2018 was an incredible year for travelling for both of us. It is the year we finally committed ourselves to leaving the UK to travel and live a life of nomadic adventure and freedom. We started this journey with a trip to South East Asia which saw us begin in Singapore, before we made up way up through Malaysia, where we nearly got lost hiking, Thailand, where we met some incredible people on the Backpacking Through Thailand Tour, Vietnam, where we fell in love with Hanoi and Laos, where we spent our time chilling out and relaxing. We then decided to take a road trip around the UK visiting a range of interesting and beautiful towns and cities. In September we made a huge step by moving to Beijing to begin teaching English, which has been an incredible experience but has surely been a struggle at times! At the end of the year we took a short trip to Hong Kong to round off a very Asian 2018.
2019 promises to be an equally exciting year for our travels with a trip to the wonderful Northern Icey City of Harbin having already been ticked off as well as a much needed and refreshing trip around Indonesia. We also plan on visiting South Korea, Japan and a range of Chinese cities before our contract in Beijing comes to an end. Despite all of these fun and exciting adventures it hasn’t all been plain sailing. To ensure that we make the most of the year ahead we have decided to set ourselves some resolutions, which will directly impact not only our travels and our lives but also how we approach Unravelling Travelling in the future.
We absolutely love creating content but over the past year we’ve realised a love-hate relationship form between ourselves and Unravelling Travelling, which is the last thing we want for something we have spent so much time on and poured so much emotion into. We have realised that we started to resent the fact that we needed to write that it diminished our want to write and we spent so much time counting figures and stats, wondering why we’re not gaining followers or shares that we lost track of the real reason we made this blog and why we travel in the first place, to be free. This began to take its toll on our mental health and after much deliberation we have decided to make a few changes to our approach to Unravelling Travelling, with the over-riding point being to make Unravelling Travelling about our lives rather than the other way around.
We have basically decided to stop giving ourselves deadlines, so anything that falls under that umbrella will be changing, starting with our monthly newsletters. We will also only be writing blogs and creating vlogs when we feel inspired to create rather than on the first of every month. Our social media accounts will also be getting a re-vamp, we will be posting as and when we want to post rather than because we feel like we have an obligation to it. For about 6 months of last year we were posting 3 photos a day to Instagram and it was so tiring! We didn’t feel much of a connection to what we were sharing and spent far too long staring deeply at how many followers we were gaining. We would also spend loads of time researching for our top tips and facts for our Instagram story, which was actually quite fun but also very stressful.
We feel like this will have a positive effect on both us and our content. With the main pro being that it will take a strain off our mental health and help us to go back to really enjoying travelling and appreciating the world around us. We also believe that the content that we create will be of a much higher standard. Instead of stress and self-inflicted pressure we will be pouring love, inspiration and passion into what we create and it will make it all that much better and more special.
We actually feel like this is a very important topic in a world which is becoming more digital with every passing day. We as people feel the need to impress those around us and gain their acceptance rather than concentrate on self-love and on the beauty of the world around us. We spent far too much time looking down at our phones that we didn’t look up and see the world around us spinning in all of it’s beauty. Whilst 2018 was an incredible year for our travels, there were other aspects of it that made it incredibly hard and as a result we both hit certain lows which we still struggle with to this day. Some things in life are just out of our hands and it can be a very hard truth to come to terms with. With this in mind, making the conscious decision to take back control of something we both love and care about, which can also be a great outlet for our emotions will hopefully be the first step to helping us to fall back in love with the world around us.
Here's to a positive and healthy 2019!