My life during the Coronavirus Pandemic/ COVID-19( for documentary purposes)

How I feel about this situation

Those who follow my blog or instagram would know that at the end of last year I decided to take a gap year and see the world while working in diffrent career categories. So from February this year I was in Australia busy doing accounting jobs at 2 different companies. In my month and a half in Aus die Coronavirus began appearing in all the news.

At first I thought it would be something that went away after a couple of months without getting dangerous. But soon after Panic began world wide. Toiletpaper and other necessities began selling out globally because of people stocking up. Me and my family began talking about it more, my colleagues talked about it. It was the main topic for small talk wherever you go.

Fast forward to 19 March a week before South African borders closed(we didn’tknow at that point). I woke up and saw a message from my parents telling me which ticket to buy to fly out of Australia on 20 March. Imagine waking up feeling fresh, picking up your phone and realizing that your whole year’s plans are down the drain and you have less than 24 hours to pack your bags and be on your flight.

A week before this day I began checking the news hourly for updates on closing borders and flight ticket prices. At first any flight ticket was shockingly cheap and everyone was excited but in a matter of days that ended. I ended up paying tripple the amount that I initially paid to come to Australia. That was by far the most Bizarre situation I have ever been. From the day before my flight until after my 14 hour flight and upto ths day, I still can’t believe how quickly things escalated to me having to rush home.

I feel extrmely blessed and grateful to be home. A week after I arrived The president of SA announced a national lockdown of 21 days(later it was extended) and that the borders are closing. I am glad to be spending these months of a global pandemic safe at home with my family.

I contemplated staying in Australia for a longer period and to see what happens. My visa would probably have been extended and I would be with what I call “my Australian family” for a couple of months.

I think I’ve made the right decision to come home. A lot of people are speculating that international borders and traveling will only start until minimum a year from today( 11 May 2020) . Being away from my family for that long would’ve broken my heart in these uncertain times.

How I’ve been affected

I feel like I have done good with a bad situation. I’m currently at home, Sourh Africa is now in stage 4 of lockdown after 35 days of stage 5. I’ve started courses, read a whole bunch of books, created some new daily habits( meditation, journaling, reading, yoga along with a couple of others). I’ve had days where I feel really negative thoughts about our current situation where I want to do nothing all day( which is easy to do now that nobody needs or can go anywhere). But there has also been days where I’ve amazed myself by how much I’m learning and accomplishing in a matter of hours.

I’ve been blessed by having and at home gym with enough equipment to continue normally( I know this isn’t the case for everyone and that I’m lucky to have this)

I think that I’ve adapted to these restricting times really fast. I am starting to be more greatful and see the positives. We get to have a family movie night every night. We are spending more time together as a family than ever before. Braai-ing isn’t limited to only weekends and we all get to relax.

During the lockdown I’ve been on shopping duty. I go to the shops alone 1x a week with a grocery list. Mask attached, 2m away from anybody, constant sanitiser use from myself and from store emplyees before I go in. I can’t believe it almost feels normal to me to wait in a line outside the store for someone to exit and another peron to enter( to limit the amount of people in the store). I can’t believe its becoming a habit to put your mask on before stepping outside of the car.

Things that changed in the world

In the beginning of the pandemic hand sanitiser sales where out of control. There were signs next to the sanitisers stating the maximum number of products one customer can buy.

Signs began poping up everywhere giving tips on how to wash your hands. Like sing the happy birthday song a couple of times.

People began stocking up while I was in Australia, Grocery stores began opening earlier for the elderly because they are vulnerable and people started becoming aggresive with panic.

More and more people started walking with face masks(Its compulsory now) which initially everyone thought was ridiculous.

Any conversation you join would be about covid 19.

News everynight was mosly about the virus.

When I arrived in SA I had to stay far from my family.

I went to the hospital with my face mask(because I was in 2 international airports and wasn’t sure if i was infected) to get tested. People were scared to walk near me. ( the tests came back negative fyi, but better safe than sorry i guess).

You couldn’t buy “non-essential” items like clothes, decor, electronics etc.

During lockdown no online shops could ship their items until after lockdown.

South – african meme accounts are booming with funny covid 19 related content.

When you went to grocery stores you had to stand on marks or stickers on the ground 2 m away from the person in front and behind you.

When lockdown started you could only go to hospitals for emergency and to the grocery stores for your food. No de tours were allowed. When 2 people are in the car together 1 person must sit at the back far from the driver.

