2020 Retrospective – A Year Without Travel

Howdy all. Yes, I am going to bother with a short retrospective of 2020 from a personal view point. A complete failure in terms of travel, but you know I’m not the only one in that respect, for sure! It’s been a tough year for so many people. And I guess to say I’m still standing at the end of it is some sort of minor achievement. Because the year has had worse in it for me than living in lockdown.

Tim Brooke-Taylor who passed away in April this year,

Have you known someone who got corona virus this year? It’s been so wide spread I genuinely get surprised when I hear people on the TV saying they don’t know a single person who’s had it. I know people in more than one country who had it. Who had it pretty severely and were in ICU. And through someone I know, I know of someone who died from corona virus. I still remember back in the first half of the year when a bit of an idol of mine, Tim Brooke-Taylor, British comedian and one third of the Goodies passed away from it. So honestly I get a bit upset when I hear it referred to as ‘just like the flu’, or a hoax.

Beautiful Palawan. Sigh.

The year began and I booked a trip in May to head to the Philippines. This trip did not happen. I got over half my money back plus I have a travel credit with Cebu Pacific of around $1000AUD which I am unlikely to use before it expires. They send me regular emails telling me to use. Which is pretty annoying as what could I use it for? We can’t leave Australia!

Incidentally, I was due to go to the Philippines in 2012 and that fell through too, so the two times I’ve tried to get there, I’ve failed, so perhaps it is never to be. Or perhaps me booking for the Philippines is why we have corona virus?

I’ve had little time off this year. There didn’t seem much point beyond getting away from work. My mum nearly died in March and that was, as far as I was concerned, the worst of the year without a doubt. She’s ok now thankfully but it made me accept a reality I had always been frighten of accepting, that at some point I am going to lose my parents. It’s a very scary thing but also I always tell myself how lucky I am that I’m in my forties and I still have all my parents.

What have I achieved? Well, I have managed to post daily on the blog. That’s been a lot of work but doing it so religiously and fanatically since mid-year has meant that I had something to focus on through lockdown and without any travel prospects on the horizon. The result of that has been I am getting around twice as many views daily as I was a year ago. And also that I was able to monetize the blog. I currently make around $1.30USD a month from the blog. It goes up a few cents each month, well it has so far. When I hit $100 I will get paid, so that’s a fair way off as yet.

On the flip side at some point I know I will need to pull back on the blog a bit. It is taking a lot of time and head space and well, it’s not perpetually sustainable. Also, with no travel activity in 2020, I am relying on previous travel experiences and diaries to provide the majority of my content.

This is a possible route through Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan I could possibly take should I undertake the adventure again.

Also, I am saving both money and hours. I’m hoping in 2022 to go on a BIG ADVENTURE. I’m going to need leave hours in the bank for that. I’m not going to say what the plan is because there’s plenty of time and water to go under the bridge and there are no guarantees that by 2022 we’re in a place where the sort of travel I am talking about will be possible. I’m also saving for a house. And I’m doing okay there, I’m happy with how I’ve done to be honest. I haven’t been spending money on travel so I have been able to put away more than I had planned so I’m happy in that respect. I’m almost like an adult, hey?

Me mid-year

I’ve put on weight. I’m not happy about it but motivation is a big struggle right now. Somehow I have to turn that around. Towards the end of the year, Melbourne came out of lockdown. We look at the northern hemisphere and I guess we are thankful for where we’re at. I worry a lot about Europe and Nth America to be honest. I don’t know how the rest of winter is going to go. It’s going to be tough.

Melbourne opening up and then Victoria has meant the chance to get out a little finally, shoot a little footage for some vlogs. More on that in another post. A chance to at least visit places, restaurants etc for the opportunity to write more posts.

Meet Kon the Koala. Possibly soon to feature in a few vlogs!

How have you struggled through 2020? Have you managed travel? And how are you feeling about the next twelve months? Thanks for reading, please do comment, and… May the Journey Never End!


35 thoughts on “2020 Retrospective – A Year Without Travel

  1. I do hope you eventually make it to the Philippines. I’ve only been as far as Manila but loved it and want to go back and explore more. I’m certain you’ll be able to go to more places in 2021 just make the best of every opportunity that’s what I do. Every time restrictions are eased we use the windows of opportunity to head off some place. In the circumstances, we’ve been really fortunate managing to fit in several European trips as well as explore more of the U.K. Like everyone else we’ve also had disappointments and cancellations but I’m quietly confident we’ll all get to where we want to be in the end. Take care, Marion.

  2. Funny, I’ve planned to go to the Philippines twice but something’s always happened. It’s still on my list so maybe one day.
    Tough year for bloggers Andy so doubling your traffic during these times is an achievement. Mine is down 2/3 of what it was a year ago. You’re the hardest working blogger I know so I know you’ll achieve your goals.
    All the best for 2021 Andy!

