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My 2017: Beyond Stamps & Maps

Notre Dame Paris

2017, what a year! I’ve travelled more this year than any year in my life. Between that, a career, and other commitments, I’m exhausted but not complaining!! However, there’s so much more to the year than the passport stamps and the places on the map that I can now say I’ve visited. I thought I’d share some aspects of the year for me in this last blog post of 2017.

On Blogging

I started. I’ve been travelling for 7 years, and thinking about an outlet to share my experiences for a while. On December 31st 2016, I bought a domain name, watched a YouTube video and built a barely functioning website. I underestimated the work behind blogging, I didn’t tell people about my blog until July so no one really read it. My first post was me telling my travel story. I still haven’t done an ‘I’m a blogger announcement’ and that’s okay. Doing this while travelling to 24 countries (25 if we count Zambia but can we?) this year (don’t worry, I’m shocked too!!) and working in a demanding career is not a walk in the park. I have a lot more to learn about blogging and growing an engaged readership, filters,  Canva,  video editing etc. I have so much respect for bloggers!

The most important thing though is that I started and I put one foot in front of the other and kept at it. I got better at being consistent at posting. I’ve met so many kind like-minded adventurers and I love following their adventures. I hope that in my little way I’ve inspired others to travel (which is my goal here). I’ve shared stories and tips, lessons, and images. I’ve met new real life friends. So, thank you for taking the time to click on the link in Instagram or on Facebook! I’m thankful for the days 1 person visits the site and for the days 50 people visit the site! THANK YOU for stopping by and coming back!

Hello, I’m a blogger!! haha! Seriously, this picture was taken after I tried Reindeer meatballs in Stockholm

On Travel Goals

I actually wrote down my 2017 travel goals and shared it on the blog. Not everything went to plan. A much anticipated trip to Kenya and Tanzania was rerouted to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mauritius and I had the time of my life. I lost money due to a denied Qatar transit visa. Yours truly was also denied entry into Zambia but still had a great time in Zimbabwe. I missed out on one work trip to Amsterdam but then I visited Milan, Sweden, and Paris (all of which were not in the plan).Heck, I’m finishing this post at an airport after my flight’s been cancelled and I’m now delayed 24 hours. Plans change, stuff happens and I want to share that too.  I flew to the US for four days to surprise my Uni friends by showing up just before one of our best girls’ traditional wedding. I’m so thankful to have been able to make it, what a joy it was! In the end, these are the things that matter the most.  I’m committed to learning how to do a video and I’ll be summarising my 2017 in travels in a short video. Look out for my first post in January and wish me luck! Tips and links are also welcome.

Ghanian Weddings
The bride had me changing my mind about Kente (hand woven traditional Ghanian fabric). So beautiful. Meanwhile I was being a little extra with my ‘leg up’ pose.

On Features

Naija Nomads reached out to me to do a feature on my travels, then Kachi of Kacheetee reached out as well. Thanks ladies for inviting me onto your platform and introducing me to your readers! Since then, I’ve met Kachi in real life but Yejide is still being evasive (sips tea). I wrote two features on travelling the African continent on Bella Naija in August and December 2017.  I look forward to more partnerships that further advance the overall objective of the blog in 2018.

On Faith, Career, and Life

While I’ve felt growth every year, 2017 just did its own thing! I grew tougher skin, gained clarity in certain areas, I grew in my faith differently and I accepted that God is in the details of all aspects of my life. I actually enjoy getting into the word and it’s a great place to be. I find myself astounded by grace!  I invested in myself by going to the Hillsong Colour conference in London and it paid off.

Work was challenging as a result of increased responsibilities and a bigger team, but I’m thankful to God for a promotion this year but most importantly for  solid team alongside me that does all of the magic and a great boss as well.  I don’t care how smart or great an individual supposedly is, you’re only as strong as your team! Plus, we have fun, and it makes a difference when you’re working crazy hours with people you get on with, you trust (and vice versa), and that are working towards a common goal.

