A terrible year for me in blogging but a fantastic year for local travel!
In a year that’s still affected by the global pandemic, things are slowly returning to ‘normal’ or the new normal it will probably always be known as.
I didn’t write as much as I would have liked during 2021 which makes this post a bit harder to write than previous years. It’s my plan to blog more in 2022 and fill in the gaps as I do love reading back on it all at the end of the year. This does however mean I don’t have a bundle of content to link back on for this post so I’ll just have to try paint the picture as I go along!
Well the year didn’t get off to the best start and actually I completely forgot that we started the year in a 3rd lockdown! Travel was majorly restricted and pretty much anything that involved having fun was out of bounds. I wrote about our new found freedom as soon as we got it back:
March >> Freedom has arrived
Of course as soon as we were allowed to go out again the first place we chose to visit was the seaside. Probably the longest stint I’ve ever had of not being by the sea so it was the first place we went!
April >> Sunny Scarborough by the sea
A new adventure..
We had a busy summer selling our house and buying a new one and it pretty much took away all our energy (as well as money). Of course it was one hell of an adventure in itself and we spent the rest of the year making the house our home.
June >> Our new home
We didn’t plan to go abroad at all because of the various Covid tests and restrictions still in place but we had a wedding invitation to one of my best friends weddings taking place in Spain so of course we couldn’t miss that!
So we took our chances in August and got lucky that Spain was marked safe on the travel list. This meant that we could still travel as we were fully vaccinated and as long as we tested negative then we didn’t have to isolate either. It cost us extra in tests but it could have been much worse.
We spent 7 nights in Salou where I’ve visited many times and loved. Unfortunately due to Covid it just wasn’t the same. Such a shame to see so many things closed but we enjoyed what we could.
It was worth it to have some time away in the sun with family again and we got to enjoy the lovely wedding.
After our time in Salou we headed to Barcelona.
What a fab time we had here! My first time in the city since 2016 and it was like seeing the city in a new light. We explored all the streets making the most of the nightlife as well as heading down to the beach and seeing the sights.
It was a great way to spend my birthday and impressive that even in a pandemic I still manage to get oversees to celebrate.
An adventurous autumn
After summer we did as much as we could to enjoy our freedom to travel again and decided to see more of the UK like we’d always talked about doing.
We started with a simple city break in Birmingham. I’ve been here many times in the past and I’ve always disliked the place. But, a lot can change in a decade and actually we ended up having a really good time. It was nice to see the city again as an adult and admire architecture like I wouldn’t have before. It makes you look at cities from a different perspective.
Our primary reason for visiting Birmingham was to delve into The Bear Grylls Adventure and try something different. As well as doing Europe’s largest high ropes course we also did archery and had a great time! I’d really recommend this place for a great day out as we had so much fun and it was a unique experience.
In October I headed to Liverpool for the first time in 16 years! It was supposed to be a trip to the theatre but it turned into a very expensive weekend city break of sight seeing. I loved it though, the sun came out and it felt like once again we were abroad on holiday. I can see why people stay in their home country for their holidays, eating out and walking around can be enjoyed anywhere. In Liverpool I enjoyed some of the tastiest meals I’ve ever had too!
Next I headed for Scotland and it was not only my first time visiting Scotland outside of Edinburgh but also the furthest North I’d been in the UK. We went glamping in the Cairngorms and it was beautiful! As well as hiking in excess of 20 miles across 2 days we also visited the cities of Carlisle and Perth for the first time.
It was good to get about in the outdoors again and glamping at Blair Atholl will definitely be something we do again one day.
We had one more trip to the seaside before the end of the year with a hike up some hills and a trip to Redcar to visit a friend. You just can’t beat seeing the sea on a sunny day!
A magical Christmas
In one very lucky turn of events we managed to get flights to Poland in the autumn sale for just £8 per flight. Not only did we grab a bargain but we also managed to time it perfectly to avoid all restrictions and expensive testing measures. So one last trip abroad we took.
This time it was returning to Gdansk in Poland to visit my family for the first time in 2 years! We were so lucky to be able to get out there as only the week after the restrictions changed requiring further testing and isolation.
Christmas in Poland was magical with all the markets taking place I’m glad we made it out there and got to enjoy it. I also got to taste so many delicious new meat-free dishes.
One final trip before the year end and we visited one of my bucketlist cities. Again for another wedding we popped to Cambridge. I loved it and actually finally something I can say I blogged about this year:
December >> Christmas in Cambridge
I ended the year getting to see my gran down in Halesworth and making new friends in the local pub! If you’ve never been to Halesworth, it’s a small town in Suffolk. There is nothing there really but it was the set of the recent movie ‘Yesterday’ starring Ed Sheeran. Maybe one day I’ll bump into him as I wander around the little shops (here’s hoping).
Travel wasn’t particularly big for me in 2021. I know it sounds like I did a lot but actually I spent a lot of time concentrating on other lifestyle goals. Besides buying a new house I also started a new job, became a vegetarian and really concentrated on improving my fitness levels again.
I took up a new hobby trying aerial hoop and ran in my first event with a charity 10k!
I had a pretty productive 2021 looking back. Here’s to an even more eventful 2022!
Happy New Year everybody!
[…] was very similar to the Bear Grylls experience in Birmingham that I mentioned in my earlier post here. But given that we loved that experience it was a no brainer that we should do more activities just […]