Year In Review

If you had to describe 2020 in one word, how would you describe it?

Personally, describing it in one word isn’t possible as no matter what word to chose, it wouldn’t do it justice. Obviously, words like shit, horrible, disaster and egregious come to mind, but they don’t do it justice as this year was more than just shit or a disaster. The only way I find fitting to describe this year would be to grab all the synonyms of the word awful, put them inside a medium-sized smoothie machine with a sprinkle of mouldy bread crumbs, blend it and voila that’s how to describe 2020.

This year has been a massive shit show, more of a shit show than a coalition government of Trump and Boris Johnson would be. Yet for me, it’s not actually been that bad of a year. In fact, you can even say I’ve had a pretty reasonable year, which in retrospect to everyone else’s years is an earth-shatteringly good year.

Now the purpose of this article isn’t to brag about how great of a year I’ve had or how sexy I am, or how I may have an addiction to the song Gloria by The Trials of Cato (thank you Nancy), it’s more just reviewing the year for me as, despite Miss Rona being prevalent in our lives, I’ve managed to do quite a lot of things this year. Let’s go back in time to what feels like centuries ago and jump back to January 2020.

At the turn of the year after having some fun doing the old ‘Strongula’ (You down a can of Strong in the time it takes the Gondola to reach the top), I celebrated New Years in the good old Way Bar in Kutchan, Japan. Ski instructing became something I fell deeply in love with and I had the best winter season of my life so far. After the U.K. going into lockdown in March and many of my colleagues and housemates scrambling to get back to their countries, I ended up moving to Hiroshima for 2 and a half months to work in a hostel cleaning.

In Hiroshima lockdown wasn’t really a thing, most shops closed for a month yet some establishments stayed open and there were no strict rules on how many people you can breathe oxygen around. With some ups and downs in the hostel and many bits of hair and sperm cleaned in the showers, I ventured onto Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo to where I cried my eyes out eating my final bit of fried chicken from Lawsons and flew over to the States for camp.

Camp was the first time I experienced the whole isolating thingy where I isolated in a bunk for 3 days until I got the all-clear to work and live in the legit bubble we were forming. For 2 months I stayed put on-site, not leaving once, and did the usual summer routine of shouting ‘do stuff’ at kids, until Mexico and queso quesadillas were calling my name.

This takes us up to September, how exciting! For a month I sat on my arse and soaked in one of ‘the worlds most dangerous cities’, Acapulco, which to be clear isn’t that dangerous, until I moved onto Puebla for a month where I lived in a shed for my time there and reunited with many ex-colleagues of mine from my years at camp. One week in Mexico City concluded my travels until low and behold the Worst Travel Day happened and I ended up being forced back home to Scotland, where my year started to become awful.

As many of you are reading this and calling me a jammy bastard for doing all these things during the pandemic, it wasn’t until having to come back to Scotland and suffer the same way as almost everyone I know had suffered that I properly realised how lucky I was to be able to have the year I did. My year was spent being that travelling fanny, experiencing many things and eating too many Taco Arabes in Puebla whilst everyone else was suffering and struggling to cope with the new reality we were forced into. I wrote about here (Corona Guilt), yet even then I still didn’t fully understand the new reality, as my reality was still fairly normal. It’s only when you experience the sheer annoyance of having to live in a restricted reality you understand how lucky you were to have the life you had before.

And that’s where I’m currently am just now, writing this 3 days away from the end of the year, dwelling about when Scotland will get to the same level of freedoms as New Zealand and Australia have the now and pondering if I’ll manage to escape out to Poland in mid-January. Despite the uncertainty with everything, the only thing I know for certain is that 2021 is going to be my bitch!


Swankie – 24, Scotland. Loveable Loser.

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