2020 Roundup! A bizarre year of travel!

by Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders
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2020 Roundup Post!

I debated a while about writing this post because, well, shockingly enough 2020 was not the year for travel. Still, in putting a highlights reel together, there were some great moments and I wanted to record them somewhere! So, here is my 2020 roundup!

2020 roundup: January

This month was INCREDIBLE! I started the year in the biggest and best way possible, and for that I will be eternally grateful. The highlight of the 2020 roundup starts right here.

Cuba

I saw in the new year at a street party in Cuba. Lots of really bad salsa dancing, bootleg mojitos, dancing with locals and Cuban music. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin. Finishing the night off with croquettas from a local restaurant.

image of beach in Playa Larga, Cuba to start 2020 roundup

Leaving Vinales on the 1st Jan, to drive to Playa Larga with a stop at a cenote on the way. Finishing the first day of the year with sundowner drinks and the most gorgeous sunset.

It is fair to say, I absolutely loved Cuba and can’t wait to return. Take a look at some of my posts here:

18 things to do in Havana, Cuba

Things to know about Cuba before visiting

Las Vegas

I then flew straight from Cuba to Las Vegas for a work event. I have always wanted to return to this city, I really enjoyed it the first time! While it was an intesnse few days of working, I did get a bit of time to explore the city. As well as some incredible meals out! Definitely a part of the States I want to return to, to keep dipping in and out.

image of las vegas sign

Non Gambling things to do in Las Vegas

Chamonix, France

A few days after returning from Vegas, I was off to Chamonix for our work 2020 offsite kick off. Absolutely incredible to be able to go away with work and get to go skiing! As we all know, I am a huge huge huge fan of skiing, so these three days may have been the best working days of my life. Ever. Lots of ski, a few working sessions, genepy, après, and a lot of food!

image of the town of Chamonix, France
Les Gets, France

Because three days skiing wasn’t enough, I headed back to the alps for a further three days with my family! The weather was slightly less kind on this trip, with only one sunny day. Still, Les Gets is one of my favourite resorts and the area makes for such great skiing! Annoyingly, I managed to twist my knee on the ice so spent the last day of the trip in a medical centre. Even more annoying considering how the next few months began to pan out….

image of snow covered trees in Les Gets in the French Alps, France

Looking for skiing inspo? Best ski resorts in Europe

February

I decided to take February easy considering the month I had just had. This, obviously, turned out to be a mistake. However, it was in February that I started one of my new hobbies – ruin hunting in Norfolk. I became so interested in discovering ruined churches around the county which lead me down some really interesting paths.

image of ruined church in Norfolk

If you are interested take a look at this post: Church ruins in Norfolk to discover!

March

I started the month with a lot of work trips to London, which now feels like a blessing in disguise! By the end of the month, well we all know what happened. I just about managed to squeeze my birthday celebrations in with my friend cooking me a lovely dinner. At this point, the 2020 roundup does get a little predictable!

image of tower bridge, London as part of the 2020 roundup.

April

Lockdown was in full force this month. I spent it in the Norfolk countryside and once again I am so so so grateful to live in this part of the country. There was a lot of baking, I got back into reading again, listened to podcasts, lots and lots and lots of walks, jigsaws and zoom calls. I even started Couch to 5K! As well as the classic home work outs. Pretty much the same as many others at this part of 2020!

May

The most exciting thing in May? We were released enough that I was able to make it to the coast! I had really missed being by the water during lockdown, and was desperate to see rivers and the sea! I took myself off to Winterton on Sea for the most gorgeous evening with a book, and it felt like the best freedom! The rest of the month? Zoom, books, baking, walks, jigsaws etc etc etc. And actually completing couch to 5K!

June

Things got really exciting this month! Finally allowed to go and sit in people’s gardens! Started the month with paella around the firepit. But the end of the month, I even made it to London, so finally got to see my family again. Also had a lovely Hampstead Heath catch up. It felt so lovely to be able to see people again after so long.

July

The pubs reopened! Lots of alfresco wonderful evenings out with a close group of friends. Oh and I also bought my first home!

