Last January, I published a post titled “2020 Goals, Intentions and Travel Wishlist” and it’s only now that I’ve found the chance to sit down, take stock, grab a coffee and read what 25 year old Lauren had in mind for 2020.
I’m not going to sit here and state the obvious. It was a tough year for me, it was a tough year for Alex and to whomever is reading this right now, I know it was a tough year for you too. One thing so many of us forget is that social media is a highlights reel. Even the videos were a highlight reel. Sometimes, I’d be crying on the balcony at 10am and then brush myself off to have a chat and do a live video with a smile on my face. If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught me, it’s that I’m strong and when I need to throw on a brave face, I can.
I’ve always been my most honest of self on this page, and those who sat and read every single of my blogs throughout lockdown (I know who you all are), I know you felt my pain at times, and I felt yours. 2020 was the craziest of years, and the year that passed by the quickest I have ever known. I experienced the lowest of lows, which made the highest of highs even better. I believe there’s some sort of science somewhere that says when you’re going through a tough time, the highs feel even more exceptionally high. You have to take the storm to appreciate the sun.
I started 2020 with such high hopes that I was going to stick to my resolutions. I shared my previous resolutions and how I’d always nailed those. But, 2020 came and everything was thrown out the window. You know what, I feel better for it though. I’ve always been somebody who needs to plan. Somebody who needs to know exactly what is going to happen. I hate surprises. Yet, I hate the feeling when I’ve sussed the surprise out. I always fancied myself as somebody who goes with the flow and just goes for it, but instead, I’ve always been a planner. In 2020, I had three diaries and three calendars. That’s right, I tried to cross reference everything. I had a bullet journal for budgeting and monitoring my sleep and monitoring the weather and how many steps, honestly, looking back, it just seems like a huge waste of time.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are one of those people, that’s fine. I always enjoyed colouring in how many hours of sleep I had, or colouring in my emotion for the day, or filling in my steps and sleep graph. But, since I stopped, I feel like I have more time to relax and just be.
One of my goals was to take up yoga, which I did and kept up for some time. I truly believe yoga got me through some of lockdown. In our lockdown, we wasn’t even able to take a walk or go in the garden so maintaining an exercise plan was crucial. Once we were allowed to do exercise come April time, I stopped yoga. I don’t know if it was the connotations with lockdown or whether I just realised I didn’t have the time to prioritise to it anymore. The workouts went from an hour, to half hour, later to 10 minutes until I phased it out altogether. I do miss the inspiration that would come with finishing a yoga class, so maybe I’ll start it back up some day. Perhaps once a week.
Again, this was something I was so set on late 2019 and early 2020. But like yoga, it phased away around May time. Once we started doing videos and noticing that social media was booming and becoming massive, I just ended up dedicating so much time to answering comments, or researching places to video or take photos in. The creativity was thrown full on into social media and I’m more than happy about that. Instead of a solitary outlet, I get to create content that brings other people happiness and talk to thousands of people every single day. I don’t miss bullet journalling.
Film Better 1SE Clips
I don’t really know what I meant about this, is there such a thing as better clips? I think what I really wanted was to have better adventures. More frequent adventures. For 2019, there was a lot of waiting for Disney and then it flies by in, well, 20 seconds. I do love my 2020 video and if there’s one thing I’ll always continue it’s my filming one second everyday to summarise a year. People kept asking my why I was bothering in 2020 as a lot of it was spent at home, but there’s beauty in the mundane. Watching the clips of us at home just makes the clips of us on holiday all the sweeter. Seeing Rio’s happy face makes my day whether that’s at home or not.
I asked myself if it would be possible and highlighted that we’d manage to get better at saving money and had a pot of money ready to spend on travelling. We’d booked a road trip in Easter which was cancelled and a few other trips like London and Vienna ended up cancelled too. I know 2020 was the year that most people weren’t able to travel. The second they opened the gates to England and the European government said European travel was permitted, we did take the opportunity to safely travel some countries in Europe to spend a week or so home with family. We also managed to travel locally to a couple of places.
This is the list I wrote in January 2020:
- Serra de Mariola – Didn’t visit
- Marbella – Visited
- Ibiza – Didn’t visit
- Segovia – Didn’t visit
- Santiago de Compostela – Didn’t visit
- Montpellier – Didn’t visit
- Verona – Didn’t visit
- Lake Garda – Visited
- Vienna – Didn’t visit
- Munich – Visited
- Valencia – Visited
- Florida – Didn’t visit
Although we didn’t go to many of the places I wanted to visit in January, we did end up visiting Cologne, Lake Como, Lisbon, Barcelona, Lucerne, Montreux, Zurich, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Zermatt, Interlaken, Schwangau, Dijon, Paris, Toulon and explored some of the local area we hadn’t visited before like Pinoso. Another absolute highlight was being able to visit Asia Gardens, twice, after waiting 8 years to stay there!
2020 wasn’t what any of us planned, but it taught me to live more freely. I took the plunge and left a job to become a digital nomad. I became an ambassador for my city. I made thousands and thousands of new friends. We take the highs and the lows in this life, and I’m just hoping that 2021 comes with many, many highs for all of us.