New year, a new chance at a better year? After a very unusual 2020, for many 2021 might seem like a chance to do all the things we could not this year. But really, looking back, to me 2020 was one of my favourite years yet. Either way, I still hope you have at least some good memories from the past year, here are my top ten things 2020 brought me, have a think and see what you can come up with for yourself.
10) Strawberry farm – I got a job on a farm in April, I know you might be thinking working is in your top memories, but the job got me out of the flat every day during lockdown , it was the start of me exploring Fife and my cycling adventures, I met some fantastic people who motivated me to do a bunch of the other things in this list and it gave me a pretty big fund to pay for uni and adventures, so to me it undoubtedly belongs on the list.
9) Strava – While I already had an account from when I did the West Highland Way in first year and occasionally tracked a run, lockdown had me out all over the region, completing various distance challenges, drawing things and getting so much inspiration from other’s adventures and the app really did a large part in keeping me doing cool things.
8) Birthday breakfast – On my birthday my flatmate and I got up crazy early to cycle to Monifieth to watch the sunrise at 4:30 with a breakfast of pancakes, porridge, hot apple punch and rhubarb cake. It ended up being the cloudiest day, our feet got soaked and we had a puncture and a chain break within minutes of each other, but it was just such a happy day that none of that could ruin it.
7) Christmas – Despite getting stuck here due to cancelled flights, I honestly had a really good time. From bikepacking and camping in my living room to having five different Christmas dinners, baking to trying to teach myself to jump on the mountain bike, from crafting at home to icy slip and slide runs, my first Scottish Christmas is definitely not one to be forgotten.
6) Outdoor swimming – Since I do not have a wetsuit, swimming in Scotland seemed off-limits until lockdown came along, pools closed and I saw a bunch of people wild swimming online and suddenly I could be found in the freezing Tay in just a swimsuit, having the time of my life and showing myself I can do more than I thought.
5) Ben Vrackie – This one also got its own blog post and has to be my number one hillwalking day of the year (at least for hillwalking only, more further down). The combination of the weather, the fall colours, stunning views and going off the path on the way down really made the day and the photos I took are some of my favourites from 2020.
4) Half marathon – In general I did a lot more running than in 2019 but one I am particularly proud of was running my first half marathon around Fife. It was not actually planned but I ended up just going and getting close enough that I just had to go for it. It may have been really slow but
3) Tay bridge fundraiser & Tri lockdown – One of my favourite days from when Corona was still only a problem abroad has to be a 24h running relay on the bridge, I ran an hour in the morning and one at midnight and it was really the start of me being more involved in the club. When lockdown hit they ran online training and it really helped keep me active and sane during the start of the pandemic.
2) Cycling – It all started with commuting for the farm job, a detour to Guardbridge to get yeast started the post-work adventures. Soon this turned into 100k + trips, taking me across the whole region. At the start of August, I cycled up to Glenshee and really realised how many places I could get to. I then set out and cycled to Glen Esk and back, climbing Mount Keen as my first munro and covering over 170km and 14h of moving in a day. In September I dragged my flatmate to Glen Clova for Mayar and Driesh in a day, I have now joined the cycling club and started picking up mountain biking too, it is amazing what a bike could do to my confidence in myself.
1) Bikepacking – There really is one bike adventure in particular that outshines the others. In August I cycled out and along the west coast of Scotland all alone, camping most nights, spending my days off cycling sightseeing, running, hiking and just enjoying being outside Dundee for a while. I definitely would rank it pretty high on the list of all adventures I have ever been on and it definitely has to be my top memory of the year.
That is it for me, hope you have a good time reliving some of your top 10. As for next year’s goals, I want to keep up the adventuring and my fitness and explore more new places. To put it in a measurable goal, I want to cycle 6000k, run 600k, swim for 60h and hike 6 completely new routes in 2021. Now it’s your turn to write down a goal (or multiple), let’s make 2021 the best one yet! Happy new year!