Well, where do I begin? I spent a month competing in the oldest and most prestigious pageant on earth, and it’s taken three weeks for me to be able to write anything down on paper. Looking back, it’s been difficult to think of highlights, best bits and favourite memories, because for the most part, being at Miss World didn’t feel real. It’s like trying to remember a dream.
When I arrived at Sanya airport, and was greeted by a hoard of photographers and an army of beautiful women, I was completely in awe. Never had I been in such a surreal situation. We were welcomed and briefed on the coach to the hotel, and I sat, mouth open like a codfish for the entirety of the journey. Since I was crowned Miss Wales, it had all been leading up to this trip and I was completely frozen and unable to process it. We got to the hotel, a ridiculously wonderful, grand eight building complex, that had been built to look like trees. We were shown to our rooms and left to sleep. The days to follow began to roll in to one. It started slowly, with talent auditions, dances of the world and then contestant profiles. I was lucky enough to make Top 12 in talent, and I competed in the Miss World talent show LIVE on Chinese television. I was so proud to sing ‘Calon Lân,’ a song that means so much to Wales.
We did so much over the four week trip. We went on trips to mainland China and what seemed like hundreds of PR events. We climbed a mountain, we greeted Chinese orphans, we danced with them, we held a catwalk show, we danced, we rehearsed, we were interviewed and photographed. However, what stands out to me more than anything when I think of my time in China, are the friends I made.
I was told that I would make friends for life at Miss World, but I refused to believe this. I asked myself how I would ever find anyone as happy, sarcastic, weird and ridiculous as I am. Enter Miss Scotland. I can honestly say I’ve never bonded with anyone so quickly, as I did with Mhairi Fergusson. She was completely ridiculous and wonderful and I instantly clung to her. She was my safety blanket. Miss United States, Victoria Mendoza also became a very close friend of mine. The three of us would always sit together and we bonded over our mutual love of food. Then there was Miss South Africa. I’ve not met anyone quite like Liesl Laurie before, and I’m not likely to again. I called her my firecracker, because she was so full of life and love. We often liked to reminisce about the fact that we became friends because I accidentally licked her face. Her accent was amazing, and listening to her speak, (oh and she loved to talk,) was always entertaining. These girls have become a big part of my life, we talk every day and are very excited about our next meeting. I love them, I really do.
I would like to thank everyone who sponsored and supported me for my time at Miss World. I was overwhelmed with support from you all and it really meant the world to me. My family are amazing, and I would not be where I am today without them. My friends, especially Kelsey Tiffin who text me every day, were so encouraging, all desperate to hear how it was going. Richard and Gilberto, my faithful coaches who prepared me in every way possible, I am so blessed to have both your guidance and help. You really are such wonderful people, you helped me realise my potential and I’m a different and better person now due to your influence. .
I am so excited for the next Miss Wales! She has so much to be excited for and she doesn’t even know it yet!