Looking at the year ahead and being excited about all of the things that we will do as a family may seem a little bit optimistic at the moment but that is exactly how I feel. Whilst many of my friends on Facebook lament all of the things they have missed in 2020 because of Covid I look at all of the memories we have made. We haven’t travelled out of the country since January 2020 but that hasn’t meant that we have stayed at home the whole time either. In fact, as a family, we have taken more pleasure in the simpler things that we do together.
We recently had a family discussion where we decided to draw up a list of all the things that we would like to do in 2021 when Covid restrictions are relaxed and it actually surprised me how normal some of the ideas were. Although getting on a plane and going on holiday is definitely on the list it was me that put it there and not the kids, their requests were altogether more elementary.
Below is a list of 5 activities that we are looking forward to doing over the next year, all fairly normal activities in any other year, all appreciated in a whole new way.
As a family, we eat out a lot. Obviously not right now but whenever we can I would say that we would eat out at a variety of restaurants at least once every two weeks. We took advantage of the eat out to help out scheme and have still been indulging in takeaway food but it hasn’t been the same. We want to be able to decide at the spur of the moment that we want to eat out and just do it. Sit with friends or family, celebrate birthdays or special occasions or even just because I couldn’t be bothered to cook. Going to restaurants as a family will be all the sweeter and we can’t wait.
Day trips to the beach
Living in a city means that a day trip to the beach is a great change of scenery and we live near some beautiful beaches within a few hours drive. Sadly a few hours drive to a beach for our daily exercise would not be possible under Covid restrictions right now but once the weather warms up and restrictions have relaxed we will be taking the dog (and the kids) for a walk along the beach and hopefully some fish and chips.
Alison loves swimming and this is one activity that she is desperate to get back to doing. Whether going to a splash park or just to the local leisure centre it is one thing that she has really been missing. Obviously swimming at a hotel in a hot country would be my preferred way to tick this one off but to be fair even I would be tempted to dunk my toes in the tepid water of the local pool after all this time.
Seeing more of the UK
We were really lucky that the last holiday we had before Covid was a fantastic trip to Florida over Christmas and New Year 2019/2020 but since then we have also embarked on a few staycations. Ever the optimist I took any chances that we could get to get away and break the monotony of working and studying from home and we were very lucky. Last year we managed a caravan holiday near Great Yarmouth and a very weird socially distanced trip to Butlins as well as a wonderful weekend camping with friends. Our tent was desperately neglected as all of the festivals we would normally attend were cancelled so this year we want to take the opportunity to utilise it more. As we already have all of the equipment it is such a cheap and easy way to get around and spend some much needed time away from home whilst also seeing more of the UK.
As much as I have actually spent more time with my family this year than I normally would this time has been over Zoom calls. From hosting quizzes, playing online games, drinking gin and just keeping each other company it has been great to connect but we are all missing the opportunity to see each other in person. I was lucky that I managed a brief weekend with my parents during the summer but that seems like so long ago. My girls are at the age where visiting family can be a chore but even they are excited about the chance to go visit relatives as soon as we can.
There are so many more things we want to do like watch a movie in a cinema, go to a theme park, have the spontaneity of not having to worry what tier we are in and if we can jump in the car to go somewhere, see friends, drink a pint in the pub, go to events, concerts and festivals. All things that we used to take for granted and all things that we will appreciate so much more in the future.