And two days on, I am still in shock and just about recovering from the hangover!

Over the weekend, I spent two evenings going into London to gather with my blogging pals for the annual BritMums Live conference, which culminated in a fabulous river boat party down the Thames.

I was shortlisted for Best Travel Blogger in the prestigious Brilliance in Blogging Awards, but after the disappointment of past years, I went with no expectation of winning. Absolute none. I hadn’t even put myself forward – so to even be a finalist was a great honour.

With over 200K nominations cast, and eight finalists in only 11 categories, it would be a tough undertaking to be crowned winner… As well as a panel who were judging blogs on aesthetics, content and exceptional quality.

I was also up against so many wonderful bloggers most of who, are not only my friends, but whom I also have a high regard for, including Mini Travellers, Travel Loving Family, Tin Box Traveller, Wander Mum and Flying With Baby.

When my name was called I was so gobsmacked, my friends were screaming at me to get up and go and collect the award. My acceptance speech was rather garbled through the emotions, but I was deliriously happy. I still am!

And The Winner of the BiBs 2017 Best Travel Blogger Is...

Since being made redundant, as well various setbacks at home, I had started to doubt my abilities. I began questioning if I would be able to make it by myself as a freelancer writer and full-time blogger. I also started comparing myself to others, which is never a good thing.

But in a digital world where statistics matter so much, I’m now unwavering in my belief that good content is key. That I should continue on the path I have chosen. And that hard work really does pay off…

Thank you to all of you who have supported me over the years, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you continue to read and interact with the content I deliver. My Travel Monkey is a labour of love, and I am over the moon that all those late nights typing away at my laptop has finally been recognised.

Thank you all again!

If you've enjoyed reading this, it's made me so happy! I just need to let you know that if you click on some links in the post, I may earn a few pennies! See My Travel Monkey's full disclosure policy for more details