As another year draws to a close, I look back on my highlights of 2017 and what made this year a special one. From incredible vegan food, smashing blogging goals and travelling afar, 2017 has really been a fantastic year.
2017 has been a fantastic year for Veganism. Pizza Hut launched vegan pizzas nationwide, McDonalds trialled a Vegan Burger in Sweden and Ben & Jerry’s launched a dairy-free range. It is becoming more mainstream and accessible and such a fantastic step in the right direction. Vegfest in October showcased incredible foods, Hackney Downs Vegan Market introduced me to Vegan brioche doughnuts and I tried authentic Vegan hot dogs in Copenhagen. Furthermore, having a wide range of festive sandwiches to choose from this year has been great. I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings for us little Vegans worldwide.
Highlights Of 2017: Blogging
This September I bit the bullet, moved over to self hosted and rebranded. I waved goodbye to The Soul Searching Graduate and embodied Simply Living Vegan. The support I have received has been incredible and in 4 months I have formed some great online relationships, found a supportive little community and seen my blog grow from strength to strength. I have put my heart and soul into this corner of the internet and committed myself to post 2-3 times a week. I have been lucky to work with some great brands and PR agencies, sampled some great products and ate some incredible food. My passion is finally turning into something I am incredibly proud of and enjoy sharing with my readers! What’s more, I have hit my blogging goals I set mid year and feel incredibly proud!
Highlights Of 2017: Holidays
2017 has been a fantastic year for venturing abroad and in total I’ve enjoyed 4 holidays! Chris whisked me away to Edinburgh for my birthday in April where I fell in love with the city. As a typical Brit I moan when it’s too cold and even more so when it’s too hot but you’ll be happy to know I loved the crisp cold air in Scotland. We stayed in Leith and enjoyed the most wonderful food (hotspot for Vegans) and explored the cobbled streets. We seem to love walking and walking for hours, sipping on coffee and soaking up the fresh air and sunshine.
Highlights: Birthday pancakes at Hendersons, the beautiful botanical gardens and the super cool Camera Obscura.
This beautiful city Northeast of Italy won our hearts in July and has since become one of our favourite holiday spots, definitely our most loved in Italy. It’s tranquil, picturesque and bursting with culture, a place we didn’t think we would love as much as we did. The week was perfect and one where we both relaxed and enjoyed our surroundings. The lack of an itinerary meant we enjoyed each moment and immersed ourselves in Lombardy traditions.
Highlights: Swimming in Lake Iseo, exploring Citta Alta and find vegan Maxibons.
In September we booked a last minute break to Copenhagen as the flights were unbelievably cheap. Don’t be fooled though, cheap flights don’t mean a cheap city! It had to be the most expensive we have ever visited – something we were in denial about until we arrived. The city was beautiful, clean and packed full of architectural wonder. It was surprisingly cheaper to eat out (something il never argue with) and to explore the city by foot (we walked 10+ miles a day). I’d definitely recommend for Vegan food and immersing oneself in the Hygge way of life.
Highlights: Exploring Christiana Freetown, vegan burgers in Paper Island and Tivoli Gardens at night.
The final holiday of the year was a trip to a Dubai to visit family. It wasn’t bursting with culture nor held much of interest to me however the kindness of strangers and relaxed way of life amongst the hustle and bustle was heartwarming. The City never slept and we always felt incredibly safe. It is a place of indulgence, greed and wealth yet also full of love and kindness.
Highlights: Aquaventure waterpark, Lebanese cuisine and skyscraper views.
As well as these fantastic trips away my bestie took me to the Cotswolds for a spa weekend where we drank a ton of Prosecco, walked for miles and enjoyed a massage or two. As a belated birthday gift, my mum, sister and I had a spa day in June too where we laughed, swam and dined like Queens. Spas provide the ultimate relaxation!
Highlights Of 2017: Work
My day job has presented me with the biggest highs and lows this year. I got promoted, led a team and we exceeded our targets meaning social integration won and our mission was fulfilled. But, on the other side of the coin, that wasn’t without a lot of sacrifice, hard work and unhappiness at times. I got to work with the most incredible, kind, loving and genuine people many of whom will be friends for life. Mid December held one of the hardest weeks, saying goodbye to those that made the workplace a better one. I feel so incredibly grateful to have worked with such special individuals who have taught me so much about myself and shaped me into a better person. It has shown me that everything truly is a test; the lows to encourage you to find strength and highs to let you celebrate them.
Highlights Of 2017: Looking Forward To 2018
As a Christmas gift I received The Happiness Planner, a journal for 2018 which incorporates daily mindfulness and positive thinking into the everyday. I cannot wait to put my goals and dreams on paper, get planning and make 2018 the best year yet. I am looking forward to changing my perspective, becoming more focused and living more in line with my purpose.