Our Reflection on 2021: A Year in Limbo

Published Categorized as Personal Reflections, Travel Blog, Travel Tips
Exit45 Travels-Our Reflection of 2021

Now that the festivities of Christmas and New Years are over, it’s time for a reflection on 2021 and to start thinking about the year ahead.

What a year it has been! Even though Omicron is causing havoc here in Australia and the rest of the world, we are feeling optimistic about 2022.

Things have changed a lot since the arrival of COVID-19 early in 2020. We now have vaccines and a much better understanding of the virus.

So, even though the news is extremely frustrating at the moment, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it still feels quite far away.

With 2021 behind us, it’s now time to reflect and wrap-up the year. Here we share our ups and downs with our virtually non-existent travel, our Exit45 Travels blog, and our personal lives, and plans for 2022.

DISCLAIMER: This article contains affiliate links and Exit45 Travels are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

“Until further notice, the days of the week are now called: THISDAY, THATDAY, OTHERDAY, SOMEDAY, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND NEXTDAY!” 

— Unknown —


Our Reflection on 2021: A Year In Limbo

2.1 Time With Family
2.2 Exit45 Travels Blog
2.3 Culinary Delights
2.4 Health and Fitness
2.5 Finances
2.6 Slow Down and Enjoy the Simple Things



Our 2021 Travels

Sadly, we have very little to report in the way of our travels in 2021.

We have spent the majority of our time this year on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. This is where my (Peta’s) mum lives.

The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful coastal town just 1 hour north of Brisbane. We have been extremely blessed to have waited out the pandemic in this area which (until very recently) has been relatively untouched by COVID. In the state of Queensland, there have only been 80 people in total hospitalised for COVID in the whole of 2021.

Other states in Australia have not been so fortunate and have been in and out of lockdowns and surrounded by uncertainty.

Unfortunately, this has affected our ability to travel within Australia again this year. The unknown of border closures, forced quarantine etc. just made travel too uncertain and risky, so instead, we chose to stay close to home.

We managed to get away for a week long getaway to the Gold Coast and we have done some road trips locally within 4 or 5 hours of home. One of these was with mum and we did some travel in and around the area she was born in Wondai in the South Burnett. One this trip we also spent some time exploring the Toowoomba region which was a real eye-opener. There were lots of things to do and the Japanese gardens and street art were amazing.

It has been great exploring our own backyard and there are so many things to do on the Sunshine Coast. We have enjoyed lots of hikes in the beautiful Sunshine Coast to national parks, waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. There are lots of cute Sunshine Coast Hinterland towns to explore, amazing beaches are abundant and we made the most of an Annual pass to Australia Zoo.

Funny Meme on a Reflection of 2021 - in case you lost track, today is April 97th.

Positives to Come Out of 2021

Time With Family

Luckily for us, my mum has had plenty of room for us to stay with her in her home. This has given us further opportunity to spend lots of time together. Over the course of the year, there have been many joint cooking efforts making hot sauces and chutneys from the various types of “hot” chillies Jonas has been growing in the garden.

Exit45 Travels Blog

Our travel blog “Exit45 Travels” has been great for keeping the brain active and ‘killing’ some time during the day. This focus has really helped us get through the year. It continues to be a very steep learning curve, but I love a challenge and learning new things.

We surpassed our goal of publishing 100 blog posts and will continue to write posts until we resume our travels. We can’t wait to get back on the road and write posts about our current travels.

Culinary Delights

We have always enjoyed cooking (probably because we enjoy eating good food so much), so once again, this has been a year of trying out new recipes from around the world. As I mentioned above, there have been many chilli sauces, marinades, BBQ sauces and chutneys cooked, all from Jonas’ home-grown chillies.

We have also really made the most of enjoying foods that we both love that are either very hard to find on our travels or out of our budget. In particular, we have been feasting on Australian beef eye fillet, fresh Mooloolaba prawns, hot smoked prawns and salmon done by Jonas in our smoker, cold smoked and cured salmon, and of course, our favourite wines such as Australian Shiraz and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Funny Meme on a Reflection of 2021 - When it's only been 48 hours and you've eaten your entire coronavirus stockpile orangutan

Health and Fitness

We have managed to continue our healthier eating and exercise regime throughout 2021 and we are nearly down to the weight we were when we met each other 15 years ago, so together we’ve lost over 24kg in 2021.

We walk 5 kilometres each morning around the lake in our neighbourhood, and we have only missed a total of 4 days which was due to either illness, injury or bad weather. That makes for a total of 1,800 kilometres or approx. 1,120 miles.

