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2019 Year in Review

Lisa Homsy wearing a sequined silver dress perfect for New Year's Eve

2019… WHAT A YEAR!

Where do I even begin? I say this every year but how are we already a month into the new year? And not just a new year, A NEW DECADE!!

This year was one of the most rewarding but also one of the most challenging years. I’m still licking my woods from some of the 2019 hurdles.

I remember back in 2017, when I first left my 9-5 and when Instagram became my fulltime job. I would say my goal was to travel 4 times a year. Look at me now. This year I visited 5 of 7 continents, added 5 new countries and 2 new US states to my passport and discovered more of my beautiful home country, Canada #iamcanadian.

I traveled over 17 times for content; Vancouver, Winnipeg, Tulum, Puerto Rico, LA, Fiji, Australia, France, Whistler, Vegas, Utah, Dubai, Egypt, Oman, Dubai, USVI, and ending the year in the Dominican Republic. It sounds like a lot, but I spent more time at home this year than I had in the last 2 years.

Three women at a beach bar in Tulum, Mexico
A woman laying on the beach in Tulum, Mexico at sunset
Tulum, Mexico
Two women on a bike next to the Follow That Dream sign Tulum

In February I celebrated my birthday in Tulum with some of my best gals and favorite fellow Canadian creators. For the past 5 years, I’ve always celebrated my birthday in a different country – London, Costa Rica, Bali, Hawaii, and Mexico.

February is the coldest month of the year in Montreal. Everyone is in hibernation mode so it’s always hard to get friends out to celebrate. So I’ve always been in the mindset of if I’m going to celebrate alone, I may as well do it somewhere warm!

I attended 4 music festivals, Osheaga (Montreal), Ile Soniq (Montreal), Wake Up Call (Dubai), Life is Beautiful (Las Vegas). For some reason, so many music festivals were interested in hosting me this year. It’s crazy! But I’m not complaining – I love live music!

A group of friends at the Wake Up Call Festival in Dubai
Wake Up Call Fest – Dubai with my boys @seanabarrow @tyfrench

August 30, 2019 – MY ACCOUNT GOT HACKED! I was locked out of my own Instagram account. My photos were deleted, my username was no longer available and a ransom email was sent! I was in a state of panic! To think in a split second, everything you have worked so hard on for the past 3 years is taken from you.

It’s a scary thing having your whole audience on one platform. I didn’t want to lose touch with you, and I want to prevent this from happening to anyone else in the future. I decided to share the whole story on how I got it back so quickly in a 3 part series in my newsletter. If you’re curious to give it a read and protect yourself from this ever happening to you, sign up below!

In September I chopped my hair in spite of your votes to keep growing it. Truth be told, I had wanted to chop it for a while but wasn’t ready to commit. Normally I always play it safe with my hair, but this year I was a bit of an extremist. It was either chopping it really short or going really long with extensions.

I had tossed up the idea for two years but kept getting persuaded to grow it out. As much as short hair sounds like less hassle, any curly-haired girl will understand that long locks are much simpler when traveling to beachy destinations to avoid looking like a lioness. But, the second I sat in the chair it was sheer excitement. I have never loved a haircut more!

Photos of a woman posing with short hair
September 2019

The last time I had my hair this short was exactly 10 years ago! This was me at 20 years old, 10 lbs heavier and with much thinner eyebrows.

2019 also allowed me to visit two of my biggest bucket list destinations (Australia, Egypt) and one of my biggest honeymoon destinations (Fiji).

In May I got to spend 3.5 weeks exploring the east coast of Australia with my bestie. It was absolutely epic! Australia has been one of those places on my list since I was a little kid.

My dad is an international basketball referee and went to Sydney in 2000 for pre-Olympic trials. I remember begging to go with him. When he returned home, he had tons of photos of the wildlife, the harbor, the ocean and he spoke about the incredible weather. I always said I was born in the wrong country, I was born to be an Aussie! I live for sunshine and an ocean breeze. Since then it’s always been a dream of mine to visit.

