I write one of these “year in review” posts every year, but this is going to be a weird one. Where do I even begin to summarise 2020? Let’s not forget that it wasn’t all bad though. Despite the absolute mess that is 2020, I’ve had some good times this year as well.
It hasn’t been a great year for travelling. Then again, it hasn’t really been a great year for anything. Normally I’d write about concerts, festivals and daytrips. Ironically though, there’s simply not all that much to say about 2020. Except for the obvious.
Just like everyone else’s lives, mine changed quite a bit in March. Thankfully it didn’t affect my job much. I worked from home for about a month, during Holland’s first lockdown. That got old very quickly and I was glad to return to the office once the rules loosened up a bit. Then the English course I was taking got cancelled. I was quite sad about that, but I hope to pick it up again in the future. Fascinatingly though, in a year where you could barely go anywhere, I didn’t manage to read a single book.
It’s not all bad news though. We had a lovely warm summer, so staying in Holland was far from the worst thing in the world. Besides, I actually managed to go travelling twice this year. The first trip I went on was just before the world got turned upside down. It’s hard to believe February is only 10 months ago though. It feels like it’s been years since then.
I took my mum on a weekend city break to Prague. I’d been there before and was eager to show her one of my favourite cities in Europe. It was also the first time we went travelling together. All previous trips have been with my dad and my brother as well. Although those trips were fun too, it was really nice to be spending a girl’s weekend out with just the two of us. I hope we’ll be able to do this again, once this pandemic is over. Keep an eye out for a new blog post on our trip to Prague, which I hope to post soon.
The Belgian Ardennes
The other trip I went on was with my grandmother. Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve regularly spent a long weekend travelling to all corners of Holland together. We even went to the Belgian coast once. This year though, we were looking for a covid-safe way of spending our summer holiday. We normally would have booked a hotel. This time we rented a chalet instead, to make it much easier to keep our distance from other tourists. When my granny suggested going to the Ardennes, I managed to find the place we’d visited nearly 30 years ago. I was too young then to remember that trip, but I immediately recognised the location from the photos.
We ended up having a wonderful week together. The chalet was on a hill and the view was quite nice. This southernmost part of Belgium is vastly different to the flat river landscapes we have back home. The change of scenery did us both a lot of good. We went for long drives through the area, occasionally going across the border with France. We visited the beautiful city of Dinant. We even had a barbecue.
Bring on 2021
All in all, this year could’ve been a lot worse. No one in my direct family got sick. With news of a vaccine on the way, I can only hope that 2021 is going to be much better. As for travelling, I guess we’ll find out. Hopefully it’ll soon be safe to travel abroad again. But if I have to wait a little longer, there are plenty of places in Holland I haven’t seen yet.