The end of a year always brings mixed feelings – a certain sadness for the things that didn’t happen coupled with gratitude for all that went well. 2021 was no different. We had a rather subdued start with the country placed in lockdown to tackle the pandemic situation. The silver lining was the vaccination program which gave us the hope that things might be normal again.
However, little did we know that it was going to be a ‘new normal’ in more ways than one. The first few months saw us confined to our home with kids back to online learning and working from home. Then, by march things began to change and offline learning at schools and colleges started in a phased-out manner. Although there were a couple of occasions where our son had to self-isolate as he was considered a close contact, we managed to see through the academic year without too many hiccups.
Time to Travel – Again!
By May, the restrictions were lifted, and we were free to travel within the country. We headed to the Southeast of England to spend the May bank holiday soaking up the sun. That was a much-needed trip as we were on the verge of going crazy confined to home. It also meant we could meet a friend – actually see, talk, and have a cup of tea with someone – after a year or so. It felt heavenly to be able to meet someone and spend some time talking. (The yummy food was a bonus).
We had hoped to visit India during the summer holidays, but with the constantly changing rules and travel restrictions, travelling to India felt more difficult than anything we’d planned. Soon, it became obvious that the best option is to postpone our trip as the flight schedules, quarantine/isolation rules, pre & post travel tests – all were too much to plan.
July gave us an opportunity to tick off something from our bucket list – watch Puffin up close. We went on a day trip to Skomer Island and had a great time watching Puffins. The thrill of seeing these cute little birds at an arm’s length is something we won’t forget anytime soon. It was well worth the early morning drive from Liverpool to Pembrokeshire. We would love to do that again. At end of the day, we returned to the mainland with our hearts (and memory cards) full of Puffin pics.
Some Hits and Some Misses
As our plans to travel to India became impossible, we decided to do the next best thing. Travel within the UK. By then, the vaccination program was in full swing, and the UK lifted all restrictions – life was back to normal (although the definition of normal changed a lot). So, we had our vaccinations and headed to Cotswold for a short break. A three-day trip to the most beautiful part of England refreshed our minds and souls. We’ve covered this trip in detail in our earlier blogs. You can read them here.
During summer, we travelled a bit – mostly day trips from Liverpool. In between we spent a weekend in the Peak District, hiking to Mam Tor. It is a wonderful hike and if you love the outdoors, you’ll enjoy this hike. Read our blog on the hike to know more about it.
Mixing it up
We also did a few stadium tours this year and captured it all in our vlogs. Football is a much-loved sport in our home state, Kerala. So, we tried to bring them a taste of things in our language, which was rather well received by the football fans back home. We are thankful for that.
In hindsight, our vlogging and travels kept us going throughout the pandemic situation. Even when we couldn’t travel, we learned to adapt and make the best of what we had. It taught us ways to improvise, and to keep on learning. We are sure all these learnings will come handy sooner or later.
Hopes for the New Year
We hope to travel and explore more. There are no definite plans as of now. We hope to adapt and improvise as the year progresses. One thing is sure. We will not stop exploring and learning. There is so much to see and do – we hope we will be able to cover them all.
We start the new year on high hopes. Although we don’t know where this year will take us, we are determined to make the most of the opportunities that come our way.
As we look forward to another year hopefully with a lot of travel and great things, we would like to that you for being a part of our journey. May this year bring all the best things in your life too. Have a great 2022!
Stay tuned for more…