2021 Year in Review
Happy New Year to you! I hope you are approaching 2022 with cautious ambition and a dash of optimism. While that sentence didn’t seem to sound gloomy, it certainly reads that way! London has been rather warm for January and a few bright days of sunshine, so I am hoping that this will set the tone for the year. For the moment, my calendar has a few tours scheduled with space for more to come. I am hoping that the rumours of “this will all blow over by May” are true, and we can transition from “new normal” to “regular normal”.
2021 was better than 2020, but still not up to 2019 standards. This whole experience has been a rollercoaster, but I have always been an optimistic person who welcomes change and challenges. Looking back, I have grown in ways I hadn’t thought I would grow, I have taken on new habits that were previously out of reach, and I have learned to make wiser choices. For these reasons, I think 2021 was a good year. (but still not 2019!)
In January, we had snow. London was in lockdown again, so it was time for me to focus on admin things like taxes and paperwork. Oh, guess this is a reminder that I need to do that again! I also decided that virtual tour options were here to stay, and I started offering some private one-to-one virtual tour sessions in costume or just on basic history topics.
In February, I started on Outschool. This is an online platform where students from all over the world can take classes on an unlimited selection of subjects. I transformed my tours into history classes, complete with costume changes and even handouts! This has been such a fun project and I can’t believe I am coming up on one year since I began. I created over 30 classes on offer and plans for many more to come. I have taught over 300 students from every continent on the planet! My re-enrollment rate is 30%, which means I have had the advantage of repeat students in classes because they enjoy the learning. It is so motivating. I have top reviews, and students and parents keep coming back for more.
When April rolled around, vaccines were rolling out and my husband got his shot. I was able to get mine on the 30th. I celebrated by going to Borough Market and buying some food from the stalls. It felt like I had emerged from a cocoon. By June, I was able to do my first tour since the entire thing had begun. It was exhilarating.
At this point, I had my second jab so July meant we could get out and go to restaurants again without feeling as vulnerable as before. I took and passed the Life in the UK test, which now gives me the ability to get a British passport if I want one. I haven’t done this yet. I completed the 10 week vegan cheese course I was on, which now gave me the ability to make a healthy cream cheese that would blow you away. Seriously, it’s delicious. August gave me a handful of tours, but still rather sparse.
In September, I started the Lambeth Tour Guide course to learn more about this area of London. In October, we finally got to travel — to Paris! It was the most magical trip ever, with all the stress just melting away. It all came back immediately when we got home and realised our keys were left in the hotel safe. That was a very expensive lesson, but I now have a better lock on my door than before.
November had me focused on Thanksgiving, and December was full of Christmas fun, including a few of my Love Actually Christmas Lights tours in person, as well as my London Christmas Lights Virtual Tour for the second year. That one is staying! I love being able to reach people from all over the world who cannot be in London for this fun time of year.
So there you have it — 2021 in a very short blog post. Now, I shift focus to 2022 and all the possibilities that it can bring. I wish you a fantastic new year.