But even more excitingly, I managed to escape to the North Norfolk coast with my family for a week. This is an annual trip we take every year. And this year it was needed more than ever. I had been working throughout all of lockdown, because what was the point in taking any annual leave when there was no where to go? So this time off, along with how free it felt was the best few days in so long! My favourite beaches, supporting local businesses, crabbing, swimming, wine and sun. Absolute heaven.

image of woman standing on mud flats in Cley, North Norfolk

Things to do in Norfolk, UK

August

I started the month spending some time exploring Norwich. It does seem crazy how when living in a city, you often over look some of the sights. So it was lovely to try and see the city through others eyes!

image of elm hill in Norwich, 2020

I did have flights booked to Menorca for this month. But Spain was the first country to go on the safe list and then came back off again. I did contemplate going and then taking the two week quarantine when I got home. However my family couldn’t, so it would have been two weeks alone in Spain and then two weeks home alone in quarantine. So I decided this wasn’t the way forward. Plan B was to then go and stay with my friend in Iceland. But 5 days before my annual leave, Iceland introduced a 5 day quarantine for all arrivals, even with a negative test.

Instead I found myself booking a last minute trip to Venice, best decision ever! I have always always wanted to visit Venice, but thought it would be in winter time as I didn’t want to deal with all the crowds. But visiting in August 2020 meant the place was so empty. It did not take long for me to fall in love with the city. It was 4 amazing days of wandering, sightseeing, eating delicious food and visiting some of the islands in the lagoon. Safety precautions were being taken seriously, and chatting to the locals showed how much they appreciated the small amount of tourism that was there.

There definitely needs to be a balance in this city between economy and over-tourism, and I hope the cruise ships are not allowed back in the lagoon. I am so grateful for this little trip away in the middle of the year. I cannot even begin to describe the mental boost this gave me.

Best views in Venice to photograph

September

After a little bit more ruin hunting, and some more Norfolk walks. It was time for another trip!

This time it didn’t involve going abroad. Instead I boarded a train in Kings Cross and headed to Scotland for a week. I have been to Scotland a couple of times for work, and always tacked a morning or a day on. And every time I said I needed to come back to explore more. And in 2020 I finally did!

It was the most incredible week of roadtripping around Scotland. Packed full of castles, hikes, lochs and visiting islands. I cannot describe how much I enjoy this part of the UK and cannot wait to return. Again!

7 Day Scotland Itinerary for the best trip!

October

As travel was getting harder and harder again, this month was much closer to home. Autumn is my favourite time of year, so I made myself a autumnal bucketlist to max out the season! This month involved autumnal walks, pumpkin patch, halloween films, roasts and baking. My day out at the National Trust owned Felbrigg Hall was a highlight!

image of Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk

November

England entered Lockdown 2.0! Another month of hanging out in the Norfolk countryside. This time I started with a bonfire party with the family. And then followed more of the walks, baking and reading!

image of bonfire on guy fawkes night

December

I absolutely love this time of year, and fully get into the Christmas spirit. So I started by putting my first Christmas tree in my new home up. Lots of outdoor meals, mulled wine fuelled walks and Christmas films. I then did manage to squeeze in a day in London where I saw a lot of the festive sights. London at Christmas is one of my favourite places, so I was so happy to have this day of exploring. Just before London went into tier 3 (and then straight away tier 4!). Christmas at home. And New year… at home!

2020 roundup!

I started this year in the most amazing way, and I remember being so excited for the year ahead. A lot of plans went out of the window. I liked having the time at home, for a while. But all 2020 has made me realise how much I love to travel. How much I love my life, and that I want it back! Yet looking back over my 2020 roundup, I am so grateful for January and for my three trips in the middle. On the whole I have been incredibly lucky and I am so thankful.

Here is to 2021!

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1 comment

Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes January 9, 2021 - 3:54 pm

Thanks for sharing your 2020 travel highlights it was a strange year of not going away much and trying to squeeze everything in 🙂

Reply

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