My 2020 In Review

My 2020 In Review

January 1, 2021 · 14 min. readThis article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

To say 2020 was a different kind of year is an understatement. On one hand, I want to celebrate my accomplishments and the success of my blog this past year, but on the other hand, I want to mourn those who passed, the businesses that closed, and the livelihoods that were ruined. We all saw some very new and very terrifying things this year. We saw a once in a century pandemic, global lockdowns, silent streets, empty skies, and still oceans. We saw dolphins in canals, elephants sleeping in fields, goats trotting around streets, and monkeys jumping on empty highways. We witnessed the comet Neowise, the Great Conjunction, the evolution of Starlink and some even saw a lunar eclipse.

This past year we saw the best, and the worst, and it changed us. With nearly two million people dead in less than a year, this global pandemic made us question a lot. It made us question why pandemics happen, how we can prevent them, how we handled them in the past, and how we can move forward with them. COVID-19 was a wake-up call. Previous pandemics like SARS, MERS, and Swine Flu all showed us we had flaws, but COVID-19 blew those flaws wide open. We are fortunate that COVID-19s main threat is mass hospitalization, not mass fatalities. We are overdue for the next deadly pandemic, and this showed us that we are not at all ready.  

Because of the pandemic, my travels this year were limited. Instead, I did more local articles, did some unboxings on my YouTube channel, became a licensed drone operator, and focused more on my brand than on my travels. I also worked on building my YouTube channel. I had hoped at the end of 2020 I could launch a new website with a new logo, but it didn't work out that way. I think we can all say that about 2020: "It didn't work out that way".

So, here are my top 10 articles of 2020; the adventures that were, that weren't and that maybe shouldn't have been.

10. 7 Regina Cemetery Stories for Your Curriculum (384 page views)

7 Regina Cemetery Stories for Your Curriculum

It has been two years since organized tours ceased in the Regina Cemetery, and in those two years, there has been no substantial replacement for them. Yes, Regina Cemetery Tours – The Game was created, but it is not the same as wandering the headstones yourself.

Last year I attempted to arrange field trips to the cemetery to learn history, but this year it wasn't possible. Instead, I wrote an article for the teachers and new home-school teachers. This article breaks down some of Regina's most iconic stories, and ties them into literary pieces, like "The Secret Lives of Sgt. John Wilson: A True Story of Love & Murder" by Lois Simmie or "Ghosts of Government House" by Judith Silverthorne. Stores like these bring history alive and help educate students and teachers about the place we call home.

9. Smells Like Town Spirit (424 page views)

Smells Like Town Spirit

Last year, Pense, Saskatchewan was in the running to win money from Kraft Hockeyville to build a new ice rink. Kraft Hockeyville chose the rink to repair via public votes, so my partner Jessica decided to write a piece encouraging people to vote for the town. She is from Pense, and spent many years of her life in that very rink.

For the people of Pense, the rink is an integral part of town life, being the community hub and a place where they all come together. Pense was also the only town in Western Canada to be in the finals, so it was hoped that Western Canada all vote for them.

Unfortunately, Pense did not win the contest, but tens of thousands of dollars of donations have been made since to help their rink repair dreams come true.

8. It's Okay, I Missed My Grad Too (424 page views)

It's Okay, I Missed My Grad Too

In 2010, I decided to skip my high school graduation. Unlike in 2020, my decision was optional, not because of school closures. However, the same regrets, the same worries, the same "unfinished business" of missing one's graduation remains. For many teenagers, high school was their life. They were the "big fish" in their pond. Leaving high school was the end of their life and the beginning of horrible adulthood.

Or… is it? Is there that much of a difference? Do I regret missing grad? Did I feel it did me any good?

This article broke down my life after missing grad; the ups, the downs, and the life I lived afterward. Some people didn't feel this article and my decisions really paralleled the challenges of today's graduation class, but others said they appreciated it's raw honesty. I'll leave that up to you.  

7. Does Regina Really Have a Dead Baby Museum? (633 page views)

Does Regina Really Have a Dead Baby Museum?

2020's Halloween Special was one I had been working on for years. Buried deep inside the Regina General Hospital is John Champaux's "Pathological Museum". The museum was full of organs, tissues, and unborn children. The purpose of the museum was to find a cure for cancer, and in 1971 Champaux finally found it.

But his manuscript remains unpublished, and after his death in 1993, his museum was hidden, and placed in storage.

Today, as cancer takes more than 70,000 Canadian lives per year, the answer to one of medicine's greatest questions may be right under our noses. This was my attempt to explain it and bring to life the works of Champaux all these years later.

6. Is Jack Keaton's Closed? (644 page views)

Is Jack Keaton's Closed?

Before I start: I wrote over thirty articles this year and this one cracked my top six? Really??

Rumours began to swirl in mid-February that Jack Keaton's had closed their doors. Had they waited a month they may have been able to apply for some COVID-19 subsidies, but instead, they left their employees unpaid, left their rent unpaid, got off their asses* and got the heck out of Dodge.

This story died once it was realized Jack Keaton's was indeed closed, but it spiked up again in May when all their items went up for auction. I tried getting the 50-foot-wide "Jack Keaton's" restaurant sign, but I was outbid. Oh well. Let us only hope that this is the end of this slow burn of a saga.

