Clint Bush 0:10
Hi, everyone, welcome to the we will wander exploring life off the traditional path, a podcast about location independent families living and working all around the world. I’m Clint Bush, and I’m daily Paulin. In twice a month we talk to families about what it’s like to live location independent, travel full time and educate our kids on the road. The world is big and time is short, so let’s get started.
Zélie Pollon 0:38
In today’s podcast, Clint talks to Tina Rogers who got caught in northern Italy just as the pandemic was beginning to hit hard. So many of our traveling friends are still in various parts of the world experiencing different impacts from the Coronavirus in this interview conducted last March and so much is changing fast. We hear of Tina’s experience trying to find a way to save time. When so many of us don’t necessarily have a home. Let’s listen.
Tina Rogers 1:07
So I’m Tina right now I am living in a suburb called Oldham outside of Manchester in the UK. We’ve been traveling full time since December 2018. So just under a year and a half now. And we spent 2019, mostly in Southeast Asia, which was wonderful and glorious. We have my partner, Mike and I and we have a three year old son krim, who we travel with.
Clint Bush 1:34
Fantastic. So Tina, I wanted to talk to you. Because being a digital nomad during this period, especially digital, no matter what the responsibilities as in a family is been an interesting challenge for the community that we know the friends that are traveling that are out and about right now. It’s been interesting tell us and you specifically, you and your family had a very interesting challenge because you were in. One of the probably craziest regions during all this. So what was that experience like and what brought you there?
Tina Rogers 2:07
So yeah, we, like I said, we’ve been traveling through Southeast Asia most of last year. And I work mostly in the nonprofit sector really focused on labor rights. And I wanted to go back to school to do a little bit more education on the topic. So we decided sort of halfway through last year that I would start my master’s program. And it was a mixed learning program. So an online portion and a residential phase and the residential part was three months stay in Turin, Italy, so in northern Italy, and that started in January of this year. So we had gone back to Canada or my family is for Christmas. And then we headed over to Europe to Italy in early January of this year. And of course, when I got there, it was wonderful. We’d never lived in Italy. I visited a few times as a tourist but we thought what a great opportunity to, you know, live somewhere completely different than what we had been doing. And yeah, it was beautiful turns a really gorgeous city. It’s got a beautiful river, delicious food, of course, just, you know, completely different atmosphere and we were really enjoying it. In addition, my partner’s parents had decided to come with us to stay in Italy for a few months as well. They were going to help out with childcare, so that I could go to school and Mike could work and just get to experience you know, being in Italy for a few months as well. So, it was really wonderful. We had this extended family sort of living together, we had separate apartments but living close by, I had started this program and was meeting people from all over the world, which was really interesting, who are working in the same field as I was, and yeah, life was really good for, you know, the first month or maybe even six weeks, we had our little routines, lots of walking outside, it was sunny every day. So really a wonderful experience to start with and yeah, of course, we had, I think everyone, you know, had kind of heard about this Corona virus that was happening in China. And I think for me, it was sort of something that we paid a little bit of attention to, but we kind of thought it would be similar to like SARS or something that we had seen in the past. So, you paid a bit of attention, but certainly not following it closely. And I actually remember having a really distinct thought one day, it just seems so funny now, but thinking Oh, yeah, like, I’m kind of glad we’re not in Asia anymore. Because you know, that’s closer by to where the outbreak is, and like, and we’re in this little town in Italy, like if it’s gonna spread like it’s, you know, we’re the safest here like, haha, we’re, you know, like, look how smart we are kind of just completely felt, I don’t know, safe and protected from it.
Clint Bush 4:48
We kind of had the opposite of that where we were leaving Singapore, actually, we were leaving the Philippines, just as China was going through Vietnam was just getting it and so we kept hearing. We were going into Vietnam, we kept hearing things about, he may get checked at the border, there may be, you know, there may be long lines at the airport, etc. So we left way early to get there had no checks in a like in the Philippines or anything. And by the time we’d gotten to Vietnam, they had already pretty much had it under control. And were actually in their first little period before there was another outbreak later, but they were kind of in a lull period. So it was interesting, because we were like, thinking kind of opposite of you were kind of dreading. Oh, wow, we’re going to a place where this is.
