How hard it is to write this article this year! Normally I go through my year month by month, a good way to remember the beautiful trips of the year. But 2020 has been exceptional, thanks to covid! It’s been a year since I’ve moved, taken a plane or gone on vacation. I started the year in Lapland and ended it in the same place (give or take a few miles).
This article should be shorter than usual but I still have things to tell, to at least remember this very special year. Who would have thought that we would have to live this kind of thing! And worse, that it could last so long!
My year of blogging in 2020
This year, the blog has been slow and for good reason: no travel, little motivation to write about tourism in these times of pandemic. So I reworked some things and in a few days I should be able to launch a new version of the blog with a new design. No big change, just a little facelift because I wanted a change! I’ve been fiddling around for months without ever going all the way and pressing the “activate” button. But it will come, I want to like the blog more and make it live again in my way, without pressure.
I told you at the end of last year that I had a lot of trouble writing (hence already a slowdown in 2019). This has continued in 2020 to tell the truth. So I didn’t set myself a goal and I focused on my work on the side (I’m a freelancer in webmarketing, SEO, etc.)
wrote very few articles, 40 in total scattered over the year with a good slackening since May (but I live it well haha). As far as the blog traffic is concerned, it’s been down too but how could it be otherwise when the whole world is going through a pandemic. I lost 40% of my traffic but many of you are still visiting the blog. It could have been worse and after all, the numbers don’t matter.
I hope 2021 will be more productive on the blog. In any case, I really want to start writing again. I have so many great trips that I haven’t shared with you here. I’m going to give myself a few more goals, just to motivate myself a bit
. Looking back on
each month, each important moment of 2020 is not going to be as fun
I have less things to say but if not, I can publish some nice pictures of this year 100% Lapland!
The month of January flew by. When we are in our season to welcome groups for our stays
, we do not see the time pass. I just remember that the month was complicated in terms of weather. We are feeling more and more the effects of climate change here. We have much milder temperatures and therefore more bad weather. Despite this we had some great days and we had some great encounters with the groups we hosted. <img width=”822″ height=”548″ src=”//www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%20822%20548’%3E%3C/svg%3E” alt=”aurora boreale january 2020″ />
Another month of intense work between my freelance activity and our stays. But February was a really nice month to live: nice weather, beautiful auroras, good moments spent with people we appreciate. It was an easier month to live. I went out of the village twice and it felt really good (even if it was just to pick up/drop off our groups at the airport). Living in an isolated village is not always easy even if the setting is wonderful.
End of the season at the end of March as every year but what an end! The coronavirus invited itself in all that! France was confined and here, Finland asked that international travellers go home. In the space of a few days, Lapland was completely emptied. It was a very special moment and not easy to manage. We didn’t know how to manage our last group but we did it by feeling and with the information of the moment. We are really lucky that all this happened at the very end of our season. It would have been catastrophic if this pandemic had happened earlier.
April was pretty monotonous. We both found ourselves with no one left and an empty feeling. Jerome needed a breather after the season, but all the same: from one day to the next, everything emptied out here. It’s funny!
Like most people in France, I started cooking again in April. It kept me busy and allowed me to publish new recipes
with the help of my sidekick (cat) Mallow!
We took advantage of nature, I started Nordic skiing on the lake, took some time to go for a walk.
It’s been a
long winter so we’ve been able to enjoy it for a long time.
We’ve also had several variable hares visit our window. If you follow me on Instagram
, you can’t have missed my many stories. I had even created a “rabbit team”. Frankly this animal is really too nice, it was a pleasure to see them every night. <img width=”1150″ height=”768″ src=”https://www.je-papote.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/lievre-variable-laponie.jpg” alt=”” />
May was a
quiet month. We continued to take advantage of the winter which this year went on forever. We still had a lot of snow and we could still travel by snowmobile.
We enjoyed the nature, the days with friends and the birth of the baby reindeer. A unique moment in the year.
In mid-June we left our winter cottage to move into our own cottage. Rudimentary comfort since apart from electricity (for the vital minimum) we had no water, no means of cooking. It was the beginning of long weeks of work and I can tell you that it was not a pleasure.
