2020 – End-of-Year Retrospective and Goals for 2021

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2020 is a year that will stay in the memory of everyone. A eventful year, unfortunately mostly sad moments, but it is undeniable how memorable this year was for the whole year. But it is almost over, and after the storm comes the calm! And since not everything is bad news, in this retrospective I will share a few personal good news!

Just by taking a peak at the goals I wrote for 2020 (article in Portuguese), I can assure that a few were properly achieved! Some, not really, the COVID-19 bug also infected the blog…

On the last year’s retrospective I wrote a section about my personal life. One of my 2020 goals was actually related to my personal life. This time I won’t do it, I will go straight to the End-of-Year retrospective.

End-of-Year Retrospective

A lot happened this year in what regards the blog. Some of those things were part of the goals I had set for 2020, therefore they will be detailed below. But basically, it was a really productive year for me. I wrote a lot, I edited a lot of old articles, and I merged a few smaller articles into bigger ones with more information.

In regards of social networks, alike what I wrote before, I completely discarded the idea of being a professional blogger. Therefore, I also didn’t focus on the social networks, I just kept them on drift. And what came from that? I could focus 100% on my blog, and the results were notorious!

Beat cancer!

YES!!! I am in remission!! And I learnt a lot with this experience, and I also feel I grew a lot with this as well. One of the things I learnt, or even better, that I felt, was the power of certain expressions have on us. What is beating cancer after all? What is the fight against cancer? Yes, I am in remission. Yes, I don’t have detectable cancer cells on my system (and I hope to stay like this for the rest of my days). But did I beat anything?

While I was “fighting” against the cancer, a friend of mine was also “fighting” against this illness. Unfortunately in August I received that news that no one wants to receive. If they say I beat cancer, does that mean he lost the fight? And if he did, why did he?

Whenever I hear the expression that I beat cancer I feel a bit odd. The fight against cancer is research. The fight against cancer is the job the doctors and all medical staff have every day. Some days they lose battles, when their patients can’t resist to this illness. Other times they win them. But every day there are hundreds of thousands of specialists fighting against this illness.

But the patients? We just have to be on time for the treatments, and follow blindly all the indications we receive. There isn’t a victory from our side. But there isn’t a defeat either. These words are way too powerful. How would a person with a less favorable diagnostic feel? As a looser? Will they think they didn’t fight hard enough? NO! This isn’t the patient’s fight!

And when we recover from this illness, we also don’t feel that victory. Now I am dealing with a huge anxiety. Anxiety was one of my fears before being diagnosed, nowadays this is a reality. Often it crosses my mind “what if cancer comes back?“. Sometimes, without me even being aware of, I am checking if I have any lump. This doesn’t feel like a victory to me.

I learnt a lot during these months, and one of those things is that words have more power than we think.

Travel!

Is there even a point in commenting about this goal? The outcome of this goal has a number: 2020.

Even though, I did travel a bit. Short trips, but I left Cork. In August I went to the most northern county in Ireland, Donegal. I spent a week there, and to be honest, I don’t think it was enough time. I also went to Portugal for two weeks and a half in September, when the numbers of cases were still low… But they started to increase while I was there… And besides that, only a few day-trips here in the area, some escapes for a few hikes.

Do not travel without Travel Insurance!

I highly recommend World Nomads, travel insurance oriented to travelers. Well detailed before the unexpected happens!

In Ireland, if you are on a long term sick leave, the unused vacation days will pass to the following year. So, in 2019 I only used two days for holidays (of the 2019 days, but I had more days off that I carried over from 2018 and I went to the Germanic countries). Which means, in 2020 I had the 22 days I am entitled to, plus 20 days due to the sick leave, and more or less 7 bank holidays… I had about 10 weeks of holidays to use this year at…. home!

Write more articles

I must admit that this goal surprised even myself. I had as a modest goal to write 15 articles, but right now I have a total of 53 written articles just in 2020!! I managed to keep a routine of writing and publishing an article a week!

Going back to the guest articles

While the previous goal was achieved in an outstanding way. This one didn’t even reach the implementation stage. But also because I didn’t think it would be interesting to share guest articles during a time when very few people can travel.

Despite the fact that I wrote an article per week, the number of visitors decreased a lot. This is a travel blog, therefore there isn’t much demand for this type of content. I only kept writing because I am still hopeful that this content will be indexed by Google, and in a not so distant future this could lead to new visitors.

Video!

Another unachieved goal. And honestly, because I simply forgot about it. But recently I thought about it again while I was editing old articles, maybe I will dedicate more time for videos in 2021…

Goals for 2021

I will try to be modest with my goals for 2021. If there was a lesson I got from 2020, from my personal life, is that it is best not to over plan things. And I think this lesson applies to a lot of people. How many trips were cancelled?

Travel!

Yes, traveling is back to the list! I won’t have as many days available as in 2020, only the days that any other working person has. But I will want to travel more. We are still living a pandemic, but I have hopes that by the end of the year we already have some kind of normality.

Back to be more active on Instagram

Even though I said above that being a professional blogger isn’t one of my goals, for me Instagram is kind of micro-blogging. I always share a fact or a small story with each photo I post, and that’s something I would like to revive and be more active.

Relax with blogging

In 2020 I proved to myself that it is possible to have a normal job and still be able to write regularly on the blog. It is also a fact that working from home helped greatly with having more availability for this. But in 2021 I predict that the “normal” life will come back, therefore I want to relax a bit from having to write every week. Yes, I will keep a routine, but if I miss one week or two it won’t be the end of the world. But I still want to write at least 20 articles in 2021.

Guest articles

As you probably already noticed, the blog has a new look. And the new theme for the blog is postcards. It is something I love to do when I travel, to write postcards to friends and post them via mail. Sometimes I even return before the postcards arrive to their destinations, which ends up being funny. Therefore, I will use this theme and create a blog series for “Postcards” from friends, mini-interviews to guests about places they like.

And this was my last goal. And no, I didn’t list video as a goal. If it happens, it happens. But it won’t be a realistic goal considering I want to relax a bit from blogging.

How about you? What are your goals for 2021?

Published
Categorized as Reviews

By Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

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