In a blink of an eye, 2017 is on its surprising end. Time is running out. I started working full time on this blog in 2014, and I can’t believe it has been three years already.
This year has been privy to a myriad of emotions, chaotic schedules and many disappointments. From not being able to work with certain brands to not being able to establish a stronger base in Switzerland, 2017 has been a year full of valuable lessons.
But today is not about feeling sad for all the things that didn’t go as expected, but it’s about revisiting all those big things that did happen in 2017.
The end of the year, definitely makes me reflect (and I’ve been like this since I was 18). Add to this my birthday (I’m thirty-two. That’s two more than 30), forces me to do a quick rewind (not as cool as YouTube though). So here’s what happened:
#1 We Went Big On Lifestyle This Year
The year started on a positive note: collaborating with CashKaro and Coolpad was both interesting and encouraging. Talking about technology (especially phone cameras) is something that comes straight from the heart and so was meeting the couple who lets every consumer enjoy affiliate marketing. Over the months, I was able to create refreshing content for brands like Whisper, Kent, ICICI Lombard, Gold 24, Asian Paints, PUMA, John Jacobs, Bvlgari, Salvatore Ferragamo, Maybelline, Deborah Milano and Speedo. It was a really special moment to work with brands like Teach For India and Nestle, it helped me redeem my karma points. We were also able to work with the new-on-the block brands which I’d like to call the debutants this year (please show some support by reading about them here) like Soeder, Damsel Code, Song Of India and Curtain Hop.
#2 We Relished Our Food, And You Did Too!
The middle of this year saw some great reviews on food and positive associations. I had finally started updating Zomato (to think I’d be more serious doing this especially after spending a bomb going out every week!). My favourites would have to be Delhi Cocktail Week, Sorrento and Kheer. Honestly, both Pragati and I are most active on Instagram when it came to food, but I guess it’s time to re-think that.
#3 We’re Stoked About Our Entertainment Section
Being true to who we are, we decided to show our obsession with sitcoms and started doing entertainment round-ups with monthly reviews of what we binge-watched on Netflix, Amazon and Hot Star. Remember Game of Thrones Season 7 (golden times of the year!)? We were happy to have helped our readers find something new to binge on, but our highlight was the very special post we did for 13 Reasons Why. A sensitive show on abuse, bullying, rape and suicide – never in my life could I imagine so many people coming out and sharing their stories. And this has got to be the most rewarding day as a writer.
#4 Be for Beauty and Swiss Collaborations
While Pragati did new collaborations with The Living Room, Dhania, Paisley and Teaspoon Living that revolved around wellness, she also attended one of the biggest milestones of Haute horology: Basel World 2017. Of course, we were underprepared and had no access to VIP lounges, the sheer exposure of the grandiose event and entity like Basel World gave us goosebumps. I’m happy to announce that we’ve already gotten our press passes for 2018!
#5 Working with International Brands
Speaking of horology and good inventions, we got to work Sudio, a brand based out of Sweden who specialises in making stylish earphones and headphones. Without a doubt, my VASA BLA headphones are the most good looking earphones I’ve seen this year! We were fortunate to be approached by JORD based in the United States: true connoisseurs in the world of luxury. They make beautiful wooden watches that are made to measure. Perhaps, a big achievement for the blog was Pragati’s association with SWATCH. A brand we’ve wearing for years but working with this Swiss brand was an exciting experience.
Counting our social media and blog collaborations, I’m happy to share that we worked with more than 35 brands this year.
#6 Travel Diaries: Be For Beauty
If you’ve ever read my travel posts, I always start with a disclaimer. I always want to cancel my travel plans. I’ve always been like that. Back when I wrote at the Inspired Traveller, I confessed about how I was very rigid and was stuck in a city bubble for over 25 years of my life. This year, I was going to cancel both the plans that were made: Bali and Switzerland.
After my ex-boyfriend had painted the most beautiful picture of Bali, and of course after watching Eat, Pray, Love, Bali had been on my bucket list for 7 years. But when the time came to make bookings, I flaked. It was only because I was travelling with my mom (who NEVER travels) and my sweet sister’s evergreen blackmail that I paid up and went to Bali. The trip was short and humid. But I liked it. And I’m positive about going back to Bali and sitting on a beach while drinking Bintang till the sun comes down.
Shortly after the end of my relationship, I was very low. Fortunately, work was catching up but come on, a city like Delhi gets to you. The uncertainty of life combined with the heartache of losing someone you cared had started haunting me. And a lot of positive souls in my life, some new friends and some old, encouraged me to leave.
And I had the best time.
I fell in love with Basel, I got lost in Zurich, I froze in Zermatt and I couldn’t stop smiling in Thun. That’s the thing about travel: you learn so much about people, about the history and more importantly, you remind yourself of how life could be different. Only if you want it to be.
Thanks to my BIL (that’s brother-in-law), I saw another part of the world I’d never thought would happen: Cote D Azur. I was absolutely elated after spending 5 days of my life in French Riviera. Of course, I realised how poor I was when went to Monaco, or when I realised there’s something called yacht watching in their wold. But it also gave me the aspiration to come back, get some beach and chill.
Just stop thinking.
While I wrote about these three experiences, Pragati’s travelogues to Spain, Croatia and Switzerland did exceptionally well. She’s currently working on her Prague travelogue at the airport. I can honestly tell you that we’re very excited about writing about travel for people like us: active travellers, half scared, half excited and mostly annoying.
I think it’s time to plan more trips for 2018. And then question it.
It would be really shitty of me to take all the credit. So let me say thank you.
Pragati Siddhanti: My sister, who came onboard 1.5 years ago and was going through an intense transition in her life joined me. I’ve no qualms about admitting that we don’t see eye-to-eye on many matters but what is unmissable is her passion for entrepreneurship. So I’m very glad that she’s here!
A big thank you to Team Ripple Links, Team Blogmint and the fantastic PR teams I’m in touch with.
Can’t wait for 2018!
Photos by Abhimanyu Choudhary I Bags by Love Leather
To read our 2016 report, click here.