[Insert deep, emotional statement about the ups and downs of 2020 here].
You don’t need me to tell you what a weird year 2020 was.
No matter who or where you are, we’ve all experienced the biggest rollercoaster of a year that there’s been for generations. But we know this, and I want to try and make this post as upbeat as possible.
I think it’s always important to reflect back on happy moments, no matter how big or small, and the highlights of each and every year, but especially this year. Let’s not let the good things in life be overshadowed by The Coronavirus Pandemic.
Last year, in my 2019 higlights & goals post, I mentioned my ‘intention word’ for the year ahead, and I’m grateful to say that despite everything, 2020 did live up to my intentions…
My word of the year for 2020 = Growth
I like to assign a word to each year at the to sum it up, and at the beginning of each year I’ll choose an ‘intention word’ that I hope the year will fulfil. Last year at this time I chose ‘growth’, mainly to symbolise my intention to grow my design and online education business.
Obviously at the start of 2020 none of us predicted what would be happening in the world by March/April (and had I known, I probably would have chosen ‘stability’ or something like that, rather than ‘growth’!). But against all odds, my business grew even more than I could have hoped for this year, which is why I want to mention how grateful I am for that. I know I am a rare case and there are many who have really struggled to stay afloat, so I don’t want to linger too long on this.
My ‘intention word’ for 2021 = Positivity
In 2021, I want to channel the word ‘positivity’ in everything I do! Whether that’s having a positive and fun outlook on life, surrounding myself with positive people who make me laugh and feel great to be around, body positivity and confidence, seeing the positives in other people and being kind, or spreading positive messages and encouragement – this is what I want more of in 2021 :)
I’d love to hear your ‘word of the year’ in the comments – either to sum up 2020 or to set an intention for the year ahead!
Now, onto the highlights…
- Skiing in Mont Blanc (I did my first Red slope!)
This was my 3rd ever ski trip and I’m so pleased to say that I am officially a confident skier. It took me this long to finally start enjoying it, and I even did my first Red slope. I’m beyond excited for more skiing (hopefully in 2021 if we’re lucky!).
- Explored 2 new parts of the Cornish coast I’d never been to before
Alex, Liv and I went on a lovely winter walk from Mullion Cove (with a delicious Ann’s Pasty – our fave!) and finished off with a famous Poldhu Cove hot chocolate, which was such a nice day! Then, my friend Abbie came down from Bristol and we drove down to the Penwith coast to go on a very windy walk around Botallack mines.
- The coolest ‘high’ tea at Merchants Manor
We were kindly invited to experience Merchants Manor’s new high tea, inspired by CBD Oil and a healthier alternative traditional afternoon tea. It was awesome; can’t recommend enough.
- Our trip to Japan!
I still can’t quite believe we managed to do this trip, just in time before lockdowns began in March. We had the best time, and I’m so grateful we managed to go – visiting Tokyo (and eating our body weight in sushi), Hakone National Park, Kyoto and Osaka.
- Segwaying at Segway Lakeview
This was Alex’s birthday present from my mum the previous year, and we finally got around to booking our session just before the National Lockdown came into place at the end of March. It was SO much fun! You can read the full review here.
- Olivia & I launched The Peppermint Tea Podcast
As you can imagine, April was a very dull month, what with the lockdown situation, but Olivia and I decided to make the best of it and created a new podcast where we chatted about a certain topic and shared things we’d been enjoying from each week. We both got too busy to continue from July onwards, but you can listen to the old episodes here!
- Stunning weather and lots of BBQs!
2020 brought us the most incredible weather this summer, and it all began in May. Lockdown restrictions were eased slightly and we were therefore allowed to go and sit on the beach with food – which we took full advantage of and had lots of BBQs in the sunshine.
- Evening wild swims
We also spent a lot of time in the water, visiting my favourite Cornish river swim spots for evening dips.
- Kayaking around Flushing with Olivia
Olivia and I headed out one morning for a spontaneous sunny kayak at a new spot in Flushing (nr. Falmouth), and it was beautiful!
- I finally visited Kynance Cove in beautiful sunshine!
It’s a running joke that whenever I’ve been to Cornwall’s famous ‘Kynance Cove’, I’ve always been cursed with bad weather, but not this summer! We finally managed to visit on a sunny day and it was gorgeous.
