The travel year 2020 turned out to be a complete shift in travel style, from going abroad with big adventures, we suddenly all scaled down to micro-adventure and camping in our own back yard.
I think that 2020 was not a bad year for travel. Many Norwegians finally discovered Norway’s beauty and experienced that they could have great travel memories even if only 30 minutes from home.
Best of all, I had a vacation in Norway, with family and that is a great blessing.
Yes, I was lucky enough to explore Cuba before the world closed down. I am remembering they had started to talk about COVID-19 and that it was coming from China. People were not wearing a mask at the airport but were definitely into keeping distance.
Since I went to Cuba, let me indulge a bit in the great travel memory of Cuba. I had 10 days exploring Cuba, and I made the most of my time. Starting my travel with two days in Havana, then to Vinales, the countryside, and so on to Playa Larga. Then I had four splurging days in Trinidad, maybe the best town in Cuba.
Cuba is a great experience and an important reminder that people are still fighting for a better future. We live in a world where democracy is not a birthright, but some places chosen by the government.
I have to say Cuba is maybe the safest country I have traveled to, and I was never afraid of traveling alone as a female in Cuba.
After traveling around in Cuba, I wanted a true vacation spirit. The best place for that is, of course, the bohemian Tulum in Mexico! The rest of the cool kids and I went hanging out in Tulum, eating tacos, exploring the Chichén Itzá, Tulum Ruins, and diving into cenotes. What else to do when being in Mexico?
I was lucky to get mum visiting me on the 8th of March, international women’s day. We went exploring Bygødy and the River of Aker. Also, we discovered the first spring signs.
Then 12th of March arrived, and Norway was closed down for the first time during the pandemic of COVID. The blessing of being home in my little village Åheim made the close down not so hard due to being surrounded by nature and great outdoor hikes.
In April, we discovered the pleasure of micro adventure, we followed the latest trend by doing hammacks by only 15-minutes drive from home, but with utterly stunning scenery. I was not cold during the night, which was a shock for myself and the rest of the family due to being known as the queen of being cold.
Norway was opening up again in May. We managed to celebrate the 17th of May, Norway’s national day, to some extent. Not as the usual celebration, but still good enough to put on bunad our national costume.
I went home for a weekend to celebrate mom’s birthday. Even enjoyed eight hours Norway’s most scenic town, which is Ålesund. The rest of June, I went swimming in the fjords of Oslo, eating fresh prawns and enjoying the light days of summer.
Summer in Norway is the best summer. I never complain about having summer in Norway. It’s more about having winter in Norway, for that is hard. In July, my sister, mum, and I went exploring the Sunny South of Norway.
Of course, Pauline Travels was the ultimate travel planner for this epic road trip through the South to Norway’s West. We explored Kragerø, Risør, Arendal, Lindesnes, and Scenic Roads of Jæren.
Also went hiking for famous Pulpit Rock in bad weather.
Cherry in Hardanger
All my mum could talk about was Cherries in Hardanger. We full-filed her wishes by buying her an own basket of cherries because she could not share with the daughters. The one day, mum decided to be the kid.
Flåm & Aurland
We splurged in Flåm, staying at Fretheim Hotel. Also, we had cinnamon buns in Flåm Bakery. And discussed that next time, we need to do the famous mountain bike ride at Rallarvegen. Out of Flåm and on our way home, we stopped by Aurland and Stegastein viewpoint driving the old mountain road of Aurland towards old Lærdalsøyri.
Scenic coastal hikes were in August. I spent more time at home and had friends and family exploring Måløy and Stad in Western Norway. Grandpa made the famous hike to Ytre Fure, which is a most do if being at Stad. We went cruising along the most epic old mountain road of Stryn.
The fall is coming in colorful days at the cabin, and the colors vibrate more than ever, yellow, orange, and red. What more do you need?
Still biking to work most of the days, enjoying the last sunshine in the mornings. Mostly enjoying the colors of the fall weather and then staying at home. I also had a lovely meet-up with Desiree Travels and Sekk & Sandaler, two Norwegia travel bloggers. We were mostly talking about our new status quo. And where we wanted to travel next.
I indulged myself with the book from Erica Fatland named Høyt – (Not yet translated to English, but hopefully very soon). An amazing travel story with brilliant travel writing. I become very humble after reading this book. And once again, reminded we are one world even do we have differences in life.
Birthday month, Yes I’m a Scorpio girl. Mostly I was spending time in the cabin or teaching my non-Norwegians how to do the fireplace and how two dress with wool layers in Norway. And, of course, preparing Norwegian waffles and hike to Ullevålseter.
Christmas and more family time. Also, the reason why I haven’t been writing for a very long time. I broke my hand 24th of December, skiing, which was a disappointment, but not the end of the world.
The Travel Year 2020 Highlights
The Travel Year 2020 blog post is maybe late. I have reflected over the travel year 2020, and it was not a bad year. 2020 was a great travel year with adventures in Norway. Covered in spectacular hikes, famous fjords, friends and family, most of all the best cherries from Hardanger, if you ask mum.
We did not get to travel the world in 2020, but we did get to enjoy Norway. That is much more than many other countries could do. I’m grateful that even during a pandemic, we still had the chance to be out in the generous nature, enjoying ourselves with fresh air, a bonfire, and small groups of family or friends. I think 2020 was all about appreciating even the small things, like having the freedom to have a walk. I think 2020 was the first year for many to truly experience how great Norwegian freedom is and how lucky we are to be living in a country with a great outdoor scene with stunning nature.
And as my grandpa says, as long as you have your health, you have everything to be grateful for. I truly value this sentence more than ever. Being healthy is the greatest gift. If being healthy, enjoy the perks of being in nature.
2020 I’m grateful for you. Even do you have not been easy, but you have been a blessing in appreciating what I already have around me.