This year I got back into the rhythm of reading. The best book I read this year is ‘Love Does’ especially because its like nothing else I’ve ever read. I look forward to even more reading in 2018, I bought a few paperbacks and kindle versions already! I’ll be starting on my flights for the holidays.

I took stock of my path, my relationships and friendships – my greatest blessings. In 2017, I did better at setting boundaries and being protective of what I allow suck up my energy. I paid attention to what I took in (people, situations, social media), and made necessary cuts. Where situations just seemed  there to cause me premature grey hair, I consciously let them go and refused to pine over things I can’t change or control. I cannot come and kill myself.

Dubrovnik Croatia
Chilling in Croatia, drink in hand, book on deck, views for days! This was just before a waiter proposed to me.

On The State of the World

It seems as though this was the year that more stories were brought to the fore front and we (as a society) paid more attention to instances of injustice and wrong doing. People used their voices and came forward. Disruption is NEVER comfortable, but it is good. Being aware/woke is one thing, taking action is another. I hope that this generation across the globe is remembered for being the one that DID something and stood for something. There’s so much information available to us, how are we filtering for truth and how are we then using that truth? It all starts by realising the power in taking one step, and the collective power in numbers.

On Looking Ahead & A Travel Giveaway

Life is precious, time is short, and nothing is promised. In the end,  am I living a life that matters, and am I doing the most that I can with the little God has put in my hands? It’s not about waiting for 5 seconds of lime light, it’s continuing to be diligent with even the seemingly small things. While I’m at it, am I making time to have fun and live life to the fullest (because YOLO)? There’s so much more in my head, but that’s enough for now. If you see me trying my best to do the most at everything that’s important to me, now you know why.

Once in a while, keep calm and be low-key extra! #islandlife

2017, you have been great, now its time to get some rest!! Thank you for hanging with me, Merry Christmas and see you on the blog in 2018! Are you taking time off to rest? Where will you spend the holidays? Leave a city in the comment section. I’m off to Blog Hard, Work Hard, Pray Hard, Love Hard, Play Hard, Show Up, Give Hard, Nap Hard, Travel Hard, and Wear Nice Shoes (doesn’t quite fit but you get it!) in no particular order!

PS. Look out on Instagram @wellwornheels on NYE day for a chance to win a trip to a destination on the African continent. May the best man/woman win! 

Xoxo,

Dee

10 thoughts on “My 2017: Beyond Stamps & Maps

  1. You’ve had such an awesome year and 2018 can only be better! 25 countries? Wow! While working a full time job too, double wow!

    I’ve definitely enjoyed following your adventures, can’t wait to see all the good things the next year brings.. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018. Staying glued to your IG post because I will be the best woman!! haha

    1. Girll, I don’t even know how it all happened. I think the spirit of YOLO plus ‘Europe time is limited’ fell on me. Thank God, I can tell my future kids about the year I got up and kept going haha! Thank lady and Merry Merry Christmas! I wish you the same and so much more! I’m rooting for you to win o!!!

  2. Dee, you definitely have ALWAYS amazed me with your ambition and love of life. I love that you are still living life to the fullest! Congrats on all the travel, I enjoy reading your blogs (when kiddos are finally sleeping).

    1. Aww Thank you so much Emily!! So kind of you to read and then take the extra time to comment!!! Thank you, I’ll do my best to keep going with the blog and with the love for life! I hope you are all doing well!!! Thanks for reading during your little downtime 🙂 Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you for stopping by the blog Zinny, and for taking the time to comment! I wish you an amazing New Year as well! I can’t wait to share my plans for 2018 as well!!! i’m so pumped for 2018 it’s on another level!

  3. What an amazing year, Dee! Congratulations to you for making lemonade with the lemons you had and having all these exciting travel experiences in addition to your job and other interests you have. You’re encouraging me to be more intentional about travel and exploring next year – I’ll definitely do more leisure travel. Wishing you an equally exciting and very happy new year!

    1. Thanks LK!!! Thank you, thank you! I’m go glad you’re encouraged to be more intentional this year in this way! Happy New Year to the #1 African explorer!

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