In addition to London, Melbourne and several places in the Netherlands , I’ve also called a small village in Germany, a small town in Finland and an even smaller ski haven in Austria my home (as an adult that is).
I have my plan for what I want to do and where I want to be in 10 years and though I’m not done with London, I’ve given some thinking about where I want to potentially settle in the next few years.
In the name of manifestation, the wish fulfilling Gods and the universe I’m throwing out some locations that top my list.
31 days and 496 items (plus a few more) later, I’m finally done with one of my 21 for 2021 – the Minimalism Game. If you’re not familiar with the concept, you get rid of one thing from your house on the first day of the month, two things on the second, three things on the third and so on, until 30/31 on the last day of the month. It’s essentially a slow-burn spring clean with targets to go for. One of the good things about it, is it eases you into getting comfortable with getting rid of stuff.
Sure, I know that us all entering 2021 doesn’t mean all the issues we’ve faced in the last nine months have magically disappeared, but it sure is a fun way to trick our brains with this whole clean slate thing. That’s why, just like last year, I’ve put together my 21 things to do during 2021.
MY 21 FOR 2021: TRAVEL
Stay In a Tiny House Or Go Glamping –Moved this one from last year and have actually booked a tiny house for my birthday weekend in February. If we are back to Tier 2 I can maybe make it? Not getting my hopes up as a lot can happen in seven weeks.
Day Trip to Liverpool – Liverpool is the last big city I need to visit in the North. Let’s see if this one can be done in summer maybe?
Go To Stonehenge – I recently realised that I haven’t been to Stonehenge yet! I feel like this one is realistic when things open up again. Let’s see if it’s doable without a car / joining a coach tour.
MY 21 FOR 2021: LONDON
Canoe In London – Something I was supposed to do last August, but it got cancelled due to bad weather. So that needs to be rescheduled. Not sure yet if I want to do it on the Thames or one of the smaller canals.
Do Four New Walks For My South East Project – I want to wait until spring for this. In the meantime I might rewalk some of the other ones to see how they are in winter.
Living Medicine Workshop – Moved this one from last year’s list. Plants and healing is a big thing in my culture and my great grandmother was really clued up on it. Sadly she passed away before I was old enough to learn enough of her secrets. I’ve seen this course at the Chelsea Physic Garden that might fit the bill and would love to attend soon.
Go To The Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Rooms at Tate Modern – I’ve missed the previous installations and hope to make it to this one. Tate did such an excellent job with their previous social distance proof exhibition that I’m not too worried about visiting this one.
MY 21 FOR 2021: GREEN & SUSTAINABLE
Get a Couch Reupholstered – I have a comfy couch that is still good in perfect shape except that the leather has melted and got sticky, I’ve solved it by putting a throw over the couch, but it’s not too practical. I don’t want to get a new one as I find it such a waste to let something with good bones go. I have to think about material and colours and get in touch with a few local companies to see how much it will cost.
Start Getting My Essentials Plastic Free – The downside of online shopping is that 80% of my weekly fruits and veggies come packaged in plastic. Last month I went back to Oddbox, so I’m hoping the box combined with my trips to the farmers market and bulk pantry essentials orders should reduce some of that.
Get A Refurbished Phone. I’m long overdue for a new phone, but didn’t see a reason to buy it last year as I managed to extend the life circle a bit by putting in a SD card and carrying an external charger the few days I managed to get out. When things go back to normal-ish I’m planning on getting a refurbished newer model of my phone.
Sell Some Clothes – Last year I did the unworn clothes project where I wore items that I don’t often reach out to. Now I’m through most of my wardrobe, I think the clothes that aren’t for me deserve a good home. I’ve already put some up on my Depop and will add some to my Etsy.
MY 21 FOR 2021: BLOG
Optimise My Old London Posts – Last year I tackled Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. But with over 250 London posts I’ve been putting that off, so January might be a good month to make a start to at least check which posts can use a bit of an extra push.
Get a Logo – I don’t think I’ve ever had a proper logo for my blog and I feel it’s time to get one designed.
MY 21 FOR 2021: SELF
Read At Least One Book In Every Language I Know – English and Dutch should be fine, for German and Bosnian (or Serbo-Croatian if you prefer) I’ve picked young adult books and my French and Finnish picks are going to have to be children’s books. Maybe even picture books.
Watch a Movie Set In Every Country I Have Been In – It’s going to be a bit of a puzzle to find the 38 movies corresponding to the 38 countries, but should be a fun way to discover new movies and make the picking process a bit easier.
Do the 30 Day Minimalist Challenge – The idea is to declutter over 300 items over the course of a month. I’ve been holding stuff over the past few years, so I feel there are quite a lot of things that can go. But I also don’t want to be too critical, there is no point in throwing things out just for the sake of it.
Bake / Cook 10 Items From My List – This includes lasagna and pita from scratch and that cauliflower pasta everyone is talking about.
Give Three Talks – They are not my favourite thing to do, but I really need to get over that and the best way to do that is to start talking. I already have one planned for my job so there is no getting out of that.
Learn Two Songs On The Guitar – I need to keep practising strumming the notes I know and then learn the remaining notes and hopefully then I will be able to play two songs. Ok … maybe just the chorus.
Follow Four Other (Mini) Workshops – Between all the PR/blogger workshops and the ones that my office building offers I should be able to discover some new and interesting things.
Digital Detox One Weekend A Month – Another I moved from the 2020 list. This year I want to do a digital detox weekend once a month, even if that means getting lost or missing a train.