The souh african goverment began recruiting soldiers to scout streets for people taking de tours or roaming the streets illegally.

Working from home tips and how to’s are everywhere. People globally are starting to realize that they could work from home and be productive. Will this change what most jobs intail in the future?

Fitness influencers are posting all their at home body weight workouts and tips. At home guys are starting to be a big deal.

My mental health and dealing with uncertain times

After 2 weeks of arriving in SA I hit a low time. I was negative, unsure and burnt out by all the high expectations I had of myself and what I would accomplish in this year. It took a couple of days to recover from this burnt out unmotivated feeling.

Things that helped me get throught that rough patch was: Meditation( I use the pp called insight timer). Journaling( I use an app called Divethru that gives you specific themes and questions to focus on depending on your goal). Yoga( yoga with adrienne on youtube is amazing). A morning routine( I read the book Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and it shifted my everyday mood and productivity when I started implementing it. Game changing!) Reading( anything from fiction to Factual studies). Netflix( I started watching classic movies like the breakfast club, i don’t want to be uncultured you know. Along with documentaries about anything really). Walking( around the house, a million times. And now aeound the neighborhood in the mornings before 9am in stage 4 )

After implementing those small things into everyday I began feeling like myself again. I have set some new goals for me to achieve in the upcoming days,weeks, and months. It difficult to knwo what to plan for in these times.

I began researching what I’m passionate about and decide on a study path for my university. I am leaning towards enrolling as fast as I can.

My gap year was cut short but that doesn’t mean it was a waste of time. I learned so much in a couple of months, about myself, people how certain industries work etc.

As im writing this blog I can say that I am happy where I am. Being stuck at home was the perfect challenge for me to see that I don’t have excuses to not achieve what i want and to not work towards my goal. It also challenged me to learn to actually relax and turn off my mind sometimes. After a few changes and adapting I found what works for me.

What I’ve learned

I’ve learned to accept change. I went from exploring another country for a month and a half to being back home( where I had to isolate and had nothing to do) after a 24h window of deciding, packing and flying.

I’ve learned to adapt. When I accepted the situation I was in I stated to do and learn new things I’ve read almost 20 books since being back home, done a couple of online courses and started figuring out what I want in the furture.

I’ve learned that human beings are so resilient. This is such a bizarre time in the world, something that happens once in a lifetime. Yet we took drastic measures in less than a couple of weeks world wide to stop the virus from spreading. The whole world is stuck at home and trying this new at home way of living to save the world.

I’ve learned that some things are out of your control. If I had stayed in Australia me and my family there would’ve gone on a tropical roadtrip through Australia and I would’ve had the time of my life. But no amount of planning would’ve made it possible now. And I’m okay with that.

I’ve learned to appreciate all the things we took for granted. Like shopping without a suffocating mask, without being scared to go near other people, without having to stand 2m away from everybody and shopping with a family member( which seems really difficult now since a lot of stores has a rule that only 1 person from each family can go inside).

This blog is for me and anybody to look back on in a couple of years or months to remember these times we went through. I encourage you to keep a journal and take pictures of whats happening around us. I’ve realised that I began normalizing this sitiation and this is nothing normal.

I will be updating with more blogs. Thank you for reading my blog. Have a lovely day and stay safe!


Last week in Australia: Leaving because of the Coronavirus?

This was one hectic week, my had is still spinning.

Monday, 16 March

I woke up ealry to fit in a breakfast and reading session before the start of the day. I went with Mags and Jakob to drop him off at school and I then went to the gym for a morning workout.

After that I got dressed and ready for a couple of hours in the office doing some new accounting tasks. I went back home for lunch where I decided to watch a couple of documentaries(my favourite thing to do in cold weather). I went to the gym for a relaxing yoga hot flow yoga session. When I finished I walked home and watched the sunset as well as talked to my mom for a while. When I got home I talked to my Dad.

We ate dinner and continued with our usual nightly ritualof a tv show. Tonight we watched Married at first sight.

I went to bed checked up on my family and meditated before going to sleep.

Tuesday, 17 March

I woke ip and talked to my dad first thing. He taljed to me and reminded me to use every opportunity to my advantage and to try everything and work hard. Thanks for the morning motivation Pappa!

I then continued to get a coffee, read my book and have breakfast before going with mags and her son again. After dropping Jakob off at school Mags treated me with a 3 pour tea ritual. This was definitely something I will always remember and recommend to anyone. The tea get boiled at 3 different temperatures and with every pour it has a new taste. I also went on a walk that morning before going to the office. I went home for lunch and watched my new guilty pleasure on youtube: secret eaters. Give it a go.

