Our December was quiet. We spend our free time outdoors as much as we can, but winter months are the exception. Days are cold and grey. We haven’t seen any snow yet. Though it snowed in the mountains, it already melted by the time we got there. There were no Christmas markets to tempt us out this year, and also no cheery meeting in cafés with friends. Our days looked mostly the same, and even though they’re not bad, it’s hard.
We at least tried to have some nice walks, like visiting the Christmas trees in front of the Parliament and at St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest (while trying not to think of the missing Christmas markets). We wish we could look forward to some new adventures. Looking back to the memories of 2020 made me grateful, but looking at my empty travel planner at the beginning of this new year makes me feel sad and helpless.
By the end of January, I usually have a rough plan of our trips for the year – for weekends and long weekends, and for the big adventures, too. I can’t plan anything now, and I miss it. Not just the travels, the planning part, as well. I like crafting our travel days carefully, they’re the first part of the trip for me.
I still want to plan. Not travel, but whatever else I can. I need to stay focused and feel like I have some control over my life to be able to keep my balance. But let’s not jump into the next year yet, because this is our monthly recap for the past December, and there were some good things.
Family Christmas at home. The three of us, Csaba, me and Tomi spent Christmas Eve at home, all healthy and happy. Tomi was excited about the Christmas lights, the sparklers, the wrapping papers – and he liked his presents, too, once he was ready to pay attention to them. Having Christmas with a kid brings back some of the magic of our own childhood Christmases, and I enjoyed it.
Reflecting and finding our focus. Despite 2020 being the “trash year”, we had lots of cheerful family moments and countless happy hikes. We’ve already shared our best travel moments with you (we had travel moments! Even though they were not the ones we planned to have, we were grateful about them all) – click here to read that post. We also had some cozy evenings to talk about our plans and doubts with each other for the next year, and it felt good. Relaxed evenings were not part of our days in our first year with Tomi, and we desperately needed them by now.
A nice day hike in the Mátra Mountains. Even though the snow melted, and the winter forest is quite a brownish-greyish, colorless sight, we found a cool castle ruin in the Mátra Mountains: the ruins of Cserter Castle near the village of Mátrakeresztes. Also, Tomi had some fun playing in the mud. Adults forget how much fun mud is, don’t they? A huge mistake. 😛
Family visit at Christmas. In our 31 years we spent time together with our families each Christmas, except one year that we spent far away in California. And this year. Even though we met part of the family, and enjoyed our traditional Christmas board games and seeing our little Tomi getting excited about everything and everyone, several of our family members were sick with coronavirus at the same time. It was not the usual Christmas, and I guess we’re not alone with that. But the good news is that it looks like everyone is better by now.
Monotonous days. Working from home, babysitting Tomi – that’s how our days are spent. No weekend trips, no “girls’ eve” or “boys’ eve”, no meeting with friends… I try to make the most of my days, and I’m happy I managed to read and write a lot. But we miss some sparkle, some new excitement…
Mátra Mountains, Hungary
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Best Winter Hikes In Southern California. It looks like most of you guys read us from California and on the search for outdoor activities. 🙂 There’s plenty as this beautiful state is suitable for hiking year-round, and we have a separate bunch of ideas for Southern California especially. Ah, we wish we could enjoy those mild, sunny days now.
Coming up in January
I could say that we usually have a long weekend getaway to a European city each winter and decide the exact destination based on where we can fly for the cheapest. That’s how we got to Copenhagen or Rome previously. Oh, those golden travel days… Nothing’s on our list for this winter.
Restrictions are strict in almost every European country, most flights were cancelled and accommodations are closed to tourists even inland. It’s not completely impossible to enter our neighboring countries, but it’s so much of a hassle that weekend getaways are out of question. Realistically, we’ll probably do some day hikes around Budapest if the weather allows.
How about you? How was your December? What are your plans for the next month?
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