#travellinkup : Lessons and Travel for 2018

Whilst 2018 marks the continuous cycle of life, it also marks a continuous learning experience for self-betterment. The past year had been great. it brought about a lot of patience, a lot of exploration, and a lot of immense realisations about what truly matters. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned and a little travel wish list:

1. Self-doubt is as bad as mixing libations on an empty stomach

I’ve been reflecting about life lately and how the huge ball of confidence I had as a child seem to have been misplaced somewhere along the way. The past year, I’ve been in situations where the only outcome seemed to be failure. Surprisingly, I’ve actually been championed to progress and am now a few steps closer to reaching some life and professional goals.

I get why we doubt ourselves so much. Life can become competitive - we compete (and compare ourselves) so much with others. However, the biggest challenge we have lies within, and when we question our own decisions, it’s more destructive than productive. All self-doubt brings is unnecessary stress, which can snowball into anxiety and health issues.

Excited to start my new role next year and also excited to see people from my old job for great catch up sessions!

2. Live off more often

2017 marked issues on Instagram algorithms, how Facebook ain’t how it used to be, how the blogging world is being saturated by sponsored BS and all that.

Whilst social media has played a huge part of my life, recent holidays where WiFi and mobile data had been sparse made me realise how much I missed actually living. I’ve loved not giving a care as to whether I should create an IG story about what I’m experiencing. I have enjoyed looking at my family and friends, etching their beautiful faces and melodious laughter in my head. I’ve soaked in more fresh air and the peace of not knowing into my lungs and into my soul. I truly was in the moment, and I was truly not distracted. It felt great, and I am keen to do more of this in the next years or so.

3. Silence out the noise

I’ve recently been in a situation where I wanted to retaliate badly. Long story short, I found out that someone whom I’ve never met had been saying demeaning (and not factual) shit towards me and people I care about. I know nothing and have said nothing about this person, and I’ve no interest in her at all.

Naturally, I was very annoyed but in all honesty, I was very much “MEH” after. There’s no point stooping down that level, and there’s no point to say ill things about someone or something I know nothing about. Let’s keep it classy - not trashy - on this side.

2017 showed me that there are people who have way too many opinions about things. People who think they know you or what’s best for you. I’ve realised that whilst some unsolicited advice make sense, some account for subterfuge. End of the day, you should listen to what your gut tells you - and also your parents and life mentors, who will always have your best interests at heart.

4. There are people who matter…

…and there are people who don’t (see point #3). And you need to invest time in your relationships with people who do. Surround yourself with good people; ie people who will help you become the best version of yourself and who will inspire you to be better.

5. There’s such a lot of world to see

A line from one of my favourite songs, which holds true. 2017 made me see and experience a variety of cultures that gave me a sense of wanting to live and breathe more. The differences I’ve noted are eye-opening. I’ve been rather lazy, holding off visiting places and venturing off to other cities “cos they’re near anyway”. 2018, however, slides in with wanderlust and a great big itch to explore more. I’ve no travel plans yet, but here are a few places that are on my radar…

c/o Girl In Florence

BORDEAUX - I’d love to go visit Bordeaux for a proper food and wine tour, as well as a decent taste of Fete de la Musique. I’ve loved French festival music from when I collected Putumayo CDs in my teens so this would be fab to experience in real life!

c/o Planes & Champagne

CINQUE TERRE - I’ve been putting off Cinque Terre because I’m more familiar with the French Riviera and the beaches seem more favourable. However, this place has been on my list for yonks and I’m keen to tick this box sooner than later!

c/o Heart My Backpack

ROMANIA - I’ve met a lot of people saying that Romania is absolutely beautiful with its mountainous regions and scenery. It’s definitely a place of interest for this year or the next, simply because I absolutely need a green and clean adventure after months of work in the big smoke.

c/o Hand Luggage Only

MUSCAT - I’ve been seeing a lot of Muscat photos around and it looks like a great destination for some sun during the colder months! The spaces are lush and the people seem friendly, so I’m considering this for Fall/Autumn this year.

c/o The Blonde Abroad

CROATIA - Croatia was the country I gave up for a Thai holiday last year. I’m hoping to be able to go this year for a dip in Krka, a few sunset drinks in Hvar, a nice walk in Old Town Split and a nice frolic along the Dalmatian coast.

c/o OnePoll

LONDON - I’ve been in London for over a decade so I’m definitely not going to be a stranger in my home city no more! I’m gonna try to explore more of its hidden gems, streets and mews! Here’s to more weekend walks and exploration!

Obviously, there’s loads more I want to see but with passport renewals coming around, I’ll need to plan itineraries a little bit better!