Tina Rogers 5:37
That’s like your instinct, right? I mean, that was totally my instinct was like this kind of like, Oh, yeah, I’m glad we’re not there and thinking about our friends and family who were still in that area and like worrying for them. And I mean, I guess that’s the thing that was so crazy is that it changed so quickly. And it was really like the scariest part and like I still am trying to like explain to family and friends who are living in places where that hasn’t hit as much yet. I mean, I know it’s spread mostly everywhere. But that, you know, this goes from zero to 100 in, you know, the blink of an eye. So for us, we, you know, we’re just going on life as usual. I think they sort of announced that there was a case in Italy in Milan or a little town near Milan. And so I thought, okay, like, well, shoot that’s kind of close by, but like, No, actually, and at the time, you kind of thought, well, China seem to get it relatively under control. And again, foolish thought thinking like, oh, like if China can do that, like, you know, Europe will be able to do that, like, you know, these Western countries. They’ve got good health care. Italy is known for its health care system, like it will be okay. So we had heard of a few cases, but then it was one day, like a Saturday or something. I got a message in a whatsapp group that I was in for my school program. And they said the government has announced that all schools in the north of Italy are to be closed immediately for a week.
I was honestly I was just kind of shocked. I was like, Whoa, that seems like pretty extreme. I mean, yes, there’s been some cases, but like, really, we’re closing our school. Okay, I guess, you know, there and I thought, you know, oh, Italy is really trying to get ahead of this and be on top of it and prevent the spread. So our school was closed for a week and people almost treated it like a little vacation. So I know a lot of my classmates took the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, so they would go out on a flight to UK or Germany or different places around because for a lot of people, they’re not in Europe very often and a lot of colleagues from South America, so people traveled, they traveled a lot. Or, you know, we hung out I kind of kept up a bit with schoolwork, but just you know, mostly relax at home. And then people you know, came back to Italy sort of a week later. So I think about that time and I think man, how much was the spread happening then? You know, without people knowing possibly. You know, there was still just so much movement. If from northern Italy to everywhere else so about a week later the government had said, okay, we think we’re going to open up schools again. We’re just going to make sure that all schools get a deep clean so I think this was on a weekend and they said by Wednesday schools will be reopen. And we’ll just use Monday and Tuesday to do a clean and so my school it’s a private institution so they’re not you know, technically like mandated by the government. They can sort of choose themselves but to do so they did kind of a cleaning of the school and the weekend and they decided to reopen on Monday. And so on Monday, we went into class and people were trying to be normal. For me it felt a bit odd I was like this is feel strange, like the rest schools haven’t opened up but like okay, I went in, they said they had done this thorough cleaning. At school that day in the classroom, they had doctors checking our temperatures when we came in, and they said everyone would get like a little health kit by the end of the day. So with a thermometer and some some sanitizer or whatnot.
But we went to class as normal and went home. I mean, I was taking public transit, I took the bus to get there and went home. But I just had a really like unsettled feeling from it. I just thought this, you know, we’re in this. We’re in this class, this is, you know, 35 people coming from all different parts of town and people are still moving around so much. And that night, I really kind of struggled with thinking like, I don’t know, is this what we should be doing? This is still this outbreak is still happening. The cases were growing that day. There was a few cases in Turin. And that night, the government announced that they would not be reopening schools, they would close them for another week or two weeks. I can’t remember it. They thought it wasn’t under control. They needed to keep schools closed, and unfortunately, my school decided to stay open. And this is where for me things got really like personally challenging because, you know, we’re in a different country. I mean, as a nomad, you’re always in a different place where you probably don’t really know the language. First of all the room.
