December 15, 2020

Let’s be real, 2020 has tested all of our patience and we were all forced to spend some quality time with ourselves. This was the year that changed everything; it even stopped our worlds for a brief moment. I’m not going to lie, 2020 has ruined all of my plans: travel and career combined. Although, if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that we should always be grateful in everything because you never really know what the future holds.

So in line with the gratefulness theme, I’ve decided to list down 20 things that I’m grateful for this 2020. Yes, there were a lot of trials this year…but there were also a lot of triumphs (for me, personally). So in these 50-50 situations, I’m exceedingly grateful. Here are 20 things that I’m grateful for this 2020:

  1. I got to travel before COVID-19. It was in Mexico where I celebrated 2020’s entrance; I even got to travel to Colombia just before the whole world went into lockdown. So I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to be able to travel and enjoy life back when it was a tad bit more normal.
  2. I got to go home safely before the whole world went on lockdown. It was about three weeks into my trip to Medellín when the word of COVID-19 reached South America. Nobody really knew what it was, and my friends wanted to stay behind. Although, we know the uncertainty that this pandemic brought so we all decided that it was best to head home. Boy, were we right!
  3. I got to spend a lot of time with my family. Since I’m home for more than half a year now, I’ve got no choice but to spend some quality time with my family. Wow, I make it sound super dreadful…it’s not, heh. Actually I’m pretty glad that I’m home and that I’m getting to spend a lot of time with the people that I love most, because who knows when the world will open back up?
  4. I get to see my sobrina grow into a beautiful little girl. The last time that I saw my sobrina was in March 2019. This was before I went back to China and into the United States. I feel like the bond that I now have with my sobrina is stronger than what we had when we were only FaceTiming or video-chatting. Plus, I get to her personality development first-hand, which is super cool!
  5. I got a new full-time job. Most of my friends would be annoyed at me since I would always complain that my money’s always running out and that I’ve got to get a proper job. During one of the many days during this pandemic that I had been lurking online, I actually managed to get a job that I love doing. Plus, it pays well…which is always good.
  6. I now have a very stable freelance clientele. This was another thing that I’ve always complained with before. Pre-pandemic, I’ve been wondering how I could stay on the road without getting too broke. 2020 has really been such a great year for me career-wise, because I feel like I’m slowly reaching my digital nomad goals. For this, I’m truly grateful.
  7. I got to really immerse myself with my photography. Another thing that I’m super grateful for is the opportunity to have worked in Latin America before the pandemic hit. I’ve loved photographing its beautiful people, its picturesque places and its mouth-watering food. Surely, I can’t wait to go back and see more of it.
  8. I finally got to upgrade my laptop. Most of my friends who’ve borrowed my old laptop know how slooooooow it was. One answered prayer for me this year was to finally upgrade to a MacBook Pro. This prayer was answered just last October when I finally got to purchase a new MacBook…wooot!
  9. I’m slowly developing a better work ethic. Another aspect of my life that I’m super grateful to have worked on was my work ethic. Honestly, I’ve always felt like I had a really great work flow, but now I’ve realised that it has gotten so much better. So I’m always grateful for the opportunity to be a better version of myself.
  10. I got to discover more of who I am as an adult. Alongside developing a better work ethic, I’ve always gotten a peak at what I actually am like as an adult. Honestly, I feel like I’m slowly discovering who I am and what my makes my world go ’round. This is always a great thing to discover in order to be a better person and in order to peacefully coexist with the people around you.
  11. I (and my family) wasn’t directly affected by COVID-19. This is something that I’m immensely grateful for this year. There really is no explanation for this, to be quite honest. Although, I think that most people who are not directly affected by COVID-19 would share the same sentiments as me.
  12. My faith has been stronger. Finding more about myself day by day has really strengthened my bond with the Lord. For once in my life, I’m not scared. Instead, my faith has really been stronger, and this is something that I really am grateful for.
  13. I’ve gotten a better understanding of who I am as an artist. A few years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I mean, I’ve always known that I wanted to become an artist. Although, art has a lot of different branches and so I had no idea what to create. This year has really helped me understand myself, my reasons why I create and my inner thoughts. These really helped me create the things that I really want to create.
  14. I’ve finally figured out what I really want to do in life. Aside from being an artist, this is that year that I’ve really realised what I truly want to do in the long run. I can’t really say more for now, but I’m working hard and praying even harder that I get to achieve my dreams!
  15. I get to live at home rent-free. Ha! Most people who have come back home during this pandemic can identify with this testament as well. As much as I love the road, I really don’t fancy paying $5 every single day for accommodation…
  16. I’ve finally enrolled in a Spanish Class. This is something that I feel has been long overdue. Somehow, I’ve picked up bits and pieces of Spanish since 2017. Plus, I’ve lived in Latin America for more than half a year. So this really is long overdue! Although, I’m super glad that I took the leap and enrolled myself in this class.
  17. I get to spend Christmas at home. For the first time in three years, I’m finally spending Christmas in the Philippines! This is an event that I’m truly looking forward to, so I really can’t wait for it.
  18. I’ve finally let go of all the things that are holding me back. Another thing that I’ve learned this 2020 is how to let go of all the things that are holding me back. Always remember that these things have no place in your lives, so slowly drop them because it’s really for your own good.
  19. My blog hits have reached more than 100K. This is a personal milestone for me. I started this blog solely for fun, and never in my wildest dreams would I even imagine that I’d reach 100K hits. This was also another answered prayer!
  20. I’m still here. You’re still here too. Need I say more?

Life has a funny way of throwing us curve balls here and there, but this doesn’t mean that we have to stay down. As much as life knocks us down, we should always remember that God sends people to help us stand back up. Remember that you’re not alone and that we are all going through life together.

2020 has been quite funny, restricting and terribly boring. However, I’m grateful for the time that I got to spend alone, with my family and on the road. I can’t wait to see how this year will end…surely with a lot of memes tambièn!

What are you grateful for this 2020? I’d love to hear about it, and I’d love to hear how your year has been. Drop a comment below and let’s chat. For now, ciao and blessings!

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16 NIV

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