It’s hard to believe Christmas day will be here so soon. It feels like it was just a few days ago Matt and I were getting ready for last Christmas! I remember I used to look forward to this time of year because it meant time off from work. A few weeks of total and pure bliss, away from the office, before heading back in the new year. I used to try and squeeze every drop out of my annual leave so I could have as much time off as possible. Things have changed a LOT since those days, thank goodness.
Coming into the Christmas season now feels completely different. I’m still really excited, but it’s because I’m really looking forward to the unknown of 2016. At this stage Matt and I have very little travel planned for next year. Two of our good friends are getting married in Mexico in September, so we’ll definitely be attending that and making an extended trip out of it. Other than that, we don’t really have much planned and I’m really excited about it because it means I get to wait and see what adventures pop up organically for us.
I started out this year with the intention to ‘Think Bigger’ and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of getting there, even if it took me pretty much the whole year to learn how. I learned to see the true value in Little Grey Box and allow myself to feel proud of what I do and make sure I’m not short-changing myself when it comes to income.
I also had a number of very, very dark days and weeks where I was really doubtful about myself and my abilities. There were, in particular, two instances of this happening that really made me question myself. Both times though, when I was racked with doubt about whether or not I’m ‘good enough’ to ‘succeed’, I got to a point where I realised that succeed or not, there’s no way I could stop doing what I love. There’s no other option for me, this is what I want to do with my life and I’ll do it regardless. Those thoughts really confirmed for me that I’m on the right path and helped me keep moving forward.
I got to meet and work with some amazing people this year, including extremely generous local businesses who open up their lives and allow me to experience their world. I went snorkelling with turtles, met monks in Chiang Mai, went cliff jumping in Boracay, bungee jumped in Queenstown, had a picnic on top of a glacier, walked along the Great Wall of China, saw whales on the Fraser Coast and got lost in Hong Kong. I did loop-de-loops in a plane, met the amazing people of Marysville, explored the Sunshine Coast, met bloggers in Bangkok and fell in love with Beijing. It was a ridiculous year and I’m so thankful for all these wonderful things I got to see and do, if you had told me a few years ago this would be my life… I would have never believed you.
One other really cool thing that helped me see the bigger picture for LGB was the launching of my weekly Vlogs, which is something I wanted to do for a very long time. It felt like starting those really brought together a clearer, whole picture of what LGB is and I feel so happy creating and sharing them.
It has been a year of big change. Matt left his job, we moved house and we got a cat. We were both a little bit unsure of how it would work with Matt leaving his job. Would he still earn money freelancing? How would we pay our bills? What would we do if we didn’t earn enough money to survive? Despite all these fears we went ahead anyway and, as it always does, the Universe provided for us and we have had no issues.
I guess this year has just been one big confirmation for me that following your heart is the very best way to live. I’ve learned that when you commit to something whole-heartedly, it just has a way of working out wonderfully. More than ever, I’ve learned to trust my intuition. I’ve developed an even deeper trust in myself and the Universe and a new level of patience I didn’t know I had.
If you haven’t done it for yourself already I really encourage you to take a moment and just take stock. Sit quietly with a cup of tea or lay in bed for a few extra moments tomorrow morning and let yourself run through all the beautiful, challenging, wonderful, sad, happy and difficult things you’ve come up against or experienced. Remember to be kind to yourself, applaud yourself for everything you’ve learned and all the great things you achieved!
Over the Christmas break I’ll be taking some time off from posting on the Little Grey Box blog, just to give myself a mental break from working and allow myself some time to recharge and refresh. We’ll be spending a few weeks at the beach and I’m really excited for the time to chill out, swim all day, sleep in and just rest.
During this end of year break Matt and I also take some time to do an LGB Planning Day. We dedicate a whole day to drinking lots of beer and working hard on LGB. We look at what we did well this year and whether we achieved what we set out to achieve. We also meditate and ask for guidance on the key themes for the coming year, setting key goals and deciding on an overall theme for the business and each of us.
I feel like some really exciting things are going to happen in 2016, for all of us. Personally, I feel really centred, focused and clear. I have a new appreciation and resolution when it comes to Little Grey Box and I just know this coming 12 months are going to be full of fun and adventure.
Thank you so much to each and every person who takes the time to read what I write, share the things they love, comment and provide their own insight, ideas and advice. Thank you to the people who watch the videos we create, interact with me on social media and make me smile with your really lovely and funny comments! LGB is rapidly approaching half-a-million views and that’s because of you (and my mum, who probably refreshes pages to help my stats).
As the end of 2015 comes to an end and the beginning of 2016 creeps up on us I’d love if you could make one promise to yourself, it’s a super easy one but it’s one that will change your life forever; Do what makes you happy. That’s all you’ve got to do. Right now, today, just start making small decisions to make yourself happy. Sleep more, eat more, worry less, dance more, laugh as often as possible, take up an art class, learn a language…. whatever it is, just do what makes you happy.
Merry Christmas x
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger sharing practical inspiration to enrich your life through travel. Follow her adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Watch + Subscribe to my Vlog here. I put out brand new travel videos every Monday.