Are the customs. And certainly for us when we travel, you know, we try to be really respectful citizens wherever we are. So even if something is not how we would normally do it if we’re in a place where something else is the norm or where there is government has certain rules, we really try to be respectful of that. I mean, of course, within reason they’re not sure. And so for me, it kind of became this dilemma like I am a temporary citizen in this country, and the government is saying, we’re going to keep schools close, like please people, you need to start paying attention to this. And this sort of institution that I, you know, was going to school at sort of a international organization. And they were saying, like, No, no, it’s fine. We’ve cleaned the school like it’ll be fine coming to class. And so it was just a bit of a dilemma for me. And ultimately, I decided that I wanted to respect what the government was saying they had issued decrees basically saying to close the schools, and so I opted not to go into class.
And also because, you know, I have a young child and you know, thankfully at the moment, it seems like children are less affected by this but like that’s something you never want to take a chance on. And our my in laws were there too, and they’re in their 60s as well. And they’re more vulnerable group. So for me, I realized, you know, this is something where I have a personal responsibility to do my part for my family and myself to try to contain this. So I would go out to get groceries still. And to be honest, the streets were still full of people. The grocery stores were full of people cafes were full restaurants are full. There was no nothing seemed different. Was this about mid to late February, what was the timeframe roughly remember, this was Yeah, it would have been late February and then into like early March. So I think the government first closed the schools the last week of February and then in early March, they were going to open them back up in this decided not to. So this was like, you know, March 2, third, fourth, fifth. So even then there was still people everywhere, you know, we would go to the grocery store there was, but there was no, the term social distancing did not yet exist at that point. So there was none of that. I mean, people were shopping you would at first you saw like, toilet paper and pasta, like not being available, but those things like replenish pretty quickly. So it didn’t seem like there was panic buying, and people were out and about. So I think that’s the the craziest thing is that everything, more or less continued as normal, even as the government was issuing these decrees to close schools and to please like, try to, you know, distance yourself. It didn’t really seem to slow any thing down in terms of people’s activities. What was the media response at the moment? So I think, you know, if you look at international media, of course, it was starting to turn to be like, oh, Italy is in this hotspot. I mean, at first it was this response of Oh Italy’s implemented these draconian measures and they’re kind of going, you know, yeah, middle age like it’s crazy, which was actually sure that’s what the government was saying. But that wasn’t what people were doing. Yeah, so the media made it sound like, Oh, it’s like really intense and whatever. But like the day to day, it didn’t feel that way. It felt unsettling. Because, you know, you feel like, oh, there’s all these measures in place, but you look around and everything appeared almost normal, and that maybe that was the most confusing part for me and probably for others as well. You know, to be fair to people in Italy, and you know, all of us, I’d say Italy was, you know, of course, outside of China, it was really where this like first exploded, and so we hadn’t had a chance to see this happen anywhere. And so nobody really knew how serious it was going to get and nobody really knew what to do. You know, now, even a couple weeks later, I think all these other countries so right now we’re in the UK, for example.
And I just like kind of want to scream at people like you’ve had a head start, like you have had two or three weeks headstart do not make the same mistakes that we made in Italy or that people made by taking this too lightly. Like if you’re living in Canada, like I think where my family is, and or in the UK, and you’re still like, just recently they closed restaurants, but you’re still like gathering in groups, or you’re doing all of this stuff. You know, you’re you’re just being ignorant, you’ve now had a chance to get ahead a little bit ahead of it, and you’re not doing it so well. That’s I think a lot of the anger and frustration with United States too, right now, both at a government level and at a public levels. You know, there’s still people partying, the government is still not really enforcing much it could be argued that parts of Europe and United States are never going to be in a position to take kind of the overarching measures that parts of Asia took especially in say Vietnam or or China where it’s a different government dynamic for sure. Yeah. But yeah, I think that’s definitely where where some of that pressure stems from now, at that point, were there anything happening with the airports? Like were they starting to limit flights in or out? Or was that still kind of business as usual? No, it was business as usual. There was no no limits place for running totally normal. I think there was like starting to be sort of rumors are in some countries, they were saying, Okay, if we’re trying to limit the number of flights from northern Italy, or if you’re coming from northern Italy, you have to track your temperatures or something. But at the time, like flights were still running fine. Everything was pretty normal. We had so my partner’s sister lives in Zurich, and she just had a baby like a couple weeks before that. So we had plans to you know, all go take the train to Zurich a couple weeks later, to visit them. And of course, her her parents. So my in laws were with us, too. They wanted to meet their grandchild or whatnot. And so we had decided, Okay, at that point, like trains, everything was still running, but we were like, you
It’s probably not a good idea to be on a train full of people right now that goes through Milan and at that time, the cases in Milan were just like growing and growing and growing. And I should say so turn is about two hours maybe away from Milan or an hour by train. Okay, and so it’s not like right next to it, but pretty close by so you kind of still had this idea that like turn was a little isolated. It wasn’t like right in the exact hotbed of it, but we were like, well, maybe we shouldn’t take a train through the lens. So we decided to rent a car and drive to Zurich to visit my sister in law and see the new baby and so so we went to Zurich, and while we were there was when the lockdown of northern Italy came into effect. Well, they locked down of course the provinces of Lombardi and part of Piedmont, which is which were turn is but turn itself was not under lockdown at that point. So we were like, okay, we can still get back. You know, all of our stuff was there. I mean, it was that was our home at the time this was like the first lockdown so we also I think nobody really knew can you get in and out I mean sense of realized like foreigners are free to leave but we weren’t sure at all what that would look like we had to sort of drive a different route back from Switzerland to get into turn. And I remember on that drive back I was driving and it’s maybe like a five six hour drive. And like of course my mind that whole time was just thinking like, Whoa, this just got really serious. Yeah, and even if foreigners are still able to get out you know, you’re thinking of course if it’s locked down the flights are gonna start being canceled. What does lockdown actually mean for someone living in a country that’s not their own? And so we’re driving back and you know at that point turn wasn’t under lockdown, but I just felt like there’s no way that this lockdown doesn’t extend you know it literally bordered up against turn it was you know, the next city over was under lockdown. So, on that drive back, it’d became just really clear to me that it was time for us to leave that. We were living in a place where we didn’t understand the language. We have each other, of course, which is nice. I mean, it’s always nice that you have like your family there. But we were in an unknown place. Yeah, with no kind of network and mostly where we just didn’t like, know, the language and things were escalating really, really quickly. And again, you know, having elderly or older in laws there and the young child. By the time we got back to turn that day, I had made the decision and sort of convinced everyone else that like we had to leave. So tell me what, once you made that decision, and you decided to get out of there, I guess what was the criteria? Were you thinking of going back home at that point, quote unquote, home? I know home is a little bit ambiguous but your home country, or were you thinking another place like and then and then also one of the things that we realized is just the logistics of everything. I mean, there’s no there’s
Finding the flights, there’s finding lodging. There’s, I don’t know, if you were thinking that you’d have to quarantine at that point. I don’t know if that was part of the conversation at that point, just kind of walk me through. Once you made that decision, that is only the first step. The rest of it has to come. Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s true. It’s actually we couldn’t make the decision without thinking through all those other things. Because at the end of the day, you know, when you don’t have a home, there’s no point in leaving somewhere, if there’s no better place to go to, you know, if there’s no better option. So although I felt like we should leave because it wasn’t the best place for us. We couldn’t make that decision until we thought like, do we even have a better place to go? So our next stop was going to be Ukraine and my partner Mike his family or he’s from there originally, and his grandparents still live there. And we had already booked sort of an Airbnb for the next four, three months after April when we are meant to leave Italy. And so of course, like our first thought was okay, could we just go, you know, to where we’re planning to go next early? Does that make sense, but pretty quickly, I mean, Mike’s parents who grew up in Ukraine and sort of said, like, that’s not the place you want to be. If there’s like a health emergency, there’s still a lot of corruption and the health system is not necessarily great. And if you’re going to get quarantine somewhere, particularly like if you’re going to get quarantined in some kind of government facility, again, Ukraine is probably not where you want to be. At that time, Ukraine did not have any quarantine measures in place. But things are changing so quickly at that point, like I’d say that weekend is when everything started changing really rapidly. People started thinking of quarantines or closing their borders or whatnot. That’s also why we felt this intense pressure to make this decision because we knew if we stayed in Italy, the ability to get out was going to just go downhill so quickly either because countries are closing their borders.
We’d have to quarantine or we couldn’t get flights so we looked at some other options I mean we’re from Canada but we don’t have a home there. My parents and family live on like the far west coast. So my sister is currently there with my parents she’s pregnant My dad is late 60s with a you know diabetes and a history of heart problems. My nine year old grandmother lives there so that was just ruled out from the point of view of you know, we don’t want to be putting anyone at risk to my in laws were still with us. They live on the other side of Canada and we thought okay, we could go back there with them. But then like you’re saying like the logistics the cost of that so likes to Canada for three of us. We were looking at like, three to 4000 euros plus we’d have to rent a place to stay when we got there. Plus you need a car to get around in the place that they live. So like the costs of that were just so high that you know at that time that just felt like really yeah cost prohibitive. My sister normally her and her husband live in the UK, they live here in Manchester. But they had gone back to Canada because she’s pregnant and wanted to have her baby in Canada. So they have a house here and they said Our house is open. It’s available. I’m a dual Canadian British citizen and Canadians can stay in the UK for six months. There’s a bit of a network here my brother in law’s family lives close by. And although although it was not sort of a top choice to come to Oldham, I mean, it’s not the most like exciting place that we’ve been to in our travels. But that kind of was part of our decision. We thought, okay, there’s a home or where we don’t have to pay for that is actually going to have supplies. At the time the UK didn’t have any quarantine rules in place. Although, you know, anyway, we knew that we were going to try to sort of self isolate as much as possible wherever we went. And it’s a country where we speak the language, which we thought okay, if we do need to enter the healthcare system or something happens, that was a plus for us as well. So what I say we made the decision to leave. Yes, all of these things were part of that decision. And what was the what was the transition period as far as like, the time you made the decision, thought about it got the logistics in place, and we’re on the move. So on the Sunday, we were driving back from Switzerland. And I think I had made the decision. But you know, we had to have all of these conversations. And I will say that Mike was very hesitant to come to the UK to come to Oldham. Also, because my sister and brother law, brother in law said like, Oh, it’s boring. There’s nothing to do. And it’s hard when you go from this lifestyle like that we have as digital nomads, where you’re exploring these amazing places, you have so much freedom. We’re used to, you know, working online, being really flexible, to feel like you have to go somewhere that you you know, maybe don’t want to that’s not going to have those kind of interesting, exciting things that you’re used to. So you know, it’s shifting away from this lifestyle as a nomad where you’re like, where do we want to go?
Where we can, you know, have fun and see things to changing those priorities really quickly to where is there decent health care? Where can we afford to stay where it’s safe for us. And that’s a big shift that we had to make really quickly. And so Sunday we kind of talked about it. We needed to sleep on it. I think Mike really needed to sleep on it Sunday night, and by Monday morning, we had decided, Okay, yeah, we’ll go to Manchester, to the UK. So Monday morning, we made that decision. And that afternoon, we booked flights. And we booked flights for the Wednesday because we thought, okay, let’s take a day to just pack everything up. You know, I had some stuff I was supposed to return to the school. And so we thought if we give ourselves a day, and there was like decent flights on the Wednesday, and then Monday night at about, you know, 10pm 11pm we were just going to go to bed and the Italian government announced that the whole knocked down effective next morning.
So we’d like, you know, we got to the point where like, okay, we’re leaving, like, it’s, it’s alright, we’re gonna get out of here. And then suddenly it was like, you know, what does that mean? From tomorrow morning, the country’s locked out. And again, like this term lockdown. It’s scary. You don’t know what that really means, you know? So we pretty quickly that night said, okay, no, we need to change our flights. We got to get out of here tomorrow. Let’s see if we can find something for tomorrow. It was funny actually trying to convince my in laws of that, as we called them and said, like, let’s change our flights. And they were pretty like, No, no, it’s fine. You know, we’ll just wait till Wednesday, but we weren’t going to leave. Without them. We weren’t going to let them stay. So we finally convinced them to change the next day. And I mean, I don’t know how many times since then, my mother in law has like thanked me for insisting that we do that. But, you know, in the moment, these are the decisions where you’re like, Am I just being crazy? Am I being too paranoid, like sure.
Let’s stay in a day. But in hindsight, I’m really glad that we did. So we managed to rebook our flights which were flying on British Airways. And my in laws, they were flying on KLM they were rebook theirs. And so we went to sleep. And in the morning, I woke up and I had a message from my sister in Canada who said your flights were canceled overnight. But they my sister decided to rebook to book us on new flights.
That day with KLM. So actually the same flights that my in laws were on. So while we were sleeping, my family had just booked our booked us new flights. Yeah, because they were I mean, also, it’s hard when you’re away from your families, your families are scared, right? They don’t know what’s going on.
So they got us on flights. So I woke up and we had our flight was leaving four hours later, after we had to pack up our apartments like, I mean, we’re pretty good Packers now. You know, we don’t have so much stuff. But like we had to pack I mean, we were trying to clean the apartment. Get everything sorted. And so, yeah, we woke up in this in three hours. We were in a taxi on the way to the airport. Wow. So I assume once you got to the airport, were there big lines was a fairly easy like, that also seems like another hurdle to overcome. Yeah, so it was tense, like that was the first morning that these locks this lockdown had come into effect. So say that I think the lockdown officially was at 9am. And our flight was maybe at like 10 or 11 or something like that. So it was definitely tense. There was people you know, like everyone was wearing masks, which in Italy, like nobody ever wears masks. So that was kind of like, you know, it’s a big shift all of a sudden people when we went to check in, they had kind of set up these barriers so that you couldn’t go right up to the desk. And at one point like for example, my mother in law just by habit went up to the desk to give her passports and like the woman the check in agent was just like yelling at her like stay back, stay back. And so there was this, you know, intense kind of stress feeling in the lineup pretty long they had really reduced staff at the airport. So there was like two trek encounters. I mean, turn airport isn’t that big anyway, so yeah, long lines. And we had some problems with my in laws flights, they managed to sort them out. But like, they said they were on the flight and it was kind of like panic for all of us. They got that sorted out. And then after that, I mean, we know we went through security and it was pretty quiet. I thought we had got a text that morning for our flight saying like your flights gonna be very full. Like if you want to check in your hand luggage for free, you can do so. But actually, you know, when we got on the plane, there was still some empty seats. Most people on the plane were wearing masks it was just like really tense, but it actually wasn’t that busy or chaotic. And probably because it was so soon after the lockdown came into effect that you know, nobody had really, unless you had already kind of planned on leaving or you had heard the night before and then booked flights quickly. Like I don’t know, the chaos had started. Really
You know, kind of got out before that so I don’t really think that the checking temperature thing does a whole lot because like we know now you can be you can pass it on before you even have symptoms anyway. But we flew through Amsterdam, you know, we landed in Amsterdam, there was no questions, no health checks, nothing just got off the plane boarded our flight to Manchester, nothing in Manchester and so not even temperature checks, you know, in Amsterdam or Manchester, no signs about anything or nobody asked us a single question. So that was a bit strange. You know, a few days later, the Netherlands started implementing measures and although the UK still hasn’t done very much, even they now have signs up and stuff in the airport.
Clint Bush 29:40
So looking at the international news and what’s happened to Italy since especially just two days ago, I think, right? They just had a large number of people die. And it’s still very much on lockdown. It’s kind of the poster child at this point because Wuhan China in general has kind of gotten to the point where it’s pretty stabilized. So they’ve left the news and Italy still continues to be the center point. Right now, it seems pretty obvious that you made the correct decision. Is that how you feel? How’s the UK at this point?
Tina Rogers 30:17
Yeah. So I think we definitely made the right decision to leave. So for example, I have friends who are stuck now in turn, because they maybe didn’t right away, get on a flight and get out of there. They, you know, thought about it. I mean, and this is a thing, it’s like, you’re forced to make such quick decisions. So even if you take a day to make that decision, that could be the difference between getting a flight and getting home and not so I have many friends who are stuck there who booked flights, but then flights got canceled and countries just started shutting borders. For example, a friend of mine who’s still there, she’s from Guatemala, and she had to just buy new flights because she couldn’t First of all, you can’t get through to airlines to change flights.
So if you’re trying to change your flight you have like, there’s just no way it’s impossible. And so she just bought new flights. But by the time she bought the new flights and I think the flight was two days later, she had to fly through Mexico, Mexico, close the airport and Guatemala close their airport. So, as a Guatemalan citizen, she can’t she can’t get home that Guatemala like the Air Force close, there’s no way. Same with friends from Columbia. And most of the people you know, my classmates, they if they were able to get out there now either in government quarantine centers in their home countries, or they’re under you know, strict home isolation or self quarantine, where they are. So yes, I’m glad we got out right away because it just is getting harder, if not impossible now for people to leave. And this is the hard thing. I was there with my family that was really you know, you have people to go through it with. Many of my friends are there on their own. And so now you are self isolating, you’re locked inside your apartment by yourself. In a country that’s not your own, hundreds, thousands of miles away from your family who you’re also probably concerned about.
Clint Bush 32:07
Yeah, it’s a it brings a whole nother stress level when you don’t have family or have someone in the same household as you that can I share some of that stress. I just spoke to my cousin in the States. She lives by herself. And it’s not as crazy but they’re in the she’s in Seattle area, which is one of the hot spots in the United States. And, you know, so she’s pretty much isolated to being at home, except for going out a little bit, you know, walks and grocery store. But other than that, it’s pretty much isolated at home. It’s just a lonely experience, right? When you don’t have someone in there with you.
Tina Rogers 32:44
That’s absolutely and I mean, I think we all have to really remember those people, friends and family who live on their own right now. Like, it’s a very isolating time for them. So just trying to like call and keep in touch with people more than we normally do is really important.
Clint Bush 33:01
So I wanted to just kind of go back to one thing that you were saying before. So you’d mentioned that in some cases, it’s better for people to stay or sometimes it feels like it’s better for people to stay in your situation. Obviously, it was not. And it’s really hard to make that decision. You know, I really related to you talking about, you know, you made that decision, but then there’s all the logistics and things you have to figure out and before I think specifically, you even said that before you can even really make that decision. You had to think through all those logistics and we we just went through that this week, the State Department made announcement with their highest travel advisory warning level for in the United States and basically said anyone abroad needs to come home or plan on being abroad indefinite, and that’s a pretty, that’s pretty scary. It’s just like when you hear lockdown or something like that. When you’re in a country you’re not familiar with, and you hear your home country make an announcement like that. It can be jarring. We’ve made the decision to ultimately stay. Part of it is that we, you know, we are digital nomads we do have the flexibility of we have our visa to the to the middle of May there’s a possibility we can extend that visa if for some reason we can’t fly out at that point. So we have some flexibility we don’t have anywhere we have to be. We trust the healthcare system. I mean, you mentioning that is really key. Like we we trust the healthcare system here. We trust what’s going on. And for us, it was our option was to go back because at this point, too, like there’s really so many countries have closed borders for flights coming in. Yeah, really our option was to go back to the United States. We thought about every possibility flight was what we would mean when we got there. We’d have to be self quarantine before we saw my parents. Before we saw asteroids, parents, like the logistics before we can make that decision and even then it’s still there’s still unknowns. We’re like a month from now. Is it worse? Is it better? Is it the same? Like, we don’t know? Yeah. It’s part of the gamble.
