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2017 In Review: 365 days of change and adventure

Lagos grottos

Overlooking the grottos in Lagos

2017 was the year of most change for me. Or at least it sure feels like it. There’s quite a lot that happened during the past 12 months. And a few things that didn’t happen but I choose to focus on the GREAT things that did.

This year I’ve decided to follow the advice of the legedary Napoleon Hill and I wrote down my goals for 2018. But before I turn the page to the next 365 days of adventure and change, I gotta reflect. As we all do!

To get a good pespective on where we are and where we wanna get to, we gotta look back and see what we’ve achieved already. Often it’s not until we see our achievements on paper that we realise that we have actually done a lot. So here I am listing all the things that I achieved in 2017.

 

Mentality change

This for sure is the biggest and most important change that I’ll remember 2017 by. I was fortunate to go to a personal development event, think Tony Robins style, which changed it all for me. I could feel that I needed change but there was something that was holding me back subconsciously and this event gave me the AHA realisation that weirdly cleared it up for me. It helped me realise that in life it’s all about what we decide to focus on. By following the simple formula of focus + meaning = action we decide whether to focus on the good or the bad and equally we decide what meaning to give to whatever happens or doesn’t happen in life. Equally, I realised that I gotta challenge myself if I want to truly get what I want out of life! There’s no time to hesitate, no time to doubt ourselves, no time to wait for the right moment, right situation or age. Life’s too short to sit back and wait! And as simple as that is, truly realising this simple sentense meant everything to me in 2017.

There was no longer a bad day because I decided to change my focus. I realised that as long as I learn to control my brain and challenge myself, I could do anything, literally! That’s how in 2017 I finally managed to get out of a job I no longer liked and started this blog.

 

Lifestyle change & Started this blog 

In 2017 I finally made some pretty important commitments. I stopped eating meat,  started going to the gym a lot more frequently and realised that I don’t really need more than 6 hours of sleep to feel fresh. I also realised that until I DO, I wouldn’t know if I can! These simple things helped me get a lot of my energy back. I challenged myself to suck up my fear and be open to myself and the world. This is how this blog came to life and it’s been one of the best, if not the best thing, that happened to me in 2017.

Life is becoming busier and busier. Time flies right?! The life adventures are becoming so so many that I felt I had to start a journal, a diary or a blog to document and remember all of these moments. My answer was this blog! Ever since I started The Global Eyes, I’ve connected with so many incredible people, some of which I even did my first collaborative post with in November of this year. You can read it here to help plan where to go in 2018.

 

First Solo trip 

Bled Slovenia

View over the castle in Bled

In 2017 I decided to pack my bag and go to Slovenia for my first ever solo trip. I wanted to experience something new, I wanted to see if I could truly be ok just by myself for a few days. And turned out that I loved it! So much I’m now even planning a few solo trips in 2018. There is nothing more empowering than the realisation that I could be ok just by myself. Think about it, self sufficiency is gold!

Slovenia by the way definitely stole my heart. I went to Ljubljana, Skofja Loka and Bled which truly is within the best places to visit in 2018 if you haven’t been there already.  If you ever visit Slovenia, don’t underestimate the tiny villages you’ve never heard of before, like Skofja Loka. They truly are the hidden gems of the country!

 

First time ever in Hungary & Portugal

Budapest Hungary

Fisherman’s Bastion Budapest

In 2017 I toured around in England, Bulgaria, Romania and Italy and for the first time I visited Budapest, Hungary and the Algarve in Portugal. Walking around the streets of Budapest, having some yummy chimney cake whilst looking for the coolest ruin bars were within my many highlights from Budapest.

The Algarve on the other pretty much wow’ed me with every step I made. From the empty streets of Faro to the buzzing views of Lagos and its grottos all the way to the stunning almost forgotten town of Sagres, the Algarve must be on your list for 2018.

 

Road Trip in Bulgaria & first guest post feature 

Ravadinovo castle

The Castle of Ravadinovo

I love my home country and this year I decided to spend a few days properly exploring some of its gems which I had never been to before. I spent a few days touring around with my parents starting from my favourite town on the Black sea, called Sozopol, through the amazing Castle of Ravadinovo which I recently wrote my first guest post on, the ancient town of Plovdiv, Asen’s Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery. All of these places are truly incredible, not being subjective I promise 😀 So if you get the chance to travel to Bulgaria, do venture out of the capital Sofia.

Having said that though, in 2017 I finally had the chance to explore Sofia properly for the first time. And to my surprise, I loved it. It’s a destination that’s only just beginning to gain popularity but it really is a cool alternative for a quick weekend trip. It’s especially great for a starter point of a nice road trip round Bulgaria!

 

December: Christmas at home

Nothing feels like proper Christmas than two weeks spent at home in the company of my family and very very best friends.

As much as I love to travel and have a whole list of places I wanna see in 2018, home will always be the place where you’ll find me at Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Maybe because I spent the last 7 years in the UK, away from my home town Ruse and my family, but I’ve truly come to appreciate how important family is. And although this year the snow got replaced by 13 degrees of sunshine, in December I still wouldn’t like to be anywhere else in the world but where I am right now as I’m writing this post – at home!

2017 was an incredible year! A lot changed that made me better, happier and healthier. I grew a lot and I learned a lot and I’ll be forever grateful for everything I was able to change and experience in 2017. Today I look into the next 365 days with pure excitement, enthusiasm and hope!

 

2018: In the making 

Like I said at the beginning, this year I’m taking a different approach. I listed down on a piece of paper all the things I want to achieve by this time next year. It’s what the great Napoleon Hill advises we all do if we really want to do great. Life goes on too fast and the routine sets in quickly and unless we have a checklist to reflect on every day, it’s hard to stay focused.

So my tip for you would be to read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hilllist down on a physical piece of paper your goals for 2018 and read them to yourself every day, before you go to bed and as soon as you wake up in the morning! That way you’ll become obssessed with your goals and you’ll work harder than ever before to make them come true.

One of my biggest goals for 2018 is to do a long adventure in Southeast Asia mostly solo. So far in my life I’ve never taken time longer than 2 weeks to go on an adventure. And in 2018, I’m changing that.

Travel is high on my agenda for 2018 and as part of that I also put together a list of places I want to visit. Here it is.


Wales – Snowdonia & zipline adventure

Morocco – Fes & Chefchaouen

Austria – Salzburg & Hallstatt

Switzerland & France – Road trip from Geneva/Grenoble to Annecy

Lithuania – Vilnius & the countyside

Poland – Krakow & hiking in Zakopane

Southeast Asia – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia & the Phillipines


Have a wonderful, memorable, inspiring and adventurous 2018 and never forget to reflect! That’s the only way to appreciate how far you’ve come and how much you’ve already achieved. So reflect and share with me 🙂

What are you gonna remember 2017 by?