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I have never consistently published “year in review” posts annually on Hayley on Holiday. In 2016 I did a post about my favourite things, and last year I had to share my travel highlights after my amazing solo journey across Europe. Now at the end of 2018, I thought a year in review post would be a nice way to look back at what I got up to this year.
2018 was a slow travel year for me, but that was expected as I settled back into life in Melbourne after three months of full-time travel in 2017. At the end of January, I moved back to Melbourne after spending the holidays at my parents’ house on Magnetic Island. In February, I headed to Brisbane for a long weekend that included watching rugby in the rain and plenty of friend catch-ups.
I stayed put in Melbourne until May, when I headed back home for just under two weeks. My parents and I did a little road trip to visit family in rural Queensland, which was a very boring drive but it was nice to see so much family all at once. Then I had to make it through two months of cold weather before I headed to Bali with the family, and then onto Singapore for a few days of solo travel. Bali has always been one of my favourite places, but now Singapore has been added to the list. With two visits in under nine months, I wouldn’t mind if I returned again in 2019.
In September, I had a very enjoyable long weekend in Adelaide. Who knew there was so much to do in the South Australian capital? This trip also meant I FINALLY visited every Australian state and territory. It only took me 29 years, but better late than never. Then I didn’t leave Melbourne again until I returned to Townsville for Christmas.
I’ve realised that I need to plan some kind of adventure or holiday every few months or I go a little stir crazy! It looks like 2019 will be a similar year of slow travel, as I put my savings towards something else entirely!
As I publish this post, I’ve read 47 books this year. I have Goodreads to thank for keeping track of my reads in 2018. It’s always hard to pick favourites, but here’s a top 10 if you’re looking for a good book to devour in 2019.
- I’m going to cheat and say the entire Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, because I read all three books in 2018.
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (took me awhile to get into it and then I was obsessed).
- One of two novels on this list that aren’t romances, Force of Nature is an Australian thriller and the second book in the Aaron Falk series.
- The Kiss Quotient
- Educated (the only non-fiction book on this list, but a fascinating story).
- The Hating Game (another Aussie author).
- Love and Other Words
- One Day in December. I have Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram account to thank for this pick. It was a beautiful read.
- Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is written by the same authors as Love and Other Words. I suspect more of their books will feature in my 2019 top 10.
- Still Me is the final book in the Me Before You trilogy. I obviously highly recommend reading the entire series.
After completing Blog Boost earlier this year, I realised I needed to shift my focus and hone in on writing content primarily on solo travel and expat life. Fortunately, this seemed to resonate with a lot of readers. I also kept up with my monthly Hayley Lately reflection posts. My top posts of 2018 include:
- The 12 Best Places to Travel Alone in the United States. Although my solo trip around North America happened four years ago, I published this post in mid-2018. It has since become the most popular post on Hayley on Holiday.
- A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Paris. It was definitely time I wrote about one of my favourite European cities. Although it’s known as the City of Love, Paris is still a fantastic city to visit solo.
- A Recap of My Solo Journey Across the UK and Europe. A big one, this post covers my entire European itinerary. I followed this by finally publishing my North American itinerary.
- 20 Things to do in Dublin. I got this post published just before St Patrick’s Day. Since then, it’s become one of my most-clicked European posts. It’s closely followed by my Brussels post.
- My 15 Favourite Solo Travel Destinations Around the World.
2018 was another good year of part-time writing for me. I switched from Canadian to Australian content for The Culture Trip, where I wrote posts on my hometown, Australia in general and Melbourne. Some of my favourites include:
- Where To Go in Australia Based on Your Personality
- Australia’s 10 Most Beloved Commercials. This was fun to research.
- 11 Reasons to Visit the Sunshine Coast Over the Gold Coast. I totally pitched this one ;)
- A feature on Cocos (Keeling) Islands. I loved learning more about this tropical archipelago.
- I also wrote a lot of Northern Territory content, including 11 Reasons to Visit the Northern Territory.
Unfortunately my time with The Culture Trip is coming to an end in early 2019, but writing for them was great while it lasted. However, I’ll still be doing some content marketing for Royal Caribbean Cruises, through the Skyword website. I ended up joining the writing platform on a whim, but I am sure glad I did. This project has been fantastic! I’ve written several cruise port descriptions, as well as destination pages like this one for Australia.
Now I think that’s a wrap. I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane as much as me.
May you all have a happy and fun-filled 2019.