This is not how I was expecting to spend my two year anniversary

And this is not the blog post I planned to write. 


April 2, 2020 marks the anniversary of quitting my job, selling my home, and traveling for two years.  I’d planned to announce that, after much dithering, I had decided to end (or at least pause) my nomadic ways and move to Munich.  I would speak of celebrations with my extensive network of friends there. I’d write about how much I enjoyed the German course I took this winter and about how I was pursuing a student visa to continue my German studies.  I would tell you about my apartment search and how excited I was to start the next phase of my life.  

But first, I’d tell you of one more fling before settling down.  I started this adventure with Stacy, so it felt appropriate to close it with her. We met up in Italy with our dear friend Nita, had a marvelous time and got out just in time! Next, we spent two gloriously relaxing weeks in Ireland. We’d finish with a housesit in Great Malvern, England where I would care for the adorably fluffy kitty, Tiddles.gratitude for good friends and good health in Rome during Covid virus pandemic

Then along came a virus…

I was due to fly from England to Munich on March 26.  Then came something that none of us were prepared for: COVID-19.  Pandemics were something that only happened in dystopian books and movies, but here we were in the middle of one.  A couple of days after my arrival in Great Malvern, the homeowners described their lockdown in Spain that at the time seemed excessive, but is now commonplace around the world.  A few days later, their flights were canceled, then mine. My school in Munich announced closure through the end of April. Four of the five housesits canceled, the other will surely follow suit.  Everyone’s lives are up in the air.  

The uncertainty is unnerving, but my travels have helped teach me that it’s ok to not always have a plan and that some of the most precious moments can appear where you’re not looking for them.  Old Christina might have been sick with worry over what might or might not happen next. The reality is that no one knows what will come to pass and that freaks everyone out to varying degrees. We’re not sure what will happen next in our own lives, communities, countries, or how the virus will affect the world in general.  A month from now, I may be in Munich as planned or I may remain in England. I’m at peace with either option. I know that there are darker options, but I know that worry won’t prepare me for them.  

Practicing Gratitude

So, I count my blessings. I am healthy, I am in a comfortable home with a beautiful view, I have an adorable kitty to keep me company, I don’t have a job to worry about losing, I don’t have children to homeschool, I have enough food in the pantry to last for a couple weeks (more if I get creative), I even have enough toilet paper to last a while, and I have numerous tools to keep me in touch those I care about.

So here I am, “stuck” in “isolation” but I don’t feel alone.  I meet with my Munich writing groups four times a week (virtually now, of course). I can hardly think of a better place to be stuck.  I sit on a comfortable chair, resting my forearms against a sturdy dining room table that I suspect is older than me. The dark varnish has worn down to blond streaks in many sections, but a coaster rests beneath my cup of tea and another beneath the glass of homemade pear wine that Tiddles’ mom made.  Dozens of windows of emails, chat programs, writing projects, blog entries, corona articles, recipes, Spotify playlists, and a thesaurus tab with synonyms for the word “brew” compete for my attention. I look up often through a picture window to admire a view worthy of a landscape painting.  

Peace and gratitude for nature's bounty in the uncertainty of covid virus

What travel has done for me, what will it mean when this is over?

I’m incredibly thankful for the amazing travel experiences I’ve had over the last 24 months.  My brain is bursting with the awe-inspiring scenes I have witnessed. My heart has grown with awe at the astounding number of wonderful friends I’ve made along the way.  I am happy with the person that I have become. Travel has made me more confident, more trusting in the universe. 

The more I travel, the more I see that people are more similar to each other than dissimilar.  We might dress, eat, worship, and speak differently, but we all have the same basic needs and desires.  We all want our friends and family to prosper. We all want love and acceptance. A year ago, I met someone from Suadi Arabia who asserted that if every person in the world traveled and met people from other cultures that we could experience world peace.

As borders are being closed, I wonder how the virus will affect travel and world perception of foreigners and travelers.  We must not let fear and mistrust divide us. One silver lining to this dark cloud is that nations are working together globally. This is unprecedented. The world stands united against this foe.

Today I will go to the greenhouse and plant seeds.  I find solace in the fact that though they have lain dormant with lives on hold, the seeds waited patiently.  The next phase of their lives will be more amazing than the last and they will face it without fear.

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Comments

  • George Brown

    April 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm
    Reply

    Very nice blog. Looks like I can comment now as well. We all just be keepin' on, keepin' on!

  • Laura Miller

    April 3, 2020 at 12:24 am
    Reply

    Beautiful life, Beautiful soul! Blessings from your Mamacita

  • Dave Vogel

    April 2, 2020 at 10:33 pm
    Reply

    The new blog is nice! Glad to hear you’re situated do well for this storm. We are too. Looking forward to your permanent move to […] Read MoreThe new blog is nice! Glad to hear you’re situated do well for this storm. We are too. Looking forward to your permanent move to Munich! Read Less

  • John

    April 2, 2020 at 8:14 pm
    Reply

    The new blog looks really good!

  • Dionne Abouelela

    April 2, 2020 at 2:18 pm
    Reply

    I loved the final paragraph. *sigh* Valuable in so many ways right now.

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About Me

Hi, I'm Christina. I love travel, cats, gardens, house sitting, birds, painting, dogs, museums, good food & drink, you know - all the good stuff! I've been working on my first memoir, Magicians, Cross Dressers and My Uterus while living my second!

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