This is my second year in review blogpost. It’s a really nice way of reviewing the year, and remembering the stuff I’ve got up to.
At the beginning of the year Adam and I were in Whistler (BC, Canada) for our second winter season. We decided to head out earlier than last year and spend Christmas in the snowy mountains. I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas, I love the build-up and the excitement around the Christmas season, but the day itself I think is over-rated. This was 100% the right decision, we had a great day doing mountain laps with a few friends.
The rest of the winter season consisted of many adventures. We did a week road trip to Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, and Big White. Riding other mountains in BC was a nice change from Whistler, turns out they’re not all as busy as Whistler ha. At the start of the season I did my AST (Avalanche Safety Training) course so I could start exploring the backcountry safely. I loved it! Learning all about snow conditions, how to analyse snowpacks and how to do rescues. This is obviously something you wish you never have to do, but you know if you ever need to you could be saving someone’s life, so it’s very important. I decided after the 2 days I was going to buy a splitboard to do more adventuring. This season I pushed myself more than I ever thought I would, and fair to say the word Type 2 fun definitely encapsulates this season. One of the days, we took a snowcat 8km up to a lake, walked across the frozen lake, got lost, found some other tracks and followed those, and then there was so much snow I got stuck and cried. See Type 2 fun! Looking back it was fun and felt adventurous but at the time I was way out of my depth. You learn from every experience though, and I learned never to go somewhere so out of bounds without a guide or without knowing the area a little.
We also decided to spend the summer in Whistler, which we’d never done before. We thought we’d see what the mountains are like in the summer and give downhill biking a go. Well, turned out the downhill biking was suuuper fun and gave us both such an adrenaline high. But, my downhill biking career quickly came to an end when I injured my shoulder. This majorly sucked however, the lucky thing is that there is still a bunch of activities to do in Whistler so I did some hiking, and camping. One notable time being a lovely weekend on Vancouver Island.
In the summer we also did a week sailing trip to Desolation Sound, which was incredible! More on that trip in this blogpost. We also did a 10 day road trip down to California. I’d never been before so I was very excited. We drove to Santa Cruz where we spent a week working from an Airbnb with a pool 😍, we then went up to San Fransisco for 2 days, went over the Yosemite for 2 days, which FYI is the most beautiful place in the world so if you can, go there right away. We then spent 4 days doing the gold rush drive up through California to Portland where we spent a few days before heading back to Whistler.
This year we also spent a long weekend in Krakow, Poland. Neither of us had been before and when I was looking at Elton John gig tickets for Adam’s birthday I decided to get tickets for somewhere we’d never been. It was a beautiful place, and somewhere I’d love to go back and explore more of. Also, going to Auschwitz concentration camp was truly harrowing, I didn’t take many pictures as I didn’t think it was very respectful but the place was truly moving and somewhere I recommend visiting if you’re in the area.
I also did a long weekend in Berlin for JSConf EU, which is one of my favourite conferences. I also love Berlin so any excuse to back really.
I also did a long weekend in Wales with my 3 best friends, which is honestly the best thing you can do for your soul. A weekend surrounded by greenery, with lots of wine and a hot tub.
We’re ending the year back in London, we’ve decided to come back for 8 months so I can get my shoulder sorted, and focus on work. The best thing about being back is being near family and close friends.
Work was pretty busy this year. At the beginning, we launched the beta app to more people, and by April all 1 million customers were using it. In January I took my tech break, this time off was very useful, it allowed me to focus on codebar’s charity application without the distraction of work. I went back at the end of April and it felt like I’d never left. I managed to slot back in as if I’d never left but feeling way more energised.
Fast forward to the end of the year and I end it jobless. I decided to end my contract at Hive, I’d been there 3 years, which as a contractor is a long time. I felt it was time for something different. And, more excitingly, codebar has the money to start paying me part-time. So heading into 2020, I’ll be splitting my time between codebar and other part-time contract work. So if you know someone who wants some dev work done, please put me in contact with them.
All in all, 2019 was a very fulfilling year for me career wise. Going into 2020 with some unknowns is a little daunting, but I’m a firm believer that if you’re a bit scared to do something then you’re making the right decision. Fingers crossed 🤞
- My dad got cancer this year. I found out when I was in Canada and it was horrible. I’ve never felt so far away from home as I did when I got this call. He went through 6 weeks of intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We got the news in October that he got the all clear which was such a relief 😄😄😄. He has to go back every 3 months for tests but we’re happy with that outcome. Cancer is a bitch!!
- Me and Adam did couples counselling. Nothing major happened to make us decide this but we realised that after 6 years we were having the same arguments all the time, so we realised we needed some help. It obviously didn’t solve all our problems but it was the best decision we ever made. I really recommend every couple do this.
- I read 10 books in 2019, I was trying to aim for one a month but that didn’t happen. My favourite was Normal People by Sally Rooney. It tells the on and off love story of Connell and Marianne. It was warm, light and an absolutely perfect bed-time read.
- As I mentioned things with codebar are exciting. We submitted our charity application and we’re now waiting to hear back from the Charity Commission to let us know if we are a charity or not. AHHH!!
- I saw the Spice Girls with my sister and it was one of the BEST moments of my life!!
- I took a tea mixology class at Bird and Blend. I’ve got more into loose tea this year, so this little evening was lots of fun.
- I started hip-hop dance lessons at Pineapple Dance Studio, I’m not very good. Crap in fact, but you know what it’s a lot fun and I enjoy it so who cares.
- I bought a scooter. I really hate tubing in London, I’m short therefore 9/10 during rush hour I have someone’s sweaty armpit in my face 😷. I also can’t bike as I can’t put a backpack on my shoulder yet so this felt like a good alternative. I look a bit dorky, but it’s a quick and fun way of commuting. And I must admit, I feel a bit like a superhero whizzing past someone as they’re walking. Mwahahahaha.
- This was also the year I discovered Lizzo. She is an absolute Queen sent to bring us all so much joy.
P.S Make sure to follow along with me and my adventures on Instagram.