2019 Year In Review : The Most Defining Moments From The Year (Finding myself, Losing a Parent,And More)

the ash tree journal 2019 round up

It’s December 26th, I’m sat on my couch, currently reminiscing on the year 2019 and all it has brought. And, I feel…empty drained. 

2019 was a very busy year for me mentally, emotionally and even physically. If I am to describe 2019 in a tweet, I’d quote this very tweet right here: 

Man this whole year has been a rollercoaster. You see that saying “nobody’s got you”, it’s a big lie. When in your time of need and loneliness, the people who leave are just leaving for your own good. There are actually people who want the best for you. I have people like that. -@chemicalbrodar

Most of what were the defining moments for me this year were life changing events that I never in a million years, saw coming. Nevertheless, in the words of my Nigerian people : We LOCOMOTE.

Here are the most defining moments from the year 2019:

{I set out travel goals for the year and met them}

2019 was a pretty big year in travel for me. I set my goal at the beginning of the year, on twitter, by the way, to travel to a new country every month till the year end 

I can proudly say that I tried. I really went out of my way to see other parts of the world in my own little way and I am happy about that. 

Side note : I know that I owe you guys a ton of blog posts concerning my travels but I will get them out. Better late than never, right?  

The thing I loved the most about my travel experiences so far was the fact that I solo traveled, and also met up with a strangers and traveled with them. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and made incredible friends out of people I had just shared a bus/plane ride with. 

I also have to add that, my favorite country visited, out of all 9 of them this year was, Montenegro. I went there in April and I still can’t stop reliving the memories I created with my best friends while I was there. It wasn’t a wild trip, and it definitely wasn’t one I did a lot on, but with the fact that the country was so warm, the people were incredibly nice, the food was heavenly, and I spent 6 days there with my best girls, who can really complain? 

It was exactly what I needed. 

{I finally took up Volunteering..}

Volunteering has been something I’ve always had a passion for. Just helping in a little way that I can at any time gives me the utmost joy. So you can imagine my delight when Angloville reached out to me to join them in a volunteer programme. I had no hesitation. 

Angloville volunteering program is an English Immersion programme where they create small communities where everyone can understand everyone. Based on this, English language speakers from all over the world come together in a cozy place, interact with people of all ages and teach them English language in the process. How amazing is that? My first experience was in Lipowy Most, Poland, where I had the most amazing experience and came home fulfilled. I learned a lot and had a very nice time with the fellow volunteers, children, and everyone I encountered. 

{My dating life went south..I think}

I may be using the term, “love”, too loosely here, now that I think hard about it. But I think I fell in love, this year. Sure, I liked a few guys, even attempted being in an exclusive relationship, but it always just seemed to go south. And of course, I was blamed for most of why it did. On my inability to be at one place at a time (because I spent the year traveling and involving myself with a lot) and I was emotionally unavailable (I mean I had a parent with a terminal illness who later passed away).

However, upon reflection, maybe it is true that I was unable to invest in a relationship at that point, or at any point this year. I’m also only just learning that it’s okay. It’s okay to stop fighting. What’s yours will come, for sure.

I don’t have to worry about anyone who left my life, neither do I really need to invest in people and turn them into chapters when they were only meant to be pages.

I still have amazing people around me who love and support me constantly through every stage of my adventurous life and I’m honestly just loving the freedom of experiencing different things and people.

{I made the face of a brand, and also took my photography to another level.}  

My love for photography went over my love for blogging this year. But, I cannot really complain, I mean it’s still part of content creation, right? I loved how this year put me more behind the camera and with the right friends and practice, I was able to book at least 5 brand shoots and in front of the camera, I booked at least 8. That’s something. One of my favorite shoots, of course, would be the one I did for ginte accessories.

The shoot was fun, the accessories were lovely, and I loved walking into Home of Fashion and seeing my face there. Trust that I made all my friends go there to see me and be a fan. Lol.

Check out the website, here.

{My dad passed away…}

At the beginning of the year, my dad fell very ill and was later diagnosed with cancer. And it was terminal. The funny, yet sad thing about this was that I had only been home last, 4 years ago. Which means, I hadn’t seen him since 2015. I was devastated at the news. I was thrown off balance, I had no idea what to do. He was flown to America to receive treatment and he somewhat got better, and then in May, it was a downward spiral from there. I was even more devastated. Thankfully, I was able to see him for just one day, when I visited America later in July.

Let me tell you this: dealing with a terminally ill parent is never something anyone should go through. I was affected in a lot of ways. I cried, a lot. I negotiated with “God”, prayed constantly, and did all I could, in my power, to at least help the situation but in August 2019, he passed away.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am what everyone calls a daddy’s girl. Life has really not been the same without him. His constant love and support, especially for my blog had always been massively incredible. My heart still breaks at the thought. What? My pops, gone? In all honesty, I am still in a lot of denial shock and I still have no idea how to process the news. Coming to terms with this major life change has been hard. But, I just have to know that strength will come and it will keep me from giving up. Rest in peace, dad. 

Happy Fathers day | The Christmas Tag ft my dad

Whew, 2019 was one hell of a year but did I die? NO! So here’s to 2020.

I’ve always thought of 2020 as my breakthrough year and I can’t wait to come back to this space in one year and celebrate my survival, whether I win, or I lose!

Until then don’t forget to bloom where you’re planted. xo


Written & Edited by : @theashtreejournal { Instagram }

Featured: Ginte Accessories { Instagram } | Angloville { Instagram }


  1. I’m terribly sorry about your loss, Ash. You have shown so much strength this year and I applaud you for just going on even with all the setbacks. The way you also completed your goals in spite of all is so commendable. Cheers to 2020, stay blessed!


    1. So sorry about the loss of your Dad Ash. 2020 is going to be an amazing year. Can’t wait to read about your travels


  2. Hey Ash, sorry about the loss of your father. 2020 is going to be an amazing year for us. Can’t wait to read about your travels


  3. What a big year for you. So happy to know that despite everything, you still achieved your goals. Now that’s what I call a go-getter!
    I’m sorry about your loss, your dad is so so proud of you. Happy New Year!!


  4. I love that you lived your life to the fullest the best way you could. You are such a strong woman. I’m sorry about your loss. I hope you find the greatest comfort and love while you heal from it.

    Happy new year.


  5. Jesus, Ash. What an incredibly busy year. I’m terribly sorry about your fathers passing. I could never imagine what you’re going through right now. I really hope you have the love and support that you need and I pray for strength this year. This was a very nice post and I wish you the best in 2020 and beyond! Keep shining!

    – Dee


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