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JANUARY 2020 RECAP

Girl smiles on ice rink with skaters and fairy lights in background

January. The longest month of the year, amiright? Maybe not mathematically, but it sure feels like it. 

I don’t know about you, but for me January was a weird month. I had spent Christmas in Budapest exploring with my best friend and that made being away from home a lot easier. 

But then I got back to Glasgow. 

Suddenly homesickness and vitamin D deficiency hit me in waves. 

The solution? Escaping the bleakness of Glasgow for a wee weekend getaway. Having scored £37 Wizz Air flights me and a fellow kiwi (look at me making friends!) jetted off to Warsaw. More on that soon, but I can safely say it was the perfect cure for those January blues.

Now? I’m counting down the days until my sister joins me for our road trip around Ireland and Scotland. Bring on March! Oh wait, I still have to get through February first…

Chain Bridge and building lit up, Budapest

WHERE I WENT IN JANUARY

I tell ya, January was looking a little scary. Glasgow was in a permanent state of gloom, I couldn’t remember the taste of strawberries* (*LOTR reference, ya’ll), and worst of all; I had no trips planned until March

Turns out I wasn’t the only one feeling blue (literally), because pretty soon a kiwi friend messaged asking if I wanted to go on a trip. Cut to two weeks later and we were in Warsaw for a long weekend of pierogi and Christmas lights. Yup, despite it being the end of January the city was still bursting with Christmas trees and festive carollers. 

Aside from the questionably long Christmas period (I’m a fan, but that’s a little too long to leave your tree up, surely?!), I loved Warsaw. The not-that-old Old Town was incredibly picturesque, there was an endless amount of things to do (Vodka Museum, anyone?) and I got to stuff my face with pierogi. 

Warsaw exceeded my expectations and now I’m dying to get back to Poland to explore some more. (Mostly just so I can eat more pierogi). 

Girl stands in Old Town square with Christmas tree, Warsaw

MEMORABLE MEALS

Are you sick of me saying ‘pierogi yet’? No? Good, because I could go on about pierogi all day. Our trip to Warsaw got off to a great start when, after having been upgraded to a twin room, I discovered that Poland’s top dumpling chain restaurant was RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the hostel. Zapiecek is a chain of homely restaurants that sell some of the best dumplings I’ve tasted. Make sure to try the spinach and feta pierogi. YUM. 

Chocolate shop? Um yes, please. For a taste of Poland’s top confectionery make sure to check out one of the E. Wedel stores. First established in 1851, E. Wedel produces many varieties of chocolate, cakes and desserts. Don’t leave without trying a hot chocolate. Seriously, it’s like drinking liquid gold.

Girl wearing mustard scarf smiles with three hot chocolates in front of her
Hand holds up a plate of pierogi in food court, Warsaw

HIGHLIGHTS

Obvs, the only bright light in the bleak month that was January was my weekend in Warsaw. 

But if I’m honest, once I got out of my self-pitying slump, I also really enjoyed reflecting on the last year and setting goals for 2020. Since I resolved to say a big fuck you to diet culture and to loving myself (curves and all), New Years Resolutions haven’t really been my thing. My New Year’s Resolutions of the past were always tied in to weight loss and would inevitably have me feeling pretty shit about myself when February rolled around and nothing had changed.

But goals? Goals I can get on board with. For me 2020 is going to be about making the most of the time I have left in the UK. I want to keep pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone and make friends. I plan to keep grafting on the old blog (have I used that in the right context? My Scottish is still developing). 2020 is gonna be a good one, I think. 

Girl stands in the middle of the road, Old Town, Warsaw

LOWLIGHTS

I thought I had kind of prepared myself for winter in Scotland. I bought two winter coats (gotta love winter fashion), borrowed an electric blanket from my old flatmate and resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t see the sun for months.

That was in October.

Now, in January, it literally feels like it’s been cold forever. And it’s not even the cold, it’s more that it’s always dark. Glasgow is a great city, it’s really grown on me, but Glasgow in January is grim. This girl is in need of some kiwi sunshine, stat.

Aside from a major lack of vitamin D, a lowlight for me in January was dealing with ongoing feelings of homesickness. I think because back home January is one of my favourite months of the year. Sure, you have to go back to work. But for me January is about days on the beach, sherbet-flavoured Mr Whippy and heading up north to the family bach. It’s about fish and chips (sans vinegar or curry sauce), long days and sunshine.

Dammit, maybe it is just the lack of sun getting me down. 

Highland cow on Arran Island, Scotland

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN FEBRUARY

Not a heck of a lot, to be honest.

I’ve started working on a Sunday morning live religion and ethics debate show (riveting stuff) so I won’t have a weekend until April. Still, I’m excited to see a little more of the UK (except maybe Swindon, I don’t have high expectations for Swindon…) and have some free travel thrown in. Newcastle recommendations, anyone? Cool things to do in Bath?

My days off will likely be spent hibernating with a gin while working on the blog. Which actually, for an introvert with a growing love of gin and endless passion for this blog, sounds pretty damn good. Still, might not make for interesting reading.

Until next time, safe travels and love.

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