Friday, 9 May 2014

Life Update: So, What's Happening Next?

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.
Blogging Outside
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.

46 comments:

  1. Well done on finishing your dissertation! I know what you mean about London, it takes me an hour to get to my sister's house, as she lives on the other end of the Northern line to me, and it almost seems normal in London, but anywhere else that would seem excessive haha! Looking forward to seeing what you do with your blog next :) This post also makes me miss Brittany, I need to get down to my grandparents' again soon!

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  2. Thank you! And I know, it is funny how city life warps your idea of travel. My perception of how far away time wise something is in London, and indeed in Los Angeles seems perfectly acceptable in that city, but when I take a step back and see how long it takes me to drive places in the country, I realise it is madness!


    And I hope you make it back to Brittany soon. Honestly the other week all I did was work so I did not get to enjoy it as much as normal, but I'm planning on going back later in the Summer which I'm really looking forward to!

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  3. Congratulations on finishing your dissertation! it's such an amazing relief when it's finally out of your hands! I have a rather shellshocked photograph of myself with mine bound and ready to be submitted! I can't believe you're leaving London and moving to Canterbury as I move from there to the city! We will have to have a coffee or cocktail at some point when our paths cross! Good luck for the future, it sounds like you have such an exciting few years planned, I look forward to reading all about it!

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  4. Congratulations on finishing your dissertation and as officially your longest reader (except for your mother, I'm pretty sure I was the first!), I'm sending all the luck in the world your way for the future. I love reading your blog and can't wait to keep reading!


    While you're out and about, if you come across anywhere with excellent free from options, do send them my way ;)


    Hugs and love xxx

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  5. I've been following your blog for well over a year now, and I have to say, I'm super happy for you! Good luck with all your future endeavours! :)

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  6. Thank you so much Amy, and thanks for sticking with me!

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  7. Thanks so much Amy! And actually know, you were reading my blog before my mother was, so you are actually my longest suffering reader!


    And remind me what you/ you & Gil can't eat again? I always stick gluten free recipes on my friend Nicole's Facebook wall, but I keep forgetting the requirements for you guys!

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  8. Yep, we're doing a location swap! And yes, we still have not managed to meet up for a drink of some kind, and that does need to happen at some point. And thanks so much!

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  9. Congrats Rachel! The dissertation nightmares are finally over! Good luck with all of the change, (rather exciting isn't it?!)

    I can't wait to keep on following what you get up to!

    Emily x

    My GingerBread Journey

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  10. Thanks Emily! And I know, I can't believe that it is all over!

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  11. I feel slightly proud of myself for that! :)


    Food-wise, we are a NIGHTMARE. I am coeliac and vegetarian, Gil is vegan and can't eat anything too high in fructose (i.e. onions, garlic, apples). It's a miracle we can cook at all!!

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  12. I am now very, very confused as to what you two can eat ever. But if I do see something suitable, like that pasta, I'll send it over! x

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  13. Don't worry, we're pretty confused about it too. We eat a lot of tofu and beans, haha :)

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  14. Congratulations Rachel! I'm excited to see what comes of your new move - it's clear you obviously work hard on this blog so I can only imagine what will happen when you have more time to dedicate to it! If your travels ever take you to Leeds, I'll happily throw in some recommendations! xx

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  15. Thanks Amy, and I'll keep that in mind! x

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  16. Congratulations Rachel! Can't wait to follow what you get up to next - and you're so lucky to have so many options!


    Bxx
    b-jolly.co.uk

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  17. Thanks so much Bella. And I promise that everything that is on its way is really exciting!

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  18. Congratulations on handing in your dissertation -- what a load off, right?! And double congrats on all the exciting things coming your way. It definitely sounds like you've got it all figured out :)

    Maria xx
    www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

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  19. Congrats Rachel! I've enjoyed following your blog over the past two or so years, looking forward to seeing where you take it next :)

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  20. Thanks so much Jane, that means a lot. I recognise you as one of my longer standing readers, so thanks so much for sticking with me x

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  21. Huge congratulations on handing in your dissertation Rachel! I remember the feeling - a mixture of excitement, relief and slightly underwhelming all at the same time, if that's possible!

    I've been reading your blog for a little over a year now and can honestly say that it is one of a select few that I religiously check up on for new posts. I think the balance of posts you have just now is about right (even though I'm the other end of the country in Edinburgh I love seeing your restaurant reviews...I'm sure they will come in handy when I'm visiting London next but for now drooling over the pictures will have to do). As an avid home cook I especially like your recipe posts, but in my opinion it's nice to mix it up a bit.

    As I said to you before, it's bloggers like you that inspired me to take on my own little slice of the internet and so I'm really excited that you're going to be blogging full time now.

    Hope you're enjoying dissertation-freedom.

    Anna
    x
    http://theproofofthepudding.net/

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  22. Thank you Anna, the first person to mention the underwhelm! I handed it in at the department reception, signed a piece of paper, and that was it? Bit of an anticlimax, to be honest!


    I'm so glad you've been enjoying my blog, thanks so much for reading!

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  23. Haha yes I was the exact same: Is that it? Not even a congratulations from the receptionist? I had the same feeling after my last ever exam, but then celebrating with everyone else after brings the excitement back I think.

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  24. The receptionist made me fill out a survey on the dissertation module. I could not believe it. Mine was one of the first ones in, and I asked him if on deadline day when everyone was queuing up if he was going to make them all fill that out too. He looked at me in a way that made me think he had not thought ahead properly to the implications of that!

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  25. Yes, this! The day of our hand in (due mid-day) the office shut for their usual 11-1130am coffee break....needless to say there was a queue of fairly anxious undergrads waiting when they got back!

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  26. Congratulations Rachel! What a momentous occasion for you, and what an exciting time in your life! I hope you continue to write, travel, cook and do all of the other things you enjoy. This is the time of your life, and I hope you lap up every single second of it - you deserve it!
    Sophie Harriet x

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  27. Congrats on being done! Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures!

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  28. Congrats! It must be such a huge relief to be finished with full time education and I'm definitely looking forward to everything you have planned next. Can't wait to see it unfold. It's been great working with you so far, and I'm sure we will again very soon! x

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  29. Thanks Katie - I hope you have recovered from the festival! And yes, would be great to work together again on something soon x

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  30. Sound like an amazing time for you! I can remember beeing done with school / studying for good and what an amazing feeling of freedom it has been! :) I can't wait to see what you're going to do next. Whatever it is I'm wishing you all the very best!! :)
    Big hugs from Austria
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

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  31. Congrats on handing in and best of luck for your next steps!

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  32. Congratulations on handing in! I'm just getting started on my MA dissertation... Sounds like you've got some good things lined up.

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  33. Thank you, and good luck!

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  34. I am so pleased this post had the words "I’m going to be taking my blogging full time" in it - when I saw the title, I thought you might be leaving the blogging world! Phew. Glad to hear you're going to carry on writing, and congratulations on giving your dissertation in!

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  35. Thank you! And don't worry, currently I honestly can't visualise a world where I don't blog, and I have so many plans for the site I've had for years but I just have not had time for before now!

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  36. Congratulations on handing in your dissertation! Good luck with your blog, I really like it and look forward to you blogging full time :)
    www.jedisbonjour.blogspot.com

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  37. what a great place to blog no such garden space here in London . Lovely writing style great blog

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  38. Congratulations on finishing, it is the weirdest sensation! I have been reading your blog for years, I can't wait to see what you do next :)


    Maria xxx

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  39. Thanks Maria! I just can't wait to get started on what is next!

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  40. Congrats on finishing, I'm really looking forward to reading about the next stage in your journey!

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