After 5 Months Of Travels … He Got COVID While At Home For The Holidays!
Journal Entry 23
“You guys are crazy to travel while there’s a pandemic going on! Aren’t you afraid you’d get COVID?”
We’ve been travelling full-time for over five months. We visited five different countries, eleven cities and stayed with countless people from all over the world. But of course, since all the world is going through a pandemic right now, we always tried our best to keep ourselves as safe as possible by taking precautions and obeying each countries’ respective ‘COVID laws’. This always helped us feel safe (health-wise) – and in fact, we returned to Malta for the holidays with two negative COVID-19 tests each!
Back Home for the Holidays
We had tested negative in Rome two days prior to our flight, and due to a small mistake from our end, we got tested for the second time in Malta – again resulting in the negative. Awesome! Back in our home island, we then spent over two weeks celebrating Christmas and New Years while coming in contact with very few people outside of our families. We can literally count them on one hand!
The plan during that time was to fly again at the beginning of January, so that made us act extra careful whenever we had to leave the house. As a destination, we were looking for a shift in culture, a shift in food and a shift in the overall mood you might say. The plan was Turkey!
The country has been fully open for tourism since the beginning of the pandemic to visitors from the EU – no quarantine, no tests requirement – nothing! Unfortunately (or maybe, fortunately?) this all changed just over a week prior our scheduled flight, where Turkey made a requirement for all visitors crossing its country’s borders to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test in hand.
So, we obviously booked ourselves a test in Malta, two days before our flight … and that’s where the experience all began. Charlon tested POSITIVE!
Off to Turkey 2-Week Quarantine
All plans were cancelled, all the money and bookings were lost (except for Airbnb – we managed to get a refund, thankfully!) and both of us were put in mandatory quarantine. Luckily, it didn’t hit Charlon as bad as we expected … after reading so many horror stories. All he developed were some chills and a high temperature for two days, and after that mild flu-like symptoms followed. He then completely lost his sense of taste and smell for just a day but started to recover shortly after.
For Charlotte, it was … weird? Although we live together and we’re by each other’s side 24/7, she got tested 3 times and all of them came back negative. Having said this, our challenge of COVID-19 was nothing physical (thank God for that). The challenge was mentally … definitely mentally!
The (Mental) Experience
The first two days went by “alright”. It was the weekend so we just chilled, binged on Netflix and munched on snacks all day through. Then Monday morning it hit us – we got two weeks locked up in here, and that’s the bare minimum!
That was surely the lowest mental point for both of us. In fact, we spent the rest of the week constantly moaning (and crying), just looking forward for the day to get dark again so we could go back to bed. Our mind was just set on the fact that we’re locked up inside indefinitely, and that our travel plans had been crushed. We had absolutely no interest to face the day, and as much as we both tried – we couldn’t help it for a whole week. It felt really awful!
Strangely enough, we had plenty of activities to pass our time – we had work, we could cook, workout, watch movies, play games and countless other stuff. The one thing we lacked was motivation. Perhaps this is the way quarantine gets to you. It’s not like we wanted to go somewhere, it was more of the fact that we weren’t allowed to go anywhere. And the other thing was surely the fact that we had no idea of when we were going to be free again.
All the negative stuff aside, we had each other – and this is what got us to change our bad, irritating vibe to a positive one.
The second week was much better! Still had plenty of downs emotionally – but it was much better overall. We started to understand that this was just temporary, that we were so lucky to be quarantined at home and not stuck with heavy symptoms on a hospital bed. We started to understand that this was definitely one of the best scenarios we could have ended up in our situation. Simple stuff, however much more challenging than they may seem!
On the 12th day of quarantine, Charlon got tested again. We anxiously waited for the next two days for the result and luckily it came back negative. We were free!
What Did We Take Out of This?
Apart from all its negativity, this experience has made it even clearer in our minds to continue pursuing what we’re doing. Life gets you wherever it wants! Neither of us got COVID whilst travelling, amidst what many people might fear. We got it right back at home!
However, neither COVID-19 nor travel is the point of all this. It’s definitely not the perfect time to travel … and we’re nowhere promoting doing it right now just for the sake of doing it. We decided to go for it simply because this is the sort of lifestyle that makes us happy, and staying back home waiting for COVID-19 to be over will do us no good at all. The point is that there will always be something to stop you from pursuing your dreams. Sometimes, we may fool ourselves to believe that there’s going to be “a better time” to do it. However, the reality is that no one has any idea of what’s going to happen tomorrow, or if we ever get another chance to take that first step. Heck, we might not even live another day!