The year started off on an absolute high when I landed the job of CEO of Emfuleni Corridor Tourism. After 6 years at Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism it was time for a change and ECTOUR offered me a big promotion from where I was and the opportunity to tackle more diverse challenges. In addition I get to promote the whole province and not just the city allowing me to truly be an ambassador for tourism in the whole of the Eastern Cape. It has also given me the opportunity to travel a bit more, not just around the beautiful Eastern Cape but also in South Africa. Can you hear me say roadtrip?
In February I appeared in a Geocaching insert on Pasella on SABC 2 and in April I was named the 2013 Port Elizabeth Geocacher of the Year at the annual awards. I also ended up the year a lot lighter than I started it having lost nearly 20 kilograms in the second half of the year and in the process taking second place nationally in the annual Annique Slimming Challenge Competition.
On the blogging and social media front I feel like its been a good year. Both my blogs are going well and I have been at it for over 6 years now. My Twitter following is just short of 2000 and I have finally gotten rid of the ol' Blackberry which means I am now on Instagram as well. During the year I was also privileged to be included on the TravelStart 100 Africa Travel Experts on Twitter and the Travel Opulent Box Twitter Top 99 to interact with lists. Attending Indaba, WTM and e-Tourism Africa Summit not only benefited me from a tourism point of view but also from a social media perspective and along the way I learned a lot and got to meet quite a few travel bloggers and influencers I have only known online up to then. On the down side I still struggle with being a blogger and influencer based in Port Elizabeth. Because I'm not in Cape Town of Jozi and don't get to attend events there I get very much forgotten by marketers and the like making use of bloggers in their campaigns. Meanwhile back at the ranch here in PE the tourism related marketers just don't seem to get the value of getting bloggers (and in particular this local blogger) involved in their campaigns.
After a hectic year we were looking forward to two weeks away from everything in the Drakensberg when the Damselfly found out mid December that she had breast cancer. Since then she's been for a biopsy and surgery and the tests since then has come back negative so it seems they got it early. In the next week or two she'll go for a couple more tests but we are remaining positive that they got it all. If so then its just the corrective surgery and standard cancer treatment to come. Its at times like this you realise how many people out really care and the flood of prayers and good wishes was really overwhelming and I thank everybody for that.
Now that leaves 2015. What will this year bring? After everything that has happened at the end of 2014 I have decided that I'm not going to casually sit back anymore. I'm going to do everything full out and stop putting things off for later or next month or next year. This goes for my family, work, hobbies, blogging, social media, Geocaching, whatever.
Work wise its going to be busy year. I've been in my position for 11 months and now know what is expected of me. As soon as I'm back at work I'm getting my teeth into my planning and budgeting for the year and then its diving in head first. Social media wise I want to seriously put some effort into growing my profile as a blogger and travel influencer. So my new years resolutions are quite straight forward. Keep doing what I have been doing, just do it better.
Wishing all the readers, followers and supporters of The Firefly Photo Files, Port Elizabeth Daily Photo and FireflyAfrica in general, a wonderful and prosperous 2015.