So there you have it… a few life lessons hit, I’m ready for 2018 and I hope you are all ready, too. Self-betterment is a key theme for this year, for sure. Life’s too short to be mediocre, and it’s definitely too short to be a cliché.


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  1. 2nd January 2018 / 5:32 pm

    I can relate to a lot of what you mention here, especially number 2. Hopefully 2018 is full of living, and less full of instagram struggles lol. Happy New Year!

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 4:53 am

      I really hated the algorithm and felt that all efforts on IG were meh-ed out. But a benefit of it really was not caring about numbers, and just caring about doing it for ourselves - and living!!!

      Happy New Year! =)

  2. beti
    2nd January 2018 / 5:47 pm

    I love your post especially when you mention CROATIA 🙂 this countri is part from EX YOUGOSLAVIJA when i am belong. I hope you will visit one day you will love it.

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 4:55 am

      Thanks Beti! I hope so too!

  3. 2nd January 2018 / 6:41 pm

    Great thoughts. Thank you for sharing this post.
    Of, self-doubt.. for me it goes with perfectionism and thinking “this is no good”, “you can do better”, “no-one is interested in this”…
    I am also starting a totally new role this year, so good luck to us 😀

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 5:01 am

      It’s funny how the mind works, right? I didn’t think I’d get this job so I was so surprised when I found out they said yes! I’m super happy!

      Good luck to your new role!

  4. 2nd January 2018 / 7:58 pm

    Number 2 - gotcha, my post was in a similar vein! Muscat and the area around - stunning. It is old-fashioned UAE, relatively un-gilded and unspoilt when compared to the other big cities! Go there! The mosque is beautiful!

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 5:04 am

      Just read your post and I LOVE IT! So true, Anna!
      I’ve been seeing quite a few posts on Muscat lately which is why I’m quite curious! I think it’s defo on the cards for a quiet break in the future!

  5. 2nd January 2018 / 8:49 pm

    I am glad to hear you didnt stoop to that shameful person’s level, focus on your happiness and travels.

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 5:04 am

      Definitely. I don’t know them personally so why should I? 🙂

  6. 2nd January 2018 / 9:29 pm

    Great pictures, hope you have a great 2018 - happy new year!

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 5:05 am

      Cheers Rachel - you too!

  7. Dean of Little Steps
    2nd January 2018 / 9:36 pm

    I miss travelling. I’m afraid I haven’t travelled as much ever since my daughter started school. Now we’re only able to travel during the school holidays. Looks like you’ve had so much fun! Here’s to more travels this year 🙂

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 5:06 am

      Thank you! But at least you and your daughter have something to look forward to even more, especially as I’m assuming travel planning involves her too 🙂 Here’s to hoping you get to travel some more! 🙂

  8. 2nd January 2018 / 10:11 pm

    I absolutely love this post. You are so right. It is so important to take in and absorb the moment, the sounds, my kids beautiful faces without being distracted by the internet, social media and anything else. So so true. I am really hoping to take my family to croatia this year. It looks gorgeous.

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 5:07 am

      Isn’t it? Especially as I realise my sister, nieces and nephews are getting older. It’s like every year I see them they change and I feel like I’m missing out big time!

      Perhaps I’ll see you in Croatia! Haha! =)

  9. 2nd January 2018 / 11:15 pm

    Oh my goodness I am so sorry to hear that someone had been talking crap about you that is awful! Still on a more positive note I like your idea of living in the moment and silencing out the noise. It is important to take a break from our virtual realities to live out our real lives.

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 5:08 am

      Haha, it’s really not a big thing. I don’t know her so I don’t really care 🙂
      Yes to living in the moment! =)

  10. 3rd January 2018 / 4:40 am

    Self doubt kills many dreams. Glad that you win over it. Crab mentality of people, especially “Filipinos” don’t get me wrong here, I’m filipina and have encountered this a lot. People who doesn’t even know you talk crap about you, people who you think are your friends and even relatives will make crap stories about you.
    These are some awesome travel bucket lists, good luck and win it all.

    • Honey de Gracia
      3rd January 2018 / 5:09 am

      Ahhh, crab mentality is really annoying. I don’t get it talaga!
      Anyway, the best thing to do is move forward - everything is water under the bridge na. Thanks Crisly!

  11. Karishma
    3rd January 2018 / 4:42 am

    Love ur point 5. You have explored so much. To more learning and more Travel in 2018

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:19 am

      Cheers! I try!

  12. 3rd January 2018 / 9:28 am

    Sounds like some lovely plans! And don’t let the bastards grind you down!

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:20 am

      Amen to that, Angie! =) Happy New Year! x

  13. 3rd January 2018 / 9:55 am

    I liked reading your point about being disconnected from social media etc. I returned to blogging after the summer off, and to be honest I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do. I love writing and trying to get my message out there, but I hate the hours of social meedia that it all entails just to get a few views…it is a viscous circle though…what is the point of writing if no one is reading?

