It’s the time of year that I usually like to recap my travels, but naturally, this year looks a little uneventful when I compare it to my previous round-ups. Either or, I think it’s nice to look back at the year, and all the memories that I’ve made throughout the year. Despite this year being very uneventful with the pandemic, I still managed to have some great adventures, even though they weren’t all as exotic and international like I’m used to.
January: East Africa
The year started off strong as I rang in 2020 in Uganda. The beginning of the year I was bopping between Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda on a bucket list adventure with my good friend Jess. Little did I know this would be one of my last international adventures for awhile. I remember my friend calling her husband while we were abroad, and him telling us about this new virus that was spreading through Asia. We had no idea how far and wide this would spread only a few short months after our return back from our trip.
June: Cottage for Canada Day
March through until the spring, we were in lockdown in Ontario, and most of Canada. I had been working from home (spoiler alert, I still am), in my tiny apartment in Toronto, and having any sort of adventure seemed like just a fantasy. However, my boyfriend and I finally escaped the city for a week up north at my families cottage. It felt so good to get out in the middle of nowhere, and forget about COVID for a little while.
July: Beerfest in Kenogami, Ontario
Every year in July my tradition is to attend the Toronto Festival of Beer. I’ve been going for over 5 years, and it’s something I always look forward to. Unfortunately, like all events, this was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Instead, my step mom put on our own beerfest at our cottage in Northern Ontario. It was limited to just our family, and although it wasn’t as big of an occasion as the Toronto festival, it was still a good, COVID-friendly alternative.
August: Montreal, Quebec
In August my boyfriend and I escaped the city again for a week in Montreal, Quebec. His family lives there, and although our COVID cases significantly slowed down in the summer months, we primarily spent most of our time at his parents house by the pool to avoid exposure to people given Quebec was also a hotspot. When you live in a small condo in Toronto, even just getting to isolate in someone’s home feels so freeing and a much needed change of scenery.
*Note the below was written on a different trip to Montreal pre-pandemic
September: Washago, Ontario
Another Ontario getaway, I was thankful that my yearly cottage I book in Washago, Ontario was not cancelled for Labour Day weekend. This year the weekend looked a little different compared to my 10 person girls weekend last year, but it was still a lot of fun. There is nothing better than Canadian summers and this was the perfect farewell to a weird (but sunny and warm) summer.
September: Prince Edward County, Ontario
Every spring my mom, sister, and I go on a weekend getaway in Ontario to celebrate Mother’s Day and my mom’s birthday that’s in June. This year with lockdown, we weren’t able to do this in the spring so it was pushed until the fall. Thankfully our trip wasn’t cancelled and we were able to still safely travel to PEC and have a little wine-filled weekend.
Fall: Hiking, hiking, and more hiking
In the fall, my go-to activity as COVID cases began to climb again was definitely hiking. I did a ton of it during the fall months when the colours started to change and the temperatures started to dip a little bit. I’ve been wanting to hike more, and 2020 gave me the perfect opportunity to. Some of the hiking spots I hit this year were:
- Mount Nemo (Halton, Ontario)
- Hilton Falls (Halton, Ontario)
- Grant’s Woods (Orillia, Ontario)
- Scout’s Valley (Orillia, Ontario)
- Eagles Nest (Bancroft, Ontario)
- Wolf Trail (Gatineau, Ontario)
October: Ottawa & Orillia, Ontario
In October I headed to Orillia to visit my Mom for Thanksgiving, just in time for the province to announce a second lockdown for hotspot areas (Toronto/GTA + Ottawa). I was lucky to get a nice fall visit in before heading back into lockdown.
Despite the lockdown in hotspots, I did have a trip planned to Ottawa. After consideration, we decided to keep our plans and go to Ottawa anyway. Despite being limited to what we could do in the city because of the lockdown, it was still nice to stay in an Airbnb somewhere else, and support some local businesses. We even lucked out with the weather and were able to sit on patios while there (given indoor dining was closed).
- An Ottawa Brewery Tour
- How to Spend a Weekend in Ottawa (During a Pandemic)
- How to Spend a Day in Orillia, Ontario
Alas, after spending time at home with family for the holidays before the whole province went back into lockdown, we are now already at the end of the year and I cannot believe it. How did this year of hardly being able to live our lives go by so quick? Even though I had high hopes for big adventures this year, I did try to make the best of it, and can only hope that sometime in the near future we will be out traveling all over the world again (fingers crossed)!!
What were some of your adventures and favourite memories of this year?