- The most aesthetic picnic at Fistral beach
Niki, Frankie and I packed up a feast in a hamper to go and eat at Fistral beach one evening, and it was picture perfect!
- Weekend trip to Exeter
We managed to escape Cornwall for the first time in months to have a night away in Exeter in a beautiful Airbnb in the centre. We got dressed up and lots of drinks and tasty food were consumed!
- An evening on Olivia & Tom’s boat
Olivia & Tom invited Alex and I for an evening out on their boat with a picnic, and it was honestly so idyllic. It was a scorching hot evening at full tide and we explored all up and down River Fal and Truro River.
- Taking our younger cousins kayaking at Millendreath beach
Millendreath is a seaside resort near Looe and I couldn’t believe I’d never been before! It was beautiful and we had the best day out with our little cousins splashing around in the water (honestly we had such a warm summer in Cornwall, it was great!).
- Camping on the Lizard & finding a secret cove with Niki & James
Niki, James, Alex and I drove down to the Lizard to camp for a night, and despite it being miserable and rainy when we arrived, we ended up having the best time. The weather dried out and we spent the evening drinking and BBQing, and woke up early to go for a drive along the Lizard coast to find the most amazing secret cove.
- A visit to Looe Island with our cousins
After seeing our cousins earlier in the month, we all promised to take a boat trip over to the Looe Island nature reserve. I’d never heard of it before, but you can see it from Millendreath beach! It turned out to be a beautiful day.
- A long walk from Mawnan Church to the Ferry Boat Inn
My cousin Susie and her fiance Chris came to stay at the end of August, and I took them on a (long!) walk from Mawnan Church to the Ferry Boat Inn and back with the dogs. It was so nice to do the full stretch and get a delicious takeaway burger half way through!
- Finding the prettiest little coves on the other side of Helford river
In August I made it my mission to explore the other side of Helford river – the side you can see from Durgan and my fave spots on the Falmouth side. And so I ended up spending a couple of afternoons walking around this bit of coastline, finding the cutest little picnic & swim spots.
- The hottest, most gorgeous walk around the Roseland coastline with Olivia
Olivia moved up to London towards the end of summer, and before she left, Cornwall pulled out all the stops and gave us the warmest most stunning day to spend together exploring a part of the Roseland coast I’d never walked along before! We found possibly the most beautiful cove I’ve ever seen in Cornwall on this walk.
- Lots of kayaking (I definitely got good use out of my inflatable kayaks this year!)
I finally kayaked around St. Michael’s Mount (a bucket list item of mine for ages) with my dad and sister, and Niki and I had a lovely paddle around Maenporth, stumbling across a shipwreck too.
- Visited the Japanese Garden in St. Mawgan with Shannon & Grant
Our friends Shannon & Grant invited me along on their visit to the Japanese Garden and St. Mawgan, and I couldn’t believe I’d never been before! It was so beautiful and really reminded me of the gorgeous gardens we visited in Japan on our trip earlier in the year.
- My birthday weekend in Dartmoor
This was the most perfect weekend – again, the sun did its thing and gave us some stunning weather! We hiked around Dartmoor, stayed at the beautiful Paschoe House with the dogs, and even went wild swimming in the River Dart on the Sunday too.
- A week away in Greece
Again, we managed to time our holiday to Greece pretty perfectly in the first week of October. We were just about allowed to travel, and made it over there really smoothly. We had the nicest break just lounging around in the sun and exploring Rhodes by our very own boat too!
- Dress shopping for my cousin’s wedding
Us bridesmaids travelled to Watford to stay with my cousin in October to go dress shopping for our bridesmaid dresses, and to have lots of drinks and tasty food together.
November & December
This is where it gets a bit quieter. November saw another National Lockdown here in the UK, and pretty awful weather, so there wasn’t a whole lot to do. We did manage to go on some pretty walks though, and despite all the random Tier systems due to Coronavirus, we ended up having a lovely Christmas too.
Overall, I feel so lucky to have had the year I’ve had despite everything that’s gone on. Right now as I write this, it’s the start of January 2021, and everything still feels very unsure, with stricter lockdown restrictions predicted here in the UK over the coming weeks, but if you’re feeling low or anxious right now, I’d encourage you to take a look back through your photos, or chat to people you managed to spend time with this year, and reflect over the happy moments – no matter how small.
Sending love to all this New Year!