2020 in review

2020: A Reflection

2020. What a freakin’ year! The toughest yet, without a doubt. I actually feel quite sad looking back at my 2019 reflection, when I had such hopes for such a perfect sounding year. A year ago, I knew I had to make some changes to my life, both personally and professionally, and it’s safe to say I’ve had a few curveballs. I began the year living in London, ready to make a change, and I can’t say it has ended in the way I’d hoped. The small matter of a pandemic has knocked a few things out of place, and I’ve had to clutch at life where I can in some ways. At the same time, I’m very grateful for all I have and appreciate so many people have had far worse years than mine.

So, as always, here’s what I wrote for my 2020 goals back in December of last year. Let’s see how I got on!

  • Make a significant shift in my day to day – a new job and a change that will make me happier. Well, in some ways I achieved this. Although I didn’t quite expect to have started two new jobs this year! More on that later… I also got away from somebody who was having a negative influence in my life, so in some ways I am happier – check!
  • Work on getting promoted or shift my career to something more creative. I was promoted until that job didn’t work out… and it was certainly more creative. So yes and no here, ha.
  • Make new friends and meet new people. It’s fair to say some new people have come into my life this year, including someone from the past which has been nice. That said, it is pretty difficult meeting new people when we’re in a pandemic.
  • Continue to travel to new cities and places. I have definitely not tackled this one, although I’m not sure I can take too much blame here! I did manage to sneak in a trip to Gdansk back in February, and am so grateful I did!
  • Save as much as I can towards a mortgage. One perk of not being able to travel any more!
  • Shape a better routine for the gym – I currently go but there’s no real pattern to what I do. I’ve gotten so much better at this! Exercising has definitely kept my brain sane this year.
  • Maintain a regular blog routine. Debatable – but I have experienced the best stats this year that I’ve ever had, so thank you to every single one of you for reading my posts! It’s always so appreciated.
  • Be more grateful for everything I’m lucky enough to have by making a note of things I appreciate each and every day. I haven’t been keeping a list, but I need to. Pushing this one onto my list of goals for 2021!

Here are a few highlights and lessons along the way.


The year kicked off in a funny way, having been to a New Year’s Eve party where someone accidentally took my phone home hours before I needed to go back to London – cue the panic! I settled back into life in London, and began to plan out my next steps in life. Wanting to capitalise on a new year, I made sure to use my weekends to explore as many places as I could. I also successfully completed Dry January for the first time ever, so had to get a little more creative in how I spent my London life.

Highlights of 2020

  • Taking daytrips to places around London, including beautiful Richmond.
  • Starting my very first bullet journal.
  • Gaining experience working closely with clients like Arcadia in the City.
  • Visiting Brighton and Eastbourne for the first time.
2020: Laura in Richmond, Surrey
The view from the top of Monument in London
2020: Visiting Eastbourne Pier, Sussex
Tower Bridge, London


February was a fun month for me! I was finally able to break the end of Dry January with a night out, and I continued to see all that London had to offer. I prepared to make big changes in my life by trying to fill my apartment, and took part in various pub quizzes. The highlight of the month was a trip to Gdansk in Poland, as well as a bunch of social activities along the way. I also took my first ever trip to Yeovil in Somerset with work, so it was a jam packed month overall before the chaos of March set in.

Highlights of 2020

  • Finally visited the Tower of London for the first time
  • Had a couple of fun nights out with the girls
  • Explored more of London, including the Design Museum and the Imperial War Museum
  • Visited both Southampton and Yeovil for meetings with work
  • Took a trip to Gdansk in Poland
2020: a girls' night out in London
2020: Portobello Road, Notting Hill

Girls in Gdansk, Poland


The start of all the craziness this year! I was very lucky and managed to squeeze in some birthday celebrations before everything in 2020 went… well, wrong. I quit my job and left my London flat – all in the hopes of making positive changes for my life and potentially moving to Australia. Little did any of us know, a global pandemic was just around the corner to throw a spanner into the works. I moved into my friend Alice’s flat and we rode out the rest of the month the best way we could, catching coronavirus along the way.

Highlights of 2020

  • Celebrating my birthday with an amazing steak dinner and bucket list drinks at Searcy’s The Gherkin
  • Having fun by moving out of my Hoxton apartment and into Ealing with my friend, Alice
  • Having a final work night out in London (who knew it would be the last night out in a LONG time?)
  • One last house party again before all the mayhem of lockdown began
  • The weirdest of lockdown London walks, with the whole city empty
Drinks at Searcys The Gherkin, London
2020: drinks with friends in London
Tower Bridge during the London lockdown


The continuation of this sheer madness – except everything seemed to get a little scarier. Death rates were creeping up, and even Boris Johnson found himself in intensive care while trying to lead the country through the pandemic. We adapted to life with just one hour a day to go outside, and lockdown activities came into their own. Cue the introduction of the Zoom quiz, baking, and home workouts. It fell apart in many places for me with a relationship ending and work drama, but I was lucky enough to have my friend Alice by my side for the ride.

