2022 Goals and Intentions

2022 is about to be a wonderful year. And we have big plans for it.

carrying my baby on Poniente Beach

Back in 2019, I published a post titled “2020 Goals, Intentions and Travel Wishlist“. 25 year old me sat down and wrote down things I’d wanted to achieve in 2020. But let’s face it, did any of manage to achieve what we set out to do?

I think having such a strange 2020, I know a complete understatement, meant that come 2021 I had zero intention to sit and write what I hoped to do or achieve. If anything, I just wanted to make it to October as quick as possible.

Why? Because in October, our lives was about to change in the biggest way possible, and we couldn’t wait.

If you only read my blog and don’t follow me on social media then you might not even know that in October, we welcomed our first child. A beautiful baby girl. She has been the greatest gift and the biggest blessing. The journey was incredibly tough, but she is an incredible reward.

I never posted on my blog about my pregnancy or the lead up, because it felt too negative. I was exhausted. I was in constant pain. I struggled every single day and just wanted it to end. I hate that I didn’t have the kind of pregnancy that you read about online. I hate that my pregnancy and childbirth was difficult and, at times, touch and go. Medical negligence is a tough thing to comprehend, the professionals you are trusting didn’t have your best interests. It’s a scary concept.

Combining with the ongoing pandemic, I think 2021 was just a year I needed to solely exist. Get by day by day. I needed to show up for myself and nothing else. I couldn’t do walks and commit to being a positive presence when I was feeling nothing close to it.

Don’t get me wrong, we did lots of fun things. We travelled around Spain to Segovia, Madrid, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Pamplona and other places. We had an amazing baby shower with our friends and family in Leicestershire. We were finally able to see family and friends after over a year. It’s the kind of year that felt like it flew by, but also took forever. 2021 leaves me lost for words.

But 2022 is about to be a wonderful year. Come the birth of our daughter, 2021 was starting to come to a close. I spent November recovering after emergency surgery and finding our feet in our new world. December was a month of anticipation. We had got so excited for her first Christmas, only to spend it with the virus catching up. But 2022, we have high hopes. The year we get to watch our little girl grow and learn every single day.

12 before 12

This year, we’re hoping to do 12 before 12. A mini challenge I’ve set us to visit 12 countries as a family before our daughter hits 12 months old at the end of October. Using Alex’s paternity leave and school holidays, we’re hoping to travel and hit the milestone.

We’re no strangers to road trips now, and with Rio having 14 countries tucked under his collar, we think it’s something we might be able to achieve. With a road trip already pencilled in, it’s looking like it will be possible to do so. Of course, this also depends on restrictions and seeing what happens in the foreseeable. If we’ve learnt anything over the past two years, it’s that we have to act on impulse. Planning in advance is a thing of the past and we need to book last minute.

Considering her middle name is named after a beautiful city in Switzerland, top of our list is to visit there with her. We’re also keen to take her to Paris and a Disney park too.

Film a One Second Everyday for baby girl

I have filmed a one second everyday since 2016 and I love watching our time stitched together. This year, to make it even more special, I’m going to film a second private video of just our daughter. Each year, it will be so special for her to see her growth from birth to however long I keep it up for.

Be a better friend

I want to be a better friend. Properly. I want to show up for my friends. Be there for their milestones. Celebrate their successes. See our children grow together. I have been a distant selfish friend for far too long. Being the friend who shows up for a weekend and then goes again. The friend that misses the birthday parties. The friend that had to reintroduce themselves to their kids every time.

Now we have our daughter, who is months, if not days, apart in age from some of my best friends kids – I want me and her to be there more often. Not just for me, but for our little one too. I want to be able to take her to soft play and to sensory play and to birthday parties with our children.

Use my blog more

For something that actually costs me a small fortune to keep up and running, I barely touched it last year. There was times I considered closing it down altogether. I wasn’t using it and all it was doing was costing me more money in an already difficult financial position with me losing work left, right and centre with the pandemic taking its toll on more and more businesses.

But, for two reasons I kept it going. Firstly, it was still gaining traction with people wanting to know about different things related to my blog. There was questions to answers that people were looking for. There was information about restrictions that were still relevant. There was step by step guides for government bureaucracy which hadn’t changed.

And secondly, it was my outlet. It was the safe place that I wrote my lockdown diaries. It was the place I had felt like I had a friend when we moved to a brand new country alone. I felt like I had grown with my blog and even if I wasn’t writing at that time, I knew there would be a time I’d come back to it.

That time is now.

So, if this is your first time here, or if you’ve been here in the past. I’m back. I may not be a girl anymore, but I feel like I have grown with Diary of a Spanglish Girl. So, whilst I may not feel like I’m a girl, I’ll always be Spanglish Girl at heart. And hey, perhaps the true Spanglish Girl around here is now our girl, born in Benidorm.

My wish for 2022 is that there are many, many highs for not just our little family, but all of us. Every single one of us.

Take care,

L x


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.

diary of a spanglish girl Lauren Bate Spain blogger in Javea near Benidorm

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.

Bullet Journaling

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.

Travel More

Lauren Alex and rio Benidorm trio in Lucerne Switzerland

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.

Take care,

L x

%d bloggers like this: