Many of us have watched one country after another on every continent close their borders. Curfews have been imposed. are closing and gatherings are being restricted to small numbers. In some places, a printed form with the reason for leaving one’s home is required.
The US government has sent a notice informing us to come home now or prepare to remain where we are indefinitely. Australia, where we currently are, has closed its borders only allowing in citizens and permanent residents. The question of where “home” is for us, nomads on the road for almost four years now, has never been so important.
Some grocery stores here in Australia are allowing only locals to purchases supplies. Many say to stay away from the cities to reduce the spread. Others say don’t travel to small towns because they can’t support travelers right now. So, where do we go?
I’m adding pictures of dogs we have met in our travels because dogs make me smile and we could all use something to smile about.
Stay home, they said
Home right now is Lil’ Beaut, our bus. But where do we park? If internal travel restrictions are imposed here as they have been in Europe we would need to find a place where we could stay for possibly two to three months.
My friends Nicky and Ian ran into this exact situation in France. They are nomads like us only they rely on house-sitting. They were given 16 hours’ notice to find a place to isolate before the lock-down was in full force. She advised us to find a place to hole up now rather than later. I trust her advise, she is living it now. I see the same restrictions being implemented in country after country. We are only weeks, maybe even days away from it.
Being infected is not a grave concern for us right now. We are healthy and in an age bracket that does not have a high critical impact. We do feel it is our responsibility to help flatten the curve. If we practice social distancing and isolation then we can help slow the spread. This reduces the number of people in critical care at one time. Slowing the spread can keep hospitals from being so overwhelmed as they are in Italy.
We have decided to stay in Australia. If we were to get on a flight home the chances of us becoming carriers exponentially increase. Then the question of where to live becomes an issue. We have friends and relatives who have offered us places to stay, but do we then put them at risk? Health insurance is also a big issue. We have great health care coverage. It covers us everywhere in the world – except in the USA.
When being a nomad hits the fan
Aussies are wonderful people, but we want to be mindful of not putting them at risk either or using resources where they might be most limited. We have had offers of help and places to stay.
We have decided to stay in Western Australia and are currently looking for a spot to camp with access to water, a dump station, and a grocery store within an hour (closer if possible). The spot we are currently at is super busy and social distancing hasn’t really hit home here.
Yes, our plans have changed. We will no longer be able to go out of the country and back in to extend our visa. We had planned to stay here for another year, but it looks like that may end in August. The current situation could further limit our exploration of Australia. Maybe we can get an extension, but we will have to wait and see how this all plays out. How much of Australia we see is not the most important thing right now.
Life constantly changes and so do plans. Flexibility keeps us rolling with changes.
Opportunity of Quarantine
Many are concerned about the personal and global financial impact of quarantine. Businesses suffer, paychecks suffer. There are many who find joy and fulfillment in their work or at least in the socialization there. I understand all these concerns, but maybe for many, this will be an opportunity.
When Trin and I were in the corporate world, being busy was an understatement. I tracked my time to see where a moment might be wasted, a moment that I could fill with something more productive. Then each Friday night we allowed ourselves just a few hours to unwind – in front of the TV. All the while my to-do list grew longer. With each item, I check off two more were added.
We were so busy and so distracted that we spent no time on peace and quiet. There was no time to contemplate. Many I knew were in the same boat, no time to rest.
I wonder how the world will change if we all have time to contemplate and focus on the things in life that are most important.
When I was a kid I used to envision my future, far enough out that I was sitting in a rocking chair unable to do much else. What would I think about then when I looked back over my life? Would I remember what I was doing right now? What memories would make me smile?
Maybe this is a time for peaceful contemplation. Take that online education course that we have been wanting to take. Maybe it is time to finally get the house thoroughly cleaned like we have been wanting to do for ages.
You Got This
Maybe turn off the news and social media for a while to allow your mind to calm. Read an actual book, get offline (after you read this blog, ?). Wash your hands, stay home, take a new course, or simply sit and think about the good things in life and the direction you truly want to head.
Retired from Corporate America at the age of 43 along with her husband Trinity. In 2016 they sold their home to begin a nomadic life of slow travel. Bonnie writes of their experience on the road in each country. Subscribe to follow her stories here.
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