I walked back to the office and listened to the sound of the ocean before doing some work.

That evening I went to the gym and did an abs,butt and thight group workout class. Absolutely brutal. I was covered in sweat from head to toe. With the virus getting worse by the day a part of the class focused on sterilizing all the equipment we used and making sure everything we touched to wiped off.

I booked a bioscore testing for tomorrow morning, it’s a bunch of physical tests to tell you the age of your body based on your lifestyle. I’m actually really excited to find out what my score is.

I walked home after the gym and made sure to walk near the beach while watching the sunset and hearning all the birds in the surrounding trees.

When i got home I skyped my mom,borther and sister, prepared for the night and ate some dinner.

Then I had a dreaded but eye opening conversation with Mags. Whether I shoul go home before all the borders close of stay in Australia when everything shuts down internationally. The virus is so unpredictable as well as how people react to it. I talked to my mom and dad afterwards and no one knows what to do.

I pushed away the stressful thoughts and focused on getting a good nights sleep after meditating.

Wednesday, 18 March

I woke up early, skyped my Mom and Dad and went to the gym for my bioscore testing. After a quistionare, measured and physical tests including TRX rows, the rowing machine, jumping, core work, agility etc. I was totally tired. Who knew the test would be a nice workout. I then went home got dressed for my 9 to 5 had breakfast, read and prepared my lunch.

At work all everybody was talking about was the travel bans and international borders shutting. I took this as a sign to think more about the decision I had to make. I would want to be with my family when the whole world decides to do quarantine.

For lunch I went and found a sunny spot(this was the first day the sun shone in a while) to eat at while I read my book about nutrition. I then went back to work and finished the day. Throughout the day I made sure to check the news frquwntly on more info about the Australian international borders.

I walked home and called my mom and we talked mire about my situation.

When I got home I grabbed my stuff and we all went down to the beach for dinner. It was really cold and windy but still enjoyable with an amazing view. After a while we all went home and everyone finished their dinners. I went to bed before 8 as I was absolutely exhausted.

Thursday, 19 March

I woke up and saw a flight ticket that my parents sent me on our family group chat. The ticket is for tomorrow. My heart started racing, everything happend so fast in this moment. I immediately skyped my dad to ask whats going on. He said that they thought it was the best thing to do. For me to get home safe and be sure of being with my family. I was relieved that a defision was made but I definitely wasn’t prepared for it to be this soon. I was happy to be with my family, but not happy to leave all the people I’ve met here. I talked to Mags for a while and also called the embassy for some advise, they also just said that changes where going to be made soon and advised me to go home as soon as I can.

I had a quick breakfast and then went for a last walk to take everything in for a last time. I’m flying tomorrow at 11am. Its crazy. My mind couldn’t understand the situation I’m in. When I got home I started packing all my things.

After lunch I went to see the beach I went to almost everyday. I had a last swim and layed in the beach for a while.

Later that day I went with Mags to the office. Payed for my ticket and scheduled cancellations for all my things. I walked to the gym to get my Bioscore results. The Trainrt that gave me my results said that she was really amazed with my results and that I should continue with my lifestyle as its working great for me. I then ended my membership and walked back to the office. Mags took me to my 9 to 5 job so that I can inform enveryone on whats going on. I’m going to miss the people there. Everyone was so welcoming and nice the whole time.

When we got home me and Mags went to the beach for a sundowner. We took some bubbles and pastries ( dankie vir die amper surprise Mags! Jys amazing! ) . We had another swim and enjoyed some time in the sun.

This is the most bizarre 24 hours of my life. I woke up and found out I’m flying back to South Africa tomorrow morning. My head is still spinning.

One of the hardest things for me was leaving my Australian family behind. Thank you for everything, you guys made me feel at home and part of the family from the very start. I really made some soul connections with you. I will definitely be back!

We had dinner and had a last nightly ritual. Jakob also gave me some presents which made my night so much better.

I went to bed after double checking if i had everything and making a list of everything I had to do tomorrow morning.

What a day. I’m absolutely shocked.

Friday, 20 March

We all woke up early because Mags wanted to take me to Bondi beach before the airport. We drove for a couple of hours. It was just before the sunrise when we parked next to Bondi beach . While watching the sun come up over this amazing view I skyped my parents and told them I’ll see them later. I can’t believe I’m going home after only a month and a half. Me mags and Jakob went for some breakfast and I had one amazing açai bowl! We watched the sun come up before walking back to the car. We took a route with an ocean view on our way to the airport in Sydney. I checked in my luggage. And then a hard moment came: greeting my family. My heart ached while saying goodbye and I definitely wished I didn’t have to. But I know I’ll see them again. I love you guys!

