Wow, where to even start? This year has been both one of the best and worst of my life and now, at the end of 2018, its time to look back and reflect on it. I love doing these kind of posts because it serves as a memory jogger of just how much I’ve accomplished in each twelve month period. This year has been full of highs and lows, chapters closing in my life and new ones opening, and of course, some amazing travel destinations! I want to thank each and every one of you for following me on my journey and for all your love, encouragement and support through this year. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to continue to share my adventures into the 2019 and I hope you will continue to enjoy my ramblings, fur-baby photos and traveling escapades into the new year!
I decided this year to do a few blog posts regarding 2018 because I wanted to reflect on my own year, but also on the things I learnt and the events which have stuck with me that have occurred around the world which I think are particularly potent and need addressing. So I have decided to begin with the latter, and firstly reflect on the things that have happened this year which struck a chord with me.
First and foremost, I’d like us all to spare a thought to all those ( both human and animal) who were affected by the Indonesian Tsunami. While most of us were exchanging gifts and stuffing our faces with festive food, there are those who are not so lucky. It’s times like this where I suffer from a real internal battle because, I always feel like I should do more in these circumstances,I chose the career I did in order to do good in the world and sometimes I feel I fall short. Giving money can definitely help provide aid, but I sometimes wish I was braver, and in a better position to donate my time too. My hat goes off to the courageous individuals who put themselves at risk to help others in need and I hope one day I will be in the right place, where I too can provide this sort of help.
It’s not only people in far off countries that need help this Christmas period. In the UK many people and animals are suffering the cold on the streets of Britain because they have nowhere to go. According to research by homeless.org, 4,751 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night and many of these homeless people have pets. Although having a pet on the street has proven to improve health and welfare of the homeless, it makes it even harder for them to find shelter due to no-pets policy of many charity and government run houses. Additionally, the health care of the pet often can’t be afforded. However, this is something I feel I maybe can do something about! As of the new year, I’m joining a fantastic charity called Street Paws who provide veterinary care to homeless pets in the UK. I am really excited to get out there and put my degree to good use and if you’re feeling generous this festive season then please check out their website below and donate to help this amazing cause. https://streetpaws.co.uk
It’s been a busy year for the Royal Family this year; 2 weddings, 2 babies ( and Meghan and Prince Harry’s first child on the way) and the queen celebrating her 92nd Birthday, while Prince Charles turned 70. I sincerely hope she lives to see the birth of a few more great grandchildren and a celebrate more Birthdays of her own! I know many people have mixed feelings about the Royal Family, but personally I am very quintessentially British when it comes to our Monarchy and I feel very proud to have them. I think they do a lot of good in the world and that can never be a bad thing, they consistently show how progressive they are with their willingness to embrace different cultures and accept new concepts. Their calendars are consistently packed with visits to charities, entertaining world leaders (even ones you don’t like *cough cough Donald Trump) and speaking at events and all of this while constantly being in the public eye – this job is most definitely not a walk in the park!
Onto another one of my favourite 92 year-olds! The recent BBC documentary series Dynasties was one of the most talked about things on TV. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, I was of course glued to the TV screen every Sunday evening. Another powerful documentary series 2017’s Blue Planet 2 won the Impact award at this year’s National Television Awards and was commended for it’s driving force to evoke a nationwide awareness of the plastic threat to our earth. The award was of course received by my hero, the fantastic Sir David Attenborough who spoke earlier this year at the United Nations Climate Change Conference declaring a war on plastic. This last few months I’ve been much more aware of just how much plastic features in our lives, the unfortunate reality is it’s a plague. If you begin to pay attention you’ll see it’s literally everywhere. The unfortunate reality is, that although recycling is definitely better than filling landfills and producing more plastic products, it’s not as simple as it may appear; there are so many different types of plastic and often products are made out of a mixture so can’t be recycled. If things aren’t rinsed out properly or have lids on they often can’t be recycled and the energy it takes to recycle plastic is just as much as what takes to newly produce it. So my take home message for this new year is please try to be aware of your plastic usage. Say no thank you to the plastic straw for your drink. Could you bring your own mug to the coffee shop rather than using a plastic coated one? Do you need the plastic fork with your takeaway? Little things may not seem like much but if everyone makes a few small changes, the impact can be hugely beneficial. My new years resolution is to try and be better; be more eco-friendly, say no to plastic, recycle more, and I hope I can encourage some of you to try and make it your resolution too!
On a similar topic, many of you will be aware that Iceland’s Christmas advert caused a lot of controversy, and as it links so nicely with the above paragraph I’d like to talk about it. Palm oil is a product sourced from certain palm plants and is an ingredient in a scary amount of food and beauty products (around 50% of what’s on supermarket shelves). Firstly I would like to commend Iceland for taking a stand and causing palm oil to become a topic of conversation amongst the general public. However, is palm oil free the way to go? I am unsure about this in the long run, but for now I feel this is unattainable. After some research what my aim will be in terms of my palm oil usage will be to try and reduce the amount of palm oil products I use and to ensure the products I do use are from a sustainable source. I mean, let’s think about this, thousands of people’s livelihood depends on the palm oil industry and to just deny them this income would ruin lives. What we need to aim towards is sustainable palm oil production with ethical practices to ensure the preservation of nature in these areas. Chester Zoo Act for wildlife have a great document free to download which contains companies whose products are produced from sustainable palm oil suppliers. https://www.actforwildlife.org.uk/get-involved/take-conservation-action/take-the-sustainable-palm-oil-challenge/shopping-list/
There are probably so many other significant things which happened this year but I have a memory like a goldfish so these are the ones which made an impact enough for me to remember! But here it is, it was a little controversial and political at times but hey-ho, that’s what freedom of speech is for right? I hope these events struck a chord with some of you too and started a few conversations and that maybe this post has encouraged some of you to make a few New Year’s Resolutions which benefit more than just your waist line (I will give up chocolate) or your TV addicition (I will stop watching Netflix)! Stay tuned for ‘What I learnt in 2018’ and ‘The Baby-vet’s 2018’ for those of you who want to know what I got up to this year!