Like every year, 2014 was full of highs and lows, but somehow I feel my highs were a little higher than usual and my lows a little lower. I had some awful times which I won't go into, but I'm happy to say I'm doing my best to leave the causes of those behind me. So lets stick to the positives - here are my favourite things of 2014 by category.
Visiting Iceland with my school was probably one of the best experiences of my life, let alone 2014. I wrote quite a long post about it back in May so I won't go on about it too much here, but I'd really love to go back and see the beautiful landscapes, colourful little houses, incredible northern lights and so much more all over again. This year I also went to Canada and the US to visit family, which was a fabulous trip: in Canada we saw Niagara Falls, went up the CN tower and tried real authentic maple syrup, while in California we went to Alcatraz, drove along 17 mile drive and visited Monterey. Although I'd been to the US before, it was way back in 2007 so it was really nice to experience it again with a more grown-up perspective - and to take advantage of the shopping, of course. A little less excitingly, I also went to the UK for a couple of weeks in July, to Spain in August, to Antwerp with my Geography class in September, and to London with my school in both January and November.
Since I got an iPod for Christmas 2013, 2014 was definitely the year I explored my own music taste in a lot more detail. I also delved a little deeper into Lana Del Rey's unreleased material - I know this is a slightly controversial area, but bypassing that a minute I can safely say it became (and will remain) some of my absolute favourite music. I also discovered a great appreciation for Bastille, HAIM, Lorde, and obviously the fabulous Emilie Autumn, but I'd also like to mention Melanie Martinez as a late favourite of mine - she's hella rad, to use Tumblr lingo.
|My favourite unreleased Lana songs|
I discovered so many amazing books in 2014, and acquired a significant number too, most of which will remain unread until 2016 at least. Ones that stood out are Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, Gilt by Katherine Longshore and the book I'm currently reading, Letters of Note compiled by Shaun Usher. I think this was the year where I truly left my soft sci-fi/dystopian fixation behind and (thankfully) moved onto other things.
My discovery of ASMR videos in August has changed my life (see this post). I absolutely adore them, but the only problem is that they're often 30+ minutes long and I have limited time to watch them in! That said, I love falling asleep to some soothing sounds and whispering, so I manage to fit them in. My favourite ASMRtists these days are Brittany ASMR, GentleWhispering, MissASMR, albinwhisperland and of course TheWaterwhispers. Obviously, I've also been keeping up with mainstream YouTubers such as SprinkleofGlitter, Zoella, Tanya Burr, Fleur DeForce, Emma Blackery, Grace Helbig, Jim Chapman, Dan Howell, Hazel Hayes, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Hannah Hart, vlogbrothers, Troye Sivan, Tyler Oakley, Evelina, Gabriella, BriBry, RoseEllenDix etc.
In 2014 I also made accounts on Instagram, Goodreads and Bloglovin'. I actually made my Goodreads account on the 30th of December, so it's technically a 2014 favourite but I'm planning to really get into it in 2015. I've spent the past few days trying to remember all the books I've ever read and adding them there in an attempt to have a centralised list of everything I've read. I'm really loving Instagram so far, although I probably don't post the typical sort of photos. It's really changing the way I see things, as I'm always on the lookout for a good photo opportunity!
I can probably think of a lot more favourites if I try hard enough, but these are merely the ones that spring to mind. I wish you all a happy new year - I hope it's a good one!