Hey team! Welcome to 2020. I hope you all had the best Christmas and New Years period and that you aren't struggling too much getting back into the work spirit. I worked right through the holiday period, including all four stat holidays so I kind of feel like I never got that break I was meant to enjoy. However, I have been having the most fun exploring Central Otago and making the most of the time I am down here house sitting.
I do want to write up a 2019 recap post where I go through some of the cool things Diego and I done, and some of my favourite photos from each month. However, I really want to get my 2020 goals and resolutions down first, so that's why you are reading this post first. After you have read through my list, I would love to hear about what you want to do, achieve, see in 2020 as well! Either leave us a comment on this blog post, or message us through Instagram and Facebook.
1. Spend less money on dog things I don't need
I feel like this one is pretty self explanatory. I spend way too much on Diego, especially considering most of it is for duplicates of items he already owns. I haven't got around to counting how much duplicates he has, but I may do that when I get back home to Whanganui. Like, he definitely has over ten collars, and for only one neck. To make sure I really stuck to this budget, I went through my 2019 expenses to work out how much I spent on Diego within the year. This figure may be slightly off as I was only looking for transaction names that were clearly for Diego, and if I got him stuff from generic stores like the warehouse/kmart I couldn't be certain they were his. In total, in 2019 I spent $2,747.31 on dog products. Now, as I was going through my purchases I also realised I think I spent less in 2019 than previous years as I was buying a lot of camping equipment/paying for travel instead. However, nearly $3,000 on dog products seems quite excessive. Here is the rough breakdown on where that money went:
Pet.co.nz: $444.26 (This will mainly be Diego's Omega Plus Kibble, but can also be treats/giveaway prizes)
Vet Bills: $706.06
Collars: $669.45 (This was based off store name, and might have had bandanas or other products in it. Also, can contain money to purchase giveaway prizes)
Human Apparel: $178.40
Remaining Balance: $572.14 (This is a range of things from toys, treats and generic dog things that don't fall under the above categories.)
I feel like looking at this breakdown really hits home how much random silly things I have been purchasing all year. This resolution also rolls into the next one as well quite nicely.
2. Be more conscious of the impact I have on the environment
Recently I have been really thinking of the impact I have on this world, and the future of the planet. I think it is easy enough to think we may be only one small person, and what difference would we make, but if all of us think that, that's billions of people. Whereas, if all of us make small conscious choices on a daily basis, we could be doing a world of difference. Recently, my good friend Ash shared the below infographic on her Facebook page and one of her other friends commented how every single nappy that has been created/used is somewhere in the world still. That hit me quite hard and made me realise that even if we are making small, little changes that hardly affect our daily life, it can have a huge impact on the full scheme of things.
For 2020, I want to make better choices around what I am purchasing, and where I am purchasing it from. I think with buying less things I don't need for Diego is a great forward step. After that, I also want to look into getting into more re-usable products like takeaway coffee cups, metal food containers, beeswax wraps, as well as go towards the most biodegradable dog poo bags. I will do a full blog post on what I am starting to implement, but these are just small things I am thinking of on the top of my head currently.
3. Hike more
This one seems quite generic, but I am hoping that instead of putting a limit on it, I just say more will make it more achievable. I was going to do the 52 hikes in 52 weeks, but I then became confused on what I should consider a hike. Is it something that goes uphill, is it a certain time frame, if I walk on the flat for five hours is that counted? Things like that threw me off, so instead I have made it just to hike more. Explore more of the wonderful country we live in, and spend more time doing something that I honestly really enjoy. I love how I feel after hiking, as well as feeling more emotionally stable after being out in nature. It does both Diego and myself good and I just need to make sure I make it a priority in Winter as well to put those winter blues at bay. I am also doing the Tongariro Northern Circuit in March which I am very excited for. It will be my first 'Great Walk' and I can't wait to get it under my belt so one day I can have done all of them.
4. Move to Central Otago
After the hundreds of jokes about me trying to find a Cromwell boyfriend so I can move down here, I have actually decided I want to move here for real. I haven't found that boyfriend to pay for everything yet though. After being in Central Otago for the past few weeks, I have realised how much I love this area and how much it suits my current passions. There are a range of awesome dog friendly hikes around, there are lakes for water activities, and it is close to a range of other awesome adventures. I have also found that the people here are a lot more passionate about the same things as me, and are inspiring to talk with. Compared to Whanganui, Central Otago just really makes me thrive and I want to be in this area for a little bit. It's obviously going to be quite hard to find a house that will accept Diego, and also will be a more financially taxing place to live, but I think the positives well outweigh the negatives and life is short. Move to a crazy cool place just for the sake of it. Currently, I am still tossing up between Cromwell and Wanaka as the place I want to end up, but I am open to anything in this area realistically. I might just have to get Lu and Tim to put a granny flat on their property for me :P
5. Produce more amazing content
The last few years have definitely been what I would consider 'growth years' of me learning how I want to fit into this world, and what I enjoy. I feel like the blog has really taken a back seat as I have tried to navigate all this, but when I really sit down and think about what makes me happy, the blog and YouTube channel is it. I love creating content, and pushing the limits of my creativity for you guys. I love the amazing community we have built up, and the friends I have made through this. I am not really sure where my blog will go this year with these new resolutions going around in my head. I am not sure how I will keep doing product reviews when I am no longer purchasing, or trying to be eco-friendly. Let me know if you have any ideas of things you would want to see! I will definitely be looking at doing more content around dog-friendly walks, places and camping but please really do let me know if you have any other suggestions for things you would like us to talk about.