Tina Rogers 35:14
Exactly. And I think that is the hardest part for everyone right now, but especially if you are a nomad is that there’s no right answer. Nobody knows what the right answer is. And, you know, I said to Mike, I was like, man, like, this is what it sucks to be an adult, like you are faced with impossible decisions where you just, you’re, you make your best guess. And I think, yeah, for us, it was really we need to be somewhere where there’s decent health care. I mean, there’s no running from it at this point. So it’s not like you’re trying to get away from Coronavirus because I think that’s impossible. So to me, the decision then became you need to go somewhere where you feel comfortable because this is an uncomfortable situation. So where do you think that you will be
You know, comfortable feel a little bit safe like in the health care system and that you think you can be for for a few months, you know, and in those questions, we did the same thing we thought okay, should we be going back to Canada? I mean, Canada has now issued this thing saying if you’re a Canadian abroad come home. We’re not residents here either. This isn’t like we’re not residents in the UK. So we’re, we’re not in a place where, you know, like, for example, we lived in the Netherlands for four years, we had still been living in the Netherlands, of course, we would have stayed there because we were residents. That was our home. This isn’t our home either. So we we also question Should we go back to Canada now as well. And in the end, we decided my in laws should go back and we managed to get them on a flight. But you know, flights are also crazy expensive now. So they’re really hard decisions right now for nomads for everyone. But when you don’t have a home, I think it’s even even harder and, you know, we just have to make the best decisions we can.
Clint Bush 36:56
Absolutely Well, I appreciate you chatting with us and sharing Your story, lots of people are facing similar stories. Yours specifically is very interesting. Coming out of northern Italy is just, sadly just a, just a mess right now. And there’s the whole tourism side that I would love to have a conversation about another time that just breaks my heart to see. Especially Venice. They’re having massive, massive worries about the flooding and lack of tourism. And that’s a purely tourist town at this point. And then be faced with this as well as communities all around the world. I mean, the United States, Canada, here in Asia, those communities that rely on tourism dollars right now, I don’t know how you come back from that.
Tina Rogers 37:43
I don’t know. And I think just like on that note, too. We are so fortunate that we even get to make these decisions. Yeah, right. I am so fortunate that we’re in a position where we can get a flight and come to a place where we’re safe and we have good health care. You know, millions and millions of people around the world. Live already in poverty and they have, they can’t quarantine there’s no self isolation. They can’t not work or they can’t feed themselves. And so I think also coming together collectively thinking like what can I do in this moment to help people who are really suffering and more vulnerable, whether it’s donating or donating to local food banks or something like that is just like really important that we think collectively right now as well for the most vulnerable people.
Clint Bush 38:26
Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s a great sentiment. Tina, thank you so much for sharing your story as there anything else you want to say?
Tina Rogers 38:36
No, just like, thanks. Thanks for listening. I think it helps to also for all of us to sort of talk it through and listen and hear from each other. So thanks for doing this podcast and sharing also your story too. I know those are tough decisions. And I hope you guys are stay safe and healthy there. And hopefully we meet up sometime soon. Absolutely. When it when the dust settles for sure. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Clint Bush 39:00
Well, that’s the show. Thank you so much for listening. If you like the show, please leave a review on Apple podcasts. It really helps others find the show and lets us know what you think.
Zélie Pollon 39:09
You can find links in episode notes that we will wander calm. Also, if you want to leave feedback or ask us questions, go to our website, we will wander calm and click on ask a question. Looking forward to hearing from you. So we will wander. I’m Bailey Poland. And I’m Clint Bush, reminding you to get lost
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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