2020 was really something else, and not in a good way. I don’t have to tell you about it, because we have all lived through it. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the positive, because we did have some good times and I actually did manage to travel for a bit this year. Time for an overview!
One of the highlights of 2020 was celebrating my 25th birthday in the happiest place on earth: Disneyland Paris! It was absolutely wonderful (especially since we were all oblivous to what was to come) and by far the most magical place I have ever spent my birthday!
Rome & Florence
The other highlight was our trip to Italy. 5 days in Rome, 5 days in Florence, both almost completely without tourists. I had never been to either city and it was so cool to see a city like Rome, that’s usually bursting with life, as quiet as it was now, and I absolutely fell in love with Florence. Who wouldn’t? With such beautiful architecture, the gelato, the sunny weather. Oh, can I go back already?
China Light Festival – Ouwehands Dierenpark
We also spent an afternoon in the zoo, watching the panda’s and the lions and then we had dinner, while we waited until dark for the China Light Festival.
Drove an old-timer
Driving an old-timer had been on my list for ages, though now I am not so sure why. We rented a Fiat 600 from 1968, drove around for a bit and had a
panic picnick. It was absolutely terrifying. The car was super adorable but I didn’t really like the driving! I appreciate my modern car so much more now!
Amsterdam is always fun, and we visited a new museum called Wondr, which was an absolute blast. Pools filled with marshmallows, painted furniture, and the biggest ballpit I have ever seen. It was so much fun! Afterwards, we strolled through Amsterdam for a bit and had lunch at the Cat Café.
We have a couple of beautiful bookstores in the Netherlands that I wanted to write about, so we visited Maastricht to browse one of them: Dominicanen, which is located inside an old church. Maastricht is a cute city with great stores and apparently, Sangria, and we had a great sunny day!
Botanical gardens – Utrecht
Can you believe I studied in Utrecht for three years, lived there for a bit but never visited the botanical gardens? We thought it time to change that, so we visited them in summer this year. It was so beautiful and I had a lot of fun taking pictures of butterflies!
We spent a day roaming the country with Alkmaar and the cheese museum as a fun first stop. Alkmaar is a fun town that looks a lot like Amsterdam, with the canals but without the tourists.
The next stop was the Zaanse Schans, which depicts the Netherlands from the 18th century. Windmills, old houses, crafts, clogs, you name it and it’s there. I had never been there, but read a lot about it and it seemed like a fun touristic place to visit, which it was!
Ruin of Brederode
Third and last stop was the Brederode Ruin, because, well, castles! It was beautiful and old and very informative.
If I look at this list, it’s pretty obvious that 2020 was not a complete waste. And although it was a very rough year, I am pretty certain that we all could learn from it. To see what things are actually important in life and what it is that you want to do. It was a good time for reflecting, if you ask me. So maybe it was not all bad. I for one have made some great plans for 2021 that I maybe would not have made if not for this weird year. Stay tuned!