Top 10 of 2019.

I’ve had an incredible year. To think that the Fyre Festival documentary came out this year means it really has been a wild ride. I didn’t have to resort to anything of the sort to make a deal with Evian but here are the ten best things that have happened to me in no real order.

1. I quit my job.
I hadn’t been happy with what I had been doing for a long time. The right thing came along and the last seven months have flown by. I feel appreciated and a part of something important where I’m working now and that’s not to be overlooked. If you are dreading the thought of getting up tomorrow and dragging yourself into work then now is the best time to start looking elsewhere.

2. Spain.
In January I went to Spain for five days and stayed with my friend Luke. He lives in a van now and has a life that is very different to mine. It was great to see him be so free and to experience hashtag vanlife for a spell.

3. Costa Rica.
In April, perfectly timed as I walked away from my job, I went to Costa Rica for three weeks. It was a last-minute booking based on where I could get to and from with the time I had. While there, I met up with a group of other travellers and we got to venture into the mountains, stay in a hut in the jungle and I got to try my hand at white-water rafting, canyoning and zip-lining. I met some amazing people that I’m hoping I will get to see again in 2020.

4. Paris.
In August, again on a whim, I got an overnight coach to Paris and spent two days wandering around and feeling very continental indeed. I got drunk in the Jardin du Luxembourg and made friends with an Australian girl who then saved my life.

5. Iowa.
In September, I flew to Iowa with my dear friends Darren and Laura, to be part of their continued wedding celebrations. I was welcomed like a member of family and had a wonderful time staying with Monica and Craig. It was close but the $250 cookie recipe nearly made the cut for this countdown.

6. Copenhagen.
In October, four of us went away for a long weekend by accident. We had an amazing time and I got to explore a city I had always had fanciful notions about.

7. New York.
My other BIG TRIP of the year. I got to live my best Holden Caulfield life in the city that never sleeps with Jaz as my tour guide. I ate my body weight in Dunkin’ Donuts and regret absolutely nothing.

8. Writing.
While I haven’t published anything this year, it’s been a strong year of progress. I have written three novels and abandoned a further two as well as constructing a stageplay which I’m hoping will see the light of day in 2020. The big thing was receiving a personal response from one of the top UK agents after submitting my novel, What We Want Most.

9. Improv.
Improv is always going to make the list. This year I’ve performed in six shows as part of the Laughter Academy showcases as well as others at other venues. I took on 12 hours of the Improvathon which was so much fun to be a part of. I started co-hosting Improv Jams with Robbie and this has renewed my passion for it. I’m hoping to host more in 2020. I also had a go at stand up again this year after not trusting my feet with it for so long.

10. Improve.
I’ve noticed a real difference in myself in the last year. I don’t know if it has come as a result of simply growing older but I certainly spend less of my time worrying about what other people think or “rolodexing” as I always called it, where my mind would flip through varying topics. It goes without saying that my mental health is in a better place than possibly ever before. I also recognise my abilities and limitations in a way I haven’t been able to before. I’m comfortable in my skin and better as a result of all of my experiences. Here’s to 2020.

Published by Paul

Paperback writer.

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