Every year I end the year saying, “Wow, this was a good year!”…and with champagne of course!
But this year, the year of our Lord 2018, will definitely go down in my history books as one of the best and one of the most blessed! I’ve been sharing the ups and downs of these whirlwind past 52 weeks with you all over my social media; but truly, the highs, lows and in-betweens I’ve experienced this year were barely captured in the vivid photos, captions and hashtags you’ve read.
From getting married (eeeek! I still pinch myself!), to writing for publications I’ve only dreamed of, to ticking off some of my fave travel bucket list items, working with brands I love and…simply growing mentally, spiritually and in my business; this year was thebomb.com and I’m recapping…
The best (and some of the worst) of my 2018!
You Wrote for who?
2018 was a
big huge year for my writing! I went into this year challenging myself to expand my writing portfolio and getting my byline in more international publications and websites. Well, honey chile…I did not know that the stars would align and I’d get to add the likes of ESSENCE, XONecole and Forbes under my penman’s belt. But I’d like to stop a second and talk about the importance of speaking your dreams to life and using words of affirmation. For years I “joked” and posted about writing for ESSENCE Magazine, and after they reshared a few of my photos on Instagram and even in their May 2017 issue; I just knew the universe was getting me closer and closer to my dreams. Remember me posting this two years ago?
From constantly posting about this dream on social media, I’m pretty sure I spoke, typed, captioned and hashtagged this into being…and sometimes, that’s just the way dreams work; you have to speak to them!
I was literally conducting a poll on Instagram one day when one of the ESSENCE editors I’m following, chimed in and said she was looking for new travel writers and that I should send in a few pieces! I geeked out and got to work! As for the XONecole and Forbes Travel Guide gigs? Hard work and consistency are to blame! Click the pics to read my 2018 work on these sites!
You married who?
Whew! I’m still pinching myself and swooning, y’all! One of the happiest days of my life happened on August 18, 2018 (8.18.18) when I married my best friend! After a 12-year friendship (he says I friend zoned him way too long lol!), four years of dating and chemistry even the best scientists can’t figure out, we sealed it with a kiss! Before our friends and families I became Mrs. Ianthia Ferguson! Without spilling all the tea here (because I still plan to write a full wedding blog), let me just say…BEST. DAY. EVER!
You spoke there?
“More speaking engagements” was one of the top things on my 2018 list of “things to do.” I love sharing my gift with others, answering questions about blogging, writing and personal branding and just meeting my tribe in person. This year, I was so honored to stand before a variety of audiences and pour my heart and soul out to anyone willing to listen. From taking a walk down career memory lane with the “Media Talks” event at The University of The Bahamas, to chattin’ it up about work, relationships and keepin’ it real with some new ladies at the Sip ‘N Chat panel, sharing some gems about creativity with MAVS and even “ministering” to the church folk at Mount Tabor Church’s Business Forum about why social media is so important for business and even making guest appearances on some podcasts and YouTube shows, I’m so proud that 2018 showed up and showed out for me in this area!
You won what??
Yes, girl, I did! After cold turkey quitting my job four years ago and venturing into the wonderful world of blogging, personal branding and content creation, I actually won an award for it! The Elevation Awards is a Bahamian awards shows geared towards highlighting the wonderful works of local creatives! I was sold the minute they announced they had categories for bloggers and vloggers especially since we’re still fighting to be seen as relevant! I was so excited to learn that I’m again nominated for blog of the year and two other awards for next year’s event…fingers crossed!
You went where??
As with every year, travel plays a big part in how I plan out my 52 weeks and 2018 was no different. Though, this time, it took, not a back seat, but the jump seat, to 8.18.18. Usually the hubs and I squeeze in at least three trips a year, but when the wedding invoices started
raining pouring in I realised that this year the registrar general’s stamp was a tad bit more important than another passport stamp! Still, the universe works in such amazing ways and I was actually able to visit not one, but two of my travel bucket list items for work related events and got invited on the trip of a lifetime! Bae and I actually got to see Morocco very early in the year during our annual NYE trip! It warmed my heart to trek through Chefchaouen and ride camels in Marrakech! To top it off, I FINALLY got to visit Cuba, a place I’ve been dying to get to for about six years! And then, the mother of all trips this year was our honeymoon! We had an amazing time in Panama and Costa Rica and…I’m still working on the blog and vlog…ya girl has been tired man! Also this year I was so honored and humbled to have been invited on the amazing, historic and oh so melanated press trip to Barbados curated by Black Girls Travel Too and the Barbados Tourism Board. They literally handpicked 10 travel influencers from all around the world and let us live our best lives on the island for five days! Full blog coming soon, but the video is below! Even now, I’m typing this blog from my hotel room in Houston, Texas…on our annual NYE trip! How’s that for blessed and extensively travelled?!
You signed with who?
Speaking of travel! One of the most important things happened this year in my work as a travel writer; I signed on as brand ambassador with the Caribbean’s leading travel agency! After two years of building relationships, proving my worth and doing the work, my family at Going Places Travel decided to make it all official! Of course I blogged about, hit the pic to read!
And even with all this amazing-ness that made up parts of a great 2018, I’ve had some not so good days too. From simultaneously losing two freelance contracts to the deaths of loved ones, the failing health of others, doubting myself, procrastinating, missing targets and honestly, damn near giving up; this year has been a serious whirlwind, but it’s also been so bad ass! For every bad time a good time showed it who was boss.
For every doubt I had, determination and drive were set in motion and every time a failure was knocking on my doorstep, faith was whispering, “don’t worry, she wont be be around much longer!” Cheers to 2018 and here’s to 2019!