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Is… Is this thing on? *taps microphone* Anybody out there?
If you are still with me, still reading the infrequent posts that I’m putting out there, then thank you. THANK YOU!!! Oh my goodness, you are the best. I need to add you to my Christmas card list because YOU, my friend, are the bomb. Does anyone still say ‘the bomb’ these days?
See. That’s how out of touch I am.
I’m a bit nervous about posting this as I’ve never delved so far into my private life before. And tbh, it’s not even that personal! But it’s more than usual, so please go easy on me.
The Future of Almost Ginger in 2018
So… Where have you been, Rebecca?
There’s no pretending 2017 hasn’t been a very productive blogging year. To cut a long, boring story into a short and boring one: I had to finish my TEFL certificate by the end of April so that took up a lot of my free time.
After that, I felt so behind (especially with the) with content creation AND social media AND blog upkeep that it seemed like too big a mountain to climb. So many trips were left unwritten, where should I start?!
So I didn’t start. Or I barely started, at least. Isn’t burying your head in the sand just the best way to deal with things? (Answer: it’s not).
And it’s been a funny ol’ year. I definitely didn’t think I’d be here this time last year.
What’s been happening?
I’m going to catch you up on where I’m at right now, super quickly.
For the first six months of the year, I was still living in Manchester working at a startup in Digital Marketing. I was contracted in early December for six months and I didn’t know whether I was going to be kept on. And to be honest, I didn’t wait to find out. I did something that a year or two earlier would have been really unthinkable.
In June 2017, I moved back home to Cumbria to live with my parents.
It was going to be the summer off I never had, or wanted, at University. One summer was spent in Pennsylvania doing Camp America and the next I worked at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And two weeks after I handed in my final University assessment, I was working in video production for an agency and lived in Manchester in very good living situations for three years.
I had wanted all of it: the independence, the good CV and three cinemas walking distance from the office.
Until I didn’t anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was confused, directionless and yes… at the grand old age of 24, I felt like I had wasted my life and I should have accomplished a lot more. Dramatic, much?
I needed time to figure out what the next step was. And the best way to do that was to strip everything back, take the pressure off and start afresh. Luckily, I have the most supportive parents in the world who were more than happy to feed me and put me up until I figured things out.
The plan was always to move back to Manchester once I had done so.
I told the bare minimum amount of people that I was moving home. Like, how embarrassing, right? On paper, I was a ‘successful’ person. I was doing exactly what I should be doing and I didn’t realise how much easier it was living as a person who was ‘figured out.’ I was someone with a job, a rented flat and a boyfriend. No awkward silences there.
Even though I was swapping the ‘daily grind’ that for the comfort of having to do nothing for three months, I was also facing the discomfort of having to explain my new situation. And when new people ask ‘so what do you do?’ I have to say ‘oh nothing right now.’ And ‘so are you still in Manchester?’ I’d have to say ‘no, I’m back home in Cumbria.’ I didn’t like how it made me sound like a failure (or God forbid, lazy) for giving myself a break. I made this decision. It wasn’t an easy one, but it’s the best one I could have made at the time.
My summer was spent with my family and friends, reading books, starting a photography course and editing a crap tonne of photos from past trips. It was awesome.
500 days of summer
You may already know I travelled to Spain at the beginning of September for a workaway experience. This was going to be my summer’s swansong. As soon as the plane landed back in cold, rainy Manchester I’d be on LinkedIn the next day, scouring the internet for a job and a purpose.
But as you’ve probably guessed… I’m still here. I’m still in Cumbria, sans job, living with my parents. And aside from silently crying inside whenever Pull & Bear release a new collection or Easyjet have a sale on… I’m low key loving it.
So… what does all this have to do with the future of Almost Ginger?
My delayed summer off and those two weeks in Spain made me realise something. It took me a while to strip back the insecurities and the questions to see what I really wanted.
I want to make money from my blog and online. I want to have a flexible working life where I can decide when and where I work. Yes, this means location independence. I want to travel where I want when I want. I don’t want to deny myself the things I really want out of life and I don’t want to wait until retirement to do them. Yes, I may want a full-time job in the future, but I want the security of a very decent side income that I could live off if I wanted to.
Boy, do I sound like a privileged little girl when I say write it all down. But looking back over the last few months where I’ve spent 12 hour days editing photographs, rejuvenating up my Pinterest account and content planning, I know there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.
And that’s why I’ve got so much planned for the next year. This is making me feel really excited which is so lame. But without further ado, here is what you can now expect to see in the future of Almost Ginger in 2018…
More, and more helpful content
The plan is to write for other online publications on a freelance basis so I don’t have to dip into my savings too much, but the rest of my time will be spent improving and creating content for my blog.
There are so many trips, specifically from 2016, that I haven’t written about at all. I have about 250-300 post ideas so I’m definitely not short on topics.
SO, every month in 2018 I am going to focus on at least one destination that I’ve visited in the past and make sure I’ve done it justice. And I’m going to post at least five times a week. Yep, that sounds scary but I’ve said it now and I’m confident that I’m going to do it.
I’m kicking off 2018 with where I spent last year’s New Year’s Eve… Paris!
And since this is a film and travel blog… there’s going to be lots of travel, but definitely lots more film. Paris is a fantastic city to kick off my new and improved content because Paris has been a stellar film location hundreds of times over and I can’t wait to share all of my information with you guys. It’s helping nobody just sitting in my brain.
This is a just a taster of the content I am itching to write this year…
Amelie Film Locations in Paris!
Harry Potter Film Locations at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland!
Game of Thrones Film Locations in Malta! (Yep, at the end of January I’m going to Malta!)
How to attend Cannes Film Festival with no accreditation!
…Plus the best arthouse cinemas, self-guided tours, and more!
I’m so excited, you guys.
Bad year for travel, good year for blogging
I may not have tonnes of travel plans for this year, but I’m not too fussed. I’m quite happy spending the first half of the year knuckling down and seeing what I can make of this blog.
This also means I will, inevitably, try and monetize this site. I will mostly be focusing on affiliate marketing so I can try and accumulate some passive income, no matter how small.
I’m also going to be much more prolific on social media, especially Instagram and Twitter, so don’t forget to follow me @almostgingr.
What do YOU want to read?
I also want to take this opportunity to ask you what YOU want from a film and travel blog? What destinations would you most want me to cover, from a film angle? What would you like to see more of? Please don’t be shy, because without readers this blog ceases to exist.
And finally… I’ll just end by wishing you all a very Happy New Year! May you be looking forward to 2018 as much as I am!