I initially started writing this post back in mid-December 2020. I thought it would be nice to have this as a continuation of last year’s post. And why not, get some much-needed closure on the year that was 2020. This is about as much I got to writing on the post back in December “I wasn’t sure whether I would be up for putting together an end of the year post – but what better way to say goodbye to 2020!” Well, the first part of the sentence was correct – I wasn’t really up for putting this post together at that time. I think that’s in big part because I felt that 2021 won’t be the magical unicorn year everyone wishes it to be, and I knew I would be writing the post either from a point of high-optimism or high-pessimism, depending on the day.
That being said, I wanted to give myself a little bit more time for reflection, and put this together now, at the end of January 2021. I’ll keep the structure of last year’s post, with the added section of “Hopes for 2021”.
Travels of 2020
At the end of 2019, I was reflecting on that year’s travels while squeezing in one more trip before the year-end. If we only knew back then what was to come …
Our last trip of 2019, and our first trip of 2020. This was one of the most unplanned trips we’ve taken so far, but also one of the most relaxing ones. We stepped in the new year by trying out new things, hiking at more than 2500 meters altitude – a new experience for a new year and a bit of a challenge, at least for me. If you would like to read more about our trip to Tenerife, you can find the post here.
We are not big fans of buying gifts for one another. Instead, we like to plan short weekend getaways. Around this time last year, we were taking a long weekend in Krakow, Poland. We had no idea that this would be one of our last international travels for the year. We were so lucky to spend some quality time with our friends on this weekend getaway. It’ll probably be close to two years until we’ll see them again.
After months of quarantine and worries about what will happen next, the summer of 2020 was looking up. Denmark was slowly opening up, I was going back to the office, it was easier to meet friends, restaurants were open. Still too worried to travel internationally, we decided to have a local holiday, the extended version of a staycation. It was a good time to explore responsibly our own backyard and head out to the north of Sjælland, for a week in a summerhouse by the beach.
With Christmas last year finding us in a second lockdown and international travel being pretty much unavailable, and still a little scary, our holiday plans were a little limited. Another summerhouse experience with our quarantine bubble was the way to go. A whole lot of relaxing, movie nights, and fireplace chats.
Reflections on 2020
I honestly don’t know where to begin on reflecting over 2020. If I would have to choose a word to describe 2020 that word would be challenging. The world quickly turned upside down, when the first quarantine started back in early March 2020. The first few months of quarantine were very much defined by uncertainty, confusion, anxiety, and emotional burnout.
As I am very sure many others have experienced, 2020 was the perfect definition of mixed feelings. There are a few things that 2020 brought up that I am grateful for: being more purposeful with keeping in touch with friends and family, focus on mental health, and more introspection, resilience, and adaptability to change.
Reading back my Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020! post I realize that I was already on a journey of self-discovery, and I am very grateful that I was not just able to keep that up in 2020, but more so to have it be my focus. As times are more uncertain and more confusing, we as humans, feel the need to focus on something while we find our way through tough times. For me in 2020 that was my wellbeing and my mental health.
I am very aware that I am writing all of this from a place of great privilege. We live in a country where the coronavirus crisis has been dealt with quite well, we got to keep our jobs throughout this madness, and most importantly we have our health.
Hopes for 2021
I am looking towards 2021 with cautious optimism. I am hopeful things will take a turn for the better. It showed potential for better, with good news on coronavirus vaccines coming at the end of 2020.
Unfortunately, as I am writing this we’re still in a lockdown in Denmark. Moreover, the lockdown has now been extended until the end of February.
Despite the lockdown and the negative effects of long periods of isolation, I try to keep my hopes up and live for today, not for how I hope tomorrow, next week, or next month to be.