We were flying out for a job in the Whitsundays but decided to go 2.5 weeks early to enjoy ourselves and really get to experience Australia properly. We hit Sydney, Byron Bay, and Melbourne before meeting the rest of the girls in the Whitsundays (known to have one of the nicest beaches in the world!). A full Australia blog post is still in the works, so stay tuned!

Spent some time exploring Australia including the Whitsundays. Check out my 2019 year in review as a travel influencer and content creator + my 2020 goals. #travel #influencer #blogger #travelblog | travel blogger | travel Instagram influencer | travel content creator | influencer outfits | influencer Instagram | influencer poses | Instagram poses | travel blogger style | travel blogger Instagram | travel blogger outfit | travel bucket list | year in review blog post | Whitsundays Australia
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
Woman in front of the Brighton Bathing Boxes in Australia
Brighton Bathing Boxes
Woman posing on Byron Bay Beach in Australia
Byron Bay Beach
Woman eating at Pressed Pantry, a cafe in Byron Bay Australia
Pressed Pantry, Byron Bay
A woman in a red dress looking out at the Twelve Apostles in Australia on Great Ocean Road
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road

November took me back to Africa to finally check Egypt off the list. Egypt has always held a special place in my heart as my dad was born there. My grandma used to tell us the most incredible stories about growing up and spending summers on the Nile. Once there I felt far more connected to the history and culture than I could have ever imagined! Read all about my 10 day Egypt itinerary here!

A woman sitting by a camel in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt
Great Pyramids of Giza
A woman in front of the temples at Abu Simbel in Egypt
Abu Simbel
A woman in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx in Cairo, Egypt
Great Sphinx of Giza

Fiji has been one of my top honeymoon destinations for years. And to think that I got to visit all my dream spots, Fiji, Tahiti (November 2018), and the Maldives (December 2018) all within a 12 month period is incredible! Now I have no idea where I would actually go when the time comes! At the beginning of April after spending a few days in LA, I flew to Fiji with a group of gals for one week of island-hopping adventures.

Fiji, Tahiti or the Maldives? I get asked this question often so if I’m being honest Fiji was my least favorite of the three. However, I also think it was due to our itinerary. Since I was there on a project, we didn’t leave the hotels much. That’s why I say I feel like my experience was very Americanized. I would probably feel differently had we explored more or visited on my own.

A group of travel influencers pose on the beach in Fiji working on a brand campaign
A woman posing on the beach at sunset in Fiji
A woman diving in Fiji in the crystal clear water
A woman leaning on a palm tree on the beach in the Fiji Islands

In October I was in my first magazine shoot and featured in the December issue of Elle Quebec along with some incredible local talent. The entire experience was a dream come true. From hair and makeup to the launch party, the experience was different from any shoot I’ve ever done before. Plus, who knows when I’ll ever be featured in a magazine again!

To make the experience even more special, the magazine shoot was in partnership with Michael Kors. For me this really symbolized my success and how far I’ve come in the past few years. Reflecting on it I realized how it’s all really come full circle. In 2013 I was working for the Michael Kors brand as an assistant manager in one of their stores. Fast forward to 2019 and I’m now working in partnership with them promoting on my Instagram account.

A woman wearing Michael Kors posing for a magazine photoshoot
Michael Kors x Elle Quebec Magazine Shoot

They say bad things come in threes, so get ready for the grand finale as the end of the year took quite a turn.

By now many of you have guessed from my lack of stories and amount of DMs I’ve received asking where James has been. In December, right before the holidays, James and I broke up just a few months shy of our 4 year anniversary.

A couple poses like the famous scene in The Notebook in the Maldives
A couple poses on the beach at sunset in the Maldives
A couple poses on a boat in Jamaica

This is the first time I am mentioning it online. Every time I say to myself ‘today is the day to let people know’, I chicken out. Saying it out loud completely terrifies me. It makes it all that much more real. And I’m not sure I’ve really come to terms with it yet.

I never understood when people would say sometimes love just isn’t enough. I used to think, if the love is there you can get through anything. But here we are and in fact, love wasn’t enough. In the end, I needed more out of the relationship. The hardest part is that there is still so much love between us, and I don’t think that will ever change.