I went through security and waited to board at my gate. I was still dumbstruck because of everything that is happening.

I boarded the plane full of South Africans, I already flet like I was home. A 14 hour flight waited for me. A watched a couple of movies, slept a couple of hours had a couple of nice meals and checked the time remaining to SA a lot of times. I can’t wait to see my family. We landed in South Africa and I knew I was home as soon as I saw all the farms and beautiful land below me. I landed, had to fill in a form asking things of me to make sure I don’t have the Coronavirus. I went to grab mu luggage. My heart started racing, I’m so close to my family. I walked quickly and when I reced the arrivak gate I saw my dad and sister and my mom running to me with tears in her eyes.

I couldn’t believe I was with my family again. We jumped in the car and on our way home had the view of one amazing sunset. I talked about everything I experienced on the way home and felt so warm being in the presence of my people again. At home i had dinner and we all sat outside and talked for hours catching up.

Saturday and Sunday

Waking up at 4am and unpacking. Sleeping at 2pm and a Coronavirus testing followed in this weekend. My sleeping schedule was out and I had to self isolate in my room and wear gloves and a mask while roaming in the house. But I was just glad to be home before the borders closed.

How I’m feeling

This was a hard decision to make. I am really sad to have left Australia in such a hurry without proper greetings to everyone and with so much I still wanted to do and explore.

On the other side I’m glad to be home in a time with so much uncertainty and breaking news everyday. This pandemic is really scary and we all need to do our part so stay safe and stop the spread. #stayhome.

I believe I made the right decision to come home .

My plans for the rest of the year:

I have already done and am still doing a lot of online courses. Education is really important to me.

I also plan on starting online university through UniSa.

I don’t think I would be able to travel for the rest of the year. At this point there’s international travel bans and peronally i dont think this would change anytime soon.

While South Africa has its 21 day lockdown I plan on getting my life together, learning more about myself and finding what I want to do with my life.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I hope this was a source of entertainment for you during this quarantine time.

We will get through this rough time if we stick together.

Thanks to Mags, Anthony, Jakob, Sofia , Lukas and of course Guss for treating me like another addition to the family. My time spent with you will always warm my heart and be remembered. I love you guys!


My first week in Australia

My first week, meeting new people, overcoming jet lag, new environments, trying new foods and all the experiences.

My first week in Australia was really exciting. It only made me more excited for the rest of the 3 months that I’ll be here.

Let’s start from the beginning.

On Sunday 9 Feb 2020 greeted my family with tears flowing and a sore but excited heart. This is the beginning of my independence. I flew from O.R Tambo to Dubai. On my flight I met a guy that was n student teacher in my preschool, we knew each other from a distance so we had time to get to know each other better. We talked a lot on the flight and grabbed a coffee as soon as we landed. A magical moment: I fell asleep on the plane and started to get cold but wasn’t able to wake up and get myself a blanket, he notuced and put a blanket iver me without wanting anything in return. Its so lovely to know that there are (half) strangers out there that would do such nice things for the people around them. As this is my first solo travel he felt like a reassuring person/ sign and helped me get through the airport and took me to my next gate. We parted ways and I talked to my family quickly before boarding my next flight( 14 hours fyi)

I slept most of the time on the flight. I landed in Australia 7pm. I got my bags at baggage claim and immediately skyped my mom and dad. I walked to the gate end and met Magdaleen Kelly(my mom’s cousin) one of the most loving souls I’ve met thus far, where I will be staying with her and her family for the next 3 months.

Why I’m in Australia?

It’s my first stop in my gap year. I’m here for some working experience in the accounting field and will be working with Mags(Magdaleen) and other accountants. Im doing this because my plan for university was to go into accounting and I want to be 100% sure before committing. And I obviously want that touristy part so that I can explore and experience.

Mags and her youngest son welcomed me and I knew that that moment was the start of a new chapter in my life.

I unpacked everything, talked to my family, ate dinner and got to know the Kellys a bit more.

