Lessons Learned Traveling the Globe During a Global Pandemic

by tessamarie

A week into our two and a half month trip around the world, my husband suggested we snag some masks as there was this virus in China that seemed to be kinda bad. “Ok,” I thought, scoffed a bit and thought it was a bit ridiculous, and yet, he appeared convicted about this, so in search of masks, we went! (Days later, I was SO glad for his foresight.. as masks were impossible to find!)

Knowing we were headed to Singapore next during Chinese New Year, he just wanted to be prepared.

Little did we know what this little virus would mean to the world less than 2 months later… and we’d be in the midst of a global pandemic.

As the virus continued to spread, concern grew, and the uncertainty of what this virus was or would mean to those infected. We knew we had a decision to make.

I remember sitting in our room in Bali, it was then we decided that we’d continue our diligence to boost our natural immune systems (I’d gone prepared to do this, to avoid getting sick in general). If we were to get sick, we’d “cross that bridge” then.

Can I tell you that this conversation and way of relating to this impending danger was game-changing for us? 

We were able to stay present- FULLY present.

We weren’t worried about or in fear of the future and potential risks.

We showed up each day and made the most of the days we were given, as we didn’t know if or when we’d need to go home. (Though, then, I never dreamed we’d ultimately be forced home!)

We lived our BEST life, moment by moment, day by day, week by week.

Sure, we were world-travelers, and yet, once we arrived home and finished our quarantine… we were presented with the choice of how we would navigate the new challenges we faced being home. (I refuse to speak “new normal” as I’m unwilling to think that what we knew as life will never be again). 

Being FULLY present in THIS moment allows me to make the best choice based on what I KNOW. Otherwise, my choices are based on preventing something in the future that’s not yet known.

There’s still uncertainty and risk. Yet, as long as I’m living and breathing, I refuse to spend my days being in fear. 

I don’t want my day determined by the “what ifs…” and driven by worry and fear but instead driven by what I hold dear.

The beautiful thing about life is that we have a choice… 

Lessons Learned Traveling the Globe Amid a Pandemic

  • Physical activity keeps your body healthy and feeling alive (we averaged 10,000 steps a day!) 
  • Building the immune system to fight, as the preventative is a better choice than neglecting my body and paying the price.
  • Take caution, avoid exposure as you can
    • In Paris (early March), we chose to walk more (movement) and snag Ubers rather than ride the subway. Fewer people and fewer closed spaces.
  • To be present in the moment rather than live in worry or concern for the future. 
    • I KNOW what is true in this moment, I trust myself to make the best choice with the information available in the now.
  • News in other countries and regions of the world is much more diverse and well rounded.
    • It was incredible to see HOW MUCH MORE is happening in the world beyond COVID. Like the 2 million refugees exiting Syria early to mid-March.
  • We were 6 days removed from France (we’d been in South Africa for 4 days) before arriving back home. It seemed once the US started taking action, the rest of the world followed.
  • The choice we make in how we relate to the world, the people around us and the news we are reading truly has the greatest impact on the quality of our lives and experiences. Is it what is being said or was said or the meaning I attach to it and how I choose to respond that creates the greatest impact?
  • Listen to your spouse, even in times where you’d rather be right or write them off. 😉 In the end, it will pay dividends to you and your relationship! 😀

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