James, I have nothing but love and respect for you. You’ve made me laugh harder, love deeper and feel safer than ever before. xx

A couple sitting on the beach at sunset at the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California
Last year James and I celebrated our anniversary in LA

Then just before the end of the year… seriously, December 29th, I slipped on black ice and broke my ankle. I fell late at night, so I was only able to get an X-ray the following day where I was told I fractured my fibula. Not quite the end to the year I had hoped for.

Now I’m in a boot and not allowed to bear weight on it for 6 weeks. Then I will walk with the boot for a while before I can finally walk on my own two feet again.

A woman poses with a broken ankle wearing a walking boot and using crutches
December 30th – Leaving the hospital

And finally, to top it all off, I got a blood clot. At this point, I was just waiting for one more thing to hit me, but I was not expecting this!

It started with me complaining of pain and swelling in my calf. I had an appointment to see the orthopedic surgeon the following day, and I almost didn’t mention it to him. The pain wasn’t unbearable, it just felt like I had walked in heels for hours the day before so I didn’t think much of it. But when I asked the doctor if it was normal, he immediately sent me for an ultrasound where it was confirmed.

Note: If you ever develop swelling and tightness in your calf, go to the hospital right away. Clots develop in the calf and can break off and travel to your lungs which can be fatal. I trusted my gut and said something to the doctor, and I’m so thankful I did.

NEW YEAR, NEW ME

Now let’s focus on the year ahead. Goal setting has always been a big part of my life. I don’t just set goals once I year I actually check in monthly to see if I’m on track and re-evaluate them quarterly.

If you’re new to goal setting and don’t know where to start, lululemon has always been a great resource to me. My years within the company taught me so much about personal development and setting achievable goals. This worksheet is a great place to start!

2020 HEALTH GOALS

Now a month into 2020, I’m hoping to leave all the bad juju in the past and focus on my recovery so I can get back out there!

If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been pretty open on stories about the highs and lows I’ve been facing. Though this is a temporary disability, I’ve had my own battles with it. By nature I am a very active person, so going from traveling non-stop and working out every day to not putting weight on my right foot for 6 weeks and being so dependent on others has been its own struggle.

My biggest and most important goal right now is to focus on my recovery. I want to allow myself the time I need to complete physio and regain 100% mobility in my ankle. Follow my recovery though my Instagram highlights!

Lisa Homsy working with brands and posing at a hotel in spite of a broken ankle

First time shooting with my boot

2020 PERSONAL GOALS

Everyone keeps telling me maybe it’s a sign I need to slow down. Maybe my body is telling me to relax and focus on me. I do agree, the past 3 years I’ve been traveling non-stop in and out of time zones.

The last few years home base has been more of a dumping ground for my to swap my luggage and keep on adventuring. This year my biggest goal is to buy property. I want to have a place to call my own, somewhere I can come home to and feel inspired to create in.

While I don’t know that I will still live in Montreal, I definitely still want to buy something here. Then I can decide if I want to live in it or rent it out for a few months while I explore living abroad.

2020 BUSINESS GOALS

Some of my biggest goals for the year are actually outside of travel. Over the past year, I’ve been focusing on what I want my legacy to be and how to expand myself beyond social media. It’s scary to put my goal out to all of you because they are big, but nothing motivates me more than sharing my goals and having others hold me accountable to them.

Ever since I was a little kid, I have dreamed about having my own clothing line. It’s something I have seriously been brainstorming the past year and even discussed with some of you. A lot of you shared you’d love to see me create a line of athleisure/ workout and swim, exactly where my head was at. I’d love to hear from you! Let me know if you’d want to see something else from me!

Based on your feedback, another goal of mine is to launch a social media development course. Over the past few years, I’ve shared my successes and failures and many tips with you on social media. Many of you have voiced how you’d like to see all the knowledge I’ve shared in IG stories, IG live sessions and IG posts together in one place. Any specific topics you want to know more about?

