So it seems it has become an annual occurrence that in preparation for the new year ahead I review all of my achievements from the past 12 months. It’s so easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and to forget just how much you have achieved in your life, whether this be travel, career or lifestyle related.
My first review post was back in 2012 when I made some significant travel progress visiting Morrocco, Gambia, Boston, Tokyo, Paris, Vegas, Nairobi, Rio, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Italy. Many of these travels were due to me getting the job as Cabin Crew for British Airways which provided me with a fantastic experience. Other travels took place with my good friends Georgie and Stacey (who I miss travelling with lots!). This was also a big year career wise as it marked my return to the classroom when securing my job at Uxbridge College.
I welcomed in 2013 at the Hogmanay festival in new year and started as I meant to go on with subsequent travels to Russia, Thailand and Turkey. This was the year I met my (now) husband and the year I started my PhD research- 2 more big milestones!
In 2014 I steamed ahead in my career, being promoted to Course Team Leader and managing a team of 10 staff. I travelled to Iceland, Barcelona, Jordan, Israel and Egypt (during a war nonetheless). I bought my first house. I got engaged. Woah, what a year!
In 2015 I ‘upped the anti’ even more travelling to Berlin, Malta, Switzerland, Spain, Morocco, Riga, the Galapagos Island and the Ecuadorian Amazon. This was the year I started to really get into ‘active’ travelling and leisure activities by climbing Mount Toubkal and completing a Tough Mudder race. This was the year I became a University Lecturer at Bucks New University and it was also the year I became Mrs Stainton!
In typical ‘Stainton style’ we continued to travel in 2016 as husband and wife visiting Mexico, the US, Greece and the UAE, although we did slow down the pace a little as a result of my growing baby bump! 2016 was a big year for me in terms of my career. I won the three minute thesis competition, published several academic papers and submitted my PhD research. I also finished paying off all of my debts and bought a 4 bedroom house. All in all I had a lot less weight on my shoulders by the ned of the year (but a bit more around my midrift!).
So how have the last 5 years contributed to 2017?
This year has most certainly been the best year of them all, it’s been extremely hard work, it’s turned my life as I knew it upside down but it has been the most fun and rewarding year so far.
I kicked the year off with a bang by passing my PhD viva with flying colours. An added bonus: at 36 weeks pregnant it didn’t send me into premature labour!
I managed to secure a contact with a leading publisher for my forthcoming book on TEFL tourism and publish two academic papers before going on maternity leave.
On the 8th March 2017 I welcomed my little baby butterfly into the world, my tiny little bundle of joy weighing in at only 6lb1.
June was a big milestone for me and my baby girl when we took our first trip overseas to visit grandad in Spain.
I then travelled to Thailand to present at the ICOT conference.
Then we travelled as a family to Costa Rica for a month.
I was maid of honour for my sister’s wedding and organised her hen do at Royal Ascot before getting wear my lovely bridesmaids dress at the most beautiful wedding.
September marked the end of my maternity leave but the beginning of my continued career progress. Since this time I have had 2 academic papers accepted for publication and 1 further paper has been accepted subject to amendments.
Lastly, we are spending the last few days of 2017 in Sri Lanka where we are introducing baby Isla to the sights, smells and sounds of Asia!
So all in all another successful year- lots of travelling, career progress but most importantly- becoming a mummy!
Happy new everyone, give yourself a pat on the back for everything you have achieved in 2017!