2021, END OF YEAR REFLECTION POST10 min read

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2021 REFLECTION

BACK ON THE ROAD

2021, End of Year Reflection Post. Well after what seemed like a minor hiccup, COVID really took hold of everyone’s travel plans. I still remember thinking it would only last a few weeks 🤦🏻♂️. But halfway through the year travel was again possible.

YOU MEAN 2021 IS NEARLY OVER?

Wont say what my thoughts on Covid are, it’s a very divisive. Theres no doubt it can cause us problems but it’s a case of calculating the number and thus the risk. Whatever that is I don’t know. It’s a bit strange to put such a positive spin on Covid but it has no doubt given me time to do what I needed to do in terms of staying off the road to finish the blog.

TRIPS

My issue was that although it was only easy to travel Europe, I had pretty much ticked each all of these countries off and only had countries which struggled to implement entry procedures to allows travel to restart. So in the end to get away I opted for the Azores.

APRIL – JULY
THE AZORES SERIES
Terceira, Flores, Corvo, Faial, Pico, San Miguel

The Azores was always on my list and I have no idea why because I had done very little research. So little in fact that I was shock with what I saw. Being so isolated and being in the middle of the Atlantic was probably it’s pull but I had expected it to be a little more tropical and instead all I seen was green grass and rain, of which I could have stayed at home to see!

Of course that is a little tongue and cheek. The Azores was special, and great to visit somewhere in Europe I hadn’t already. I spent 12 days going from island to island and and although the weather might not have been ideal, I was given 1 good day when it mattered, when climbing portugals highest mountain, Mt Pico.

David Simpson checking out the bay and the sea at sunset in Terceira Island. 2021, end of year reflection post
David Simpson checking out the green fields in Terceira Island. 2021, end of year reflection post

YEAR STATS….

  • DAYS – 35
  • COUNTRIES – 12
  • NEW COUNTRIES – 8
  • REVISITS – 4
  • FLIGHTS – 23 + 2 BOATS
  • STEPS – 362,779
  • MILES TRAVELLED – 17,411.1
  • 2021 SUMMED UP –7/10

AUGUST – OCTOBER
THE CARIBBEAN SERIES
Antigua, BVI, Sint Maarten, Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent & The Grenadines

Approaching October I was getting nothing short of fed up with how things were and after the rents asked me to come out to Portugal for a weekend I made this the most bizarre excuse to go on another adventure.

Everything was booked last minute but it all seemed to work perfectly. The perfect beaches in Antigua, the perfect accom on BVI, the perfect attraction on Sint Maarten. But then it all went tits up. From late PCR results, to boarding a plane without a result and then quarantining for the net two countries it was hard to say the second part was a success!

Aerial view of the sea, beach, sandtrees and the island on a sunny day in Antigua. 2021, end of year reflection post
David Simpson at the beach with a plane flying overhead in Sint Maarten. 2021, end of year reflection post

2021, End of Year Reflection Post

NOVEMBER – DECEMBER
THE SYRIAN SERIES
Lebanon, Syria

After 3 long years I was finally able to visit Syria. I had actually cancelled other plans to ensure Syria would be the ‘next country’ as I had a lot planned to coincide with the trip, the release of the blog being one of them. I or I’m sure you never expected Covid to last as long as it did. I won’t go into what I actually think about the entire shitshow! But Syria was fantastic and for sure my most anticipated trip yet! Check out my IG stories here.

Aerial view of the city of Aleppo in Syria. 2021, end of year reflection post

2021, End of Year Reflection Post

PERSONAL

As boring as it sounds, I love the feeling of being organised, not much beats it and for those who have so much going you’ll know what I mean. Over the past year I have really upped my time blocking game as I was getting fed up at not finding the time to do everything I needed. These were then left to the next day and then the next day and so on. This would slowly accumulate into several weeks. Time blocking has given me accountability more than anything, to do the things that I prioritise. Sounds simple and it is, if you think it’s something you could do with adding to your routine then you have to check it out.

It doesn’t need to be crazy complex, there are different levels. If you need to organise your day and the chores, perfect or if you are fighting fires with your work then it can also play an important role.

Another past time I have taken up is reading and over the past year have read around 60 books, not something I would have thought to be possible before then. I set myself a goal of 1 a week but sometimes it just sapped the pleasure out of it.

 RELATED READ: VOLCANO HIKING IN GUATEMALA

HEALTH & FITNESS

Yea it hasn’t been great. Several years ago, nothing would have gotten in the way of my diet and gym work. But since Covid (everything’sCovids fault tbf) proper work and blog work has shot off and I’ve enjoyed putting the efforts into that instead but still trying to maintain some sort of balance. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss a gym session but would be there 45mins – 1hr tops but without the same intensity as before. The diet although great through the week takes a hit with cookies and garlic bread at the weekend. Something that will have to be looked at net year!

FAMILY

I’ll always count my blessings with my family, we are a close unit. Everyone from the rents right down to the nieces plays a part. I could no doubt travel with any one of them, they would test me (and have done) but they are all good to have around. Especially looking forward to a few trips with them next year!

WORK

As I said in last year’s reflection I wasn’t too bothered at the lack of travel as work was so busy and it gave me an opportunity to implement a lot of things that we needed. Now a lot of those are done it’s always time to look ahead for the next step, but what that is just yet we don’t know.

2021 SUMMED UP….

  • HIGHLIGHT – Getting to Syria
  • LOWLIGHT – Quarantining in Grenada and St Vincent & The Grenadines.
  • MVP – Hotel manager in Dominica for chasing my PCR
  • LVP – PCR nurse

GOALS ACHIEVED?

Yes, 100% happy with the last 12 months, who can say that during Covid but it’s about making lemonade and all that! Read 60 books, back on the road travelling, work is extremely busy, blog is live and of course made front page news 😬. One for the scrap book!

FINAL THOUGHTS

It wasn’t a ‘normal travel year’ but considering how much covid is hampering all of our travel plans I think I done pretty well. No new countries in 18 months but from October to December I hit 7 new countries and number 150, so all in all I can’t complain.

NEXT UP

Its shocks me to know that we are now approaching 2022, where has the last 2 years gone! Click here to find out what my plans are for 2022.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
151/229

This the reflection post of 2021 for all my travels.

To see all my videos from this year on my Instagram click here.

Question Time

  • How was your 2021?
  • Did you have any trips of staycations?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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THE SYRIAN SERIES REFLECTION POST
PLANS FOR 2022

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