I've been blogging now for four years, how CRAZY is that!
It's honestly been the fastest four years of my life and of course the most amazing.
I've quite literally just celebrated my fourth year in this little space that I created for myself, and for us, and to celebrate... I came offline!
How weird is that!
This last year in-particular has been the most amazing year of my life; it's been jam packed, full to the brim with awesome opportunities and of course a heck load of fun; a total dream come true to say the least!
I then kicked off 2017 with a SERIOUS bang and with two trips to the USA which you've all heard oh-so much about; I can't quite explain how truly honoured and humbled I am to have been able to go there with my job... TWICE! A space I'd started for uni which turned into a hobby and eventually into my full time job, it's quite honestly mind-boggling!
But when I returned I was well and truly pooped and, well, something had to give.
Not only did I develop an absolutely agonising lower back problem from the four long(ish)-haul flights in the space of two weeks, but I was completely and utterly out of content creating mojo.
I was a complete misery guts, I was shattered, in pain and I was hard on myself for feeling that way, which consequently left me not really feeling or being myself.
I needed a break!
George and I have a real love affair with his home town of Helmsley so we packed up a suitcase and headed to our favourite little countryside haven for the weekend. We took my parents with us too for the ultimate family weekend in the country; just me, George and our wonderful families.
After the short 90 minute drive from Manchester to Helmsley and with a LARGE gin and tonic in my hand I gave up my phone, handing it to my dad and saying "hide it!"
And that is exactly what he did, almost three whole days without it... I was MORE THAN ready!
Helmsley is the most beautiful little town in the world!
It's my absolute happy place and I know that it's George's too. We've already made so many beautiful memories in this small town and I truly love going there to escape the trials and tribulations of every day life.
George's parents have a beautiful home in Helmsley, a real Aladdin's cave of the most beautiful decor with a real countryside feel to it, it is total perfection!
It only really takes one night in George's HUGE and oh-so comfortable queen-sized bed and a hearty Aga-cooked breakfast to make me feel better again... Especially with countless cuddles from George's dog Biggie... I mean just look at that face.
The six of us took a drive through the country, stopping off in local pubs along the way and making the most of the unusually mild February weather. Just 16 hours into our digital detox and I was already beginning to feel more like myself, more inspired and most importantly more relaxed... despite my agonising back pain.
We eventually arrived at our final destination... Whitby aka the sweetest seaside town in the country with some absolutely stunning views to boot.
George and I had one of our first dates here so it really is a very special place to me indeed.
It's totally adorable with a real old England feel to it; street after street of local shops, cafe's and pubs, it's the perfect destination for a family day out.
Whilst being totally traditional on the surface, Whitby has a dark edge, attracting Goths and Steam Punks in their droves due to it's Gothic Whitby Abbey and how it was Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula... How awesome is that!?
It felt weird to be in such a gorgeous location but to not have the option to share it with you guys.
My phone was a good hour away back in Helmsley and it felt great... SO VERY GREAT! But yes, weird all the same.
I've shared so much with you over the past four years and to actually announce that I was having a weekend off was odd and rather out of character for me, but now I see just how important it was, and is for us all.
It's so easy to get bogged down in your job. To churn out the same things day-in-day-out and begin to lose your creative flair. I felt that I was losing what it meant to be Megan and it wasn't like me at all.
Sometimes all you need is a weekend away with those you love the most to make you feel like yourself again.
For me, family really is everything.
I'm very lucky to have such a cool family, a family that are SERIOUSLY supportive in everything I do, but also a family who are SO much fun; my mum and dad are my best mates and I'm certainly not afraid to say that.
Spending a weekend away with them, George's parents and of course the love of my life George, it was all I needed to get things realigned and back on track and it was also the perfect excuse to dust off my camera and take some snaps... Just because.
I mentioned a few posts back now (here) that this year I am truly wanting to up my photography skills and just simply take more photographs, just for the hell of it. It felt good to take tonnes of photographs with no real view of ever doing anything with them. But what felt even better was when I came to look at them the following week and realising that I actually wanted to share them.
Sometimes that kind of content is the best kind of content, the kind you just stumble upon.
Now I honestly don't suppose there are many of you still reading this now, but it's been rather therapeutic to write this post and to hit publish, I must say. I'm writing this down as a reminder to take time out. To relax a little more and just do me. And just do me and him. The past four years have been incredible but it's been the last year that's made me realise exactly what I want from life and how I'm going to work to achieve it. My job is a dream, but family and love is everything and I'm going to take more time for both of them now.
George and I already have our next digital detox penned in for March and I simply cannot wait!
I hope you've enjoyed reading this, just a little ramble of notes and a whole host of snap shots from our weekend away. Shots taken on a camera rather than a phone and words written from the soul.
It really is a testament to what family can do for the mind and what eating ice-cream, fish & chips and a heck load of rock can do for the soul.
I hope this has inspired you to take some time out for you and your loved ones. To put your phone away for a day or two and just be in the moment once and for all... Trust me you'll feel bloody great afterwards.