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2020: reflections and connections

Man alive, what a year! It’s hard to know where to begin when we look back at 2020.

For us, it’s been such a strange time: crushing lows yet wonderful highs, a rollercoaster of emotions. We’ve been gutted so many times as things collapsed or got cancelled, but we’ve felt really lucky, too – incredibly lucky, our health and families and homes have never seemed more precious. It’s been a reckoning, a realisation about what’s important in life.

When we started Kip a little over a year ago, our focus was wanting to shift the way we all travelled, to be more conscious in the moment, and really value the small things that make a place special. We wanted to create a community that shared our love of discovering beautiful places, and to showcase all the incredible hidden-gem hideaways and undiscovered parts of the UK that give any international destinations a run for their money.

But actually this year’s biggest lesson for us has been a human one. We’ve realised the real beauty and power of connection with other people, as we’ve all helped each other through a really difficult year. And we’ve learnt the pure preciousness of time spent with family and friends, whether in person or virtually; it’s vital to our mental health and happiness. So that’s what we wanted to write about and share with you all; how life changing it has been to slow down and embrace the really wonderful, kind people in our lives, rather than just rushing rushing rushing all the time.

And a huge part of this has been you guys. It has given us such joy to connect with a community of like-minded souls, who have shown such incredible support and encouragement to us during our first year. Every time someone has shared a sweet word or image about Kip, our hearts have swelled. We have loved seeing and hearing about the Kip stays you’ve been able to do. We’ve been so grateful that you’ve kept signing up to travel vicariously and plan positively for the future. And it has been a privilege to work alongside our incredible owners during 2020, helping each other weather the storms. For all the terribleness that 2020 has bought, it has also revealed real kindness and brought like-minded people closer together. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

So we are excited and hopeful for what 2021 will bring. It’s never been more important to make space to connect to other humans, and to regularly escape into nature to switch off and reset, so that’s what we’ll be trying to do. It helps us to feel alive and excited, a life really worth living.