2020 Review and 2021 Preview

2020 was a terrible year for most people and the world in general. For me, it was an okay year.

The year didn’t go as planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I had an around the world trip planned. I was going to spend a week or so in Japan. Then take a business class trip from Japan to Singapore to Thailand. I was going to stay in Thailand for three months and then take an economy flight to Hong Kong for a short visit and take a premium economy flight from Hong Kong to London. I hadn’t yet decided how I was going to get from London to the US when it became clear I wasn’t going to be making any of these trips. I was able to cancel all my flights and I have a bunch of miles to use when I’m able to travel again.

My plan B was to hike the Appalachian Trail since I couldn’t travel to Asia. I figured that hiking in the woods would be pretty safe. The ATC and many state and local governments asked people to not hike the AT so I abandoned plan B also.

I ended up staying in Missouri and buying a house with my Mom. My job went remote which allowed me to work from home in my small town rather than the office in Kansas City. That was a nice benefit from the pandemic. The drawback was that the pandemic also resulted in there being much less work available and I spent more time unemployed than working.

I only set two goals during 2020. The first was to save $10,000 during the first quarter of 2020. I did manage to do that and it was nice having that cushion once my employment became sporadic. My second goal was to lose 10% of my body weight. I did manage to lose about 15 pounds. That is good, but well short of my 10% goal.

Despite being sporadically employed my net worth increased dramatically during the year. The value of my retirement accounts went from being in the $50K range when the stock market crashed to just over $100k at the end of the year. I did keep adding money to my retirement accounts when the market crashed and that worked out well.

At the end of the year I spent 1 month in Cancun so I didn’t get completely shut out from being able to travel internationally.

So 2020 was a mixed bag, but overall it was a decent year for me.

Looking ahead to this year, I have three big things I’d like to do. I want to hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain, complete my section hike of the AT, and spend three months in Thailand. I’m unlikely to do all three, but I think doing two of those is possible.

Whether travel restrictions to Europe and Thailand are lifted and how soon they are lifted will affect whether I’m able to do the international trips. I’ll post in more detail about the travel plans once it is more certain I’ll actually be able to do them.

At some point I will make some 2021 goals. One of them will be to lose weight which is seemingly always one of my goals. The other goals will be related to alternative ways of making money.

I plan to quit working my doc review job. Once I finish my current project I most likely won’t accept new projects from my current company. I have already told my previous doc review company I’d work on an upcoming project for them. I’ll do that project if they hire me. After that I plan to make money from various side hustles. I don’t need much money to pay my bills.

There is one caveat. I might buy a new car this year. If I do that, then I’ll work a bit longer at the doc review job so I can pay cash for the car without putting a big dent in my savings. There is also a chance I’ll have to do a hotel quarantine to visit Thailand. That would also require me to save a little more money.

That is all I have planned for the year at this point. How was 2020 for you? Do you have any 2021 plans?

2 thoughts on “2020 Review and 2021 Preview”

  1. Great summary of your year, Andy. It sucks that your original plans had to be cancelled but Cancun sounds great. Did you get a good deal to go there? 2020… I’m glad it’s over (who isn’t!?!). But the pandemic brought about some amazing travel deals we were able to take advantage of. Who would have imagined we could book fancy hotels for $40/night or an Australian cruise with an onboard credit equal to the cost of the cruise? I’m optimistic that travel restrictions will ease up probably late spring. Maybe they will be replaced by a requirement to show proof of vaccine, which I think will set everyone at ease. Here’s hoping!

    • My round-trip airfare was about $345 which is a good deal from my small, regional airport. I used credit card points to pay so I only had to pay the taxes out-of-pocket. I’m hoping that I can get vaccinated by summer and be able to travel freely. We can hope.


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