2017 has been an incredible year both professionally and personally. So much happened in those five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes… (hands up who went back and sung that?) that I wasn’t sure I could contain it to just 17 magical things. But alas, I have and now I invite you to get a drink (it’s a long review, maybe a snack too!) and muse through what has been a truly wonderful year!
This year saw growth on my YouTube channel that was completely unprecedented for me in my previous 4 years of doing this. I’ve been so lucky and fortunate that there are so many of you now that come back to my channel on a weekly basis to watch Disney vlogs, daily vlogs and everything in between. Thank you so much because, without the support from you all, I’m not sure where I’d be today. My YouTube channel has gotten me through my darkest times and now we’re in the light, it’s paying off.
We made our house a home
In 2017, Adam and I passed the year mark of living together… and we didn’t kill each other… wahey! I feel like we spent most of 2016 existing in our flat rather than living in it whereas, in 2017, we really put our stamp on the place. We bought more art (not that we hung it all!) and filled our home with cosy extras. Even upgrading our Sky makes it feel like we’re not going anywhere fast and while we do want to buy our first home next year, I’m comfortable here.
Of course I couldn’t review my year without mentioning this one. I wrote a whole post about this here but I still can’t quite believe that in 2017, I travelled 3,000 miles across the world ON MY OWN, to holiday ON MY OWN! Honestly, it still blows my mind that I did it. It has to be up there with the best Disney trips I’ve ever taken.
Ha, the reason I flew all that distance on my own was to watch the final ‘Wishes’ firework show at Magic Kingdom. I was so fortunate that the wonderful people over at Floridatix were so supportive of me this year and gifted me my ticket to make this possible. I went on to create a few different videos for them – all work I’m really proud of and I hope to collaborate with them again in 2018!
I reached 10,000 Instagram Followers
A small number too some, but a huge number too many… including myself! I can honestly say one of my proudest moments was hitting 10,000 Instagram followers in June this year. While I try not to let number validate my existence, there was a tiny weep for joy that people actually enjoy my content. I also created my own hashtag #CLROhana – so I can enjoy all of your Disney holiday photos as well.
I landed my dream job of working as a Social Media Manager
In June 2017, I had a complete career change as one of the managers at my work took a leap of faith and offered me a role in his social media team – of which I have no professional experience in (except for managing my own social networks!) I still can’t quite believe it and I’ve been really fortunate enough to learn loads in such a short amount of time. I’ve worked with a huge London agency and with some huge influencers – all from the brand side. It’s been a valuable time that will help me in both my brand and blogging careers!
I dropped my working hours down to concentrate more on my blog and YouTube.
One of the things I asked for when I switched roles was flexible working – a four day week – so I could concentrate on my YouTube channels more and still have some sort of social life after work. It has been the most wonderful thing to wake up and work for myself and its taught me a lot about my own motivations (and how I need to kick myself up the bum every now and then).
Adam hit the big 3-0 this year, (are we officially adults now?) and I was so excited to be able to take him away. I love giving and watching him open his presents and discover we were going on holiday was just the best feeling in the world. We spent a wonderful weekend in Bruges where we ate, drank and cycled our way around the city. Adam had a wonderful time and we can’t wait to explore more of Belgium in 2018.
If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I am Formula One OBSESSED and this year, I added another racing circuit to my roll – The Italian Grand Prix at Monza. I was super fortunate that Adam’s parents invited me to be part of the trip and we even managed to see some of Milan (another place I can tick off…) I love to travel as I truely believe that you learn more about yourself and those around you when travelling. I get so many comments about how I ‘only ever go to Disney’ and ‘don’t I want to go somewhere different?’ when the truth is, I AM DOING THAT. I’m doing it in my own way, that allows me a Disney trip and a non Disney trip each year. I can’t see anything wrong with that?
I was nominated for two Blogging awards
I’ve been in the blogging game for five years now and 2017 was the first time I’ve even been nominated for not one… but two awards. Even though I didn’t win them, it was still so humbling to be nominated by my peers and people who genuinely enjoy my content. I was nominated for ‘Best Vlog’ in the #BloggersBlogAwards and’Best Blog’ in the Birmingham Awards – I’m a proud Brummie so this was marvellous!
I learnt who my true friends are
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned so much about friendships and that they come and go – sadly, this can include ones that you thought would go the distance. I use to get a little down about it but these days I’m just more grateful for the friends I DO have and how special they are to me. At the end of the day, if somebody doesn’t want you to be in their life anymore, you have to accept that and move on. Just like if you need to let people go from your life, you shouldn’t feel guilty. You need to do what brings you the most joy and surround yourself with people that help you to be the best version of yourself.
I have met so many wonderful individuals this year that I now count as friends. Sometimes they come from the most unexpected places and you just click and it all just feels so right. They bring out the best in you and make you smile and laugh. Those people know who they are, but thank you for making my 2017 brighter!
The absolute highlight of my blogging career was getting invited to the Disney Store press event at Claridges. When I received the email, the first thing I did was check the email address about ten times to make sure it was legit. It was and I was treated to the most wonderful morning and spoiled with Disney treats and met a whole host of people who are as Disney obsessed as I am. It’s great going forward knowing that there are some genuinely lovely people in this crazy community!
I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
After over a year of waiting, the day came where I finally got to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and it was everything I wanted and more. Nothing will ever beat the original seven stories for me but I love delving further into the wizarding world and as a huge fan, I feel very lucky to have seen something so many haven’t.
Christmas 2017 was one of the best yet. It was lovely to spend time with my family and just eat, drink and be merry. We played board games, went to the cinema (my nanny and grandad’s first trip there in 10 years) and we ate A LOT OF CHEESE. Adam came back on Boxing Day and we exchanged prezzies. In all the craziness, I’ve also managed to get a few days to myself to really unplug and recharge and do things like take long baths and watch Harry Potter films back to back!
I was able to treat my Dad for his 60th
One of the nicest feelings this year was treating my Dad for his 60th birthday. He has done so much for me over the years and I felt a real sense of satisfaction watching him open his birthday present which was tickets to the Grand Prix at Spa, in August. Watching him open them really was my favourite thing. Thank you Dad for everything you do for me.
What can I say about this one? We celebrated 3 years together, although I’m not sure how he’s put up with me for so long. But he’s a good egg… a great one in fact and I am lucky to have him but my side. I feel very fortunate to have found somebody who is so supportive and doesn’t even question when I want to do something like run off to Disney World solo. Here’s to 2018 – it’s going to be big for us!
So if you’re still here – thank you for taking the time to read my review of 2017 – what a year it has been and I’m excited to see what next year brings!!