1,800 km or 1,120 miles is the equivalent of walking (approximately):

  • Brisbane to Cairns in Queensland, Australia – our 1 month road trip last year – 1,700 km / 1,050 miles
  • North to the South of Sweden – 1,600 km / 1,000 miles
  • North to the South of Vietnam – 1,650 km / 1,025 miles
  • East to the West of Turkey – 1,600 km / 1,000 miles

When we are on the road and exploring new cities, we would walk a lot more than this each day on average. But we are proud we have made ourselves get up each day and walk throughout the year, even when there have been days when the weather has been very wet or extremely hot and humid.


Due to the lack of overseas travel adventures, Jonas has had more time for active investing and share trading, which will help our future finances for travel. Trying to better understand and anticipate the markets has kept him busy and challenged throughout the year.

Slow Down and Enjoy the Simple Things

Once again, the one thing we have had in excess this year is time! Time to read, catch up on TV series on Netflix, cook new recipes, grow herbs and vegetables, do courses online, learn how to do new things, exercise….. We have been very fortunate to be able to do these things!

Funny Meme on a Reflection of 2021 - pic of woman with lettuce as a mask on her face - lettuce all romain calm as this might just be the tip of the iceberg

Our Plans for 2022

Our future travel plans for 2022 are still up in the air due to the uncertainty Omicron is posing for the requirements for international travels.

Our only certainties at this stage is that we will end up in Sweden at some stage next year and we hope to be able to do some other travel in Europe as well.

As a Christmas present to ourselves, we have booked a 13 night relocation cruise on Celebrity Reflection with departure from Barcelona in Spain on the 31 October, 2022 to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We have sailed with Celebrity on 2 previous occasions and have absolutely loved it! In our experience, other cruise lines don’t hold a candle to Celebrity cruises for price, extra perks, amazing service and food quality. We are definitely excited about this already!!!

Ports: Barcelona, Spain – Valencia, Spain – Cartagena, Spain – Ponta Delgada, Portugal – King’s Wharf, Bermuda – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

We also took advantage of another Black Friday sale and booked a cruise on the Caribbean Princess out of Fort Lauderdale on the same day we arrive on Celebrity. This cruise will take us around the Caribbean for 10 days and we will visit ports we haven’t been to before.

Ports: Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Falmouth, Jamaica – Cartagena, Colombia – Panama Canal (Partial Transit) – Cristobal, Panama – Puerto Limon, Costa Rica – Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Funny Meme on a Reflection of 2021 - photo of a couple with mask tan lines in their face

Essential Travel Planning Resources

Below are our favourite companies to use for planning our travels. They consistently turn up the best deals, offer great customer service and amazing value, and overall, are better than their competitors. These are always our starting point when we need to book a flight, hotel, tour, car rental etc.

Book a Tour:
We mostly travel independently, however, some places are better to visit with a guided tour. We prefer GetYourGuide for its easy-to-use interface and solid reputation, but we also use Viator.

Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out our Travel Resources page for the companies we use and recommend to plan and book our travels. Through lots of trial and error over the years, these are the best!

In Summary – Our Reflection on 2021: A Year In Limbo

We are both double vaccinated and booked in for our booster in the upcoming weeks, so we are ready to travel when it is safe to do so. We are very excited about getting out there again and exploring more of this beautiful world and meeting lots of like-minded travellers along the way.

2021 has been a tough year but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. There have been lots of positives that have come out of the year and it has been filled with lots of love and laughter. 

How has 2021 treated you? Do you have any suggestions for 2022 travel destinations or cruise port suggestions / recommendations? Post your tips, comments and questions below.

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Would you like to get to know us a little better? Check out all the articles we’ve written on our personal reflections on our travels each year including our future travel plans and dream destinations.

DISCLAIMER: This article contains affiliate links and Exit45 Travels are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

By Peta Wenzel

We are Peta (Australian) and Jonas (Swedish/Australian), a couple in our mid 40’s / early 50’s who have been travelling the world fulltime since January 2018. We met and lived on the Gold Coast, Australia and spent many evenings researching and watching YouTube vlogs about travel and dreaming of the day we would retire and be able to enjoy a lot more travel ourselves. Over the years, a number of events happened to family and friends and an opportunity arose which made us decide to not wait but to instead take a “Gap Year”. We are now in our 3rd year of travel and still hunger for new adventures and embrace the uncertainty that comes with full-time travel. If you want to know more about who we are, why we choose this lifestyle and how we do it, please follow our adventures and see how you can do it too.

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