And finally, the much-anticipated re-launch of my presets! After a year hiatus, I can say that presets will be coming back. I’m working hard on developing new packs for both mobile and desktop and figuring out the best way to divide them. Would you want to see them by country or by theme (ie. Sand, Ocean, Jungle, Sunset)? Let me know!

Before and after using a free Lightroom preset

In the meantime, if you don’t already have my free preset you can download it here! It works for both mobile and desktop.

And if after downloading it, if you are looking for help on how to edit, check out my Youtube tutorial – how to edit in lightroom in under 10 mins.

2020 TRAVEL GOALS

Although I’m focusing on my recovery as my top priority right now, I can’t help but take the time to create this year’s travel bucket list!

Here are my top destinations I want to travel to for 2020:

  • Explore more islands of Indonesia (I was supposed to be there right now)
  • Philippines (where I was supposed to celebrate my birthday)
  • Jordan
  • New Zealand for Lupins season
  • Cook Islands
  • Take a summer road trip through Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greek Islands)
  • Japan for Cherry Blossoms season
  • Swim in the Dead Sea
  • Vietnam (last time I was there was 2014)
  • Sri Lanka
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Finland
  • Panama
  • Colombia

What are some of your goals for 2020? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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Click here to check out my 2019 year in review as a travel influencer and content creator + my 2020 goals for travel and business. #travel #influencer #contentcreator #blogger #travelblog | travel blogger | travel Instagram influencer | travel content creator | influencer outfits | influencer Instagram | influencer poses | Instagram poses | travel blogger style | travel blogger Instagram | travel blogger outfit | travel bucket list | year in review blog post | year in review 2019

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20 Comments

  1. January 28, 2020 / 4:55 PM

    Hi! I’d definitely like presets in a theme way (easier to find the right one). I’m so sorry about James… Sometimes love really is not enough…
    The workout clothes, yes please!!
    If you go to Europe this summer (I live in Belgium) I’d love to meet up if you would do such a thing??

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      January 28, 2020 / 5:28 PM

      Omg thank you for responding to everything! It means so much to me! I’d love to revisit Belgium, my time there was too short 2 years ago. And thank you for the feedback on presets

  2. January 28, 2020 / 5:11 PM

    What a wonderful year of highs and lows. My hopes for you this year:
    – that your health improves and the blood clots and crutches are hopefully short lived
    – that you soak in every feeling you experienced in 2019, the heart break, the love, the frustration, the days when you ask why me, and that you fuel stronger but changed by each event you experienced
    – that you buy that house! Recent homeowner here and I took a break from travel mostly because buying a house was a pocket stealer but also because I’ve been so happy coming home to my place and my dog and my new life in a home that is mine. Homeownership as a single woman is a bit out of the box but so rewarding I promise
    – that you use 2020 to dabble in whatever ventures you choose, a clothing line, a vlog channel, anything you set your mind on and if it fails and you did it for yourself than you aren’t losing anything in trying
    – that you continue to inspire women like me working their 9-5 and spending all their PTO traveling the world

    Best from a fairly new follower,
    @kara.joy ❤️

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      January 28, 2020 / 5:31 PM

      Wow Kara thank you so much! Wow this message is so sweet! I really appreciate you taking the time to write this!!! 😭 it’s tough 3 months ago James and I were house shopping together. Now we are each doing it solo. Really took a whole 360 but hoping it’s for the best. I’m excited to have a place to call my own and style myself

  3. Crystal
    January 28, 2020 / 6:22 PM

    Such an inspiration Lisa! Hope you recover quickly. I live in Toronto and am always interested in social media training. Growing a following for my jewellery biz and staying authentic.
    Love your travel pics too! I have traveled a bit in 2019 my bf and I went to St Lucia. We climbed the Gros Piton. In October we went to Oahu and climbed the stairway to heaven. That was probably a life highlight for me! And we also went to our first Luau in Kauai. This year we are planning somewhere perhaps New Orleans for my bday in June. We are going to Menorca, Spain in July and Spending Christmas in England.
    Love from
    @bohocrystal

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      January 28, 2020 / 6:34 PM

      Sounds like you have so many incredible travels ahead of you! I wish the very best for you in 2020!! Woo hoo!! Keep it up

  4. Laura
    January 29, 2020 / 2:45 AM

    Lisa thank you for sharing so much with us! I actually was inspired by your talk on Instagram the other day about doing workouts even though you are in a boot that I started working out again. If you can do it while lugging around a boot (and other people can with their own disabilities), what’s my excuse? I live in the Philippines now so that sucks you can’t make it for your birthday because it’s so incredibly beautiful! I’m also hoping to make it to Japan for the cherry blossoms! Cheers!

