2021: The end is near..

It feels like literally 2 minutes ago that I wrote my post about my travels in 2020.

Anyone else wondering where 2021 went!?

I know time goes faster and faster as the years tick by, this always seems to be the case. But, I think 2021 went especially fast because as we all continued to wait for things to become ‘normal’ again, they never quite got there.

Endless wondering whether you’d be able to go on your booked holiday or attend the wedding you’d been invited to. It really has been the year of limbo.

In some ways for me, 2021 has felt more restrictive than 2020. Last year we experienced a pandemic for the first time and it was new to us. We struggled through countless restrictions and lockdowns back and forth and the year overall was a write off for most. I did however still manage to cram in a bunch of amazing travel experiences and come out with what felt like a pretty eventful year! Feel free to read all about it here.

Sadly 2021 has not been enjoyable for the majority of the year and like I mentioned before, it really has felt like the year of limbo. Have you experienced the same?

Looking back on 2021

Kicking the year off with my grandad passing away and me catching coronavirus, it didn’t get off to the best start. The world was closed off for travel and lockdown #3 continued in to the first few months of 2021.

We patiently waited for things to turn ‘normal’ again and as things slowly began to do so we saw price increases on products, eating out and drinks in bars especially.. but no increases on wages. International travel restrictions so bad that a holiday felt like a chore. The world as we knew it, is gone.

In the new normal we are less sociable and warming to the idea of being around people, especially crowds has definitely been a struggle. I’m thankful to be able to see family again and not feel tied to a post in the garden with a collar around my neck. But I must say, whilst the world opens up again, it’s far less appealing than it used to be.

What about travel?

Travel in 2021 has been a never ending roller-coaster and as a travel agent, I’ve seen the constant changes throughout the year. It has been an absolute nightmare for the industry! I for one am desperate to see the return to normality if not for my personal travel but for my career life too.

We started the year unable to go anywhere. Eventually travel opened up again with the introduction of a traffic light system. Effectively green meant go slowly with a few restrictions in place, Amber was a hesitant approach and red was safe to say you’d have to be prepared to fork a lot of money out if you wanted to risk that.

When they finally ditched the traffic lights, the testing remained and we have seen it alter numerous times. From entry requirements to the UK on return changing to requirements for entering other countries all being different, it’s been near impossible to keep up with.

At the time I write this, in order to come in to the UK you need to have a negative test from your departure country. You then need to isolate on return until you receive negative results from a paid PCR test. That’s not to mention the testing you need to do before leaving the UK and the countless amounts of jabs you need to have already had. It’s no wonder nobody wants to go on ‘holiday’.

I am so very lucky to have been able to make it abroad twice this year and especially to have been able to visit family only last month in Poland before the restrictions worsened for winter. I will write about these trips in my 2021 travel round up at the end of this year.

Many of us haven’t been so lucky and we patiently await the world to open up again before we can enjoy a peaceful holiday or a visit to our loved ones. I speak with confidence for all of us when I say I cannot wait for a day where Covid-19 and its countless variations is a thing of the past. A day where the words pandemic, restrictions, masks, lockdown or testing aren’t part of normal everyday conversations.

What now?

The end of 2021 is near and I go into 2022 as always, with a bundle of goals and hopes for the new year. This year has been filled with countless achievements for me in different fields but very different adventures to what I’m used to and I look forward to looking back and writing about them.

My biggest goal for 2022 is to take up writing again. I’ve neglected this blog during the slum that has been 2021. Perhaps I’ve got a case of ‘writer’s block’ for blogging! But I am keen to find that motivation again and do what I enjoy. It’s time to do more than just work.

Me working through the pandemic. Call after call, every one about restrictions.

So over the coming weeks I’m putting pen to paper and dishing out content again. The reason I write this blog is not just for a diary to read back on but to inspire others to visit places they might not have heard of before. Even if only one person reads one post I like to hope it may have helped them in some way. And, if it doesn’t, well it gives me food for thought a little way in to the future.

So prepare for a bundle of posts coming your way as I enter the new year with my inspiration hat firmly placed on my head!

I hope you have all had a 2021 as great as it could be. I hope 2022 brings good health, adventure and a fresh perspective for everyone as we move one step closer to seeing the end of all the madness.

Merry Christmas!

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