Last Friday I handed in my dissertation. For the first time in 19 years I am no longer in full time education. I finished writing and editing last week in France, and while I’ve been looking forward to finishing for ages so I can get on with the next stage of my life, I can confess to feeling a bit shell shocked once it was finished.
We opened a bottle of champagne, and I spent the next day curled up on the sofa finishing my book, walking through the Brittany countryside and just sitting outside the house watching the sun go down with a glass of wine, just taking a moment for it to all sink in before I move onto what’s next.
First, I want to thank everyone for their support. You’ve all been great, both in the comments section and on social media keeping me going with my writing, and checking to see how I’ve been getting on; I hope all of you who are also working on your dissertations and final essays at the moment whom I’ve been trading word counts with are nearing the finish line too! Also, thanks to all of the amazing PR's who have been keeping me going my sending me things like chocolate biscuits and energy smoothies to review as study snacks!
I also want to thank every single one of you, if you’ve been reading my blog for five weeks or five years for being there through everything, from my boarding school dormitory, to living by myself in London for the first time, across the pond to Los Angeles and back, and for everything in-between. Everything I’ve got today, down to this blog is all because of you all. The only way I can think of to truly express my gratitude is to just keep writing.
So, what is happening next for me? I decided a few months ago that staying in London did not really make sense. I’ve looked into so many different jobs, and so many different career paths that meant I’d be able to stay in the city, but with the high speed train link, I realised that it takes me less time to get from my home in the countryside to London, than it does to get from one side of London to the other on the District Line! So, while I won’t physically be living in London, not much is really going to change. I’ll still be around the city all the time; especially writing my ‘Places To Eat In London’ column; ‘The List’ still has 142 entries of restaurants, bars and cafes I want to try on it, and it is growing faster than I can work my way through it!
I’m going to be living in the Kentish countryside, and I’m going to be dedicating a lot more time to my role as head of the PR and Marketing at Pilgrims Nook Holiday Cottages, the luxury holiday cottage company I helped found with my parents, where we are just starting our third year of business. All of the big plans we have over there are going to build up into some very exciting things I personally have planned for the next few years, and I am so excited to get stuck into. That’s all I’m going to say for now, but watch this space!
The one thing I have not mentioned yet is what is going to happen to this blog. Well, along with my freelance food writing which I’m hoping to expand past what I already enjoy doing for Borough Market and Great British Chefs, I’m going to be taking my blogging full time. I know it sounds like I’ll still have a job with the cottages, but the way some of that is going to evolve along with the plans I have for this site to grow, the plan is once it is all set up for everything to come together, with this site at the centre.
Honestly, not much is going to change around here, but the things that are going to change are going to change for the better. I’m exploring new media options to expand into, and I have a few new projects I’ve already started work on that I can’t wait to share with you, but again I’m not going to tell you about just quite yet! As the blog will be taking up even more of my life now (if that is even possible!) I’m going to start sharing a few more personal posts again so you can read a bit more about my everyday life; I’ve tried a few of those recently and thanks so much for the positive response I’ve had!
I’m also going to be traveling a lot more, now for the first time I really have the freedom to do so. I’ve already got some exciting trips booked in for this Summer, but I’m already looking towards the Autumn where I want to start traveling specifically to write articles, both freelance and for the site. I’ve already got my eye on the next city I want to break into with my ‘Places To Eat In’ posts past London, Los Angeles and Canterbury, and obviously, probably not this year but hopefully in 2015 I need to see Los Angeles again; I miss the weather, food and beaches in Southern California too much, and there were so may places I did not get to eat at during my last (10 month) trip!
So thanks for coming along for the ride, and as I’m starting to work on lots of new things around here, it would be really grateful for me if you could give me any feedback you can manage, either in the comments section, by email or Twitter of what sort of thing you’d like to see here, and what sort of posts you really love and you’d like me to be doing even more of. Equally, if there has been something around here that you don’t really think is working, I’d love to hear about that too. Also, to any PR’s for food or travel brands, or any editors looking for food or travel writers, I’m now free to chat about anything you have coming up the pipeline that you think I should know about.