After the chaotic year that was 2020, I’m sure I’m not alone in learning to appreciate the smaller things in life and to not take advantage of them.
From hugging your grandparents to going to the pub for a drink with friends, these were all things that were the norm for many people pre-pandemic, but 2020 took that all away. But rather than dwell on the crappy year that 2020 was, 2021 is a brand-new year that’s full of small things we can look forward to.
While the pandemic won’t be miraculously over now it’s January 1, the world will slowly but surely make its way back to normal – a time when we can sweat the small stuff for all the right reasons.
Here are some of the things we can all look forward to over the coming year:
Going on holiday again
While some people were lucky and managed to go on holiday last year, many people – myself included – saw all their holidays abroad and staycations cancelled. Even people who did get away will have been greeted with the ongoing anxiety that their trip would be cut short, or that they’d have to quarantine upon returning home; hardly the relaxing experience that a holiday should be.
But 2021 should see the return of the proper holiday with what Forbes describe as a probable ‘quick rebound’ for the travel industry, as everyone will be wanting to get away.
Already imagining yourself sat by a pool in 30° heat with a cocktail the size of a small child? Yeah, me too.
Everyone loves a good hug, and this year should see lots of them. Pre-pandemic I gave them out willy-nilly, but after having them pretty much banned for the majority of 2020, I’m sure I’m not alone in planning on savouring each cuddle I get this year.
Not only do they feel good, there are actually health benefits to hugging, from reducing symptoms of anxiety and protecting yourself against stress, to boosting your immune system and being a form of pain relief.
Basically, hugging is great, and this year should – and will – be full of them.
The return of music events
Glastonbury had its 50th anniversary cancelled in 2020, but the founder of the world-famous festival is confident it’ll be returning this summer after allowing people to roll their 2020 tickets over to this summer, and many hope other music events will also finally see a return.
Hundreds of artists had to postpone their tours too, the majority of which were rescheduled for this year. The likes of The Weeknd, Foo Fighters and Harry Styles were just some of those whose tours are happening in 2021.
As well as this, it was announced last month that British festivals such as Download, Isle of Wight Festival, Creamfields and Reading and Leeds had confirmed their line-ups for 2021, reported the Evening Standard.
Remember tootling home from the club at 5am as the birds began to sing? Well, brace yourselves for some beastly hangovers, as nightclubs eventually open their doors once again. While it may not be happening in the immediate future, back in November, Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill told NME that it was working with the government to find a way to reopen clubs safely.
At the time of writing, there were no official dates given as to when clubs will reopen, but fingers (and toes) crossed it won’t be too long – because we know we’re all tired of virtual Zoom parties.
Weddings with hundreds of guests aren’t for everyone, but those who did want large wedding will have their wishes granted as, following the release of the COVID vaccine, wedding season is expected to return to some form of normality by spring 2021.
Discussing the matter on December 4, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as per The Express, ‘Mass testing, combined with the growth in the number of people who’ve been vaccinated, will make a difference I think before Easter, and there’s a real possibility that lateral flow testing will allow events like weddings to go ahead.’
Having people round at your house and no longer having to have a ‘bubble’
Back in the day (i.e. 2019), people would always be ‘popping round for a brew’ at people’s homes or nipping over for a pizza and wine night – something we all took for granted before COVID hit. Well, for those of you who miss being the host with the most, 2021 will – hopefully – see the return of household mixing, so you’d best get polishing your dinner party cutlery.
This will be a huge thing for those who live alone, as the pandemic caused a spike in loneliness rates. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) between April and May alone, 2.6 million adults in the UK reported that they often felt lonely – a figure that should see a decrease once we’re able to socialise more freely again.
Returning to the office
Some people have loved working from home and enjoyed the flexibility that comes with it, but others have been pining to see their work chums once again for a bit of office banter, and actually found themselves more productive in the work place. It’s expected that things won’t quite resume to what they once were and that many business will have an in-office/remote working split, but it’ll be nice to finally have the option to go in if you want to.
Don’t be expecting to go back into the office just yet, though. In November, Johnson advised that people should try to remain working remotely until at least April, reported The Guardian.
Whether you’re looking forward to doing more extravagant things, or just doing the simple stuff you’ve missed throughout 2020, this year can only be better than the past 12 months we’ve had.
As Anne Frank once said, ‘What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet’ – and some of these days might just happen in 2021.
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