Late last year, when you were looking forward to 2020, I’m sure like me you didn’t factor a global pandemic into your plans! Nor did you factor in hours spent dealing with the turmoil that ensued, like organising refunds and flight vouchers for your dream trip, and needing to completely reimagine your holiday getaway.
2020 certainly has thrown us all a curve ball. Originally from Ireland, I have been living in New Zealand for the last three years. Like most expats, I have missed a lot of weddings, events, and occasions back home… but I knew when I left Ireland this was going to be the reality. This year though, I did not even get the choice of missing the weddings or family occasions. That decision was out of my hands thanks to my very persuasive friends and family back home.
When they said ‘see you in May 2020’ (which was a non-negotiable!) I started planning flights, and accepting invitations to the weddings and events I wanted to attend. At the time it was apparent I was going to need quite some time off; there was no way of saying “I won’t be there”. I was looking forward to going back to Ireland for the summer (ideally having back-to-back summers, however also being realistic that Ireland having sun was a long shot!). It would be fair to say I had a dream trip lined up: Hawaii, then onto San Francisco, Orlando, and Miami, before arriving home to Ireland, and then stopping off in Malta on my way back to my new home, New Zealand.
Like many of us, my plans for 2020 have been turned upside down. So, I thought it would be good to reflect on what I had planned (my fellow Irish Kiwis will no doubt enjoy this), and then look at what I’m going to make the most of in New Zealand. It’s not quite the double summer I had imagined, but I’m looking forward to it and I hope my new plans might offer you some inspiration too.
Even though I did not have the Summer/Winter I had planned, I have certainly made the most of seeing parts of New Zealand. These trips included Rotorua, Christchurch, Mt Hutt and Mangawhai Heads. I have also embraced baking, Zoom quiz nights, charity runs, a Top Hat Party, and an Op Shop Formal Dress Party… to name a few! Hopefully soon I’ll be able to head to Queenstown for skiing, the Onsen Hot Pools and of course some fabulous Vineyards.
As I write this, Auckland is currently in ‘lockdown 2.0’, so I thought it would be only fair to share my new work from home station!
Stay safe everyone, look after yourself, family and friends – but also keep an eye out for your neighbours – especially the elderly! And to my Irish family and friends, here’s hoping 2021 is kinder to my travel plans, and I see you soon.