Now that we’re quite a way into January and I’ve looked back on my 2017 and what I achieved, I thought that I would do something a bit different and not just blog about my ambitions and resolutions but instead talk about some of what we’ll be doing with the blog in 2018.
I said we, yes WE as not only am I part of what people sometimes call a blogging “community” but also, *drumroll* from this year I will be co-running the blog with my girlfriend, Olivia, who previously proofread all the blog posts and also wrote some guest posts like her trip to Rome.
So what else is going to be different? Read on to find out.
We’d also like to support other bloggers as well and in 2017 a few great bloggers profiled LOOKDWN.com, commented on blog posts or engaged with us at events or on social media. We want to both return the favour and support many more of you. If I see a great post or someone trying to reach their goals, I’d like to make sure that I share some of these in any way possible.
We also aim to do more to support great causes in 2018. I tweeted a list of organisations last year that accept donations of different kinds for the homeless and in need.
We also wrote a post back in 2016 about our trip to Scooby, an animal shelter in Spain. Liv and I are hoping to go there again later this year to volunteer again and share some of the images of the dogs and other animals that are homed there. Liv also spends a chunk of her spare time creating fundraising materials for Scooby, and works with other volunteers to try to secure funding for the shelter. We also want to raise awareness of animal adoption on the whole both in the UK and abroad.
There are also obvious challenges around encouraging black and minority ethnic people into donating blood, bone marrow and organs. I have given blood a few times since university, even going as soon as I was able to after returning from Brazil in 2016 for the Olympics in Rio (with all the scaremongering around the Zika virus). Last year I wasn’t able to donate as much as he wanted to but this year would like to try to get the maximum four donations in.
Watch this space for more information on this area.
This year I vow to find out more about myself, my family and my history. I’ll need the help of my family members but a mini-series of blogs, vlogs or podcasts would be quite cool. After all, you can’t really know where you’re going to if you don’t know where you came from!
Last year we took photography up a little notch by playing around with light and colour as well as shooting on a Moto G Plus, the iPhone 6s, our Sony a5000 camera and also the GoPro Hero we bought and took on holiday with us to Hawaii. This year we would both like to experiment more with creative shots, and also take more panoramas to add to the collection here.
So far this year I’ve done Parkrun twice (a free 5k run on Saturday mornings around the UK and now the world) and even set a new personal best of 23:48 minutes. We want to exercise more but also go and see more small theatre shows, films and performances. I also went to my first blogger events in 2017 – Brunching Bloggers and World Travel Market, and it would be good to attend more general events and pop-ups in 2018.
I’ve tried to get more into fiction recently – crime, dystopian thrillers and other books that have been recommended to me. I’ve not written about them on the blog but there should be an opportunity to write more about these in the new year. Liv is an avid reader and she recommends so much great stuff we’ll probably need a bigger bookshelf at some point.
I also got some great new books from Liv for Christmas – The Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtenay-Smith and The Badass Blog Planner by Sarah Morgan which should not only be great reads but help us to improve the blog. Reading more should also help with our blogging and my personal aim to do more of my own creative writing again like at university.
Giving out the name of the blog will also be a bit easier thanks to a handy link to the website from the similarly named LookDown.com page updated by Nicholas White who runs a rental home in Montana.
Seeing the world is important to us and as a travel blog we are planning even more international destinations for the next few years. There are also still a few UK cities and regions left to travel to including Dublin, Edinburgh, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge which hopefully we’ll get to in 2018.
We are both also hoping to spend more time with our friends which should mean more personal recommendations and allow us to share the greatest new openings in London and further afield. We’ve still got lots of places on the list to visit and eat at so this should be a good year to get through more.
We had lots of footage from Hawaii on our camera and the GoPro that we’ve just started editing (including dolphins swimming right beneath us) so it would be great to get that finished and posted online.
I left Instagram engagement pods behind in 2017. I discovered a number of bloggers through them but they sometimes felt too forced with the comments and were also hard for me to keep up with a full-time job. I also want to work out Pinterest as I’m still pretty clueless about using it but it is apparently great for getting new readers to your blog.
This year I’ll spend less time on social media aside from promoting the blog. I can get news online to avoid being glued to Twitter, and Facebook is just getting annoying these days to be honest.