No one and I mean no one could’ve predicted 2020 to turn out this way. We couldn’t have imagined that the world would be at a standstill fighting a disease that has already killed 120,000+ people across the globe.
How are we handling this?
What does normal look like for us in the future?
Is this the new normal?
While a lot of you, who’s reading this post, are located in the U.S., you may be wondering what is happening outside of the country. How are other people handling this situation and how they are coping? So, I reached out to Kiersten Brown, who lives in Spain currently, for her insight on life in Spain during the Coronavirus pandemic and her perspective on traveling now and beyond.
This is her story and life during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Tell us: “Who is Kiersten?”
Well, first things first I make living and making money abroad fun and easy for women, I’m Travel Coach. But I’m a sit down with me, you have a coffee I’ll drink tea and let’s talk. Most people have pretty good things to say about me. I’ve been living abroad for 3 years and I’ve never loved myself more than this time now that I’ve been away from my hometown. I just want to help others find the love and freedom that I have found.
Where in the world are you? What led you there?
Well on a normal day I can walk down the street at feel like I am walking through history because I am surrounded by castles and 100-year-old monuments. I live on the sunny coast of Spain in a city called Cartagena. However, it’s not so exciting now because we are in quarantine. My courage led me here. Because before moving here I knew very little about Spain. But after finding a job opportunity everything fell into place.
How are you doing and coping at this moment?
Positivity and technology have been my best friends
I think the common mindset for many people was to feel trapped but I from the beginning saw this time as an opportunity. And that has helped me the most. In addition, video calls are life, journaling helps me to heal and reading eases my mind. Dance lifts my spirits and I can’t forget my boo Netflix, but we have a complicated relationship.
What do you want to let everyone know about living in Spain during the coronavirus pandemic? What travel restrictions are you facing where you are?
We got toilet paper. Honestly, I felt like my region of Spain in particular handle everything really well. Mostly everyone seemed to be working very hard to keep everyone safe. The stores are consistently being restocked people, for the most part, are staying inside. I feel very safe. I can’t leave the region unless I were traveling back to the United States. But I’m not doing that so now my movement is restricted to pretty much the grocery store and back.
What’s your day-to-day since being on mandatory lockdown?
Every day is a little different but I try to stick to a routine or a loose schedule. I fully take advantage of waking up slow. Since most of my online classes or coaching calls start in the afternoon I can lie in bed. I am breaking the habit of waking up and checking my phone. I figured with the added screen time I’ve been getting I can at least start my day without a screen. So I wake up when my body is ready, I do some bed yoga followed by some deep breathing, meditation, and visualizing. Then I make sure I start the day with a healthy breakfast with lots of fruit and some ginger tea. During or after breakfast I am practicing my Spanish. Depending on the day and how many English lessons or coaching calls I have I will prepare my day around that, mixed in with writing emails, pitching to the media and writing articles. etc. Somewhere during the day when my body is feeling stiff, I’ll usually take a dance and yoga break. And then in the evening, I’m often catching up with friends and doing group skype calls. I end the night with journaling about the thoughts of the day.
What advice do you have for those who are “losing it” because they can’t travel now or have had to cancel their travel plans?
Change your mindset. I know easier said than done. I think right now it’s easy to get stuck on the can’t. But focus on can. How can you plan for that trip in the future, what money can you save now, what ways can you connect with people or other travelers, what research can you do, what pictures can you look at and visualize that you’re there? Complaining and feeling anxious won’t get you through this quarantine any faster.
What should we be doing since we aren’t able to “catch flights, not feelings”?
You should be turning inward. Getting to know yourself better. Understand yourself more. Sit with your emotions then work through them, And find a way to love yourself deeper and more fully. I promise you if you do the self-work now, when you start traveling again you feel more free and more connected to the world around you. Oh and start looking for remote work.
Should I travel during the coronavirus disease outbreak? (This may seem like a common-sense answer, but people are still trying to travel).
Sit yourself down if you are trying to travel. This is not a joke, this is not a test, the revolution is here. I know what you’re thinking, I ‘ll just travel with all the Lysol wipes I cam take. If it were that easy to you think entire airlines would have shut down. So be a good citizen and just wait. Peep my advice from above.
Should I still plan to move abroad after the coronavirus? What advice do you have?
Absolutely yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. Why? Let me tell you
1. There is and there will be 1,001 opportunities to do so
2. This is the perfect time to prepare though finding remote work, learning a new skill you have all the time to get rid of your shit and practice minimalism, you can network with other people already living abroad, and the world is going to be more beautiful than it was before because the earth has had this time to heal. If you think Latin culture was friendly before, imagine how they will be knowing that it’s safe to go outside. And if you are scared and unsure and don’t know where to start, step away from Netflix go one click over and send me a message or email. I will help you get started, and I promise it’ll be not only easy but fun.