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:23 am

      I get what you mean. There was a time, particularly when I was just beginning to blog, when I blogged for just myself and my friends. I suppose that was the time when I actually enjoyed blogging - when I was writing for a select few who appreciated everything. When my blog gained a little bit of recognition I felt a bit of pressure and writing didn’t become as enjoyable because I felt I was pushing out automated pieces. That said, writing is always going to be an exhaust for me. 🙂

  14. 3rd January 2018 / 11:12 am

    It is always sad when someone is rude about us - but it is usually a reflection of their own life. Happy New year and hope 2018 is a great one for you!

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:30 am

      Amen to that. Thanks so much, Katy! Happy new year to you too!

  15. 3rd January 2018 / 12:18 pm

    I need to do some more travel this year and definitely silence out the noise. Great post.

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:34 am

      Thanks! Happy new year!

  16. 3rd January 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Lovely thoughts to greet the New Year, Honey - and beautiful destinations on your wishlist too! As you know, we loved Bordeaux and I think you would too … hope you make it there soon!

    xo Jaime

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:38 am

      Ahahaha I hope you know that this is inspired solely from YOUR photo of Les Sources de Caudalie! x Happy New Year, Jaime!

  17. 3rd January 2018 / 2:49 pm

    I think it is natural to self-doubt ourselves and it is too easy to get caught up on what others are doing, especially in this social media age. You have some lovely places on your bucket list, hope you get to visit them all

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:43 am

      Exactly Kara - aspirational following is sometimes a peak and pit on its own! Thanks so much, I hope so, too!

  18. 3rd January 2018 / 4:12 pm

    Oh wow - how your post left me breathless… I have said it before - and I will say it again! You really write beautifully and you are such a great blogger! I love your writing and I love how i could relate to this post! I am truly inspired - thank you!
    Oh and by the way - my boyfriend comes from Bordeaux! You simply have to go! It is such a beautiful city! Not too small and not too big! Best to go in the spring! Summertime in south of France can be very very hot!

    Love from Louise

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:45 am

      Awwww, that makes my heart melt, Louise! Thank you so much!
      And thanks for the Bordeaux tip - I’ll definitely try and aim to get there early this year!

  19. CHARM
    3rd January 2018 / 4:19 pm


    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:45 am


  20. 3rd January 2018 / 5:10 pm

    Some of the places you want to visit are on.our family travel bucket list such as Cinque Terre and Croatia. We’ve been to Bordeaux once and loved it!

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:48 am

      Thank you Cath! I’ll definitely try to see Bordeaux! I hope Cinque Terre and Croatia will both be kid friendly for you guys!

  21. 3rd January 2018 / 6:00 pm

    Those are some great life lessons and some wonderful destinations too! The Cinque Terre is absolutely beautiful and is my favourite place in Italy so I definitely recommend it 🙂

    • Honey
      4th January 2018 / 1:50 am

      Thank you dear! And best of luck for your mega family trip, too! x

  22. 4th January 2018 / 2:19 am

    What a fabulous post with many true insights and I can tell you - you will LOVE Bordeaux it is a wonderful City with so many facets to it. Fabulous architecture, fantastic food. amazing wines and the Cite du Vin a whole place dedicated to wine!
    Happy 2018 - Caro, Taste of Savoie

  23. 12th January 2018 / 8:20 pm

    Wow! Such a great list of tips which I will definitely try to bear in mind for this year. They will definitely make my year better. 😉

    • Honey de Gracia
      13th January 2018 / 8:45 am

      Glad you got some tips, Agness! Enjoy your travels! x

  24. Nano @ Travel With Nano B.
    15th January 2018 / 7:04 am

    It’s a beautiful post, Honey, and valuable lessons for us all. This year I realized as well that the more you open up to people on social media, more they feel entitled to expressing their dissatisfaction toward how you live your life - even though they have never met you. I just block that noise, people like that are not worth the attention they’re trying to obtain. You are doing a wonderful job, and I hope you’ll be able to make all of your aspirations come true in 2018. Hugs, nano

    • Honey de Gracia
      15th January 2018 / 11:29 pm

      Thank you so much, Nano. And I agree 100% - whether you’re a changed person or not, what people do not seem to remember is that your social media self is just a sliver of your true self.

      Meh, those people are defo not worth it. Thanks darling, and I hope yours would come true, too.

  25. 19th January 2018 / 8:55 pm

    I spent 10 days in Bordeaux immersed in wine study and education. It was amazing!

  26. 18th February 2018 / 1:41 pm

    ‘Live off more often.’ How simple yet too elusive for all of us!
    Aiming for that more this 2018 🙂

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