Highlights of 2020

  • Getting creative with new forms of entertainment through lockdown – Bongos Bingo and hosting a weekly Zoom quiz
  • Exploring west London on bike and taking long walks through the city
  • Becoming a lot more accomplished at cooking and making some epic brunches
  • Taking up gardening(!)
  • Meeting a new furry friend thanks to BorrowMyDoggy
2020: learning new hobbies including knitting
Walks through Notting Hill, London
Making shakshuka in 2020
Borrow My Doggy in London


May brought a continuation of life in lockdown for me – I continued to adapt and stay busy with my friend, Alice. We baked, we walked Tamino the dog, we looked after an elderly lady in nearby Acton, and I walked miles and miles through London to keep sane. Our weekly lockdown quiz continued, and we cooked and enjoyed the amazing sunshine that the month treated us to. We even managed to sneak in a couple of day trips – Southend-on-Sea, Margate, and Brighton, just to get some fresh air outside of the city. It was social, and it was fun. I kickstarted my travel Instagram account and have found some success as well as something to focus on. My work situation was a little difficult given furlough, and I knew I needed to look for another job, so I decided to move home to Cheltenham to begin my search.

Highlights of 2020

  • Baking! Check out my Victoria sponge and coffee and walnut cake recipes
  • Walking in London through my favourite places like Notting Hill, Richmond, and Fulham
  • Spending time in the sun and socialising
  • Visiting the beach in Southend-on-Sea and Brighton, as well as new places in Kent including Herne Bay
  • Enjoying my first draught pint, fish and chips, and Nandos in forever!
  • Being reunited back with my family in Cheltenham, and enjoying the countryside again
Victoria Sponge baking
2020 walks through Notting Hill, London
Beach huts in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Laura on Brighton Beach in 2020
Laura in Margate, Kent
Countryside in Prestbury, Cheltenham


June brought beautiful weather, which made all our Covid restrictions a lot easier to handle. I took long walks with my family, met friends for drinks in the park, and began running to kickstart my fitness. I enjoyed the long summer nights, and put all my effort into finding a new job. I took a trip back to London to be reunited with Alice and my friends in London, and had a great time sipping pints on Embankment. I ploughed time into improving my travel Instagram account and explored the Cotswolds with my time off. I was also lucky enough to receive two new job offers, and began my new role as Head of Account Management for a Soho based marketing agency. June was great!

Highlights of 2020

  • Getting back into running and managing to run over 7-8km through the Cheltenham countryside
  • Summer picnics in the park with Prosecco
  • Spending time with friends in London for the weekend
  • Enjoying the beautiful scenery of Cleeve Hill in Cheltenham and beyond
  • Spending time in towns like Broadway in the Cotswolds in the summer heat
  • Beginning my brand new job in a senior position
Picnic in Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham in 2020
Pints in Embankment, London
Roast dinner in London
Views from Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham
Summer in Broadway, Worcestershire


Some more positive movements in July – bars and restaurants were finally allowed to open! I spent lots of time outdoors in the sun, met someone I liked, and socialised. I got back into the swing of working (despite it being a remote role), and rose to the new challenge. A lot of my time was spent outdoors, and al fresco dining which was lovely! I also managed to enjoy another trip to London for a friend’s birthday party, and made the most of the Friday afternoons off that I was able to have in my job each week. All in all, summer was so positive!

Highlights of 2020

  • Finally being able to hang out in a bar and eat at a restaurant!
  • Enjoying time with someone new in my life
  • Al fresco dining in Witney and Cheltenham in the sun
  • Using the long summer evenings to get better at running
  • Spending time with friends in London and celebrating a pal’s birthday
Coffee in Pittville Park, Cheltenham
Roast dinner at The Hollybush, Witney
2020 at No 131 Restaurant, Cheltenham
2020 sunsets in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Girls in Ealing, London


August had a very exciting start as I finally had my hair done! The first time this YEAR! So it could only go up… right!? I had a lovely time celebrating my brother’s birthday at Pasture in Bristol which was delicious, and much of the rest of the month I spent outside, enjoying drinks and meals. It was also the introduction of Eat Out to Help Out – a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy £10 off any meal Mon-Weds. Of course, I wanted to make the most of it! I also had a lovely day out with two of my friends from London in Oxford – we had brunch and went punting. The month was finished with a lovely bank holiday and celebrating my Mum’s birthday.

Highlights of 2020

  • FINALLY getting rid of my awful roots and being able to go for a hair appointment!
  • Making the most of summer and enjoying evenings out in the sun
  • Eating out to help out… a lot
  • Having a lovely day in Oxford with two of my nearest and dearest friends
  • Celebrating my mum and brother’s birthdays with some lovely meals out
Steak dinner at Pasture, Bristol
Al fresco drinks at the pub
Girls in Oxford
Espresso martinis at the Ivy, Cheltenham


My life crashed down to earth with a bit of a bang in September – I was told I no longer had my job. It threw a spanner into my life plan, which perhaps is a lesson for me for the future. I took some time out, and enjoyed some days of not thinking about work. Instead, I explored the surrounding areas, went to the gym as much as I could, and was lucky enough to secure a job that I was offered at the same time as my last role. I also celebrated a couple of friends’ 30th birthdays, and had a lovely time away in St Ives, Cornwall for a long weekend.