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      January 29, 2020 / 8:12 AM

      Awww 😭😭😭 i wish I was in the Philippines right now. Thank you so much for you taking the time to respond. This is my most vulnerable post ever so I’m happy you liked it

  5. January 29, 2020 / 3:08 AM

    This is such a great post !! Thanks for sharing, I recently started following you and this is really insightful to see what you’ve been up to 2019. Sorry the end of the year wasn’t the best but we are cheering you on from the sidelines for a quick recovery. 🙂 Parting ways in a relationships isn’t easy either but I’m glad to see you and James are cordial and you are moving on good terms. I’m excited for you and 2020. A clothing line would be amazing and have always seen you as someone who’s so stylish. I think you would do great in that field and I’m a fan already especially if it’s athleisure lol I love comfort. Honestly I think you can excel in whatever business venture you strive for!! World is your oyster …That course also sounds great. Personally, I think for someone who’s just starting out there’s a lot of grey info in the industry /if it is it sustainable, is it not/ so many questions I have that would be resourceful to learn more of the backend. Love the content you and Mel create and really enjoyed the podcast you did with Christina. Insight is always helpful. Even an independent podcast would be so valuable on creating. My personal goal in 2020 is to grow my brand and get consistent traffic, I’ve had a few blog wins since I’ve launched in October so now I’m just shooting to stay consistent and create better content. Trying to travel even more but honestly I’m juggling alot so idk. Sometimes its more stressful to be traveling right now than to stay put hehe, I guess another goal would be to juggle this all well and travel peacefully. Cheers to 2020!! 🎉❤️

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      January 29, 2020 / 8:17 AM

      Thank you so much for you taking the time to write me on my most vulnerable post ever. It means so much! Yes athleisure would definitely be in my wheel house and where I think I’d start. Mel and I have actually tossed up the idea of a podcast I’ve always enjoyed being on them so it could be fun to do our own eventually. Thank you for finding me, for being here and for all your support xx

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 5:02 PM

      Thanks so much for your message Britt!!! Yeah it’s been quite the end of 2019 🙄 I’m all for comfort as well so I’m glad you like that idea!!! And thank you so much for you insight and loving the podcast!

  6. January 29, 2020 / 9:59 AM

    Hi Lisa!! What a year for you indeed! You are so talented, genuine, and a joy to listen to on stories/read about on your blog. Best of luck on your 2020 goals, I know you will kick @$$! Keep your head up with some of the lows, it will always get better 🙂

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 5:03 PM

      Thank you so much Courtney!!! 2020 is looking up. Friday I can start to walk again

  7. Mary
    January 29, 2020 / 10:36 PM

    Beautiful post Lisa, thanks for always being so real. Get well soon xxxx

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      February 9, 2020 / 4:16 PM

      Thank you so much for you message! Xx

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 5:03 PM

      Thank you so much Mary!!! Xx

  8. February 1, 2020 / 4:48 PM

    My love!!! I’m so sorry about James, I know how hard it is. I had a difficult time too before Christmas, but mine turned out ok at the end… I wish you an amazing New Year and love will find its way ❤️
    I also hope you have a quick recovery, that’s more important now.
    Let’s go to Jordan together in March!! Of course I’m waiting for you in Greece in the summer!

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      February 1, 2020 / 6:28 PM

      Thank you so much Rea!!! I really appreciate your message! And yes I’m long overdue to revisit Greece! Jordan is an absolute must this year

  9. February 13, 2020 / 12:15 AM

    I love the short hair!

    • lisahomsy
      Author
      February 13, 2020 / 6:41 PM

      Thanks Christie!!! I love it too

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