How does the song from John Lennon go? So, this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun. Indeed, another year over. As much as I hate year end summaries, 2021 deserves one.
2021 can be compared to the Symphonic Orchestra performing Queen music concert I’ve went to this year. It started calm and inconspicuous but ended with a big bang. Man… in January when I came back from my Andalusia and Portugal road trip, I didn’t expect that I would be spending Christmas in the heart of the Alps. Many things happened between January and December… soooo let’s have a look at the past year. However, I’m of the opinion that pictures speak louder than words.
Despite all those covid restrictions I somehow was either lucky or at the right place at the right time. Starting from January when returning from Portugal my plane wasn’t inspected by polish border control and I’ve avoided a 10-day quarantine. Over the amazing diving trips to Zanzibar and Maldives to finish the year in the heart of the Alps. When going to Zanzibar in April I didn’t have to do any PCR tests as Tanzania had no entry restrictions at all! The entry restrictions were introduced from May… wouldn’t you call that lucky? After coming back from Zanzibar as a covid recoveree, my positive test from October 2020 helped me in avoiding a quarantine and doing a covid test. In September I went to Cabo Verde as the country lifted all entry restrictions for fully vaccinated people. In December my gamble with booking a skiing trip to Austria paid off as the country lifted the lockdown for fully vaccinated people one week before my departure. The only time I had to do a covid test was when going to the Maldives as the country required a negative one upon arrival. In addition to all those diving and skiing trips I’ve spent a fabulous long weekend visiting my family in Germany. Generally, 2021 was a very very fruitful year when it comes to travel. I can compare it with 2019 when I was using each opportunity to travel somewhere.
Man I have the impression that in 2021 more things happened than in the past couple of years. From the top of my head – Tribute Zimmer, Williams, Morricone concert, Pretty Woman and Chicago musical, museum visits, Banksy Exhibition, Energylandia amusement park visit, fine dining, cosmic games pub visits, lavender fields sightseeing, board game evenings, go-karting and not to forget some pretty cool parties! Geez I have no idea where I got all the energy to do that. One I know for sure I wasn’t bored during 2021. I was doing something each weekend. Even if it was just a city walk or sitting at the Vistula River and watching the sunset. Time was used to its full extent. No wasting time or giving in to the well-known sentence – I don’t wanna. Ofcoz I had times when I was lying on the sofa and doing nothing. That was mostly after partying the night before. I had to cure my hangover. However, during those days, I was mostly catching up on watching Netflix. There were also some nice dates I went on and some dates I would like to forget. Like the guy from Spain who told me that he must go as Barcelona is playing against Madrid and he wants to see the game. From the good dates I remember the one with a guy from New York who was quoting Kerouac. Despite not finding a good material for a boyfriend I’m not giving up. If Mr. Rights appears fine if not, oh well c’est la vie.
Apart from travel, 2021 passed under the sign of sports. It all started in January when I made the New Year’s resolution to learn how to ski. It didn’t look good in the beginning as the ski slopes in Poland were closed due to covid restrictions. However, think I was born under a lucky star as in February the Polish government lifted the restrictions and the ski slopes got open again. For three weekends in a row, I was going to Wisła city in Silesia region to take skiing lessons. It went surprisingly well as after a total of 12 hours of lessons I went on a long skiing weekend to the Tatra Mountains to test my new abilities. I didn’t break anything, plus at the end of the weekend I tried to ride down a red slope. Those skiing lessons triggered an avalanche of sport activities. I started to go to pole dance classes, wakeboard lessons and continued with yoga. Additionally started rollerblading again – forgot how much fun it is, tired kayaking and crossfit – yeah not my cup of tea. Plus I occasionally go to a shooting range to practice my shooting accuracy. As a result of all those sports activities I made new friends, became more flexible and most of all my biceps got bigger and I became stronger. Also I feel better, fitter, healthier – yeah should quit smoking… well you need a vice and smoking is mine. The biggest sports surprise for me was when during the last stretching classes this year I did a full split!!! That was my plan beginning of the year but I didn’t believe it will be possible. Coming year, I plan to continue that good sports flow. New goal is to do shoulder mount – a difficult pole dance trick involving a very strong core. Bet Trisz, the coolest pole dance instructor will help me with that. O shi*** I need to sign up for classes in January!