I woke up Tuesday, 11 February, and could finally see everything in day light. I still couldn’t believe that I’m finally in the place ive been planning on going for the last couple of months. I’m so excited and can’t wait to do and experience everything and anything. Mags took me to the beach and I came in contact with the locals for the first time. The culture here is totally opposite from where I come from. People where everywhere on the beach surfing, walking, rowing, chatting and drink coffee at a coffee shop right on the beach and all of this at 11am on a Tuesday. I couldn’t understand how they could have jobs but be on the beach ar this time of day. After a couple of conversations I found out that they schedule their meetings, work hours, lunch breaks etc. so that they could do what excites them the most. Its absolutely wonderful to see people living the lives that makes them the most happy.

On Wednesday the 11th I woke up 4am( jet lag messed up my sleep schedule pretty badly) and after I Skyped my parents I went to go watch the sunris eon this foggy day. I also went on a short hike back home. I walked with mags to take her youngest to his school. It was such a wholesome experience to see the goodbye-ritual they do everymorning. Later I walked to the gym I was recommended and went to get a membership. Priorities ya know. That evening all of us went out and ate at a cozy restaurant. I already feel at home with this family and couldn’t have asked for people to make me feel more at home. We ate ice cream for dessert and watched Schitts creek (a series me and my famiky watched together each night) which was the start of a new tradition for us.

Thursday 12 Feb: i slept until 12pm( yup, jet lag was here to stay for longer than i thought)my eyes felt droopy for hours on end. I went to the gym and felt so rejuvenated afterwards. I can’t wait to be back in my routine. I took the long way home and walked to the beach. In my hometown we are really far away from any sea side so I’m super excited to stay like 200m from the beach. I took that hike again and went home feeling great! Of course after dinner I skyped my parents and we watched schitts creek and it made me feel close to my family even though I’m 1000’s of kilometers away.

Friday: 14 February, Valentine’s day! I woke up walked with mags to drop of her son. And we went to the local farmers market where you can literally buy anything you can think of. At home I received a poem my mom wrote for me and it had me in tears instantly. I went to the gym and felt like a new person again( at this point jet lag was still super prominent). Me and mags went to pick up her son and spontaneously decided to go eat gelato in a bequtiful area a couple of minutes away. We ended up driving past all the nearest beaches to give me a general idea of where we are. At home I booked a CPR certification for next week. That has been on my bucket list for the longest time. I just want to be sure I would know how to save someone in case of emergency. We also spent the evening conversing with people that also live in the area. Its always nice to meet new exciting people.

Saturday, 15 Feb. One of my favourite days.I woke up and talked to my family. We had a beach day. We went down swam for a bit and enjoyed the sun. Afterwards I got ready and went to the gym and took a walk along the beach. When i got home I got ready for tennis. Thats right a bunch of neighbors in the area come together every Saturday and just play tennis and catch up. I met new interesting people and played tennis until the sun went down. This was the first time that I’ve played tennis on a grass court and I love it! This feels like a dream. Everybody is so nice, social and interesting. I feel like I always learn something from new people. We watched Schitts creek and afterwards I talked to my family before I went to bed.

16 Feb, Sunday: Exploring Sydney. Me mags and her 3 children went by car, bus and then a ferry to make our way to the Sydney Harbor bridge and also the Opera house. Thia was such an amazing time and I felt like an excited tourist. I ate oysters for the first time at a newrby restaurant and wasn’t totally repulsed. We walked around in a couple of shops and then took the B-line bus back home. Me and the youngest watched a movie together. I told him about our sunday tradition back home and how me and my household always braai and watch movies on sundays. With that story I convinced mags to make braai broodjies( lekker!) and it felt like home. After dinner me and Mags went down to the beach and ended the day off with a swim. She showed me all the stardish families and we watched the sunset before waliing back home. What an amazing way to end off the week.

This was the first week of my gap year in action. I can’t help but feel so blessed to have this opportunity. I’ve met so many people and had so many meaningful conversations with new people. It makes my heart feel warm. So far Australia is truly amazing and I haven’t even experienced half of it.

I’m so thankful to Mags and her family for treating me like a member of their household. This feels like my home away from home. And I feel like I belong.

Of course there’s been tears and sadness. Its never eady to leave people behind. But I try to focus on being in the moment and staying in contact. I skype my family 2 times a day and sometimes more. I miss being around them but I know that I’m here learn and work.

Next week is the start of me working here and gaining perspective of the fields I’m interested in. I’m trying to experience or do something new every day.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of my stay here has for me.

Thank you so much for taking the time and reading my blog. I truly appreciate it and can’t explain how happy it makes me to know people are interested in what I’m doing. Have a great rest of your day❤