This post is also available in German (Deutsch)
After a recent review of my favorite 2017 fair-fashion outfits I thought I would also write a general, personal look back at 2017. At first I thought there would not be enough to fill a whole blog post. But quickly I realized how much of a whirlwind 2017 really was, with our trip around the world, my start into self-employment and a lot of travel for the blog.
Which trips I went on and my personal highlights can be found here:
January – Vietnam & Kambodscha
I can remember exactly how 2017 started for me and my boyfriend. We were in Hoi An, Vietnam and spent the the first day of the year relaxing after a long night in a pretty cool bar. We went from Hoi An south to Saigon a couple days later and then a few days after that we went all the way south to Phu Quoc. From there we went overland (and water) to Cambodia. We loved our two weeks in Cambodia, but the first half was a very mixed experience. For one thing, we had an incredible time with a few fellow travelers in Kampot. On the other hand, we had an absolute horror trip on Koh Rong where I genuinely thought I would die. More about this here.
February – a last day in Thailand on the World Trip, Japan & Costa Rica
To get to Japan we made a little stop in Bangkok, Thailand. We spent a night there so that we could eat one last time in my favorite restaurant Mango. As luck would have it, we also met up with a girlfriend from Berlin who happened to be in Bangkok and she loved the food too!
After that we went to Japan and let me tell you, our 10 days there were super expensive, but the money was worth it!!! Tokyo and Kyoto were just amazing! So exciting, great food, beautiful light, cool architecture and just so much was new and special! We also had an exquisite anniversary dinner, of course 100% vegan, in Kyoto. I’m still raving about it! You can find all my blog posts about Japan here.
Because of our smart miles bookings, we also had a first class flight from Tokyo to Costa Rica! Pure luxury! Flying First Class is a whole different world, unlike business or other premium tickets. February was generally a month full of highlights! In Costa Rica we celebrated Jesse’s birthday and I planned a whole week for him with nice activities. My travel guide to the incredibly beautiful country Costa Rica, as well as other blog posts can be found here.
March – Relaxing in Panama and last world trip adventures in Cuba
Overland in a very exciting adventure, we made our way from Costa Rica to Panama. I really love those times where you have to just figure out how to make things work. And, with the help of a little Spanish knowledge, it all worked out somehow. In Panama, unlike our other world trip stops, we almost exclusively chilled. For eight days we just hung around in Bocas del Toro on a small island in a relatively expensive, but very cool hostel. The beach was absolutely beautiful, the community kitchen was pretty cool, the hostel bar was always full of cool people, and the hostel hosted some cool activity every night.
We then took a night bus to Panama City. On the way we met a really nice backpacker-couple from Cologne. Incidentally, we met up with them in Berlin two months later! I hope we stay in contact, because we got along really well! Panama City was exciting, but not necessarily my dream destination. The city was kind of funny. The safe corners that were converted for tourism were very chic, but had no old charm and the residents were moved away from there to make room for hotels and restaurants. I always like to get to know as much as possible about real life in a city and how the locals actually live. But unforuntately the other parts of the city were just too dangerous for tourists.
Are you interested in a post about Panama? I haven’t posted one on heylilahey yet.
We were not in Panama very long because we wanted more time in our last stop: Cuba! An incredibly exciting, warm and friendly country! Jesse and I had a wonderful time there and you can read everything in my Cuba Travel Guide!
April – Coming back and a weird feeling
At the beginning of April we arrived back in Berlin. But somehow I had imagined our return “more spectacular”. I somehow hoped to be directly greeted by all of my friends. But our roommate was away and none of our friends had time due to work or vacation to pick us up and / or greet us. Luckily, plenty of them had time the next day in the evening to visit us and say hello, otherwise I would not have had a good start in Berlin. But almost immediately the bureaucratic part came: re-register and report back to all authorities…very annoying, but it had to be done. My parents also came to visit and it was nice to finally see them again! At this time I posted some great blog posts on the blog, including a detailed list of our world travel budget!
May – new trips: Serbia & London
In May we went to Serbia for the annual family visit. There we always celebrate our big family party in early May. While there, my boyfriend had a job interview via Skype and got the job a few days later! So cool!!! In May, I prepared for self-employment and wrote a business plan.
Since Jesse started his new job in June, we booked a short trip to London to celebrate. There we really treated ourselves, visited cool cafes, enjoyed the good weather and ate delicious food! You can find my Travel Guide here.
We also redesigned our bedroom, painted the floor white and refurbished! That was a very exciting project for us.
June – Save the Oceans
Looking back, I hardly have any memories of June. I had to click through the blog and through Instagram to refresh my memory. But the month was not uneventful. I tried out making a macrame tapestry tutorial for the forest time, inaugurated the Emanuel Bronner to save the porpoises with Sea Sheapherd and Dr Bronner in Bremen and attended an environmental workshop with whales.org in Frankfurt. This one was especially nice because I finally got to know the lovely Justine!!!
July – Celebrating birthdays, Fashion Week, exciting workshops & Self Employment!
At the beginning of July we went to the countryside for a weekend in Brandenburg, where we celebrated a very good friends birthday. These were two wonderful, relaxing days which also lead to some beautiful photos (read here and here)!
