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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!

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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 a├žai 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!

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Life in Australia: Week 3. New Jobs and people, Mardi Gras 2020 and spontaneous adventures!

A week featurning sunrises, rainbow rewards, accounting, work experience, spontaneous adventure, art exhibitions , new people and new places.This was yet another amazing week that I will remember for years to come.

Monday 24 February

I woke up, had a coffee and went to watch the sunrise. I then skyped my family after planning out my day. We went to see two clients ( I’m doing work experience 3 days a week with Mags, Accounting stuff). Later the day I started prepping food for the night. I went to the Jungle gym/ rowing practice. Absolutely brutal of course. As soon as we finished we were rewarded with a rainbow in the sky. I met Mags at the basin and we went for a swim to end of the day while watching the sunset. When we got home she taught me how to make her famous spaghetti and bolognese. We ate salmon and veggies, watched Schitts creek and relaxed. I talked to my family before going to sleep.

Tuesday 25 February

Started the day by walking to the beach and watching the sunrise. We got cold brew afterwards and I went to meet the other accountant I will be working with on Wednesdays and Fridays. She was such a nice person and I can’t wait to start tomorrow. I went to the office afterward and did some courses on Xero (accounting software). I did a quick pull session at the gym and also practiced my splits( one of y recent goals that I’m trying to achieve). At home I skyped my Mom and then had dinner. I went with Mags, Sofia and Jakob( her children) and we went for a quick swim in the ocean as the sun was setting. When I got home I went on a spontaneous adventure with some of the guys I’ve met here. Special mention to Finley, Sid, Lachlan, Sizo and Ben. They took me to “Macca’s” ( thats what mcdonalds is called to all the confused South Africans), a look out and then just drove around when other plans fell through. I watced Schitts creek with the fam and went to sleep after an exciting day.

Wednesday 26 February

Woke up. Sunrise at the beach. Breakfast. Book. And then went off to my first 9 to 5 job. I was surprised with a welcoming morning tea for me. We all talked and the employees got to know me better. The people were so nice and I am really happy to have this opportunity to work alongside them. I went to the gym when I was finished and skyped my mom on the way there. I walked home with a view of the ocean. As soon as I got settled in for the night I walked to my family again, watched netflix, had dinner , meditated and went to bed.

Thursday 27 February

I woke up later today ( sleep is very important to me so I make sure I get 8h+). I talked to my dad first thing in the morning. I went to the gym after breakfast and had a lovely leg day. I did a bit of cardio to cool off and walked home to get ready for work. I was really missing my family this day. It gets hard being away for long especially since I’m so used to spending time with them. I loved working that day because I learned about a lot of new processes and functions that I wasn’t aware of before. I then went for a swim to complete my day. I went to bed a bit earlier after talking to my family.

Friday 28 February

I woke up before the sun to get my gym session in. I then went to my 9 to 5. After that I got picked up and went to Manly beach’s art museum for Lachlan’s( previosly mentioned) art exhibition. When that was finished I went with their group of friends for some Margaritas at El Caminos and we were right on time for a lovely sunset as well. We had dinner at Daniel San , a really interesting place to be. There was a lovely moon for us to admire on our way home. We watched friends for a late night treat and a great end to a great day.

Saturday 29 February

A beachy day: I woke up and we immediately got ready for a couple of hours at the beach. I got to meet some of Mags’ friends and had a wonderful time swimming. I made myself a veggie packed smoothy before heading to the gym for a quick workout. The gym is definitely a way of clearing my mind and just relaxing so I love going. 5 pm we had tennis with a couple of neighbours on their grass court it was a bit rushed because we had to get ready for the Mardi Gras afterwards but still a nice social gathering. We got ready and took the bus into the city. Everybody on the bus had a exciting look on their face and was definitely dressed for the Mardi Gras. We got off and evrywhere you looked was people in colourful outfits. In crowds everybody started walking to Oxford st. We got a nice secluded area where we could watch the floars and dancers without beging squished by a massive crowd, plus we where right by the big screen. Great music, clourful floats, talented dancers, flashing lights , fireworks , excitedness. Thats me trying to descibe this wonderful night. At 10pm things started getting wild and we decided to leave this amazing event. I cant believe I attended Mardi Gras 2020! We ate mcDonalds in the train station before heading home on the bus.

Sunday 1 March

At the beginning of the year I decided that my Sundays should be a relaxing day. I got myself some coffee and started planning out for next week. This really clears my ind as I’m someone that gets super overwhelmed when I dont feel organized. We went to Jakob’s dance concert. All the proceeds will go to what the fires destroyed and to repairing it. We had home made Burgers for dinner, whached Schitts creek, I skyped my family( hulle was besig om te braai, ons tradisie op Sondae by die huis, a very South African thing to do). Ek mis julle! The rest of the night was uneventful but relaxing. What a nice day to end of this busy week.

Another wonderful week in Australia. It just keeps getting better. I absolutely love it here. I feel like I learn or experience something new everyday and I feel so blessed to be able to experience it.

Thank you yet again to my amazing, supportive parents that encouraged me to do this gap year and also made it possible for me.

Thank you so much to Mags and her family for letting me stay with them and also planning wonderful things for me to do.

And last but no least thank you to YOU, for taking the time to read about my life. I love documenting it and your support means the world to me.