Categories: Travel Stories

A day in the life of quarantine: Vol. 3

by Jessie Beyer - Monday, April 20, 2020

Updates From Staff Around The World

With much of the world on lock down we have been checking in with our staff and tour leaders to see how they are spending their days. Here’s a little trip around the world to check in with them and get a glimpse of their days.


Jo Kent, Tour Leader

Where do you live/ are you currently located?
In the Tarn department in glorious Southwest France.

What are the current regulations for where you live about going outside?
We have a strict stay at home policy. We are allowed to go to the supermarket or pharmacy with a signed document. Ideally not more than once a week.

What are you doing / did you do today?
I answered this questionnaire – that kept me occupied for a while 🙂 Otherwise I’ve been reading a lot, re-doing the silicone in the bathroom, and doing some bike maintenance.

Are you able to get exercise, if so what are you doing?
The government allows us to go for a walk each day – up to 1 km from our house for up to 1 hour. I have come to value this greatly. It feels like a real escape. Today I saw the first cherries of the season on the trees. I have also been enjoying YouTube Yoga.

How are you staying in touch with friends and family?
Zoom online meetings, WhatsApp. Sending postcards to elderly relatives and friends who are not online. We had a great online get together yesterday with ExperiencePlus! and co-founder Rick Price told us all about the history of the company.

What foods/drinks have you really been enjoying lately?
Wine. Lots of it. All colors and cabbage soup.

Where is the first place you hope to visit once travel restrictions are lifted?
I am going to ride my bike up a hill near my house. After that maybe back to Central Asia.

What have you found to be most grateful for during this time?
Being able to go for a walk each day, and not living in South Africa where it is currently illegal to buy alcohol.

If you had one piece of advice for people right now what would it be?
Go to the hardware/garden store BEFORE the lockdown starts. I wanted to do some gardening but realized I had no tools and all the shops were shut. So I had to improvise a bit and managed to do some effective weeding with a big tent peg and my ice axe! If you are feeling a bit stressed – BBC Radio 3 Slow Radio. It’s bliss.


Sara Letterelli,  Tour Sales and Operations (Cycle Europe)

Where do you live/ are you currently located?
I am currently quarantined at my house, with my brother and two cats, in Forlì, Italy.

What are the current regulations for where you live about going outside?
There is a list of valid reasons to be outside, like – but not limited to: work, grocery shopping, health reasons, etc.

What are you doing today? 
I just woke up and I am about to work for a couple of hours, reading customers’ and suppliers’ emails.

Are you able to get exercise, if so what are you doing? 
I am lucky enough that I built myself a miniature gym in my room, so I exercise for about 90-100 minutes every other day.

How are you staying in touch with friends and family?
My brother had been living with me for a few months before the pandemic started, so I am still enjoying his company during quarantine. We often video call the rest of the family (my mom and siblings). I am also in touch with my uncles and cousins via WhatsApp. As for the oldest relatives, I try to give all of them a call once a week to see how they are doing and let them know that I think of them and miss them. I have a grandma and five great-aunts and uncles who live in my hometown and I was used to seeing them quite often. I actually still get to see two of them (who live very close to my house) once a week – they are in their 90s and it’s not recommended that they go to the supermarket, so I do it for them.

What foods/drinks have you really been enjoying lately?
To be honest, I have been on a diet for over a year and a half now, so my weekly menus haven’t changed that much in the evenings. They have a bit for lunches, because when I was working at the farm (the Italian office), we took turns cooking lunch, so I never knew what I was going to have for lunch. I still love to cook my healthy meals and take advantage of my weekly cheat meal to enjoy not-so-healthy yummy food.

Where is the first place you hope to visit once travel restrictions are lifted?
If the restrictions are lifted before July/August, I would love to go back to Calabria (in southern Italy) to take part in a volunteer camp for sea turtles protection (like I did last year).

What have you found to be most grateful for during this time?
I am very grateful of many, many things: the company of my brother, my cats, having a mini gym inside the house, technology, which allows us to still be close to friends and family, etc.  Sometimes I find myself complaining about this situation and feeling that it’s unfair. As soon as I start doing that, I remind myself that I have it pretty good. I have a roof over my head, three meals per day and lots of people I love who I can easily be in touch with. Is it ideal? Oh boy, no! But, I mean… some of the older relatives I mentioned above were alive to see the second world war and, let’s be honest, this is nothing compared to that. So, when I feel like a complaint is about to exit my mouth, I remind myself that it could be sooo much worse and try to focus on stuff to be grateful for instead.