Highlights of 2020

  • Taking a little time out and enjoying some trips to Clifton in Bristol
  • Exploring the Cotswolds and visiting Castle Combe for the first time
  • Celebrating my friend Jo’s 30th birthday in Cheltenham
  • Heading to St Ives in Cornwall for a long weekend to celebrate my friend Alice’s 30th birthday
  • Finally getting to visit Rick Steins’ iconic Seafood Restaurant in Padstow
Laura overlooking Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
2020 in Bibury, Gloucestershire
Girls with wine in Cheltenham
Surfing in St Ives, Cornwall
Laura in Castle Combe, Cotswolds


A funny month – I started yet another job remotely, and am still yet to meet any of my colleagues in person! I was eternally grateful not to be unemployed given the current circumstances of the world. I took a leap of faith and reached out to a friend from school to catch up, and although it was short lived, it was lovely to reconnect. Friends got engaged, I met new people, and I tried to keep busy with my Instagram account – it even saw the beginning of me starting to form a few brand collaborations which is really exciting! I made a very exciting purchase from Gucci, went to the gym regularly, and enjoyed the last bit of freedom before the nation went into lockdown 2.0.

Highlights of 2020

  • Reconnecting with an old childhood friend for a couple of drunken catchups
  • Enjoying some lovely meals out, and of course brunching like a queen
  • Taking long, autumnal walks through Cheltenham and beyond
  • Finally beginning into good shape because of many trips to the gym and sticking to a routine
  • Enjoying a final few nights out before lockdown 2.0
Drinks at No 131, Cheltenham
Autumn coffee in Pittville Park, Cheltenham
An exciting purchase from Gucci in 2020
Peri peri chicken from No 131, Cheltenham


November was another tough month thanks to lockdown 2.0 – it almost felt like I was getting pretty good at this lockdown thing. I applied myself to work, and tried to exercise regularly still. I continued to see success across my blog and Instagram, and was even contacted by BBC Radio Gloucestershire to co-host their evening show which really pushed me beyond my comfort zone. Everything began to feel a little more festive, and I even met some new people. I continued to enjoy the autumn and travel where I could – although it did all begin to feel like a bit of a drag when it’s difficult to maintain a healthy social life.

Highlights of 2020

  • Reaching new achievements with my blog and Instagram, including a collab and speaking on local radio
  • Walking as much as I possibly can to keep my sanity intact
  • Taking a trip over to Stroud Farmers’ Market and visiting gorgeous Painswick for the first time
  • Finally visiting Broadway Tower and seeing the Christmas decorations of Broadway
Pittville Park, Cheltenham in the autumn
Kibou sushi in Cheltenham
Exploring Painswick in Gloucestershire
Coffee from La Boulangerie, Cheltenham
Broadway Tower in the winter


And here we are, nearly done with December already! I can’t say I’ll be sad to see this year go, and have high hopes for next year. It’s been a busy month, and I’ve tried to explore as much as I can. I’ve worked hard, I’ve collaborated with more brands. It’s also been a real struggle – I feel distant from a lot of people, and am trying to become more resilient about what life throws my way. I’ve had some fun evenings out, I’ve visited a couple of new places, and tried to get into the festive spirit despite the challenges of this year. Now, more than ever, I’m excited to push into 2021 with some new goals and a new version of myself (cliche, I know).

Highlights of 2020

  • Another fun collaboration with a brand for my blog and Instagram
  • Some drunken evenings out while we’re currently able to
  • Visiting Daylesford Farm near Kingham
  • Catching up with a friend over from the USA
  • Some great day trips, including a day exploring Oxford
  • Celebrating a very relaxed Christmas with my family
  • Getting to see beautiful Lower Slaughter in the snow
2020 Christmas lights in Cheltenham
Daylesford Farm at Christmas
Radcliffe Camera Building, Oxford
Laura at The Ivy, Cheltenham
Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds in the snow


And so here a few things to aim for in 2021:

  • Find a new career pathway (and ideally a promotion) that makes me happy.
  • Finally move out of Cheltenham – I have plans, but hopefully Covid will be on board in 2021!
  • Embrace turning 30 (eek!)
  • Move somewhere where it’s easy to make new friends and meet new people.
  • Travel further afield.
  • Keep up my fitness and get to a body shape I’ve not reached before.
  • Continue to show gratitude for everything I’m lucky to have.
  • Spend more time working to improve my blog and social media channels.
  • Begin my own business venture.
  • Stop being so reflective, and look ahead to the future more.
  • Don’t be afraid to let people go who are no longer serving me; recognise things are transient.
  • Reduce my screen time and focus on being more productive through reading.

The Happiest of New Years to all my amazing readers! How was your 2020? Are you relieved it’s over? What are you hoping to achieve in 2020?

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