The next continent in the series is Oceania. If you did miss yesterdays post from Asia you can view it HERE.
Next on our Lockdown tour of the world is the continent of Oceania. At the time of writing this, the combined total cases of Australia and New Zealand was less than 10k. Nonetheless, they have been hit with Lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
Please remember that these are all real people who are not experts , they are discussing their real lives and they are simply answering the questions I asked. Those questions were;
- Briefly introduce yourself, where in the world you are and who you are locked down with.
- How has this experience impacted you and your daily life?
- What is the general feeling of the lockdown situation in your part of the world?
- What are you doing to stay positive/active in this weird time?
- What are you missing most from ‘normal life’ and what will be the first thing you do when this is all over?
Also please remember that English might not be the first language of these amazing people so be mindful if there are any grammar or spelling issues (which wont be any different from my usual posts!!)
Faith, Victoria Australia
I’m Faith, a English backpacker who is on the working-holiday visa and completing the 88 days farm-work to earn the second year visa. Consequently, I’m currently locked down Down under’ within the state of Victoria and close to the New South Wales border. Being on a farm whilst travelling has meant that I’m technically locked down with only myself (I’m in the farm out-house so to speak). However, in reality I’m semi locked down with the lovely family that I’m working for, so I’m very much still in good company!
Due to eggs being an essential food product, I have been able to continue working, so the main way that my daily life changed, has been the inability to spend my weekends exploring! The family were originally showing me the natural beauty of the touristic areas around East Gippsland at weekends, which has come to a complete stop. Luckily though, the novelty of living and working on a farm (and the unbeatable convenience of doing so) in the beautiful weather has kept me buoyant. The tweaks that have been made to the working routines are the obvious ones such as keeping distance whilst doing each task and being extra careful to maintain high standards of cleanliness.
Australia seemed to lock down later than other parts of the world such as Asia and Europe, so we kind of knew what was coming, which in my opinion caused a sense of dread. There was a lot of panic buying in the cities, but in the countryside people seemed to remain calmer and just willing to kind of “do what they had to” to stay healthy and protect the people around them. Some backpackers flew back home, or simply went to hostels or farms to stay out of harms way but to not waste their visas. You cannot pause the visa, so if you leave before doing the work required to earn the second year, then you cannot come back on another visa with such great flexibility in the future! Now it seems as though they are opening up some of the less densely populated states and have said that the children will be back at school in a month.
At first, I felt as though I just had to “get my head down” and wait for a boring period of my life to pass, but now I have really adjusted and feel like it is such a great opportunity to actually make good use of my spare time. Of course working keeps my mind occupied and eliminates any money or unemployment stress that a lot other people might be experiencing, so it’s very easy for me to not get down about it. Also, I’m still socialising at work with some really nice people, so in some respects I’m cherishing every moment of “the simple life”. After living and working in London for a bit, I am also pleased to have the time and energy to listen to as many interesting podcasts as I could ask for of an evening.
The main thing that I am looking forward to would be the ability to move around again from place to place (especially the cheap flights of course)! I also miss just having a pint in the sun in a beer garden or even in a pub/bar. I am really looking forward to going out to a club again and just dancing to fun music, or catching up with friends at the beach. I am sure that if we see this time as precious and use it to learn or create, then soon enough we will be enjoying each other’s company again and with a heightened appreciation for it than before.
You can follow faith on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/faithgosden/
You can also check out her store: https://littlegodsends.com/
Michala, Nelson New Zealand
I’m Michala from Nelson New Zealand, Iv been in lock down for 8 weeks with my family of 7. My Mum, dad, Grandad, my partner and my sister and her partner.
This pandemic has defiantly thrown a huge curve ball for me and my boyfriend. We spent the end of 2019 travelling for 5 months and were then living and working in London saving some more money and waiting for the warmer weather to do a lot more travelling for the rest of 2020. But the virus changed all our plans when we ended up in London with no jobs due to the virus and everything starting to close. When the virus started escalating we found ourselves having to pretty quickly make a decision between waiting It out in London with the unknown of when we would get to leave again and also eating away at our savings to support ourselves and hope for the best! OR flying home to our small town in New Zealand to be safe save money and be Lockdown with our family.
So 24 hours later we were on the plane and on our way home. Feeling pretty gutted that all our plans we have been planning out for years have been turned upside down. So our daily life is looking very different right now where on the other side of the world to where we thought we would be right now. And instead of travelling around Europe somewhere we’re inside playing board games haha! But still feeling grateful for time with family and that we are all safe. My life specifically was impacted too when I contracted the virus on the flight home to New Zealand which was not very nice at all I only had a mild case so was able to treat myself at home but there were a few days where I was feeling pretty grim that’s for sure! Mostly it was very overwhelming for me considering all the noise over the media about the virus and I had a lot of anxiety around what people would think of me or worrying I would pass it on to my family even though I was isolating separately in a sleep out while I was sick. So that also was a curve ball at what I thought majority of lock down was going to look like!
