Year in Review – 2020

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I had so much hope for 2020. It did not turn out the way I expected at all but there were some high points. This was supposed to be the year I would finally get to live out a lifelong dream of mine. I’d been preparing for the better part of the previous year and a half and I could not wait. I was going to live in Perth, Australia while studying Public Health Education and Promotion at Curtin University for seven months. It took some time to adjust to being so far from all my friends and family but I was also excited by all the opportunities and possibilities before me.

Then Covid happened.

Luckily, I went to Australia a little early to get settled and explore before the world shut down and my adventure was put on hold indefinitely. I never really got a chance to explore any more of Australia before I had to come home but I will make my way back there one day! If you’re curious, you can check out Living Abroad, Touristy Things I and Touristy Things II for more details about my adventures in Oz.

These are some of the things that happened this year:

βœ” I took 3 flights to get to Perth, Australia (Montreal > San Francisco > Singapore/Bali > Perth)
βœ” I went to Caversham Wildlife Park and was able to get up close with various native Australian species
βœ” I was able to pet a kangaroo and koala πŸ˜€
βœ” I went to Yanchep National Park where I was able to see wild koalas and kangaroos
βœ” I tried sandboarding at the Lancelin Sand Dunes
βœ” Visited the Pinnacles Dessert which has one of the most interesting landscapes I’ve ever seen
βœ” Visited Rottnest Island where I got to take a Quokka selfie ❀ Cutest animals ever!!
βœ” Went sea kayaking on a glass-bottom boat
βœ” Went jetboating
βœ” Visited the Fremantle Markets
βœ” Visited Cottesloe Beach and swam in the ocean
βœ” Checked out the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition at Cottesloe
βœ” Rooftop Movie – Frozen 2
βœ” Was asked to create a video on Motivation for CEDEC (click here) which kind of flopped but was an interesting experience. You have to start somewhere πŸ™‚
βœ” Created my first free challenge (click here)
βœ” Set up my first free guide (click here)
βœ” Became an aunt for the first time ❀
βœ” Was certified as an Online Coaching Specialist
βœ” Became a certified Pn1 Nutrition Coach

These are some of the things that were planned but didn’t happen:

  • Visiting the Ningaloo Reef and swimming with whale sharks
  • Spring Break in Bali – flying fox, giant swing and sky biking
  • Seeing a live footy (AFL) game
  • Visiting New Zealand to check out Hobbiton
  • Sliding down the Rere rockslide in Gisborne, New Zealand
  • Exploring Sydney – Bondi Beach, Paddy’s Markets, Ghost Tour, Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, Horseback riding at Centennial Parklands…
  • Exploring Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Byron Bay
  • Exploring Melbourne – Queen Victoria Market, Beneath Driver Lane, the Pink Lake, Starward Distillery, Welcome to Thornbury…
  • Learning to surf
  • Trying kangaroo meat
  • Doing the Tree Top Walk at Valley of the Giant Trees
  • Work lol I planned to start after Spring Break

I have very mixed emotions about this year. There were some amazing things that happened but there were many more experiences that were ruined. My mental health suffered greatly because of Covid. I struggled to focus on school work; it didn’t seem that important in the grand scheme of things. I couldn’t stop worrying about everyone at home and what would happen if they shut the borders and I was trapped in a foreign country. I couldn’t work while abroad but I wasn’t eligible for CERB. The Australian government was telling me to go home and our PM was telling Canadians abroad to come home, yet Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Embassy in Sydney were pretty slow on the uptake and not particularly helpful. My insurance threatened to cut me off, although my (OSHC) student insurance stayed intact. AirBnBs, hotels and on campus residences were closing (I was staying in an AirBnB) and I wondered where I would go if that happened to the one I was staying in and what would be available when my booking ended, as I had planned to roam the east coast between school ending and going home. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end.

Needless to say though, my anxiety was through the roof and I sincerely thank all my family and friends who supported me through the ordeal. I am forever grateful that when the world shut down, I could count on you.

The year started off so well…

Hopefully, things will settle down soon and 2021 will be the year we hoped 2020 would be.

How was your 2020?

Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to Like me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram or Twitter.

Cheers from Head Coach Sami Grosse

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