New Year Promises

Magdalene Mills
3 min readJan 28, 2021

The quietness of Christmas 2020, left me reminiscing about last years, my family and I decided to do something we hadn’t done before. Spend Christmas away, in West Africa, Ghana…

Our family comes from Ghana, so going wasn’t that big of a deal. It was my Grandmother’s 74th Birthday too, so we wrapped all our reasons together in one and went. The anticipation for this trip had been immense. The over-packing, the medication, the adventurous planning, the money! Getting through the airport run, ‘flying with children’ episode — Thank God mine slept throughout the journey. The arrival and realisation that we had made it and we were really out of the UK was almost surreal. Breathing in and out, smelling the humid, yellowy Ghananian air, It felt like home. It’s a feeling like no other, to be in a foreign country to your residence and still feel soul-liftingly home.

I had already decided this holiday was about me and my children connecting with the land of our ancestors and parents. The history, the customs, the language and the people, not just family. Unfortunately for me, the Ghanaian Tourism board and everybody else in the world had the same idea:

‘Ghana December 2019, Year of the Return’

Traffic generally in Ghana during this period is hectic, but the traffic of people was definitely underestimated! However, despite this very real obstacle, doubling the time it generally took to get anywhere, trusting google with one eye open, this was a great trip. As I look over the pictures, I slowly start to see that I had achieved all that I wanted from the trip. Family time, great memories, rest and endless smiles filling up my screen. The trip reignited my connection with the land that I once felt lost to. My biggest takeaway was the humbling jolt of ambition and the thankful acknowledgement of the privileges that I maintain at home in the UK. Even though being here right now in lockdown doesn't feel like much of a privilege. But most of all, a kick up the bum, with hard work ethic and community. In Ghana, if you’re in need, sometimes without even asking, many are there to help. Most do not have a lot, but manage to survive, day in, day out, on what I would spend on snacks! The people of Ghana have shown me that anything IS possible and the helping hand of God doesn’t hurt either. People are living a life that they would have every right to complain about, but they don’t, they get up, they hustle, they laugh, they engage and they keep moving forward!

With all that has happened in 2020 and with all that is yet to be endured in 2021, I will reinstate my ‘Ghananian attitude’ and I employ you to maybe try to adopt the same. I am going to hustle every day to make my life better. I am going to smile, laugh and enjoy all the moments. I am going to fully engage, every day. I know it won’t be easy and life’s not always great, as world events have shown us. but for those of us who are still here, we have to believe that what is in us is way stronger than what perils are in the world. I learnt that I can’t give up or stop as it’s not just about ‘me’, it’s about us, all of us.

Ghana, thank you.



Magdalene Mills

An emotive writer, hailing from the British concrete jungle. I hate injustice and still believe ‘good’, will eventually prevail.