However, we enjoyed the month of June with the long days and the summer that settled in.
We were also able to participate in the marking of the reindeer
and that was great because it is a very important moment for the same. Since we were there, it was impossible to miss this event even if the weather was really bad during these days.
In July, we could finally start the work after having asked for quotes everywhere. We were very surprised by the slowness of things and the lack of communication here. Basically, the contractors announced a start date a week before they arrived. And from there we had to scramble to get to town and buy everything we needed (tiles, shower enclosure, stove, etc).
The work was impressive as we had to make trenches on the ground to be able to have water. We didn’t imagine that it would be so impressive but everything was done quickly. The well was the only thing that didn’t take long (the commissioning is another story).
In August, always the works and many difficulties with the contractors. Everything took a long time. We imagined going back to France just after the end of the works in September but we doubted a lot about the feasibility given the work rhythm. And on top of that, the work was not well done. Frankly, looking back, we think that we could have done things ourselves, it wouldn’t have been worse. But that’s the way it is.
We took advantage of the month of August to go berry picking, it’s something important here and we had never had the opportunity to do it because we are usually elsewhere at this time of year. It was nice even if we could have done without the mosquitoes!
<img width=”1600″ height=”1069″ src=”https://www.je-papote.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/cloudberries.jpg” alt=”” />
September arrived and the work on the house was still not finished. We told the contractors that we had to go back to France, but nothing much happened on their side. In short, we didn’t go back to my great despair because I wanted to go back to France to see my grandmother.
So I celebrated my birthday here. It’s crazy because at the beginning, I thought I would celebrate it in Mauritius. But who would have thought that we would have been blocked by a virus that put the world in slow motion? We’re not to be pitied because we’re in the middle of nature, we didn’t have any confinement but it’s still a bit complicated even here.
We were able to enjoy the fall, the first one here and whaaaouuu! Really an incredible period! Entire forests orange or red. It’s really something to see. In more it was rather beautiful what allowed us to take advantage of it well. Moreover, many finnish people came to Lapland
to enjoy the indian summer (ruska in finnish). Nobody had seen so many people until now!
In October we made a line on our return to France as our work was still not finished and then the second wave was settling in well
We also realized that it would be really difficult to work this winter because of the conditions. It took us a while to get our heads around it during the summer, but in the end it seemed more prudent to have an off-season to welcome our customers in the best possible conditions.
by, winter set in again and everything went back to sleep. Not too many local tourists, people staying more at home, etc.
Our work continued not without difficulty but we finally found an electrician (a friend moreover) and we were able to advance on it to finally have light everywhere, to be able to connect all our household appliances, etc
Last month of the year and a rather calm month but which marked a turning point in our daily life: electricity and water completely installed! No more daily trips to shower and cook at our friends. It changed our lives and what a pleasure to be able to cook at home again!
It was strange to have such a quiet month of December when we normally run around with our activity. But we didn’t get bored. I have work so my days are full and Jerome always has a lot of things to do.
We spent Christmas together (like many people I think this year). We did celebrate New Year’s Eve, though.
n with our friends. A simple evening but so good to see a little bit of people in this period of polar night where everyone locks himself at home.
The year was really special but like for everyone in fact. It’s strange to have stayed so long in the same place, we who like to travel so much.
We don’t know how 2021 is going to be but if we hope that everything will be calm as far as covid is concerned, we’re not very optimistic considering the way things are currently going. It might take some time yet!
So we have very few plans. We should stay here at least until spring and then we’ll try to go back to France when the situation is better. We would like to see our families, our friends that we haven’t seen for over a year. We also have things to get back in France to equip our home, in short, a return is more than necessary this year!
I wish you all a good year despite the context. Let’s try to take the positive as it comes and remain confident in the future. We will eventually get over the virus and gradually return to a gentler life.
I’m Michelle, and I love to travel. As a former hotel expert for one of the world’s largest hotel chains, I’ve stayed in nearly every type of room imaginable (including many that were not so desirable!). Nowadays, I am fortunate enough to be able to explore the world on my own terms. From international flights to learning different languages, there is nothing too far out of reach!