve always wanted to go, and all the things I’ve always wanted to try, and decided to spend my year trying to visit, see and do as many of them as I could. The result has been a year of amazing memories – and I can’t wait to repeat the same thing next year!