How was year 2021? Different from what I had imagined and would have hoped. Year 2020 has been a challenge for everyone and it has taught us all to live in a different world, but 2022 has been a personal challenge. It was as if whatever we were trying to do, something happened that would make us take everything from scratch all over again. If in 2020 we started the year with 5 planned trips, two of which did not take place, we started the year 2021 with a single planned trip, a few months long, which did not take place. We reoriented ourselves along the way, we were in a constant struggle with the system and the bureaucracy. The word that best defines this year for us was #resist. But we did try to enjoy the time we spent together and discover new places as much as we could.
We started the new year just a few steps from the house, in a friend’s apartment in the next complex. It was a nice party. with laughter, games and fireworks. Just a few days in 2022, I got sick with COVID, most likely shopping. Fortunately, I did not pass it to any acquaintance and I had a very mild version, without complications.
After January, when we stayed mostly at home. trying not to aggravate my condition and not to transmit the virus to others, in February we started traveling locally again. We visited several new places in Bucharest, including the Spring Palace, and rediscovered Râșnov and Constanța, at a time when few people want to go to the sea.
The year 2022 was a year of readjustment, last minute changes and reorganization. March came with a new job. At first I was chosen because of my ability to adapt (I don’t know exactly how they figured it out). In the first month, I thought they were crazy to give me full freedom from the start, but also appropriate responsibilities. But I soon adjusted and I think it is the best job for me so far. I have a beautiful team and it is a pleasure to see it develop every day, even if everything happens more “auditory”, working remotely.
March was also a busy month for travel. We revisited the Danube Gorge, Herculaneum Baths, Siriu, Nera Gorges and Baia Mare. We traveled a lot to recover from the quieter months of winter, but also to prepare for what we thought would follow, a journey through the Baltic and Nordic countries with the caravan for a few months. Of course, we were going to work during this period. But we were already used to it from 2021, when we drove and worked through Romania.
April passed quickly, with short walks and many administrative tasks that we had to solve before leaving. We visited Cluj-Napoca, Târgu Lăpuș, Ocna Șugatag and Borșa. Quite unexpectedly, but at Borsa it was snowing like in fairy tales, and the Waterfall of the Horses was still frozen.
And from here the thread began to break. It was as if everything was happening late, as if someone was strongly opposed to our plans. We were able to get vaccinated about a month later than we had hoped, I did not take the driving test, my work laptop broke down and it took one month to have it replaced, the caravan needed minor unforeseen repairs. We didn’t travel too much, but we spent a week in the city and the county of Arad to visit and test the caravan.
As I said, in May my laptop broke down and it took me a month to get another one. We spent a few days in Slovakia and Poland, in Zakopane, an area we had visited before and liked enough to return. But we had to return in order to get my laptop.
The summer solstice was already approaching, a day we would have liked to catch in Estonia, but with a delay of almost a month, we already knew that it was not possible. However, at least in Lithuania we still hoped to get by that point. But the stars did not stick with us. As soon as we got out of the country, a car hit us from behind. We weren’t physically hurt, we knew from the moment of the impact that it wasn’t serious for us or for the others, but it seemed like everything we had planned and hoped for months was gone in a second.
The caravan was movable, but it would not have been recommended to make the trip we wanted in that state. We decided to take it to a service station in Bucharest. On the way there, we also and spent a few days in Cluj County.
Going a little forward
Subsequently, the caravan stayed in that service for two months, during which time we thought it was being worked on, but in fact nothing was being done. On a “surprise” visit, we saw the real situation and decided to change the service. We moved it to Cluj. But there it also took 3 months, with calls several times a week, just to get the estimate. We never thought it would take 6 months from an accident to get an insurance quote, especially as it wasn’t even our fault. Even now the caravan is still not repaired. We are waiting for the insurer’s answer and we hope it will be ready on time for next year.
July – August
With the caravan in service and the thought that we won’t have it until September-October, we decided not to give up our summer plans altogether and left by car, booking rooms through Airbnb. We visited Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for a month and a half. We didn’t catch the longest day of the year in any of these countries. But we enjoyed long and beautiful days and nights, although, even in August, it was much colder than we expected. I haven’t written about the Baltic countries yet, but I hope to make time for them soon.
September – October
After seeing that the situation of our caravan was completely different from the one presented to us by phone (the rare times when someone answered us), we decided to move it. At first the new guy seemed in a hurry to do it, but in the end it took three months for a piece of paper. Beyond that, we decided to take advantage of the freedom given by the authorities and extend the summer a bit. We traveled through Portugal for a month and visited Porto, Lisbon, the Algarve, but also lesser known places.
The weather didn’t really encourage us to go travel. I resumed my driving lessons and spent more time at home dreaming of a tour of the Christmas markets in Bratislava, Vienna, Innsbruck, Strasbourg and Stuttgart in the last days of November and December.
But again, the plans for 2021 have not taken shape. A few days before we should have left, Austria went into lockdown, and the day we were supposed to leave, Slovakia was going to go into lockdown. Stuttgart’s Christmas Market has also been canceled. Some of our accommodations were canceled and three days before we decided to give up our vacation.
However, this time it was as if someone thought of offering us a consolation prize, and it just so happened that we were invited by some friends to go to the Christmas markets in Budapest together. And so we did!
We started December by visiting the holiday fairs in Budapest and Szentendre. It was a trip without much expectations, in a city I had visited before, but with some nice people and during a special time. The Christmas markets in Budapest turned out to be a pleasant surprise. 2022 will catch us in Bucharest, exactly a few steps from home, at the same friend. However, we hope that it will be a completely different year compared to 2021.
TravelWithASpin in 2021
With all the restrictions, especially at the beginning of the year, I wrote quite a lot on the blog. I managed to better organize myself and tell you about the places we visited, especially about those in Romania. I reached a number of views that just a few months ago seemed incredible to me. Which means that what I write here is useful for others and I hope it will continue to be.
The most read articles were by far the ones in Romanian. In English the most read article was about 3 day trips one can take from Hanover and a circuit of the Golden Circle in Iceland.
Plans for 2022
2021 was not the year we wanted, but we learned to adapt and take the best of what we have and what happens to us. It was a hard year, a year in which we felt that the universe and the system were against us. However, I can’t say it was a completely bad year. We learned a lot and saw many beautiful new places. But I’m glad it’s over and I hope that bad luck disappears with it.
After 2020 and especially 2021, I can say that I am afraid to make plans. I hope to somehow solve the issue with the caravan by spring and be able to set off, this time without any unpleasant events. Where to? I do not know. But if you want to find out, I’m waiting for you on the blog in 2022.
Happy New Year!
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