Rewind to the beginning of the year: our blog was two months old and whilst looking for other travel blogs to follow, we stumbled across the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014. We eagerly read about the awards and gazed at the glamorous winning bloggers. It all looked amazing, but as only our Mum and Dad read our blog, we thought it was an award that was out of our league. Fast forward to now and we’re sat recovering from the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2015, having scooped ‘Highly Commended’ for Travel Blog of the Year. Nuts. To us, this is the equivalent of winning an Oscar and we can’t quite believe we did it.
We learned we had been shortlisted in our category in early October and despite being very excited, we had no expectations of winning anything. In reality, we were simply looking forward to the awards ceremony, some free cocktails and the goodie bags! Despite this, as the day dawned, we were (predictability) incredibly nervous. With full time jobs, only a vague comprehension of the blogging world and knowing that so many accomplished bloggers would be there, we were feeling a little intimidated. To help, we treated ourselves to having our hair done, two new dresses and some Spanx. Glorious. Whilst this helped a little, by the time 7pm rolled around and it was time to leave for the venue at One Marylebone, we were terrified. This wasn’t helped by our foolish idea to eat a bowl of risotto each before we left, meaning it was requiring full ab control to contain the pot bellies.
As we walked up the steps of the venue and spotted crowds of glamorous ladies enjoying cocktails, our stomachs lurched and we vaguely wished we were at home in our pyjamas, watching a bad Christmas film. The lure, however, of nail bars, cupcake stands, free hair styling and cocktails drove us on and before we knew it, there we were: at a real life Cosmopolitan party. Imposter syndrome was hitting us hard.
Fortunately, we’re suckers for freebies and we spent the next hour or so completely absorbed with the Barry M nail stand, eating delicious Cosmopolitan themed cupcakes and drinking plenty of gin-based cocktails (that definitely helped with the nerves). It was also so much fun to meet many other bloggers, including other travel bloggers who we’ve been following this year – especially the lovely Sophie of Sophie’s Suitcase and our fellow twins, Jess and Bex of Twins in Trainers. It was also lovely to put names to two beautiful faces: Jess from The Travelista and Elle from A Bird in the Hand.
Just as our nerves were disappearing, the dreaded announcement came that it was time to gather for the grand reveal. We tightly grabbed each others’ hands, said a small prayer and shuffled over to the stage (our feet were already in agony). We were now adamant we wouldn’t be scooping a prize and so we settled down to enjoy watching other talented ladies collecting their awards. By the time the travel section rolled around, our attention was beginning to wander and we were considering heading back to our hotel to nurse our swollen elephant feet.
Thankfully, we didn’t.
‘This pair travel the world together’ came the presenter’s voice over the microphone. We froze. As far as we knew, we were the only ‘pair’ in the travel category and our hearts sped up, probably to a unhealthy rate. As ‘Twins That Travel’ was announced by the beautiful presenter, Lilah Parsons, as winners of the ‘Highly Commended’ Travel Blog of the Year, there was a chorus of little ‘whoops’ from the lovely ladies around us and we were off (again, at a stunted pace due to the Spanx and the increasingly agonising heels), to climb the steps to the stage, to receive our framed award.
After stumbling back down the steps whilst trying to adjust the dramatically slipping Spanx, we heard the presenter announce the overall winner for Travel Blog of the Year. We punched the air (cool) as we heard it was Sophie’s Suitcase. She is a genuinely kind and brilliant girl, and incredibly deserving of the award. The three of us quickly huddled together and let out goofy laughs. None of us thought we’d win a thing and here we were, clutching our prizes. Life is a funny thing.
The rest of the night was a steady blur of more and more cocktails, and bonding with our new favourite people, Twins in Trainers. The atmosphere was genuinely supportive and ladies across all categories were congratulating each other. The room was full of supportive ‘who-run-the-world?-(girls)’ vibes. It was truly refreshing and we’ve definitely met some great new friends. As the party drew to an end, we lurched off (the cocktails had numbed the pain of our feet but had made us very unsteady) to collect our eagerly awaited Cosmopolitan goodie bags, before saying our goodbyes to lots of lovely ladies and catching a black cab back to our cosy hotel at the Zetter Townhouse.
We were like excited children once we got back, high on sugar (Blossom Hill wine) and life in general. We spent a long time looking at all the freebies and telling anyone we could think of that we had won an award. It took us a very long time to get to sleep and we took it in turns to jolt the other awake, blurting out another excited memory from the night. It is definitely a night we’ll remember for a very long time.
Most importantly, an enormous ‘thank you’ to Cosmopolitan UK for our award. As this blog demonstrates, we are completely ecstatic to have won and you’ve made our biggest fans – our Mum and Dad – exceptionally happy. The moral of this story? Pursue what you love, you never know where it might take you.
Eleven months ago this was just a daydream.