This past year was obviously marked by the pandemic, and even though there was some “getting back to normal”, things still aren’t like they used to be. However, I was extremely lucky in 2021 to be able to travel a bit, see friends and go out, and overall, I have to say that my year was filled with adventures.
Work and university degree: this year was very intense, including professionally. I got very rewarding news at work with an extension of my current contract, and also finished my university degree (the 2nd year) in astrophysics! I don’t talk about it a lot but I still feel quite proud of what I managed to do!
Hobbies: I talk about them in every monthly review, even though it is usually to say that I didn’t have enough time for them ahah. Between learning to use a sewing machine, reading, playing the piano, learning Russian and painting (very rarely though), I did keep myself quite busy outside of my working hours. I love having all of these hobbies and passions, but I do need to find a better balance!
Friends: this year, some friends and family members came to visit me, and I went to visit them. I also really enjoyed the time that I got to spend with my friends here, and tried even more than usual to spend real quality time with them, which included going to Malta and on a short adventurous weekend in Belgium with some of them!
Running: I had never really been the “running” type, but this year I got more and more into it. Not that I actually ran longer or faster, but I did enjoy the regularity and the “time off” that running gives me. Plus, I use this time to listen to podcasts, which is a double win! The main highlight regarding this is me taking part with some colleagues in a sort of race, where I did run a bit faster than usual – yay!
Flowers: having some cute flowers on my balcony, buying beautiful bouquets, walking up and down the cherry-blossom street next to my flat and visiting a “fairy” forest outside of Brussels… these are all the ways that I tried to make my everyday life a bit nicer and more colourful in 2021. I can’t do it as much in the winter but I can’t wait to chase flowers again in 2022!
My boyfriend: I have to dedicate a section to him, obviously, as this year we celebrated our one-year anniversary and got to travel to Croatia and the South of France together, on top of the many short local adventures we went on together. Many of the amazing memories I have of this year are linked to him: from traveling, to having an indoor picnic, a getaway in the woods, a beautiful birthday brunch, memorable dinners on the balcony, delicious meals and a “Christmas after Christmas” day.
Traveling in Belgium: this year, I got to see more places in Belgium that I had never been to, like the beach town Ostende, Antwerp, the Hal Forest and the Ardennes, and I also went to Bruges and Ghent again, which I still love. I learnt how to skateboard in the Bois de la Cambre, went on walks in the Josaphat park, visited a few castles and went to different light shows in the winter. I realise that I haven’t shared many of these local adventures on this blog but I can’t wait to do it!
Traveling abroad: despite the current world situation, I was lucky enough to be able to travel even outside of my country: I went to the South of France and the South of Italy to see my family this summer, and could spend a few days in beautiful Dubrovnik, as well as a long weekend in Malta. I could also go back to Canada this autumn to see my sister, and I already can’t wait to go back! Having family abroad can be tough as you don’t get to see them very often, but at least you always have a place to go to whenever you travel!
My theme and intentions for 2022:
The main thing I want to focus on going forward is
B A L A N C E
As my sister so rightly pointed out to me, there were moments when I felt very frustrated in 2021 because I couldn’t find the right balance between being outside (traveling, seeing friends, exploring, discovering new places) and being inside (taking care of myself, reading, working on my hobbies, etc.).
So, it became quite obvious to me that 2022 would be dedicated to finding a balance between all the things that I want to do, without feeling guilty when I don’t tick off the dozens of things that I would daily put on my to-do list.
For this, I want to focus on four aspects of my life:
- Exercise: I want to be more active, move my body more and have fun while doing it. I’d love to try new classes and I also want to learn to push myself a bit more when I’m running.
- Nutrition: eating better, eating healthier, preparing wholesome and nourishing meals and, especially, cutting down sugar. This goes of course hand in hand with exercising!
- Relaxation: this is to balance things out a bit and remind me to also prioritise “looking in”, slowing down and resting. It is a reminder to do “unproductive” things, things for my self like doing a face mask, reading, playing some piano, doing something creative.
- Play and adventures: part of what makes a month or year memorable, at least to me, are the fun activities, the exploring new places and discovering new things. This year, while taking the time to slow down from time to time, I still want to go on many adventures and discover new things!
I won’t go into too much detail about my specific goals for this new year, but they basically revolve around the four areas that I just talked about, with a main focus on health and fitness, language learning (is this going to be the year that I am finally able to speak Russian? We’ll see…) and creativity (which includes this blog, where I’ll try to be more present).
To sum up, 2021 was a year filled with adventures and new discoveries. It was energising and a bit hectic as well, but most of my memories of it are amazingly good, and I feel very grateful for everything I got to do. The new year is already underway and so far I feel quite good about it, with some cool things planned and a solid-ish routine, that I hope to keep for most of the year!
I hope 2022 will be a wonderful year for all of you too! Thank you for following me on my adventures when I post them and for reading about my little life! Here’s to an amazing 2022!