I think we can all agree that 2020 was a really bad year, but we can all sit at home and be optimistic that bigger and better things will happen in 2021. I look forward to it.
Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post called “20 Things I Want to Do in 2020,” and I was actually able to do most of them! But there are some things on the list that make me want to cry. There were a lot of plans that didn’t come to fruition.
We all hope 2021 will be a better year, but how many of us actually think it will be better? There are whispers that this could be the magical day when we begin to return to the world. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to set our expectations low, really low, and then maybe lower them again. That way you won’t be disappointed.
Sorry if it sounds a little pessimistic and gloomy. I try to be realistic and not get excited about possibilities that will never happen.
I have to admit that my hopes and dreams for 2021 are a little smaller than previous years. I usually focus on dreaming big. I love making New Year’s resolutions and making big plans for the coming year.
Famous quote: “Shoot for the moon.” “If I miss, I’ll land among the stars” pretty much sums up how I live my life, but it just doesn’t seem right for 2021!
The uncertainty of 2021
If someone told me it was going to be another year like 2020, I would accept that and I could plan for it. But what I find difficult is the uncertainty of next year.
In fact, I wouldn’t mind staying home for another year. I feel very lucky to have a healthy family that keeps me very busy. Living on the edge of the countryside definitely makes things easier because you always have somewhere to escape to.
But we don’t know what kind of year it will be.
Should I plan a trip abroad in the summer? Will work be back to normal by spring? Will children continue attending school all year long or will they return to homeschooling?
Without answers to these questions, it feels like you can’t plan anything. It’s not just about being able to book a holiday, it’s also about the job. Most of my work is travel-related, and while people can’t travel, I don’t have much work to do!
The reality of being self employed
This year my income has decreased by about 90%. Yes, 90%! I basically lost my job. Not only because I was working less outside the home, but also because I was spending a good portion of the year at home with my three kids, which made it nearly impossible to get work done. He was going to work every night when Sam got home from work, but by 6pm he was completely exhausted!
As my grades plummeted, I lost all enthusiasm and motivation for my work and entered a downward spiral from which I struggled to break free.
I thought changing the blog name would solve the problem, but in reality nothing changed!
I love being self-employed and I wouldn’t change it for the world just yet. I looked for a full-time job and even came close to applying for one job, but I couldn’t apply. I’ve been working for myself for so long that I think it would be difficult to go back to full-time work.
I guess I’m still a travel blogger!
I’ve changed my blog name, but I’m still a travel blogger.
Who was the joke?
The buck really dropped when I met a woman in Chester a few weeks ago. She was a fan of travel hacks. She had a travel hack backpack and stuff and she recognized me right away. Yes, I was overjoyed! It’s not often that you get recognized as a travel blogger!
“Oh, you’re The Travel Hack!” she told me!
“Yes, but I changed the name of my blog and it’s now Monica Lucy….’
“Yes, but you’ll always be The Travel Hack!’
It was a longer conversation than that, but basically it went like this!
At the peak of the pandemic, I couldn’t think of anything worse than traveling, but I’m back in the travel mood and can’t wait for my next adventure. That’s always possible. I noticed that nothing else had changed except the blog name.
Therefore, there may be a chance that The Travel Hack will be revived in some form. We will keep you updated with the latest information….
The most important thing I learnt in 2020
I don’t mean to be boring and say the most important lessons of 2020 are the importance of our health and mental well-being, or how much beauty there is before our eyes, or yadda. It was a realization that yadda yadda. I’ve been saying this all year long, but I’m tired of it.
Let’s be real here. We have always known how important health and well-being are. We always knew there was a beautiful place close to home. We’ve had more interesting stories and more exciting places to visit!
There’s one thing we really learned in 2020 from the coronavirus and lockdowns. It’s the fact that you have to actually do something to make memories.
If you don’t do anything, you won’t remember anything.
Is there anyone out there whose memory of late spring/early summer is completely gone? I know. Weeks and weeks have passed and I have no recollection of what we did. My memory is just blank. If I hadn’t made a few videos during this time, I don’t know what I would remember!
I remember the first few weeks of lockdown in March so clearly because everything was so strange, scary and, dare I say it, kind of exciting. We returned from Tenerife during lockdown and I remember this clearly.
But we quickly got used to lockdown life and settled into a strange, monotonous routine where every day was exactly the same. Sunday melted into Monday, quickly turned into Tuesday, then Saturday, and then…where did half the week go? Lockdown was a blur of lazy mornings, craft activities, chores, garden games, and a countdown to Wine O’Clock (which got earlier and earlier as the week went on).
It could have been a week, it could have been a month, it could have been four or five months. I’m not sure. But there’s a weird, blurry gap in my mind where nothing really happened, and it scares me.
Life is so short and precious that I hate to think that I wasted an entire year without doing anything worth remembering.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that raising three wonderful children is not about “doing nothing” and it’s worth remembering. But I don’t remember much about the time when I was just wandering around the house. I remember going to Alton Towers and Magical Woodlands. I remember spotting dolphins in Abersoch and taking the boys out on the jet ski Sam had won at the start of lockdown (worst time to win a jet ski!) but… I don’t remember whole weeks.
My goal for a memorable 2021
Following this, my main goal for 2021 is to do an “activity” every week. “Activities” may sound like boring school trips, but basically I want to do something fun and memorable every week. Go for a day out, a little adventure, a hike, or do something fun at home.
We know this will be a bit more difficult at the moment as we are currently in Tier 4 and it looks like we will be going back into a national lockdown again. So I have my work set for me and I am confident that we can make it happen!
My blogging plans and goals for 2021
My main goal for my blog is to get it back to where it was at the beginning of 2020.
For the past 6-7 years, this blog has generated enough passive income for my family to survive, and I would love to get back to that level.
Passive income is the most amazing way for blogging to make money. It comes from advertising on the website and affiliate sales made through my recommendations. I know ads can be annoying (sorry to those people!), but they allow me to continue blogging with minimal collaboration with brands. Don’t get me wrong. I also love working with brands, but having passive income on the side means I can be very selective about the brands I work with, and this blog is a great sales message. Not.
Passive income is usually a very safe source of income. I was able to take months off at a time after each child was born and it didn’t affect my income.
But then the giant wrecking ball known as Covid-19 came along and stopped people from traveling, stopping them from researching travel, booking travel, reading about travel, and doing anything related to travel. I can no longer spend money on everything. And yes, that source of income quickly dried up!
However, by diversifying their content so that it’s not 100% travel-related, they’ve been able to regain some of their valuable pageviews and slowly see their passive income recover.
Seeing these stats rise again gives me confidence back in myself as a blogger and motivates me to keep moving forward.
Hopes and dreams for the future
I always like to leave space for big dreams, and I think it’s important to put them down on paper so you don’t forget them.
My big dream, not in 2021 but sometime in the future, is to buy a small campervan. I’m dreaming of driving around Wales with my kids in the summer and even going around Europe.
Sam and I rode in a campervan in Australia and the freedom it offered was incredible. However, I honestly don’t know if it would work with three kids and a dog. Will a campervan give us freedom, or is it a prison on wheels? I’m not sure, so I’m thinking of hiring one for a few weeks and seeing how it goes before making a serious big purchase is.
This week I will be writing a “Highlights of 2020” article, so keep an eye out!