For the past week and a bit my Instagram and Facebook feed has been filled with everyone’s highlights of 2020, and this was the first year when I simply wasn’t ready to look back on 2020. Until now.
It’s been a very different year. Most unusual. Most unexpected.
It was a difficult year in soooo many aspects – surely I don’t need to touch on this – we’ve all lived through this! But then I went on my blog and re-read my reviews of previous years, and it truly warmed my heart. I knew that amid tough challenges, there were many great things to look back to, and I wanted to leave them here.
Raise your hand if you had your holiday cancelled… Ohhhh, so many hands! Yeah, okay, I know that many of my mates made it out to some sunny destinations, but I’ve missed that window, and frankly, I didn’t feel too comfortable travelling to busy resorts in these unprecedented times. Nevertheless, my travel soul needed to discover new places, so we’ve had staycations in the UK, which normally, we probably wouldn’t even have considered – we’d just ended up flying to Spain or Greece (before Brexit became real booooo).
After living on this beautiful Island for 12 years, I have finally visited Cornwall! Ben and I had the most beautiful getaway, visited the Land’s End, the most beautiful beach and swam in the ocean. We truly felt touristy – without breaking a single regulation. IT. WAS. AMAZING.
Another SUPER highlight was the camping trip with our friends – truly one of the best weekends of 2020. My first time in Devon, my first time seeing Jurrasic coast in real life, and our first time getting together after all the weeks of Zoom calls.
And let’s not forget the annual travel thing that Ben and I do for our anniversary. Last year we went on a road trip to Scotland; the year before it was Mauritius (honeymoon woo), Budapest before that, Paris for proposal, Rome a year prior… So this year Ben surprised me with a trip down south to (history geek paradise…) visit Arundel Castle and a stay in Tudor-esk B&B… Four poster bed…Dream!
Most of you might have Zoom calls fatigue, but I honestly don’t feel that this applies to me! Throughout the first lockdown I’ve had 20+ zoom quizzes, and this was for sure the best highlight of the limited social life we could have had. It wasn’t for the all odd fun facts that I didn’t know I wanted to learn about, and it even wasn’t about winning the quizzes (Gosh, I’m competitive as hell).
In fact, those regular quizzes meant that I was in touch with many of our friends more often than we would have been otherwise: usually we’d catch up couple of times a year, and suddenly, we saw each other nearly every week! PLUS all of the fancy dress occasions – who could get bored of this???
As we’ve just entered yet another lockdown, this is the shining star in this Covid darkness – I know I’ll still get to see my friends – albeit virtually – but I won’t feel lonely!
Tom Misch read my mind when he sang ‘And I was born a water baby…’
With the extreme heatwaves that we’ve had throughout the summer, I fully took advantage of the river flowing through Oxford – yes, river Thames. I lost count how many times I went for a swim in a local river, which is only a short cycle ride away, and honestly, I don’t care if it isn’t that clean, I got to be in the water! I doubt I would be doing this if it wasn’t for the lockdown – let’s be honest, I would have probably spent my time sweating in a pub garden. Instead, I’ve discovered the part of the city that I’ve never been to, and spent amazing time getting tanned AND wet (plus the picnics!). I am thoroughly intending on repeating this in the coming summer, even if we actually get to go on holiday and swim in the sea.
But swimming wasn’t the only part of my 2020 water life – we’ve also went on boat trips, and Ben even bought an inflatable boat! Bring on summer 2021, cannot wait to be a co-captain again. lol
Ben and I went to Estonia in February for my daddy’s birthday, just before the pandemic swept Europe. I didn’t think I’ll get to go back home and see my family and my oldest friends again this year, but then there was a window of regulation relaxations, and I went back home, to Estonia, for nearly two weeks! Luckily, WFH doesn’t discriminate where your home is, so I just took the work with me, and I had the evenings and the weekends (plus a couple of days off) to hang out with the people I’ve been missing the most.
Who knows when I’ll get to go back again, but those trips were truly special. I’m very much content building my life here, in the UK, but home is home.
I know how lucky I am to have a job that I can do from absolutely anywhere in the world, as long as there is a WiFi connection. When I went to the office on Friday the 13th of March (lucky date huh?) to take some equipment, I had no idea how long I will be away from my lovely office and my amazing colleagues. But we had to adjust to new reality, and we had to adapt to working from home.
One of the highlights was making videos about the industry with my friend and colleague Jordan – potentially the best social interaction I could have hoped for. They landed very well internally, and it fitted in with my video-making hobby 🙂
I’m a workaholic, so I put all effort in, day in and day out, and then an amazing opportunity sort of just fell into my lap – I got offered a new role, which meant giving up alcohol (data analysis) for chocolate! This only happened towards the end of the year, but for sure, it’s one of the greatest 2020 highlights in my book. I’m just so very grateful to be doing what I love, and loving what I do!
2021 will be tough…
…But I have high hopes for it. We’re in another lockdown, but it’s okay. Some holidays might get cancelled again, but that’s okay too. The key thing is that I’m surrounded by the best people in my little world, and together we will smash 2021.
Lots of love,