If you had one piece of advice for people right now what would it be?
It would be more than one, but mostly: stay positive and be extra careful… if not for yourself (in case you don’t fear this virus), for the people who are more weak.


Jessie Beyer, Marketing Gal

Where do you live?
Fort Collins, Colorado

What are the current regulations for where you live about going outside?
Restrictions are pretty light compared to many of my European colleagues. Colorado has just re-opened some businesses although large social gatherings are still not allowed. In certain counties – mine included, masks are required when entering public stores. We are still allowed to recreate outdoors so I am not complaining.

What did you do today?

This morning I walked my dogs along a canal by our house. Then – after preparing coffee of course, I made the 30-second commute to my (home) office for the afternoon. After work (which included answering these questions) I went for a bike ride, did some yard work, and enjoyed a margarita by our fire pit while working on trivia questions for a game of trivia that my partner and I are hosting (virtually) for some friends on Friday.

How are you staying in touch with friends and family?

Like most I’m staying in touch via phone calls, texts, and zooms? zooming? is Zooming a verb yet? I’m not the best at staying in touch with people outside of face-to-face interactions so this has admittedly been a nice way to keep in touch with folks near and far more frequently. My cousins have also recently gotten me hooked on MarcoPolo. It’s a phone app that you send short videos back and forth on. Or, as my cousin put it: “it’s like texting with your face!” I’ve really loved in-person chats with neighbors from opposite ends of the driveway.

What foods/drinks have you really been enjoying lately?

I have been enjoying cooking more lately especially now that lots of veggies are starting to come back into season! We don’t typically eat out so cooking at home is not a big change, but I’m trying to be more creative and venture outside of my cooking comfort zones. One night we learned how to shuck oysters and with some help from YouTube tonight I’m attempting to grill a full snapper!

Where is the first place you hope to visit once travel restrictions are lifted?

The airport. I miss waiting in security lines and flight delays. Seriously though, I do miss all aspects of travel. I have always wanted to just show up at the airport and buy a ticket. Maybe this year is the year! But for now I am just going to enjoy all the outdoor adventures Colorado has to offer as restriction loosen up in our state.

What have you found to be most grateful for during this time?

Lots of things. Any time I feel slightly frustrated (mainly I miss socializing with friends) I pause and begin to list all of the things to be grateful for. Inevitably, the list is longer than I have the patience to continue going through but it’s always a nice reminder. A few things at the top of the list:

  • Living in Colorado where I can still get outside enjoy the mountains most days.
  • My dogs!
  • All the wonderful humans in my life (and the fact that they remain healthy).
  • Evening fires in the backyard paired with a nice beverage and my partner playing the guitar. On days when he plays his accordion I am less grateful ; )
  • Spring – The smells, bird song, longer days, warmer weather.
  • Warm showers, though I take them far less often I really do love a nice shower.
  • My dishwasher! Ours broke and we’ve been without it for two weeks. Hand washing is fine, but man what a treat it is to have a dishwasher.
  • Books and a hammock to read them in.
  • The fact that we’re going through all of this in a period of history when we have luxuries like the internet.
  • I still don’t understand the toilet paper craze, but I am grateful we have it in our house.
  • See I am forcing myself to stop here because the list really is long…

If you had one piece of advice for people right now what would it be?

Start your day off with a *dance party. Pick a song, pump up the volume and get that blood flowing! It’s amazing what a wonderful start to the day this is. Especially if you are feeling a bit *meh* because it feels we’re all living in Groundhog Day at the moment.

(*Disclaimer if you are an early riser and there are others sleeping in your house they might not enjoy this habit of yours as much as you do. Or maybe you will have so much fun they won’t be able to resist and will jump out of bed and bust a move!)


 

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Jessie Beyer - Originally from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Jessie headed west for college and never looked back. She earned a Journalism and Technical Communications degree from Colorado State University, and has since worked in a variety of industries including radio, sustainability, and wine tourism. Jessie combines her passion for travel, cycling, and storytelling to help people understand the unique power of exploring the world from the seat of a bike. A self-proclaimed travel junkie, Jessie has found herself on many extended adventures. She spent 2015 exploring many corners of the world including tramping through New Zealand's mountains, cycling through Europe, and hitching a boat ride down the Mekong river from Laos into Thailand. At home in Colorado you'll likely find her singing her way up mountain trails, talking to strangers, and seeking restaurants with patios and Spanish wines.

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