2018: Year in Review - PearlMargaret.com

I am not even going to begin justifying the lack of content in this space. I am sure this place will be evolving soon. On the other hand, my Instagram is pretty busy with a lot of my recent travel photos, so that’s fine.

It’s been a busy and eventful year filled with big life changes and a whole new set of firsts. I know it’s easy to poke fun in all the essay writing that befall social media during this time of year. But I personally love reading them as much as making them. It allows me to get to know my friends and reflect on the good, the bad, and even the ugly.

Thus, I am making this an annual thing and allow social media to give me some of the highlights through my “Best of Nine.” I’ll also try to digress and share more about those stories that are left uncaptured and unsaid starting from the leftmost photo of each row beginning from the top.

My Best of Nine (2018) - @pganzon

1. The Year I got married

Last October, I got married. I have to admit that most of the year kind of revolved around furnishing our home as well as planning a wedding and our honeymoon. I could write a separate post devoted to wedding stuff, but for now, I’d like to say that everything that came with the stress and joy of planning my own wedding and honeymoon significantly made 2018 very special. There were so many moments of 2018 – grand and mundane – that I can fondly look back on. Moments that mostly involved my relationship with my now husband, our families, and our friends. The year 2018 is so important because my family has grown not just in numbers but with the kind of depth and maturity that comes with taking this next level life event.

2. Wedding High

It is true. There is a sense of high you get after celebrating your own wedding. All of a sudden, it felt like all the expenses, the stress, and the efforts exerted made that one single night worthwhile. It’s the night you would always want to look back on and remember. I would say it all went down pretty smoothly despite the insane traffic from a huge event nearby. This is largely due to the efforts of our awesome wedding suppliers, including our photographer, Marvin Aquino, who took that glorious sweet photo at the Manila Cathedral. My husband and I were very happy and grateful for the day that was and all the love that we felt.

3. Discovering Airbnb Experiences

Two important trips with Al this year included our trip with his family in Sydney and our honeymoon in France. The former was partly for our prenuptial shoot. We devoted a day with his cousin, who was a hobbyist photographer (see photo number 7), in the more rustic and beautiful Hunter Valley area. Since it was my first time in this country, I wanted to have a casual shoot in the city as well. A much more affordable option is discovering Airbnb Experiences where we met the wonderful Averi who devoted two hours to shoot us. We booked her only two nights prior and it was such a good decision! During our honeymoon in Paris, we booked another shoot through the same. For your trips abroad, I highly recommend browsing through the many amazing Airbnb Experiences. (PS: Not at all sponsored. But if you don’t have an account, sign up through here.)

4. Road Trip around the South of France

This was taken in the beautiful hilltop village of Gordes in the Luberon Region of the South of France during our wonderful honeymoon last November. After watching Ridley Scott’s “A Good Year,” I knew that a visit to this region even at the tail end of autumn would be a must. I absolutely love this part of our trip and devoting more than a week in this region. Far from being peak season, prices were more affordable and tourists were scarce. The hilltop villages are quite dead though, but it still won’t stop you from appreciating everything. The weather was beautiful and the overall atmosphere was serene and picturesque. My favorite memories include the time we spent while driving through a beautiful autumn French countryside and the numerous roundabouts, while listening to French songs and stopping at a boulangerie for my bread and butter fix.

5. Our Wedding Same Day Edit (SDE) Video

I am not surprised that the three photos included here were from our wedding. This was a screenshot from the beautiful on-site SDE video by the talented people of The Film Hat. The video captured all the details and moments that I would want to be captured and more. Watch it below:

6. Lunch at Les Ombres, Paris

I know it’s cliche and totally expected, but I can’t imagine going on a honeymoon that would not include Paris. It is the city of lights and love and romance and art and beauty and everything else that I would want to share with my now husband.

Fresh from all wedding bliss, jet-setting to Provence, the French Riviera, and Paris was like a dream. All the places we’ve visited totally exceed any of our expectations. I cannot wait to write more about it here.

This photo was taken in Les Ombres while having lunch in this beautiful building with a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower. The food was so-so but the wine was amazing. The price was surprisingly not that bad if you go for lunch. It was an experience to fill our hearts and memory banks.

7. Sydney Prenup Shoot and Extended Family

As mentioned earlier, Sydney, was such an important trip because we got to do our prenuptial shoot and discover a new place together with him and his family. The photo above was taken at the Hunter Valley Gardens. It was especially fun to do the shoot with his family who was just very game, funny, and crazy throughout. We got to travel together, enjoy a weekend in the beautiful countryside, and take hilarious but truly authentic photos of us as a couple. So many photos were taken that cold day because the location was so picturesque. It was easy to be ourselves and let the experience of being together be captured in those photos.

8. The French Riviera

I’m glad a photo of the Riviera made the list. This place has always been in my bucket list and a dream honeymoon destination. It is romantic and relaxing. Our strolls and drives through the coast were some of my favorite honeymoon memories.

The photo above was shot in Menton, which is located in southeast France just beside the border of the Italian coast. It is absolutely a picturesque town with a gorgeous beach, a boardwalk lined up with parked yachts, and colorful houses sitting atop majestic mountains. The best part was that during November, there are hardly any tourists and you can stand in awe at what you are seeing and appreciate being in such a place. It was easy to take photos and videos because you feel like you have the place to yourself. Just visit my Instagram posts and I think you’ll know what I mean.

9. Sydney, Australia

Another perk of traveling with other people is that you have someone to take your photo. This was taken in La Perouse, Sydney, during Sydney’s version of Winter (still very cold and windy). This photo was not even part of our photoshoot, but I love it because it captured the waves and the beautiful blues of the sea and sky so perfectly. It is reminiscent of a perfect day. We had several perfect days while in Sydney and we are planning another trip back this year, so that is something to look forward to.

Image Credits: Averi