My Best Travel Moments of 2020
I know what you’re thinking, “Best travel moments of 2020? Did you even travel this year?”
2020 was the year that we all became experts at trying to find silver linings. Making the best of bad situations. The year of the pivot.
There was a lot of turmoil around the world but I was still able to find a lot of happiness and even some fantastic travel moments this year. They might look a little different than past years but they were memorable all the same.
Here are my favourite travel moments of 2020.
Discovering Lacrosse in Halifax
Growing up I was never much of a sports fan. Over the years though I’ve grown to enjoy baseball, becoming a semi-dedicated Blue Jays fan. I’ve even learned to love local basketball and the odd hockey game. One sport I had never witnessed, either in person or on tv, though was lacrosse. I knew that it was Canada’s official sport and knew what the stick looked like but that was about it.
So imagine my surprise when I found myself, not only going to a Halifax Thunderbirds game when I was in town in February, but really getting into it. It was fast. it was hard hitting. It was high scoring. It was exciting! Take the higher scoring, quick shots of basketball and mix it with the speed and hard hits of hockey and you’ll start to get an idea of what it was like to watch a professional lacrosse game in Halifax.
I was all set to maybe even pay for a plan to watch the games streamed online but then the season got cut short so now I’ve got my fingers crossed that the National Lacrosse League comes back in April like they have planned.
My Isolation Staycation at Kilmory Resort
I’ve told you about how I ended up with an unexpected roommate throughout this whole pandemic. Well, when he arrived back in Canada he needed a place to isolate close to health care I offered up my house. I packed up my life to spend two weeks at Kilmory Resort in Swift Current, NL. I was working remotely by then anyway so it was hardly a big sacrifice. It was early days in the pandemic when anxiety and emotions ran high so the calming nature of Kilmory was just what I needed. The rabbits, ducks, trees, and river really brought me some peace in chaotic times.
My Atlantic Bubble Vacation on PEI
The combination of the Atlantic Bubble and me getting a new car in July meant that I was itching for a road trip by the time August rolled around. So I loaded up Ruby, my new-to-me Mazda CX-3, with my camping gear and off I went. The plan was to spend my two week vacation touring around Prince Edward Island, alternating between camping and cabins. I hadn’t been to the island in a very, very long time so, for the first time in 2020, I really got to feel like I was travelling and exploring somewhere new. Bonus: I also discovered how amazing audiobooks are for keeping me alert during long solo drives.
While they’re both islands in Atlantic Canada, PEI doesn’t feel like Newfoundland so I was able to fill my travel tank by hanging out on white sand beaches, eating copious amounts of lobster rolls, meeting adorable alpacas, and staying at cool, boutique-y spots like Shanty Stay in Souris. I also managed to visit seven of the eight craft breweries on the island. Between all that and hunting down lighthouses I packed a lot into my two weeks but there is always more to see. So don’t be surprised if me and Ruby end up on the red island again in summer 2021.
Expanding My Hiking Repertoire
As I get older, I’m growing into more of a nature lover and outdoors person. I still don’t like getting dirty but sometimes there’s nothing I like more than a walk in the woods on a sunny day. This year I discovered more new-to-me trails than in any other year past. Between the East Coast Trail, the trails of Terra Nova National Park, Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park in PEI, and other individual trails I found on the All Trails app, I’ve put a good number of miles on my hikers. Hiking was the perfect socially distanced activity to get me out of the house.
One highlight was getting to spend a few days in the Eastport area exploring the recently branded Damnable Trail network – a collection of trails in and around the towns of Salvage, Sandy Cove, and Happy Adventure. While some of these trails existed before the branding, in recent years, every km has undergone maintenance and some trails have been reworked to showcase the stunning views in the area. It’s now a true hiking destination in the province. There’s everything there from an easy boardwalk & beach stroll to a challenging 14km trek. I stuck to the easier hikes this summer but maybe next year I’ll train and tackle the Coastal Ridge Trail.
Another discovery in 2020 was the Chance Cove Trail here in Newfoundland – the little trail that became Instagram-famous because of its turquoise blue horseshoe beach, towering sea stack, and photogenic red benches. I feel like everyone and their dog has hiked this trail at least once this year and for good reason. There were plenty of look-off points and gorgeous vistas without the hike itself being too tough or challenging. This will definitely be added to my Must Hike Again list.
2020 was a year for the books no matter which way you look at it. No new passport stamps. I haven’t been on a plane in 9 months. My suitcase feels abandoned. But it wasn’t all bad as you can see here.
This was the year that I got to explore the world closer to home and found some real gems. I also learned to slow down and literally enjoy my own backyard. I found pleasure in simple things like cooking good meals, walks in the sunshine, and watching my plants grow.
That being said, when my turn for the COVID-19 vaccine rolls around you won’t have to tell me twice to roll up my sleeve so that I can get back to collecting those passport stamps. I miss international travel. This blog isn’t called Softpants and Slippers after all. I’ve been dreaming of tropical jungles, Caribbean beaches, Greek mezzo platters, and star-filled Chilean night skies.
Soon. We’ll travel again soon.