I’ve never thought I’d live to see the world fall to its knees. The world as we know has changed. Since a few months ago, we have entered into a new normal – social distancing, mandatory wearing of masks, distance learning, working from home, etc. In consequence, the world economy came crashing down, families broke apart, mental health issues arisen, lifelong plans fell through…
It has been a tough first quarter of 2020 and we are rolling into the second quarter with more questions than answers. There is still no cure discovered against Covid-19 and there are speculations of a second wave. Sometimes, I still find myself perplexed regarding the strategies implemented by each country’s government to alleviate the repercussion of the pandemic but that’s a whole another debacle.
Flights were cancelled, meetings were postponed, restaurants were shut, gatherings were prohibited, shops were closed, everyone’s locked down or worse, apart. Nevertheless, everyone’s on the same boat and had a fair share of this global dilemma. But while I spent a fair amount of lockdown time in 2 countries, just like tons of people, I realized there are lessons that I learned the hard way during this pandemic giving me the opportunity to see things from another perspective.
- Family plays an important role for my sanity
The crisis of the pandemic has reminded me how important family is. Today, I no longer run against time or turn to see the clock in the monotony of a world that competes for everything. Today, I am only concerned with knowing that my loved ones are healthy and safe. I have become more human, more sensitive, and loving. My family, especially my husband, gives me the strength I needed to get through this difficult time and I am forever grateful for all the things my family has done for me to keep me at ease while I struggled with my inner demons.
- Save for the rainy days
The pandemic has not only hit the world health-wise but as well as everyone’s pockets. Savings are crucial, now more than ever. And, I am glad I listened to my husband on how to protect my income. Now, I know very well that my mindset, spending patterns, and behaviors, all affect my financial management. While I can’t give up traveling completely, I have resorted to significant measures to save some money, make smart investments and have something on the side when difficult times like this arise. Remember, there is always a reason to save, even more so in times where the economic outlook is not very encouraging.
- Never set anything in stone when traveling
The pandemic has taught me that things can change very quickly and without any warning. So, the only best way to keep traveling is to be flexible. I learned to prepare for any changes in our travel plans even down to the last minute. So, when such an emergency happens, I can easily cancel the trip and come back home safely or reroute it to some place safe. This is how we ended up in New Zealand instead of Papua New Guinea. I couldn’t imagine ourselves stuck in PNG where accommodations cost an arm due to the scarcity of it.
- Peel your eyes for the latest, reliable news
We are living in such a period where we get lots of fake news especially on the pandemic matters. Eventually, it can misguide us. It is always important to be informed and updated. It is advisable to stay away from fake news, rumors, and to make every effort to keep yourself informed and up to date from multiple genuine sources. This helps a lot with the decision making.
Ultimately, this pandemic has taught me to re-center my priorities. I will never be the same. The way I see the world, travel, consummation, solidarity and my mental health has taken another level. This global crisis made it clear to me that we are all vulnerable, especially the elderly, people with underlying health problems, and people with few financial resources. However, caring for each other altruistically has led us on a path of solidarity the world has never seen before. It served as a wake up call for people who were stuck in a rut, or those who were procrastinating to make things happen. It served as a sign for some people to make life altering decisions to make their lives better.
I know it is deeply horrifying and disheartening to lose a great portion of the world population against this pandemic, however, in another perspective, it encouraged me to take a step closer towards my goals, my dreams, my aspirations.
It made me cherish the borrowed time that I have in this world.
It made me appreciate the people who were there for me when I needed them the most.
It made me grateful just to be alive.