  3. How bizarre that both your planned trips to the Philippines were derailed. It looks like a very interesting and beautiful place so hopefully you can make there someday…If we have another pandemic or global catastrophe then you’ll know for sure that it’s not meant to be! 😉 Happy New Year Andy 🥳

  4. There was a scare with my Mom this year too and I feel the same – lucky to still have both my parents in my forties. Few of my friends have been as fortunate.

    You know, I still don’t know anyone whose got the virus in Japan. But I know two people in real life in Ireland. One was touch and go, but thankfully survived. My sister in the UK thinks she may have had it too. I’ve heard of people here in Japan, friends or associates of people in a FB group or what not, but it surprises me I still haven’t heard of anyone I know personally getting it here. Another thing to be thankful for.

  5. 2020 was really a crazy year. I had a few plans to travel to Canada and Europe, but of course, they didn’t happen; even domestically, I had to cancel my birthday trip in March to nearby US states because the pandemic was worsening. The only “real” trip I took was a day trip to a national park within my home state, which counts as something…but aside from that, I’m with you that I’ll be waiting until 2022 to travel internationally again (late 2021, if lucky), and until then, I’ll be staying safe from COVID-19. There were several closed ones and acquaintances who I know had gotten COVID (including my grandpa, who passed away from it), so it really is upsetting to see people still not taking it seriously with wearing face masks in public and still going to house parties/clubs in town. We’ll have to see what 2021 brings, but it looks like it’ll be a transitional year from COVID to *possible* normalcy again…

  6. No travel here as well- I didn’t have anything booked but was thinking of an end of the year trip. That’s unfortunate that your trip to the Philippines didn’t happen (again!) and the air tickets that will likely expire 😦 I think the hardest for me was trying to keep my spirits up. We’ve been forced to take leave this year so will be unable to save up annual leave for 2021. I want to be optimistic but also think 2022 will be the year where we can travel widely again. Great effort for blogging each day- that’s amazing!

  7. 2020 has been one hell of a year! You should certainly be proud of yourself for channeling your energy in a constructive way via your blog, which is always a delight to read.

    Cheers to 2021… hopefully amazing adventure awaits 🙂

  8. I think my biggest struggle has been teaching from home. I miss being in the classroom and having some human interaction. Also not being able to visit family has been rough. But I have been able to hike locally, which has been the one thing that has sort of salvaged this year. I do hope things start getting better here in the US soon.

    I’ve enjoyed finding your blog this year and learning about lots of Asian countries that I know very little about. Thanks for all the great content. Glad you made it through the year and I hope better things are ahead for you in 2021!

  9. no luck with the Philippines? don’t book it again, who knows what might happen. joking aside, it’s been a tough year. I’m very sorry about your Mum. I’m glad that she’s okay now. you’ve been very active on the blog, it’s good to have a hobby. I hope you get to do your grand adventure. we only did day trips in out country in the summer when the situation was better. we’re now still in second lockdown. 2020 was a difficult year for me for many reasons, and now it’s even getting worse…

    1. Well technically we already did two lock downs. But there was only two weeks or so between them and the second was like nearly five months. I don’t think we could do another but they say Feb may see another. So I don’t know. We haven’t had a new case in the community in 2 months only in hotel quarantine are we having new cases at the moment so they are returned travellers.

      1. Its more that its thought sooner or later there will be another serious outbreak. Why iam not sure but there is one at the moment in Sydney which is in partial lockdownright now

  10. Perhaps you should focus more on local travel once Australia lifts some of the restrictions since it’s cheaper and more feasible. Most of my travel (nearly all to date) is local, but even that was cut off with the start of the pandemic restrictions in Jamaica so I know it’s easier said than done. It’s also not the same, but maybe it can hold you over until those 2022 big travel ambitions come to fruition. I really hope things are fine by then.

    Hats off to you and writing daily! I’m really proud of you because I know how hard that is. Best wishes to you and yours in 2021 🙂

    1. Thanks ro u do an amazing job with yours. I am definitely focussing more on local next year with the hope of some interstate travel in the first half of the year. If things improve maybe a short overseas trip in the second half fingers crossed!

  11. 2020 was a crazy ride, and my prayers continue for our world to heal, for our frontliners, for the sick and for those who died from the virus. May we all have a better, healthy 2021.

  12. Hahaa…with a grumpy face like this I can understand how you enjoyed a year of no traveling. Happy New Year and hope you get to travel to your favorite places this year.

  13. kaylieandthefam

    Wow I am glad your mum is oka. My travel dreams for 2022 are just that, dreams, but let’s dream big, get those visions boards ready and start positively. Love the blog. X

  14. We have very similar experiences and goals Andy. It was my second attempt to go to Hawaii in 2020 and that got cancelled! I was wondering the same if I will ever make it to those islands! I am also saving for a house, but I am having difficulties finding one that I like. They are very quirky here in the UK.

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