travel musings

Clazz’s 2017 Challenges: December Update

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! It’s been a tough time for a few of my friends, so my thoughts have been with those who struggled over the season, and those who are no longer here to enjoy it.

I was thoroughly spoilt this year – Ash bought me a new laptop!! It’s a HP tablet hybrid and I’ve been obsessed with the touch screen while hoping I don’t ruin it! And my parents bought me a lens for my new Sony A5000 camera! I can’t wait to get out and see what it’s capable of. I love our Panasonic Lumix, but since the zoom stopped working it’s been a little frustrating (especially as it happened right before puffin season). Still, it didn’t stop me getting some of the best photos I’ve ever taken! But I’m hoping this will take my photography to the next level.

I also received a couple of awesome travel gifts – I’m finally the owner of one of those scratch-off maps! I’ve never been sure whether to get one, but I’m looking forward to scratching off where I’ve been and displaying it in the house, especially since our pinned map disappeared in the move! Ash got me a “backpacker” card game which we haven’t played yet, but it looks like a lot of fun, and the aim is to return from your “travels” with the most photos! Our boss bought us a beautiful collective gift: a leather-bound travel-themed scrapbook! It looks AMAZING. And Mum got me a diary with vintage maps on, which is always a winner.


Anyway, onto my final month of challenges, I’ll be doing a round-up of the year in my 2017 post in the next couple of days, too… so we’ll see how I’ve done overall!


Make £50 £100 on side hustles

I haven’t managed to get a job yet, which means my side hustles have kind of been my main hustle, and not a great one at that. I only had two market research shifts and the project has now finished, which means my biggest secondary source of income has dried up. I earned £60 with them, and I received £40 from one of my survey sites (where I ANSWER the questions instead of ask them) so I hit my target, plus I’ve been playing catch up with all the ones in my emails so I’m sure I’ve made a small chunk through those. In fact, I just joined a new one called Mobrog which I’d never heard before, but they’re fairly well paid, I earned £4 in a couple of days and cashed out. £4 was in my PayPal within 20 minutes! This is the smallest minimum payout I’ve ever seen on a survey site, and I’m already half way towards my next one since yesterday!! I’ve signed up to a couple of other things too, so I’ll report on them next month.

TOTAL: over £100


Get fitter

The good news: we had a treadmill in storage, and we managed to bring it to Orkney with us in the car!! And I’ve actually been using it!

The bad news: well, Christmas! Ha! Also the weather in Orkney has been pretty dire so I haven’t been keeping generally active.


Read 50 books

Well, I can honestly say I’ve failed on this one!! I used to be a massive book worm, and now I struggle to concentrate which is genuinely a lifestyle thing that I’m going to work on in 2018. Distraction is such a huge problem, and I feel like adding more social media to the blog hasn’t helped that!

Ironically, I remember when I first set out the challenges and I thought of making one to catch up with X number of TV shows, because similarly I never give myself the time to watch all the ones I really want, or I’ll binge half of one and then get distracted… or they get progressively shit and I gradually stop watching until I’m so behind that I don’t bother any more (hey Walking Dead & Supernatural). In fact, there are hardly any shows that I’ve ever been completely up to date on.

We’ve caught up with most of Marvel’s shows (Daredevil is by far the best one), I’ve watched all of Orphan Black, we watched Stranger Things (obviously), we’ve just finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (watched on a total whim and discovered she’s my spirit animal). So I’ve actually done really well on the challenge that never made it onto the list, and absolutely awfully on the one that I thought would make me feel smart and instead has made me feel pretty dumb over just how much I’ve failed.

Even movies would have been a better one – I’ve finally seen ALL of Star Wars except the latest one! I watched THE MUPPETS CHRISTMAS CAROL for the first time the other day! I know!

But books? I read more in a month when I was 8 than I have this year. Although Ash bought me “The Very Hungover Caterpillar” for Christmas, so that counts as one, right?

Write for another publication

I am kind of kicking myself because I’m sure I could have had some opportunities over the summer when I was mega mega busy! I’ll be in next year’s Orkney travel magazine though, so I haven’t completely failed this one!

Learn something new

I honestly planned to sign up to a course this month, but I’ve been trying to get a routine in place and that hasn’t included introducing something totally new. I mean come on, I can’t even give myself time to read a book!


Other things?

I would wager that December has been my quietest month since I was about 16. That’s probably because it’s the first time I’ve been wholly unemployed at home for this long since I was about 16. Probably 15, in fact.

So I’m afraid I really don’t have a lot to say about December. We’ve had a handful of couchsurfers which is kind of surprising at this time of year, with two more arriving before the end of the month!

Most excitingly, Ash has received his visa invitation for Canada! So we are hoping the process doesn’t take too long (Australia makes it complicated) and we can start planning!

Here are some of my best Instagrams from December:


I’ve been glad for the time to catch up with things, though. I didn’t have my laptop on that much last month, so once again I got behind on emails, surveys, photo editing, writing. I’ve had a couple of job interviews, but let’s face it, it’s not the best time of year to start looking. So I’m going into 2018 a little uncertain, but we’ll see what happens, eh?!

Where did you spend Christmas this year? Have you got any special plans for New Years?

2 thoughts on “Clazz’s 2017 Challenges: December Update

  1. I read a lot of travel blogs, but yours deserves praise because it is so honest and realistic. Travel and saving for it is not all mountain tops and infinity pools. Sometimes it rains and places are shut. Still worth it 100% but its admirable and comforting to see both sides reported. Keep up the great work and best wishes for 2018. You’ll be fine. I have camera envy.
    Ps. My favourite muppet was Michael Caine.


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