They say sport is good for you. What they don’t say are all those small and big injuries sports can cause. With doing more sports I get hurt more often than usual. Beginning of May I broke my right wrist while doing yoga. Four weeks after the injury I went on a diving trip to the Maldives. No way in hell I would cancel diving because of a broken wrist. Besides, the doctor said that I’m OK to go if I wear an orthotic. Well, I didn’t wear the full orthotic, just a wrist support band as the bones were healing quicker than expected. Apart from a broken wrist there were many bruises on different body parts – pole dance training result, muscle soreness and a major rib muscle cramp. As I mentioned in one of the posts, pole dance hurts. Your thighs are burning and the skin behind the knees is itching. When I started whining that ahhhhh my skin and all those bruises, blahhhh. Joanna.R told me to shut up as the pole needs to hurt. The body and the skin need to adjust. Have to say she was right. Apart from that muscle soreness this year was as usual as eating or drinking. My favourite muscle soreness story happened on the 5th September. On that day I was taking part in the yearly Business Run edition. Different from other editions this year every contestant needed to run 4 km on their own and then submit the result via the dedicated Business Run app. I thought it would be very romantic to do a sunrise run… and so I did. Got up at 5.30 am on a Sunday! I ran 4 km and after I got back to my apartment, I couldn’t stand flat on my feet. My calves were so stiff. Bummer as at 10.30 am that day Gonia and her boyfriend Piotr were picking me up for a trip to Niepolomice primeval forest. It was supposed to be a nice walk around the countryside. Right! It was a 15 km walk! When I returned home at the end of the day, I was dead tired, and my legs were burning. Again bummer! The next day I had a wakeboard lesson. Monday morning, I took a very hot shower and rubbed Ben Gay into my legs three times a day. My apartment smelled like a cheap Chinese pharmacy in a dodgy alley. Luckily it helped. Monday afternoon I went to my wakeboard lesson and survived it!
Catching up with old friends, making new friends and reunions. What a year it has been to spend time with people you like and care about. Hope you won’t mind but a huge thank you to all those special people who made 2021 fabulous. In no specific order Paula.RS, Joanna.R & Wojciech.S, Magda.S, Joanna.GG, Bazar, Paula.F, Kondziu, Anna.B, Gonia & Piotr, Robuś, Konni, Gerald, Marcin.S, Michal.B, Shauna, Alice & Francesco, Pat, Trisz & The Whole Pole Dance Team, Sophia.K, Monique.H, Nick.W, Szymon.M, Ewelina.S, Joanna.DRG, Adriana.L, Andzelika.S, Aga.D, Kamila.B, Daria.JS. Hope I didn’t miss anybody. When I think about all those amazing moments, all those drinks we shared and all those hangovers we went through… man have to say it was awesome. One time Joanna.R invited me over to her place to have pole dance training – she has a pole in her apartment. Well, I came over, but the pole training didn’t happen. Instead, I cooked dinner, and her boyfriend Wojciech suggested that we have a board game evening. Of course, drinks were involved. Somehow, I left their apartment at 2 or 3 am. Another time Magda.S and I went to see the lavender fields close to Kraków. It looked like a piece of Provence. After the tour we spent a nice evening over pizza and drinks. Really all those lovely moments. Not to mention all those video calls with my friends who are far away geographically but still close – Paula, Monique, Shauna, Sophia, Robuś that’s you guys.
However what I’m also extremely happy about are all those reunions that happened this year. Not sure but I think it’s because of this blog. My friends who I didn’t speak to for a long time texted me sharing warm words about the blog. And just like that I’ve met with Anna, Michal, Aga, started chatting with Tomek and hopefully in coming January I’ll meet with Rafal again. As a bonus this year I had two fantastic visits. First one was in July when Alice and Francesco visited Kraków and the second one was at the end of November when my friend Shauna came over. Really, 2021 when it comes to friendship filled me with gratefulness to have such friends. Funny enough, when writing this post, I spoke for nearly an hour to Joanna.GG about all and nothing.
2021 New Beginnings
This year was also about new beginnings. Not only for me but also for my friends. In February I got a new role at the company I work for. It was a 180-degree turn. New role, new responsibilities but judging from a ten-month perspective and the received feedback I did a good job. What’s more important, many of my friends faced new beginnings in 2021. Some ended their long-term relationships; some made the next step in their relationships, and some changed their perspective on work life balance. What was crucial and somehow related to the paragraph above is the moral support for each other. Every time one of my friends needed me, I was there and opposite. I was just happy that I could support my friends when they needed to make a decision and take the big step. For me personally a new beginning was to start a blog to share some of my experiences. Maybe some of you guys can relate to similar situations which you have faced. But mostly the blog was to find a way to release some of the thoughts that wander in my head. Just like the pensieve in Harry Potter.
2021 All that jazz
When I think about 2021 the only thing that comes to my mind is HELL YEAH! A year when many new things started, a year that took me to places I always wanted to go and a year when I did things I always wanted to do. It somehow felt like being in the movie Yes Man. I was basically saying yes to many things – sports, parties, experiences, activities. It was a year during which I discovered how lucky and grateful I am for all those things and people who surround me. Sometimes years like that are necessary to appreciate all the good things in our lives. After all those exciting twelve months there are five top sentences I’ve heard most this year. Starting from the end:
5. One more drink?
4. Do you have any plans for today?
3. Let go… hands off the pole
2. Push those heels harder into the water
1. Squeeze your arse
I will be thrilled if 2022 is half so exciting as 2021. Looking forward to it! Until then enjoy Italy!