3..2..1…Boom! Fireworks out of the window, champagne bottles popping and wishes for a happy new year all over the place! It was at that exact moment that it hit us; it was a new year’s eve like no other, exactly like 2020 was a year like no other before. This year’s first moments were not about the usual ambitious resolutions, but about all those things that we deadly missed in 2020 and anticipate to have back in 2021. Things that we might have taken for granted and this weird year made us appreciate, things that seemed to be small, but proved to be big, and some that we had to lose in order to realise how deeply they define our life and whole existence.
We can think of hundreds of things someone could have missed from the time before the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and anticipate to have back in 2021, but we picked our own top 3.
In a world that distances have shrunk, technology offers us hundreds of new ways to connect and everything is about “social”, statistics show that people are more disconnected and lonelier than ever before. Human touch and specially hugs have proved to be of great importance for people’s wellbeing; they unconsciously make us feel loved and included, they reduce stress levels and they have a significant positive impact on mood and self-esteem. In these very challenging times of isolation, we dream of the day that we will be able to tightly hug our loved ones again.
Running to catch the connecting flight, using sign language to ask for directions from a passing-by local, the “butterflies in the stomach” feeling before checking-in a new hotel room, the first walk in an unknown city, the struggle to fit everything in one suitcase, the fight for the window seat at the plane, walking around a museum, the smells and the flavours of a local cuisine, even that weird mixed emotion of disappointment and comfort when coming back home. We could write pages and pages about the travel-related excitements we have missed. For some of us travelling is about relaxing in a luxury 5 star boutique hotel in a greek island, for others hiking the Andes; no matter what, we all share the same anticipation to start packing our suitcases again.
In a time that grocery shopping has become a high risk activity, going out for drinks with a group of friends is like a memory from the past, throwing a party is illegal, being introduced to new people brings the awkward debate between a handshake versus an elbow bump, mask is the new fashion trend and a hand sanitizer super essential, we look forward to carefree moments that crowded places will not scare us and our smiles will not be hidden behind masks.
2020 was not a year to remember, but not one to forget either. A year that kept us apart from our people but brought the whole universe together and closer than ever, in ways we could not even imagine before. A year of a complete reevaluation.
We welcome 2021 with very mixed feelings; mindful for the people we lost, deeply grateful for all we have, and hopeful for a healing, lucky, exciting year ahead.