So it's been a while - what happened to us during COVID-19

in #steemitlast year

Hi everyone! It has certainly been a while since I have visited Steemit!

How are you all doing? What's new here? I think the last time I checked in the community thing was just released and tbh I didn't really get my head around it. That was about 7 months ago...

Anyway, to catch you all up on what Charlotte and I have been up to...

We began a massive trip from UK to New Zealand in December last year. The main goal for this one was to get as far as possible without taking any flights. That means trains, buses, ferries, anything but planes! We managed to make it all the way to China via the Trans Siberian Railway until COVID-19 hit and we were right in the middle of China in a city called Chengdu.

My mother had messaged me and warned me of this new virus outbreak occurring in China at the time. Though I thought nothing of it because she is one to send me bizarre warnings of global events whenever I'm away from home. However, with the gift of hindsight, I now know she was right.

A few days after she initially messaged me we were sat in our hotel reception area in Chengdu when we saw an ambulance arrive, paramedics dressed to the nines in hazmat gear, entering our accommodation. This was a pretty spectacular sight and instantly brought my optimistic outlook on the situation closer to reality.

Charlotte on the other hand was much more aware and realistic about our options and had been sanitising everything regularly, as well as pre-emptively searching for possible flights or trains we could take to leave China earlier than expected. After seeing this and then reading online that the city of Wuhan had gone into lockdown, our minds were made up. We did not want to be stuck in a city in China for the foreseeable future.

We booked the first flight we could out of Chengdu which took us to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. With that, our no-flight streak was broken. After travelling through Siberia in the depths of winter the humid tropical breeze that Cambodia offered was very welcome. We were travelling on the whim of our wishes at this stage and made the plan up as we went along. This took us to Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Kampot and then into Vietnam.

I'll tell you all more about our experiences in Cambodia and Vietnam in future posts, our you can go check out our YouTube channel to see the highlights in video format. But basically, because of the coronavirus pandemic, we were able to find accommodation at ridiculously low prices (even by South East Asian standards!) and our dollars went a lot further!

Shuffle forward a couple of weeks and we began to see countries closing their borders to inbound travellers. As Charlotte and I are not citizens of the same countries this was a huge concern because our home countries would take us back, but we would not be together. So before everything really was set in stone with the border closures we landed in Sydney airport in search of a sense of security and normality.

We explored Sydney and road tripped all the way up the East Coast to Brisbane. The place were we first laid eyes on each other 8 years ago in a sleepy little suburb called Camp Hill, 4152. We were lucky enough to have some good friends that could take us in and gave us a place to call home while the world began to shut down.

We enjoyed 'family' dinners together, board game nights, mini adventures and a lot of learning new skills. I have since learned the basics of animation on Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, InDesign as well as how to bake a cob of bread out of four basic ingredients (beer, oil, flour and baking soda).

Fast forward 5 months and we were still with our friends. What was supposed to be only a few weeks while we waited to see how this pandemic would play out turned into 5 months of unpinning house, space, car and bike sharing. We had to get our own place. Luckily, during COVID the rental market had been hit pretty hard so we were able to scoop up a nice bargain on a 12 month lease in a new apartment in the inner city suburbs.

Now we spend our weekends exploring Brisbane again, capturing photos to share on Instagram and I'm ashamed to say we also make TikToks 😅

I hope this isn't too messy and you enjoyed catching up! Feel free to reach out, I'd love to be respired to use this platform again now we have some semblance of stability in our life!

Peace always,