Gratitude during the pandemic
I’m grateful to be writing again and putting our thoughts back into the world. Like so many people, we have had our ups and downs during these crazy times. Travel blogging seemed trivial at a time when most of the world was shutdown. This post will focus on what we’ve been up to and the renewed sense of seizing the day and not putting off your dreams.
All of us are exhausted from dealing with, and talking about, this pandemic. It is an unfortunate reality that is hopefully at a turning point. The fallout altered many things, including the trajectory of our lives.
How our world has looked
Like everyone else, we watched as this virus spread and reaped havoc on people’s lives. Prior to the lockdowns, Jan of 2020, a dear family member became very ill so we went to say our goodbyes in California. We had work contract obligations out of the country in February and didn’t have extended pet care setup since we left for California unexpectedly. Javier went back home to arrange pet care while Briana remained in California to say her goodbyes.
After returning home and arranging pet care we were getting ready to meet up to fulfill our work contracts. This was the week the pandemic exploded across Italy and the U.S.. All flights were cancelled, our 3-month work contracts were cancelled and we were stuck on different continents away from each other.
Gratitude during crazy times
In spite of being separated, we are grateful that Briana was able to spend more time with her family right after the death that they had just suffered. It took some time but Briana eventually made it home and was under a strict quarantine.
The last few years of spending all of our time together helped prepare us for being in lockdown. This helped us not drive each other crazy… maybe I drove Briana a little crazy.
Javier began to teach English full-time which ultimately was a great mental health tool. Speaking to students all around the world and hearing their perspective on the state of the world was a great equalizer.
We’ve lost friends and family during this time but are incredibly grateful for what we do have. We are both healthy and are much more fortunate than some. Trying to live our dreams has been our daily goal the last few years. If ever there was an eye-opener to show just how fleeting life can be, these crazy times are it.
A new member to our family
One big thing for us, small thing for others, that we had been putting off was getting a dog. We got an adorable little chihuahua that as been a new sense of joy. It turns out that naming your dog Mena isn’t a great idea when your cats name is Meka. So now it is Piccola and she is the best.
Another major change is that we decided to finally move somewhere to make our permanent home base. This was a long term goal we’ve had for years. After losing a couple of friends, it no longer made sense on putting off something we both wanted. We had the proverbial fire lit under our butts and decided to pursue our big plans.
Moving during a pandemic
Moving internationally with two animals is tough, doing it during a pandemic is insane. We were under a strict self imposed quarantine 2-weeks prior to our move. We packed everything we could fit into suitcases and gave away the rest. After a PCR test and subsequent Rapid Antigen test at every airport along the way, we made it to our new home in Mexico. Piccola and Meka endured the long trip better than expected.
Briana and I committed to another self-imposed quarantine upon our arrival. Not everywhere has the level of precautions as other countries but we feel a deep sense of responsibility, not only for self preservation but to protect others. As a rule, we never talk much about politics on our blog because it can be somewhat divisive. Covid precautions and vaccinations have now somehow become political fodder so we won’t be giving any lectures here. One thing I think most people can agree on is to be responsible and to factor other’s well being into the decisions you make. We have done our best to do this during our transition.
A New Direction
Due to current restrictions, we will not be traveling around the world for the immediate future. Instead we plan to focus on travel within our current country of residence, Mexico. Mexico is a huge and diverse country that has something to offer for everyone. In the coming months, our blog will feature great destinations and insider’s tips for anyone thinking about visiting the region.
Everyone has been impacted in some way over the last year and a half. In times of great turmoil, people find their resilience and gain a greater perspective on life. If ever there was a time to stop putting off your dreams, I believe the time is now.
I sincerely hope everyone has found a way to navigate these muddy waters. To those who have suffered, we empathize and hope things get better. Being grateful comes in many forms, today it is living life to its fullest.