Every year I like to take a moment to recap all the adventures I’ve had over the last year. I will admit, in 2020, and again this year (2021) this has become increasingly harder and harder with the pandemic. Unfortunately, international travel hasn’t been encouraged very much in the last two years, and because of that, I haven’t had the chance to go on my usual big adventures that you’ve seen on my yearly recaps previously.
I am DYING to travel. I am definitely craving getting on a plane, getting my passport stamped, and crossing the Canadian borders again, but I think it’s important to still look back on everything that you got to do in the last year and appreciate it. So here is my 2021 year in review.
February: My Birthday in Huntsville, ON
In February 2021, we were actually still technically in lockdown. The Ontario government ordered everything to close on December 26, 2020 and the lockdown ended for only parts of Ontario in February 2021. Another couple, my boyfriend, and I decided to rent an Airbnb in Huntsville, ON to celebrate my birthday. Although I had hoped to travel somewhere internationally or have a larger gathering at the Airbnb, this was still a great way to get away from the city and have a change of scenery.
We rent a super cute place that had a sauna and was close to Arrowhead Provincial Park that we went cross-country skiing. It was a lot of fun to just embrace winter, and have something in our calendars to look forward to after months of doing nothing.
You can read about my recommendations and my trip to Huntsville, ON here
March & October: Collingwood, ON
In March I ventured to Collingwood to visit my step-sister who lives there. At the time, Toronto (where I live) was still in lockdown, but the rest of Ontario wasn’t. After so many months of being locked down, these weekends away were needed to bring us some excitement in our lives so we didn’t go crazy in our homes alone. We had a great night just drinking, eating good food, and then went out for some hikes, and visited some local restaurants.
In October, I went on another trip to Collingwood but this time, everything was open. I went to some local restaurants and enjoyed the beautiful fall colours.
May: Meeting my Nephew in Kirkland Lake, ON
In May I ventured out to finally meet my nephew, Theo, who was born in March 2021. Given the COVID restrictions, and lockdowns, my sister and her husband naturally didn’t feel comfortable with their newborn being exposed and around too many people, but in May I finally got to meet him! I spent a long weekend with my Mom there to really just soak up the precious moments with the new addition to our family!
June & August: Cottaging in Kenogami, ON
In both June and then August, I spent a week at my family cottage in Kenogami, ON. The one thing that the pandemic has granted us is that our lives have slowed down, and we haven’t had as many commitments as we usually would. In turn, this has allowed me to spend more time up north with my family. Cottaging in the summer is one of the best things in Ontario and I love being up at my family cottage and soaking up the beautiful weather on the lake.
On our June/July visit we also had a family beer festival that my stepmom put on. Our family has always loved The Toronto Festival of Beer but each year it has been canceled due to COVID restrictions so, in turn, we’ve made our own at home.
July & October: Montreal, QC
In both July and October, my boyfriend and I ventured up to Montreal, QC to visit his family that lives in the area. In July, we did a lot of lounging by their family pool, we went to Parc Omega, which is a nature park that lets you feed the local animals out the window of your car as you drive through the experience, and we also visited some local cocktail bars and restaurants. Since in 2020 we visited when COVID was at its worst, it was nice to visit Montreal this summer when things were open and we were vaccinated/aka less worried about the virus.
In October we returned for Thanksgiving where we carved pumpkins, hiked, and just enjoyed time with Scott’s family.
In August I went camping for the first time since high school with my friends Tash and Ryan, plus my boyfriend, Scott. We camped just outside the Huntsville area at a small campground and despite it being super hot out that weekend, we had excellent weather and were able to enjoy the lake and campground beach, have fires every night, and just enjoy being outdoors.
September: Girls Weekend in Washago, ON
Every September for the last four years I’ve rented a cottage on Airbnb in Washago, ON. I’ve loved the tradition of staying at this place each year, and this year I arranged the weekend for a handful of my girlfriends to come along. We had so much fun swimming, lounging on the dock, drinking by the bonfire, and just relaxing in cottage country. A great way to say farewell to the summer.
September: Western Canada Road Trip
Despite international travel not happening this year, Scott and I managed to sneak in a Canadian adventure to Western Canada. We traveled to both British Columbia and Alberta. I had never been to either province yet so it was great to cross some “local” travel off my bucket list. We flew out there and rented a car to drive from Vancouver to Banff. We did a ton of hiking, brewery hopping, and tried some amazing food.
You can read content form this adventure here
November: Moving in with the Boyfriend
Although not related to a big adventure or traveling, this is a different type of adventure that I’ve had in 2021. In November Scott and I moved in together to a new apartment in Toronto. It’s been great to have a bigger space and be able to both be under the same roof.
Not included in the above timeline was a lot of exploring and appreciating Toronto. Local businesses have been struggling so much so when they were FINALLY able to open again, I was eating out on patios, going on brewery crawls, and just embracing the city after a long time of not being able to.
Overall my 2021 wasn’t as exciting in terms of travel as previous years have. I’ve been really sad about my lack of international travel, but although 2022 isn’t currently looking that great for Ontario/Canada at the moment, I’m really holding onto hope that we will turn a corner with this new variant, and be able to get out there and do some traveling in the new year.
What are your travel goals for 2022?