I started up my blog to inspire others that want to work abroad. Which at the moment, is somewhat ironic with the current state of the world, where no one is traveling across borders and likely not looking to work abroad in the near future. But, if you were looking to work abroad, please don’t give up hope, there will still be opportunities in the future – it just might be a while.
In the meantime, here’s a bit of rambling thrown into a blog post because I have some extra time on my hands. Maybe it’ll do me a bit of good to write down some of my thoughts/feelings. And maybe some of you can relate to some part of this.
I remember first hearing about coronavirus on a drive back from work in January, and talking to my friend about it briefly on Australia Day – obviously not really knowing too much about it and having no idea how devastating it would be globally in the coming months.
I don’t recall exactly when I started hearing about it more and more again in daily life. I have to be honest – I wasn’t too concerned at first [because I didn’t know enough about it] - When I heard the NBA was canceling its season because one player tested positive, I wondered if that was “over the top.” Fast forward a few weeks, and here I am yelling at my parents on FaceTime to stay inside and messaging them before they even wake up because I can’t stop worrying about them. And if you know me, I’m not really a worrier. I’m usually an “it’s okay, things will work out” / “let me move across the world to Australia where I don’t know a single soul” type of person.
I’d been planning a 4.5 week trip to South America with some friends for mid-April and had also bought a flight from Colombia to Michigan to surprise my mom and my family on Mother’s Day and surprise all my friends at home. I was pretty stoked for my holiday and to surprise my family [because I haven’t surprised them since I’ve been out in Aus]. As news of COVID-19 started creeping into daily life and news, I wondered if it was still a good idea for me to travel [this was before all the travel bans came into place and before everything “went crazy” for lack of better terms]. I debated with friends going on the trip and other friends and received mixed responses. One of my big hesitations was that I work as contractor in aged care. Knowing that the elderly are so vulnerable if exposed, I knew that it might not be the best decision and that I would likely have to self-quarantine for 2 weeks upon returning to Australia. As things started changing with the COVID-19 situation, I caved and told my childhood best friend about my surprise trip home to talk it out with someone else. Within a few days, I had decided that I was canceling my trip. Of course, I was pretty bummed out and ended up telling my parents that I was going to surprise them but had canceled my trip. My mom told me she was glad I was being responsible about it. Fast forward a few days, and more and more travel bans were coming along, and things were getting canceled. Now it’s at the point here in Western Australia that travel to difference regions of Western Australia is being banned.
Before things got to where they are now, friends were inviting me to do things which I would normally would have loved to do [meet up for dinner, go out for birthday drinks, etc.], but I was telling them that I was going to stay in instead. I felt like I was going crazy and would tell them “sorry if I’m sounding like a crazy person.” But for my own piece of mind, I knew I couldn’t be out and about like I usually would, especially with my job in aged care - knowing that I could potentially have the virus [potentially with no symptoms] and spread it to one of my clients/residents in the aged care facilities. I stopped going to my fitness classes before the gyms and studios had to shut their doors – which for me, is a huge part of my life and part of what keeps me sane & happy.
I’m trying to work on not letting “it” consume me during every second of every day. These last couple weeks, I noticed I started having bad dreams [e.g. my dog getting eaten by an alligator in my backyard and I can’t do anything to stop it dream]. I would Google “Michigan Coronavirus” and worry more about my parents [I still Google this sometimes, but not right before bed]. I know that I won’t be able to eliminate some worry and I think that makes me human, but I’m also trying to look after myself.
Some of the things I’ve been doing or plan on doing with my extra time:
- Solo hike on a day off
- Going to the beach to have a swim or read in the sun
- Getting outside and going for a run to some good tunes
- Stocking up on arts and crafts supplies [paint, pencils, canvases, at home pottery]
- Lots and lots of Facetimes with friends and family – and lots of FaceTime happy hours – House Party app anyone?!
- Trying to keep some sense of normality with being active – home yoga with online classes from my regular studo, handstand practice in my house, etc.
- Watching Netflix [I finally finished “You” months after everyone else because I somehow manage to fall asleep watching serial killer shows, and am now watching “Sex Education” for something lighter]
- I plan on catching up on some CEUs with days off [Looking for CEUs? Sign up using my link for MedBridge to save $!]
- Yardwork - raking leaves and taking care of my flowers/garden [I’m a bit of a crazy plant lady]
- Looking into fostering a puppy a dog!
As much as this virus has impacted my daily life, I know that it’s small in comparison to what’s going on in the world and how it’s affected other people. It hurts me to think about all of the people fighting for their lives because of this virus [or not even getting the change to fight for their lives because of lack of supplies/ventilators/capacity/etc.]. It hurts me to think of the all the people who have completely lost their jobs because of this. It hurts me to hear an aged care facility manager tell the residents that their families won’t be able to visit them for the next 30 days if not longer.
I can say that it’s definitely shifted my perspective on things in my daily life and how many things I take for granted. A month or so ago, I was complaining about working a 12+ hour day - you won’t hear my complaining about that anytime soon [I was thankful to have one single referral the other day! On my drive back, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to have the jobs that I do]. I won’t take giving someone a hug for granted – I can’t wait to be able to hug my friends and family without fear of spreading a virus to them. I can’t wait to get back to my fitness classes – which maybe I won’t even think about skipping. I can’t wait to catch up with a friend over coffee.
Most of all, I am so grateful to have a great support network both in Perth and around the world. Lots of FaceTimes and awesome housemates to keep me going for the time being!
I know we all can’t wait until the world is closer back to itself. In the meantime, hang in there and take care of yourself – whatever that looks like for you [you do you!]. Thank you to all of those on the frontline taking care of others!
If you’re out there and away from family or just having a rough time, please reach out. Reach out to friends, to family, to your roommates, to your coworkers, to groups online. If you need someone to chat to, feel free to shoot me a message. Or join my happy hour Facetimes with friends because those seem to be happening on the reg. 😉
Sending lots of love from Perth, Australia! Stay home and stay safe everyone!
P.S. I’m in search of a puppy, an abundance of red wine, and a boyfriend for lockdown - if anyone can send any of these my way! [if not, maybe just remind me that cutting my own hair is not a good idea - something that I Googled today]