Fashion Week was of course a big event in July and I was happy to finally have so much time to invest in the fashion week! There were so many great new fair-fashion brands to discover. I summarized this here!
In addition, I was invited as a blogger for my first lecture! On a panel discussion, I shared my insights on influencer marketing. I was very nervous, but it was totally worth it! This was an important experience!
There was also a big move in my family and for the first time in an eternity, I finally sold some stuff at the flea market. But unfortunately it was not really worth it. Maybe that was because of the bad weather (and in July !!!).
I also celebrated my birthday in July. But the biggest news in July: I was finally officially registered as full-time self-employed. So a new adventure started for me!
August – not a crazy month
August was a pretty quiet month for me, at least in terms of travel and appointments. I finally bought a ukulele in August! I’ve been wanting to learn this instrument for a long time and finally got to it!
An August highlight: My blogger trip with Whale & Dolphin Coservation and Green Pearls and the Baltic Sea. The topic was again the rescue of porpoises. A beautiful and super important trip!
Apart from that I did a lot for YouTube and prepared for my many trips in the autumn.
September – Vienna my Love, More Austria and Thailand again!
September was such a wonderfully exciting month! First I went by night train with my dear Talisa to Vienna and Salzburg’s Lungau in Austria. Vienna has recently become one of my favorite places. I have a lot of friends there now, as well as my cousin, to whom I have more and more contact. Talisa was also ecstatic with Vienna and I planned two days to celebrate her birthday! We had a wonderful time. Together we then to took the train to Salzburg to explore the Lungau. An incredibly beautiful and rustic area!
At the end of september I had my first big blogger trip! With two other bloggers and an editor from Süddeutschen went to northern Thailand!!! I LOVE Thailand and I was incredibly grateful to be able to explore northern Thailand away from the mass tourism on a trip with the slogan Slow Travel. It was also wonderful to meet the two bloggers Rebecca and Nino! You can find all my Thailand posts here!
October – Vacation in Morocco
Shortly after my return from Thailand we went on to Morocco. Jesse wanted to go here as his first vacation from his new job and we had a very exciting time. Morocco is very exciting, beautiful and the people are super nice. But nevertheless I found our 16 days there quite exhausting. We traveled a lot and also spent a lot of time in bigger cities. I also had food poisoning on the last day. Not so nice, but I survived that as well 🙂
You can find all my blogposts as well as many tips here!
November – Lots of Projects and another trip to Serbia
During November decided to fly directly to Serbia after an event in Hamburg with re:Blog. The fact that I can work remotely and don’t have to be in Berlin is a big advantage of my job. I used the opportunity to visit my family again. This time I flew, because I found the car ride last time incredibly exhausting and long and took almost two days to recover from it. You saw lot of what I was up to in Serbia on Instagram stories and a lot of you requested a travel guide to my second home country. But honestly, that’s a little hard for me, because I am not there as a tourist so I don’t really know what tourists would like or dislike. I would definitely recommend a visit though! The hospitality in Serbia is simply unbeatable.
At the end of November, I went to Munich for a blogger cooperation for the third time in 2017. This time with the Swiss watch company Mondaine. Of course, again by train! It’s actually a very comfortable route! After that, there were a lot of appointments and projects, mainly due to preparations for the very busy month of December.
Dezember – Another Trip to Vienna and Christmas!!!
As mentioned, the month of December was very busy! Next year I want to try to prepare more in October and November. Luckily since I was doing Vlogmas it “forced” me a bit to slow down a bit.
And fortunately we managed to visit Vienna again, this time with my boyfriend and we stayed with Alex and Justine. It was so beautiful! I really want to go back to Vienna soon, I love the city. I’ll definitely check on night trains soon, but unfortunately I can not sleep so well on the night train. But I will definitely try it a second time. And a Vienna guide should actually follow, if that interests you?
For Christmas I went, like I do almost every year, to my hometown and spent a few relaxing days with my parents. Our Christmas dinner was completely vegan! So good!
My personal highlight: many jobs for the blog (I am happy that my self-employment started, despite my niche, started relatively successfully, although you may find that my channels were filled with too much advertising in December. Let me know what you think) and that I managed to do the 24 days of Vlogmas! Making a video and cutting it every day was hard work, but I enjoyed it!
My personal review:
2017 was certainly very exciting for me because of the trip around the world, the many, many other trips and my self-employment. But I still have to work a lot on myself, on my self-confidence and on my patience and learn to be more proud of my achievements. I’ll definitely work on that in 2018! There are still too many unnecessary self-doubts plaguing me. In addition, I’d like to do more business blogging than just “heylilahey” and also try to grow on YouTube. Privately, I had a very nice year and have made many close friendships. And in 2018, Jesse and I will celebrate our 8th anniversary. I’m so thankful and happy to have such a wonderful, intelligent and loving partner by my side! I am very grateful for such a nice 2017 and am looking forward to 2018!!!
Ho was your 2017? Do you already have plans for 2018? I wish you a happy new year!!!
PS: I really recommend writing your own little review in a journal or similar. I discovered so much and am much more grateful now!