21 things to look forward to in 2021

ISTANBUL (TRT World): We all know 2020 was a year like no other, so you deserve the new year full of healing, joy and some excitement. Here’s a list of the things you may like to pursue this year.

2020 felt like the longest year of your life, but was also a rollercoaster that sped by for others. Thankfully, 2020 is finally over and while we don’t know what to expect in 2021, there’s definitely a lot to look forward to.

While the things we take for granted slowly return to our lives, here’s a list of 21 things to look forward to.

1. Visiting family

Before 2020, we took for granted how special it was to see our family and hug them. For some, it may have been months since you’ve been able to do so. Regardless, when you’re able to embrace your loved ones again in 2021, it’ll be that much better.

FYI: Hugs release oxytocin, a bonding hormone and other happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin.

2. Immunity

Before we can see our families, we need protection from Covid-19. With vaccines slowly rolling out around the world as more countries green-light them for distribution, it could be up to half a year before things go back to ‘normal’, but it will have been well worth the wait.

3. Tokyo Olympics

Initially put on pause because of the global pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is now scheduled for July 2021 and will run to August 8. It won’t be like the previous Olympics. The International Olympic Committee says it will be “simpler” and “more restrained.” This year’s Olympics will include karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing for the first time, with the return of baseball and softball.

4. Eurovision Contest

You may remember concerts and music shows, when the world was without care. That may be coming back slowly, but for now you’ll have to do with the super popular Eurovision Song Contest, postponed from 2020. It’s set to be held in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

5. Mars landing

Mars will have a little new occupant as NASA’s Perseverance rover finally lands on February 18. The rover is aptly named given the year we’ve been through. A spaceship will deploy its parachute after entering the red Martian atmosphere, slowing to 321 kilometres per hour before dropping a small box. The rover-containing box will land with the help of eight rockets, before it delivers Perseverance, and you’ll be able to watch it with a few minutes of delay on NASA’s YouTube channel. The rover will roll around a dry river valley measuring chemicals in rocks, taking pictures and selfies while looking for fossilized microbes.

6. Travelling and gatherings

If you’re like most people, the most exciting thing you’ve seen last year was anything outside your home. As the risk of travel decreases, maybe we’ll get a chance at that long-anticipated vacation. At this point though, many of us would settle for a nice, safe big gathering of friends; if we still remember how to talk to people.

7. T20 Cricket World Cup

Cricket is coming back, after being postponed from 2020. Specifically, the International Cricket Council’s Men’s T20 World Cup will restart in India in autumn.

8. UEFA Euro championship

Held every four years, it was supposed to be held in 2020, and a special one at that, marking its 60th anniversary of the contest. Instead of being held in one country, the games will take place in 12 countries from Spain to Russia.

9. New climate policies

2020 was supposed to be the year the world’s got its climate policies together, but they didn’t. 2021 may be better. The EU has finalized plans to reduce carbon emissions and spend on alternative clean energy sources. China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter promised to go carbon neutral by 2060. Japan, South Korea and Canada all made similar promises to reduce their carbon footprints.

10. A new US president, finally

After four years of Trump, a new presidential inauguration is going to be historic. All eyes will be on the US in January when Joe Biden assumes the presidency. It’s significant because US policies have such a big impact on countries around the world. Kamala Harris is also set to make history as the first woman and first woman of colour to be vice president.

11. New TV shows

If you’ve watched everything there is to watch during lockdown, you’ll celebrate knowing a major line-up of new shows coming out this year. Amazon is producing a highly anticipated prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as a new show based on the best selling fantasy series: Wheel of Time. The long-awaited “Friends” reunion is set to show in March, and the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is going to see a reboot. Disney+ is also dropping dozens of new shows, a lot of them related to the Star Wars Universe. Even if we can’t get back to socializing right away, your to-watch list is going to keep you busy.

12. New movies

TV shows aside, 2021 will see a ton of new movies. The highly anticipated ‘Dune’ is going to see a new remake, as fans around the world hope that its huge budget and modern filming will realize its potential. The delayed James Bond film, ‘No Time to Die’ is premiering this year, alongside Marvel’s Black Widow. Other films to look forward to including Matrix 4,  as well as a ninth Fast and Furious film.

13. New music

If you enjoy your music, you’ll be happy to hear that this year will see a slew of new releases from top artists Adele, Lorde, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Evanescence and the Foo Fighters.

14. New video games

For many of us, gaming kept our mind off the raging pandemic outside and let us keep in touch with friends. With the release of next-gen gaming consoles, 2021 will bring us next-gen games designed to take advantage of their specs and show us what the future of gaming will look like. Get ready for the release of Ghorus, Deathloop, Far Cry 6, Halo Infinite, Hitman 3, a remastered Mass Effect, and God of War: Ragnarok. The good news is that these are just what’s been announced. Count on plenty of more announcements as game studios figure out what they can offer on the latest Playstation and Xbox consoles. 

15. 6G

If you thought 4G and 5G was fast, hold onto your seats. 6G is coming, and it’ll make fast downloads seem slow. Japan and Korea are already working on providing 6G capabilities, and the rest of the world is sure to offer. This means better networking for every field of technology, while opening better doors to growth in the long-anticipated areas of holograms and virtual reality.

16. Artificial intelligence

A.I. has been around for a while, but 2021 will see it become even more commonplace and not in a scary way either. With more AI being used in scientific analysis, medicine and business, hopefully we’ll see better decisions being made.

17. Drone delivery

While pizza companies still haven’t started delivering with drones, major companies like Amazon, UPS and Walmart are redefining the industry with drone-deliveries. While that’s not great for those of us not used to leaving the house, it’s definitely bringing us into the future in a way we don’t mind.

18. Weddings

With families in different countries, restrictions on attendance and the stress of it all, 2020 wasn’t good for weddings. But for many who held off on tying the knot, 2021 is going to be a year to remember, with an exhausting and busy wedding season coming soon for the rest of us.

19. Tom Cruise is going to space

With the help of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Tom Cruise is going to shoot a movie with NASA in space. Guaranteed to be a genre-defining movie, we’re exciting to hear more about this as it unfolds.

20. Super total lunar eclipse

On May 26 get ready for a super total lunar eclipse, the first since January 2019. If you look to the skies at the right time, you’ll be able to see the lunar surface turn into a reddish-coppery colour for a 15-minute lunar eclipse. The beautiful ‘blood moon’ will be a beautiful sight, and one we can’t wait to come.

21. The end of the covid pandemic (hopefully)

We’re saving the best for last here, and while it doesn’t feel like it yet, covid-19 could end this year. While we don’t know when exactly that will happen, the release of vaccines around the world is definitely bringing us closer to that happier, healthier day.