Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Made It Through 2020, Bring It On 2021

What a year 2020 has been! When I was writing my year-end recap post last year, I certainly wasn't expecting the start of this new decade to be so 'extraordinary'. Many will say that 2020 is the worst year ever, but personally, 2020 has been an okay year for us, apart from the fact that all our travel plans were cancelled. Reading back what I wrote last year..."Looking forward to a smooth 2020 with more successes (especially at work) and more adventures with hubby!!", I'd say we did at least accomplish the first half of the goal, and for that, I am thankful.

P.S. I don't want to sound tone-death to all things going on in the world this year but every cloud has a silver lining, which is why I choose to focus on the positives for my 2020 recap. =)  


Fortunately, both our jobs were not impacted by Covid. In fact, we got a promotion, pay raises and bonuses this year, which we are extremely thankful for. For me, 2020 was a complete 360 of 2019. I guess the 'reward' for a stressful uphill climb in 2019 was an easy downhill stroll in 2020. Busy season was still hectic with many late nights but it was nice to have a good boss and team members who were willing to put in the hard work and get to the finish line together. Working from home was awesome as always and I enjoyed a slow/no-stress post-busy season, working on projects that I enjoyed. 

As for hubby, his work was busier than ever because his company started testing for Covid. It's funny how the tables have turned for us. Instead of me either traveling out of town for work or returning from home past midnight, hubby was the one working late this year. 


Covid Cancellations

Those who know me will know how much I enjoy traveling, be it for work or leisure, so this year was a total bummer for me. However, I'd say I got very lucky with work travels because I volunteered for 8 consecutive weeks of work travel to Tampa at the beginning of the year and traveled as much as I possibly could before the world started locking down and the company suspended all work travels.

Summary of my travels for 2020 (work):
  • Number of hotel nights - 45 nights (Marriott)
  • Number of hotels - 4 hotels (Marriott) 
  • Number of airlines - 2 airlines (Delta, American Airlines)
  • Number of rental cars - 48 rental days (National/Enterprise)
Like many others, all our leisure trips this year were cancelled. As such, I consider 2020 "The Cancelled Year". Thankfully, all our points and miles were redeposited and all fees were fully refunded without any issue. The silver lining of all these is the extension of statuses, points/miles/award night expiry, and credit card benefits for non-travel spend. 

Summary of travel cancellations for 2020 (leisure):
  • Number of trips cancelled - 3 (Carolinas, Japan/Alaska/M'sia, Seattle/Glacier National Park/Canada)
  • Number of flights cancelled - 15 bookings
  • Number of hotels cancelled - 10 reservations


This year had been challenging for many people not being able to see their families, but I've spent the last 6 years staying in touch with my family virtually so I've kinda gotten used to it.

I'll shamelessly pat myself on the back for a 20/20 hindsight of 2020, pun intended. Looking back at 2019, I'm thankful that all the trips we took in 2019 were focused on spending time with families. It was my first time traveling back to Malaysia twice within the same year, and hubby also traveled back together with me on the second trip. Looking back now, I'm sure glad we made that decision. In a weird way, those 2 trips made up for the lost time this year. 

The Hawaii trip with my parents in Dec 2019 was another good decision in hindsight. Apart from allowing us to spend time with my parents, it was also the last vacation we had before the world went into lockdown.

K-dramas / Blogging / Passion Projects

2020 hasn't been a good year for the world but thankfully this has been a great 'dramatic' year for K-dramas. Starting with Crash Landing On You in March, I've completed a few rounds of binge-watch marathons over the past few months, and unexpectedly gathered some valuable lessons and self-reflections along the way. All thanks to the well-written scripts / storylines and high quality production of K-dramas.

Since we didn't travel anywhere this year and I have no trip reports or photos to work on, I was able to catch up on some of the blog backlogs that I've been sitting on for 2 years, making this a more productive year for both my blogs in terms of non-travel related contents: 

Backlogs since 2018:

K-drama inspired posts:

Covid-related posts:

Work-related posts:

As mentioned earlier, I've been able to spend more time on work projects that I'm passionate about. I was glad to find the "Learn Google Spreadsheets" Youtube channel and have enjoyed learning a lot more about Google Sheets, including google queries, and building dashboards, all of which have been useful for project management and data analysis...projects my nerdy self is interested in. Overall, 2020 has been a fulfilling year for me as I was able to balance both consuming and creating contents.


I'll be honest, I've been slacking on exercising. I was motivated for probably a month or so only. =P However, we've been able to stay healthy by eating healthy and staying home as much as possible, avoiding pretty much all social interactions apart from grocery shopping. 

And that's a wrap for 2020. Not a good year for most but still lots to be thankful for. Let's stay safe, stay healthy, and take care of each other. Sincerely hope that 2021 will be a better year for the world, and definitely hope that we will be able to travel some next year.  

Happy New Year 2021!

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