For the last four years I’ve written about things I’m leaving behind in that year, those include bad habits, but also some physical stuff.
It’s from a tradition where in Bosnia we’d literally shower to wash off the bad year, get together around the burning stove, write the things we wanted to leave behind and burn them. Or so I thought it was a Bosnian thing, but it was just something my family did. Either way I like doing it, so here is a digital version with 10 things I’m leaving behind in 2020.
I’m literally leaving behind my faithful analogue kitchen scale that worked overtime this year. Then during the second lockdown I noticed it wasn’t always accurate and had to be replaced. RIP.
The Witcher TV show, I know it’s a 2019 show, but I watched it in 2020, and now I think about it … that’s when the year started to go downwards for me. And no, even Henry Cavill can make up for that hot mess.
And I guess I’m also leaving my hate for making phone calls. With the number of Zoom and Teams calls over the last 9 months I’m over it. I think.
Though they are designed to make it simpler, digital planners and project management tools give me so much stress. Just give me a piece of paper, and I’ll put together the best to do lists and trackers. I don’t even need a fancy notebook.
Saving trips for later. That train trip through New Zealand, the WWOOF experience in South America or that course in Austria have always been on the one day list, but this year has changed the meaning of one day and these things have often come to mind when thinking about regrets or things I didn’t do.
Stop doing things that don’t bring me joy. If there is one thing I want to take away is to say no to things I sometimes feel obliged to. It’s just wiser to use that time for me, myself and I.
Leave work at … the work desk? Especially now that most of the working happens from home I feel this one is essential. Laptop closed = End of play. Having a dedicated work desk area away from my living area will hopefully help.
Stop putting off things that need to be done. I really need to get my eyes tested, that pile of papers needs to be shredded, and I’ve been meaning to swap to a greener bank. Sure, it’s not fun, but the aftermath should be rewarding … right?
Using disclaimers so I don’t offend people. Being Bosnian / Dutch means I’m very direct, which isn’t always embraced in the British culture. So I started using disclaimers such as ‘sorry if it’s going to sound X’ or overcoating things before I critique something. I need to stop using those and give my two pence worth with no regrets.
My bad sleep pattern is something I really want to break. I’ve already done a few steps to improve it, but really need to push it further so I can rest easy in 2021.
Summer is over and it’s time for the next most wonderful time of the year, good old Autumn. As we’re on the edge of the second wave I’m trying to keep things a bit positive and have put together a plan of action with six things I’m looking forward to this October.
October equals the London Film Festival. Although the last two years I haven’t been going as much, I’m making it up this year now that the event has gone virtual and I can watch almost all of the movies without having to get annoyed at people talking, using their phones or you know…carrying the virus. I’m mainly looking forward to Mowgli Mogul, One Night In Miami and Wolfwalkers.
Board game afternoons. Putting my problem-solving skills to the test during an afternoon of tactical and cooperative board games. Expansions for Gloomhaven, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Agency and Pandemic Legacy should keep me busy for any cold, windy and rainy Saturdays and Sundays on the horizon.
Make my way to Central London somehow and warm up with a hot chocolate. I want to go to my classic favourites at Hotel Chocolat and Chin Chin Labs as well as to Said London, one I haven’t been to yet, but I love their chocolates and have been meaning to go there for a long long time.
Autumn is one of my favourite seasons and I can’t wait to see the leaf colours change on my daily walk around the block and longer walks around London on the weekends. I’ve even researched the best paved/rainproof walks, so I can’t use ”getting my shoes dirty” as an excuse not to go out and get some nature.
I could eat soup while it’s 31 degrees, but for some reason it’s frowned upon, so now that warm and hearty dishes season has officially opened, bring on the universal butternut squash soup, Bosnian bean soup and Lebanese soup.
Well, I have to wait until the end of October, but season two of The Mandalorian will be more than welcome by then. I must admit The Child stressed me out. I hope he can find some peace and quiet in season two.
What is a visit to Tate Modern like post lockdown? I read that half of the British public isn’t comfortable heading to museums or exhibitions post-lockdown and I get it. But wanting to catch the Andy Warhol exhibition sooner than later I booked the tickets and gave it a go.
All visitors need to book a timed ticket online in advance and the day before your visit you’ll receive an email reminding you of the new guidelines (masks on, no cloakrooms, pay by card only and a one way system) and re-directing you to the Turbine Hall entrance.
From there it was very efficient during queuing and staff will also remind you to have your mask ready. The guidance marks were all clear and the staff (in masks or visors) helpful whenever you looked a bit lost.
There are one-way routes around the building, guiding you towards the various galleries. As I went around opening time it was easy to keep distanced. The Warhol exhibition space itself did not have a one-way system at the time of my visit (8 August).
The Andy Warhol exhibition itself was a bit basic, especially it being marketed as a retrospective. The exhibition is broken down into 12 rooms representing different eras. With the exception of the Factory, Back To Work and the Last Supper Room the pieces didn’t particularly shine. But for hardcore fans, I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
The Silver Clouds room was meant to be an interactive room where the metallic silver balloons floated around you, but due to restrictions they were fixed to the ceiling. And the room that was supposed to give you an impression of his multimedia shows was closed. I imagine these would have been their two wow spaces so the rest was rather low-key.
Visiting Tate Modern on a Saturday morning in August was interesting and very peaceful. Look at the Turbine Hall! The numbers are definitely kept low, but as my time slot was 10 AM I don’t know how it would be later in the day.
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