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The Year I Didn't Travel - 2020

What a year 2020 was! After returning from Jordan in January, things took a step into the unknown. The news started telling us how the world was under fire and about to fight a war against an unseen enemy. It was a sad time, many losing family and friends. The uncertainty, playing havoc both mentally and physically. Lockdown took place, stay local, stay safe. Everywhere closed with the exception of essential shops and services. We all took to the great outdoors, walking and cycling. Just as well, as when indoors we were baking!

Did you do some armchair travel? Not quite the same I know, but loads of great inspiration for future travel planning. Currently in lockdown again across the UK, I thought I would share what has been keeping me sane throughout this past year, filled with hope and inspiration.

Lauriston Castle with bright blue clear sky and spring flowers in foreground.
Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh ©MDHarding

The Year I Didn't Travel - 2020

Time to Explore

No time like the present to enjoy local walks and places of interest on the to-do list. If like me you have maybe heard of someplace and been meaning to visit for a while. Just a twenty-minute walk away to the historic Lauriston Castle, Davidson's Mains cycle path along the Water of Leith and onto the River Almond. Living in Corstorphine during 2020 was a godsend with many essential shops on our doorstep and large open spaces to enjoy including walks to Corstorphine Hill. Did you know Corstorphine Hill Tower was built as a memorial to Sir Walter Scott? Sometimes it is the places on your doorstep that are beautiful and forgotten.

Did you discover any local hidden gems where you live during 2020?

Learning New Skills

My friend's joke that I am forever a student, studying one thing or another. It's true, there is always something new to learn but isn't every day a school day? "Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last" - Samual Johnson.

Everything that I have always wanted to try from candle and soap making, crochet and baking. I have loved having extra time to indulge in other creative pursuits. YouTube is amazing! I'm extremely grateful that we have today's incredible technology to not only find out about how to make or do something but also to order online and send items to loved ones around the world. Without this 2020 would have been a lot more challenging. What did you discover, learn or do differently in 2020?

You might like to read Easter For Adults on how to make an Easter cheesecake, Travel Inspired Five Course Menu You Can Create At Home including delicious Scottish Tablet or a surprise for you're loved one this Valentine's Day. Is it too early to mention The Essential Summer Fruit: Strawberry? Although out of season here in the UK, it is still possible to enjoy the juicy berries.

Birch log heart candle holder with winter textiles and warming spices
Candle Making ©MDHarding

Self Discovery

I learnt that I am perfectly happy to be at home. I know it might sound rather a strange thing to say, but since a very young age, travel has always been my thing. So much so, that many asked if I was okay and if I was getting by without being able to travel. I am happy to say, yes! So much so, that travel for me going forward is going to be drastically different. Focusing more on a once a year sustainable, longer period of slow travel. Enjoying a place, country in more depth with authentic experiences.

What did you discover about yourself? Are you more extrovert than an introvert? I can imagine if an extrovert, you must be finding lockdown challenging. Have you found strategies? Please do share.

Technology is amazing but if anything there was way too much screentime in 2020. I struggled with that. I could have a zoom chat, several webinars, uploading a social media post to various platforms, editing photos and trying to write a blog post in one day alone. As I was finishing up for the winter festive holidays, I had already planted the seed. Less is definitely better.

They say it's "survival of the fittest" well 2020 definitely threw a few curve balls and challenges! I know many still, are going through tough times. Sending everyone virtual hugs. The light at the end of the tunnel is definitely getting closer x


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