Lockdown here has been a strange feeling! NZ was in a completely shut down for 4 weeks. Everything was shut apart from the super market and only one person per house was able to go get food. Everyone had to stay home unless they were walking around their block for exercise. There has been an awesome sense of team work and community here in NZ though people have been drawing pictures or leaving teddy bears in their windows to make people smile when there going for their walk around the block. I think it’s been a challenging time for sure but majority of NZ seems to have taken on the challenge with a positivity and a feeling of working together to keep everyone safe.
As I was sick for a chunk of it I wasn’t doing much to stay active but to stay positive I spent a lot of time calling friends and family or talking to my family I was in lock down with about all the memories iv made on the travels I did manage to do before we had to come home. Remembering how lucky I am to a have done all the travel I did and dreaming about where I will go when it is all possible again has kept me feeling A lot more positive! Also just being able to see my family again after almost a year of being away has made it lot more of a positive time.
Defiantly Missing travelling and just missing having something to get up and do everyday!
Sometimes I’m finding myself feeling a little lazy because I don’t have anything I “have” to do anymore. The first thing I will do when life is a bit more normal is Have a big reunion with the extended family and friends I haven’t been able to see yet because of the Lockdown. And THEN book some tickets back somewhere on the other side of the world to continue exploring. If international travel doesn’t end up being possible for long time yet then instead my boyfriend and I might buy a van and travel around that in NZ.
You can follow Michala on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/michalakeene/
Chelsey, Sydney Australia
Hi I’m Chelsey and I’m from Sydney, Australia. I love exploring new places and taking photos! Currently, I’m locked down with my family but am legally allowed to visit my partner who lives in a different household.
I started full time work working remotely on day one which was super interesting. Now as I’m working from home each day, I find myself having to meet my fellow co-workers for the first time online which is a whole new experience.
I’m also now talking to my friends online and participating in online games!
Usually I probably would have gone out for Friday night work drinks but now that I’m home, my alcohol intake has reduced to 0 which is pretty healthy!!
The motto is generally ‘it is what it is’. The focus is to keep everyone safe and i would say most Australians are following social distancing laws. There was a survey recently that showed a majority of Australians are satisfied with the government’s response to COVID19 so I guess that’s also translating to people embracing these restrictions just so we can go back to normal ASAP – whatever that may be. We now can legally see up to 5 people, with restaurants and bars now opening up so I think that’s making people a little less stir crazy.
To stay positive and active I am:
- Bullet journalling
- Finally getting around to making my travel videos
- Learning Chinese
- Write more in my journal to reflect on work and ensure I’m constantly learning something (keeps me motivated to being productive at home)
- Home workouts! I’m using Centr or Chloe Ting
What I am missing most from normal life is just being able to catch up with friends at a bar or at a house party! I think that could be a while away when we can do that comfortably but that’s something I really miss.
ALSO, travelling but since that won’t happen soon, a roadtrip would be nice instead!
You can follow Chelsey on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/chelseycjay
Stephanie, Melbourne Australia
I am a French girl living in Australia. I was born and raised in Paris and moved to Australia 3 years ago to travel. That’s when I met my partner. I now live in Melbourne with my Australian partner Cary and our cat Taco.
This experience is really hard for me because I love going out, discovering cafes and travelling. Working from home is also hard as it’s very lonely. I think the hardest for me is not being able to go visit my family (who lives in France).
Here in Australia, there Is not many cases compared to Europe or US. Still, people are worried and respecting the Lockdown. It’s really strange when you go shopping to see everyone wearing a mask and people moving away when you walk pass them!
I try to exercise at least twice a week; I play board games and work a lot on my blog! If there’s one good thing coming out of this madness, it’s the extra time I have to work on my blog now! I also regularly call my family and play Houseparty with my friends.
What I miss most from ‘normal life’ is definitely the freedom of travelling and going out at bars/cafes. The first thing I’ll do when this is all over is going back to Paris to visit my family and friends!!
You can connect with Stephanie here:
- BLOG: https://parisianabroad.com
- INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/parisianabroadblog/
- TWITTER: https://twitter.com/parisianabroad
I want to say another huge thank you to these people who got involved with this blog, and to you for reading it! If you want to, you can subscribe with your email address and get notified when the rest of the series goes live. Hope to see you again tomorrow, for the next part of Lockdown from Around the World!
Stay Safe, Stay Home