life in (covid-19) quarantine | a travel bloggers story...
'the first few days under mandatory lockdown'
how & why?
as many of you know by now the (coronavirus - covid 19) has spread across the world like wildfire, thought to have originated in China this virus has now impacted every corner of the planet some more than others.
I'm a digital nomad & i travel full time, i came here to (bansko, bulgaria) in January for a season of snowboarding. I have had an amazing time the last few months meeting new friends & digital nomads from around the globe at coworking bansko was an awesome experience. we went snowboarding pretty much every day it is truly a dream life for most people & i am super fortunate to be privileged enough to be here.
a knew that in the last few weeks countries were going into lockdown but i felt that we were sheltered from the worst of it here as the ski resort continued to ferry skiers & boarders alike up the mountain.... that was until three days ago when abruptly without warning after coming off a run the lifts started to close & after some investigating we realised the resort had been ordered to close by the government, i was super sad as i was looking forward to my last week here on the mountain before moving on.
Then came the even more concerning news that people had tested positive in the town & in 48 hours the town would be cut off, no one in or out for the next two weeks. 🤯🤯 as most of the flights had already been cancelled & all public transport out of bansko too it was near impossible to get out with such short notice, besides i had an apartment here with a friend so did not want to leave him alone.
impacts on daily life!!
in short, it is the opposite. from going snowboarding up the mountain for 4-6 hours a day, then on to the gym & for a few nights a week going out for dinner with the nomad supper club or friends in some of the coolest restaurants in town to staying in doors pretty much 24/7 with the only reprieve from my apartment coming in the form of going to the small local shop close by to buy essentials.
Since the lockdown happened three days ago the bulgarian authorities have made sure that no one is to go outside unless to the supermarket . anyone without a reason to leave their home could be fined they are strict here. The good thing is my apartment is very bright & has a great view of the mountains (above) & that is where i am writing this post from now but i do know that others are not as lucky as me & i do feel for them.
boredom is truly one of the most difficult things to deal with when quarantined, but in the last few days, i have actually been more productive than i have been in years in terms of getting stuff done & expanding my mind.
As a travel photographer & blogger, there is not much for me to do inside but i did have some images that i needed to edit that i had been procrastinating over the last few months after that i started to double down on my italian language course on duolingo & yesterday i finally started an artificial intelligence course online free from the university of helsinki, my TRX also help's with exercising.
over the past year i have also created a google maps list of all the free to use ATM's around the globe for international cards that i find on my travels as paying card fees can serious damage the wallet if you travel a lot.
i have been keeping a routine these days & hope to continue doing so for the next 12 days of quarantine otherwise i think i'll go mad...
where do we go from here...
that is a good question & to be honest i don't know as the quarantine maybe extended. I have already missed a trip to Mexico & my plans for Maldives & Mauritius are cancelled pending a re-evaluation of the situation in the coming weeks.
not being able to travel in the grand scheme of things seems trivial compared to the number of people dying around the globe (currently 10k as i write this) and i would like to say that my thoughts are with all whom are affected by the virus. I know we can beat it.
airalo international e-sim
for those who may be stranded abroad in quarentine i understand that it may be difficult to access data.
I’ve recently come across airalo a company that offers data e-sims in 100+ counties around the globe.
The data packs seem either the same price as local operators or in the case of the USA it’s much cheaper. the sim is active activate straight away in your country of choosing.
most of the latest phones have esim capability & using airalo also lets you keep your origin SIM card if you need for two factor authentication / calls.
They are giving away $3 at the moment which is enough to get you 1GB in a lot of countries.
money & insurance
⦿ if your a european citizen & you travel often see my blog post on the curve card its the best travel card around. i have saved hundreds of euro's using it. download the app and enter my promo code: CARLO to get a free card & €/£5. click here to see the post.
⦿ need an international bank account or transfer money at the lowest rates? i use transferwise to make all my transfers you can even open a remote eur, usa, gbp accounts for free. click here to get your first transfer for free.