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Reflecting Back on 2018: Travel, a New Career and Inspiring Friends

It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - www.channongray.com // heythereChannon
Written by Channon Gray

2018 – what a year!

This year has topped all the others both in its highs and lows. 2018 has been a challenge from the start. It has given me the opportunity to discover my determination for anything life throws my way. I’ve surprised myself again, again and again.

I focused more on my wellbeing and getting stuff done! I was able to travel, start a new career in teaching and meet many inspiring people along the way.

It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - www.channongray.com // heythereChannon

January started off in good stead (for once) with me securing a place at Cambridge University. This was a lifelong dream of mine and something that I never thought would happen. I also fully embraced my ‘first proper’ job at my local Primary School as a Teaching Assistant. It was the most tiring yet rewarding job. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t enjoy even those that lasted 10+ hours on my feet. I discovered my love of teaching and its what lead to where I am today. We also had a visit from the Beast From The East in the form of snow days for at least a week – it was the first time that many of the children in my class had seen real snow!

April saw my 22nd birthday which wasn’t a big ordeal but one that I spent with family wondering around Lanhydrock, a National Trust property in Cornwall with my new Polaroid camera.

It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - www.channongray.com // heythereChannon

The Summer, 98 days in the USA:

I flew to America on May 31st to begin my role as a Summer Camp Counsellor at French Woods Festival of Performing Arts in the Silkscreen department. I’ll be honest, I underestimated how difficult 3+ months in the middle of nowhere working 24 hours a day, 7-days a week with only 1 day off occasionally would actually be. Every day started at 6:30 am and did not end until midnight but even then you are on duty for the children throughout the night. It was physically and mentally exhausting. For sure, the hardest job I will ever do but one that I miss terribly since moving back to the UK. America saw the highest and lowest days of 2018.

NYC can get very expensive when stopping by to visit; however, Manhattan on a Budget is possible. You can see a lot of the city for not a lot of dollar if plan ahead and think wisely about what you want to do. I visited for just a day and managed to see a lot of what NYC has to offer. - heythereChannon // www.channongray.com

It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - www.channongray.com // heythereChannon

Despite getting very unwell and almost having to give into flying home on medical grounds, I stuck it out and loved being able to explore New York and its surrounding States. I even visited Canada for the day at Niagara Falls! I visited Philadelphia, Ithaca, NYC and more. Similarly, July 4th in the USA was fantastic! However, the best part of Camp was the people: campers and counsellors alike. I was fortunate enough to spend my time there with some incredibly inspirational children and fellow counsellors. It was an experience that changed my life for the better and proved to myself my own determination. Would I go back? Absolutely, tomorrow if I could!

At the end of my time in New York, I spent a few days on my own in New York City where I saw Chicago, visited Central Park Zoo and the 9/11 Memorial site. It was the perfect way to finish off such an awesome few months away.

If you’d like to read more about my travels then you can do so here

From America to Cambridge University…

More or less immediately, in September, I began my PGCE General Primary Teacher-Training year at Cambridge University. The course has been full-on from the get-go with endless paperwork but nevertheless fun and exciting. In October, I taught my first ever full lesson (Ambitious Adjectives in English based on WW2). The next week was a Year 6 Math’s lesson on long division formal written methods – scary stuff! I also launched my Teaching blog which remains a work-in-progress but has many exciting things already planned for 2019. Although once again, the people that I have met throughout my teacher training have already served as the best support network I’ve ever had. I owe a huge thank you to them!

It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - www.channongray.com // heythereChannon

It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - www.channongray.com // heythereChannon

In December, I attended the Blogosphere Winter Festival which was a lovely event. I was reunited with Beth from Beth Sandland who I have known since my University days and freshers week of second year. Likewise, I got to chat with several other Bloggers and Instagrammers alike in the grand Landmark Hotel, Marylebone.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won’t be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers, and friendships. I even made friends with a penguin!

It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - www.channongray.com // heythereChannon

What about 2019?

Well, 2019 is going to be a busy one as I finish my Teacher-Training year and (hopefully) land my first teaching position. But most excitingly, we are off to Walt Disney World in Florida for the first time ever and even at my age, I cannot describe my excitement! Of course, all of those adventures will be shared on here throughout the year so stop by again.

What was your highlight for 2018 and what are your plans for 2019? Let me know in the comments! 

If you’d like to get in contact with me then you can do so here.

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It's been a whirlwind of a year and 2019 already looks like it won't be slowing down either! 2018 has been one of travel, new careers and friendships.  Reflecting back on 2018 I've realised how determined I am when faced with challenge! - www.channongray.com // heythereChannon #travel #blogging #USA #newyork #NYC #2018

About the author

Channon Gray

I'm Channon and yes, it's spelt wrong, but that is interesting right? I'm 23 years young. I like to write, create art and travel. Cornish bumpkin who studied in London then Cambridge. I'm now a Postgraduate Student, Stationery Addict and all-round Life Enthusiast.

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