* If you've been following along with this story, you may get this reference

5. Unexpected Misadventures to the Limestone Crevices (768 page views)

Unexpected Misadventures to the Limestone Crevices

Eight hours away, on the edge of civilization, is Creighton, Saskatchewan. The roads are gravel, the trees are thick and cell service is fuzzy. But among the mist of buzzing insects is a sight unlike anything else seen in the province. The Limestone Crevices are an awe-inspiring formation of rock that has been slashed deep into the Earth. These crevices are so deep that snow can even be found at the bottom of them in the middle of summer. They are unmarked and difficult to find, but very much worth the journey.

I have always wanted to see these incredible crevices, but I only gave myself a day to do it.

Then everything fell apart.

4. What Happened When Regina Got the Spanish Flu Vaccine? (1,439 page views)

What Happened When Regina Got the Spanish Flu Vaccine?

In 1918 a global pandemic swept the world, closing schools, churches, stores and killing millions. Near the end of the year, a promising vaccine emerged with the potential to stop the pandemic and put life back to normal.

But it didn't work. Why not?

This article breaks down what they tried, what worked, what didn't work and the poignant legacy of it today.

3. Signs of the Pandemic Times in Regina (1,684 page views)

Signs of the Pandemic Times in Regina

In 2020, COVID-19 shook our world. It shuttered small businesses, closed schools, locked churches, and left people in a state of disarray. For a brief period, the world looked like it did in 1918. To catalogue this, Jessica and I went around the city and took a myriad of pictures of signs, posters, banners, and uplifting graffiti to help us through this dark time.

These images were then given to the City of Regina to be used in their archives and in a possible time capsule. I agreed to provide them without credit.

2. How Did Indian Head Get Its Name? (2,294 page views)

How Did Indian Head Get Its Name?

Indian Head is a quaint little town on the edge of Regina, but its name is kind of weird… and kind of offensive. A few people have been wanting to change the name for years, but why it has that name, to begin with is a bit of a mystery.

In this article I visited two museums, spoke to a University of Regina professor, and tried my best to contact a band office in the area to speak to an Indigenous Chief too. This article was then republished in the October 1st Edition of the Indian Head – Wolseley News.

1. Journey to Ted Bundy's Cellar (3,219 page views)

Journey to Ted Bundy's Cellar

In what seems like a million years ago, my partner sent me on the trip of a lifetime to Salt Lake City, Utah. While there I was visiting the sights of the city when a local denizen reminded me that the notorious Ted Bundy once lived – and killed – there. His rumoured execution cellar was just outside the city limits, so naturally, I had to pay it a visit.

I am honestly shocked this article did so well, as it has nothing like the other stories I cover on my blog. I do not think I've ever written about a serial killer before. I've written about gas chambers, prisons, torture cells, haunted islands, Satanic ritual sites, and other dark places, but never a serial killer. I did not expect this one to be my most popular article!

2020 was a strange year, and my topmost popular article surprised me a lot. None of my unboxing articles made the list, none of my articles about Arches National Park made the list and my epic adventure to Wilcox didn't make the list either. Even my article about eating scorpions bombed, and that was one of my favourite!

As with all other years, it is often my articles written in previous years that are my most popular. Although my most popular article written in 2020 got just over 3,000 page views, my most popular article, "7 Things You Didn't Know About Canada", which was written in 2017, had almost 18,000 page views this year. Wow!  

Thank you everybody for reading my articles this year, and for supporting my blog. I really couldn't do this without you!

Did you have a favourite article I wrote in 2020? How about a favourite YouTube video? Let me know in the comments below!

And of course, Happy New Year and Happy 2021!

Don't forget to pin it!

My 2020 In Review My 2020 In Review

And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof-reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.

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To say 2020 was a different kind of year is an understatement. On one hand, I want to celebrate my accomplishments and the success of my blog this past year, but on the other hand, I want to mourn those who passed, the businesses that closed, and the livelihoods that were ruined. We all saw some very new and very terrifying things this year. We saw a once in a century pandemic, global lockdowns, silent streets, empty skies, and still oceans. We saw dolphins in canals, elephants sleeping in fields, goats trotting around streets, and monkeys jumping on empty highways. We witnessed the comet Neowise, the Great Conjunction, the evolution of Starlink and some even saw a lunar eclipse.

This past year we saw the best, and the worst, and it changed us. With nearly two million people dead in less than a year, this global pandemic made us question a lot. It made us question why pandemics happen, how we can prevent them, how we handled them in the past, and how we can move forward with them. COVID-19 was a wake-up call. Previous pandemics like SARS, MERS, and Swine Flu all showed us we had flaws, but COVID-19 blew those flaws wide open. We are fortunate that COVID-19s main threat is mass hospitalization, not mass fatalities. We are overdue for the next deadly pandemic, and this showed us that we are not at all ready.  

Because of the pandemic, my travels this year were limited. Instead, I did more local articles, did some unboxings on my YouTube channel, became a licensed drone operator, and focused more on my brand than on my travels. I also worked on building my YouTube channel. I had hoped at the end of 2020 I could launch a new website with a new logo, but it didn't work out that way. I think we can all say that about 2020: "It didn't work out that way".

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