Goodbye 2011. Hello 2012.

A belated New Year post to try to summarise a busy 2011 and outline an exciting 2012.

Last year was a real transitional year for me, changing job & city – both were tough decisions and not without consequence (just ask my long suffering girlfriend!).

A brief list of personal highlights from 2011:

Travel

Another year for me to wince at my carbon footprint as I was lucky enough to visit:

  • New York – My first trip to the Big Apple with my buddy Sam – March
  • Turkey – A relaxing (all-inclusive) break with my girlfriend just outside Altinkum – June
  • Bulgaria – Another football tour with pristine pitches and Bulgarian football legends – July
  • Prague – A short break in this beautiful city with my girlfriend – November

 Music

It was always going to be difficult to top 2010 and a visit to Miami for the WMC, instead I went to a few club nights in London:

  • Erick Morillo at Pulse (a showman as always, Morillo was jumping round the box all night, just a shame about the huge queues to get in)
  • Toolroom Knights at Ministry of Sound (Mark Knight & Umek were fantastic)
  • Toolroom Knights 5th Birthday at the O2 Academy Brixton (brilliant night with some great live PA’s – especially The Man with the Red Face saxophonist)

Work

Towards the backend of 2011 I made the decision to leave OuterArc, the Nottingham-based startup I’d been at since Jan 2009 (after university). It was a difficult call, I learned a hell of a lot and enjoyed every minute of it but I felt it was time to move on.

Given that a few of my friends had just started jobs down in London I gave up a place I loved in Nottingham and moved home with my parents while I sought my next move.

After a couple of weeks I saw a job post for an intern at a startup called PeerIndex, looking at social media marketing and word of mouth advocacy. To cut a long story short the opportunity was perfect and I was offered the chance to join.

Fast forward two months to the start of 2012 – I’m loving it and look forward to an exciting year ahead having accepted a full time role.

Outside of day to day work, I also became involved with updating the Tribewanted.com platform [to launch in 2012], something close to my heart after visiting the Sierra Leone project in 2010.

Misc

Other random things: I enjoyed starting the Nott Cast podcast with my friend Ollie, contributing to the 3six5 project (my post is here) and catching Joe Rogan in Birmingham.

2011: In the news

Where to start: the Arab Spring, the Royal Wedding, the UK riots, the Giggs super injunction twitter fiasco, Steve Jobs passing away, the eurozone crisis – the list goes on.

2012: Looking ahead

I’m looking forward to a busy (but enjoyable!) year at PeerIndex, moving to London in early February, getting the new Tribewanted.com platform out there, the Olympics (of course), Euro 2012 (please no more penalty shootouts).

Music: Going to Tomorrowland (Belgium), trying to catch Joris Voorn & Sharam

Travel: Canada (to see my friend Simon) and possibly Thailand (if my girlfriend has her way!).

Thanks to all those that helped me last year and I look forward to catching up with friends, old & new in the coming 12 months.

2010 Wrap Up

First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you had a great time over the Christmas holidays, I know I did.

At the start of 2011 I wanted to write a post to take a look back at an amazing 2010 – boat parties, football stadiums, sunshine, beats, tribal dances, lagoons, DJs, fishermen and Prime Minister’s.

My first overseas trip last year was to Miami, in March, for the week long Winter Music Conference. I made the pilgrimage to Miami after years of hearing about it as the trend setting musical destination that shapes the summer and I was not left disappointed.

The Main Stage at Ultra Music Festival 2010, Miami

The Main Stage at Ultra Music Festival 2010, Miami

It was an incredible trip. I was lucky enough to catch some of my favourite DJ’s and enjoy all the musical madness under the Florida sun. Read more about the trip here.

In August I traveled with my local (amateur) football club, Nottingham United to Bulgaria for a pre-season tour. I left the UK with the rest of the team, not really knowing what to expect.

The Nottingham United FC Team that toured Bulgaria, August 2010

The Nottingham United FC Team that toured Bulgaria, August 2010

We had a great time, the football schedule was a little full-on but, we got to play some very good teams, even one that included the current Bulgarian Prime Minister. Aside from the football we also got to explore one of the national parks and admire the beautiful scenery of a country I knew very little about before travelling there. Read more about the Bulgaria trip here.

From the beautiful to the sublime, the start of October saw me heading to Sierra Leone for the start of the TribeWanted project there. The lure of the unknown and the chance to explore somewhere completely off the beaten track were the main draws of the trip.

Sunset at John Obey Beach, Sierra Leone, October 2010

Sunset at John Obey Beach, Sierra Leone, October 2010

What I found when I got to Sierra Leone blew away all my expectations. The TribeWanted site at John Obey beach is a paradise all of it’s own. Meeting, working and chatting to all the local John Obey residents and floating around the tranquil lagoon at sunset were two big highlights (among many) of an unforgettable two weeks. Read more about my travels in Sierra Leone here.

I was also lucky enough to go to the SW4 music festival in London in August and take a short trip to Amsterdam with some friends.

Last year was a real journey of discovery work wise and I feel I’ve developed a lot of skills I can build on in the future. I noticed that I seem to have developed a hunger for personal improvement both personally and professionally, something which I’m sure will stand me in good stead for the coming months and years.

So that’s it, all in all 2010 was fantastic, roll on the rest of 2011!