Coronavirus – how it changes a travelers life

We are aware of the situation right now due to the Coronavirus and how it affects each of us. It is essential that during this time, we should help and take care of each other. It involves everybody, some of us more, some of us less.

Coronavirus affecting traveling

The Learn to Travel team was ready to start their Study-Period and preparations for travelling and volunteering in South America. Now due to the situation, it couldn’t happen. They had to postpone the program for a month, in the hope that the circumstances would get better.

Fabio’s thoughts on coronavirus

Fabio from Italy is back home after his Pre-course. He says: “Because of Coronavirus, we have the army and police on the streets and everything is closed. Only markets and pharmacies are open”
For leaving the house, you need permission, to go for a walk is now forbidden. “The police stops you even if you go out on foot. Whoever has the dog is lucky. One day they wanted to give me a fine because I have to self-certify to go out with the dog”

Fabio from Learn to travel team

Countries are closing their borders one by one. There are different opinions wherever it’s good that countries are doing that or not. Regarding EU principle of free movement between the countries in Europe, it’s now going against that. As well as against expert advice on how to contain the spread. Some people have a tough time seeing how it could help us. On the contrary, it would hurt us economically.

This is where these two parts come together. Which is more important – people’s health or the economy?
“Stop any travel in the world, and do the same thing as Italy and China did,” In Fabio’s opinion, “I think that Italy’s situation might happen in each country of the world. My brother now is in Cusco, Peru and the situation is still alright, but the problem there is that the health system can’t support the situation with Coronavirus.”

Fabio hopes that one day, he and his team will go to South America and continue their program that they started six months ago. “Even if it’s at Christmas” he jokingly says.

Pamela’s way back to Norway

At the same time, Pamela from FWP was in her travel period. When the Coronavirus started to unravel, it was difficult for her to cross borders, because of her nationality.

“Hello guys, I’m Pamela from Italy. One week ago, I was struggling in Thailand. The situation there was chaotic: no one knew how to help. Not even the Italian embassy, even though I went there twice, trying to ask them what to do.”

Pamela from Fighting with the poor team

Pamela was in the middle of her program, starting the volunteering period. Due to the situation, she had to return home for safety reasons.

“I was alone in Bangkok. For some days, I had my teammate with me, but she had to go to Africa. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the same, since neither India or Africa didn’t grant me any visas because of my nationality.” Other countries in Asia didn’t give her a visa to enter either. “There were some cases where the Italians were declined access to Vietnamese hostels, because of their passports.  Fortunately, I didn’t experience this. What was happening there was really awful … I didn’t have words to describe it.”

Getting back to Europe

Airlines cancelled flights every hour. People didn’t know if they would be able to reach Europe or stay in Asia. “There was no way to talk with the airline company or contact them. They were too busy to answer to all of the people blocked abroad and hoping to go back home. I went to talk to the Norwegian airline company – to ask if they would still accept me. Even though I have an Italian passport.”

Pamela had her flight from Bangkok to Copenaghen, but the Danish government had taken severe restrictions. For example, reducing public transport. The passengers can be rejected unless they show a health certificate to prove that they don’t have any health problems.

“I understood their reasons. Still, what could I have done, if I was stuck there, needing a certificate from my doctor? There is no sense in all of this,” Pamela explains, “I understood – people were afraid, I could feel the fear when I was there. I know everyone is closing borders for Italians, and now even for European citizens in general. Of course, all the countries want to save their people.”

My advice

“I’m concerned, and I’m writing to you, to recommend not move from home. Stay there for now. You will have all the time in your life to travel and explore. But for now, no one knows. Coronavirus can get worse and worse, or it can get better, as everyone is hoping,” she says. “At least we can support each other. Stay safe guys, all over the world. And please, if you can, stay at home. Enjoy the time, it’s better than struggling to find a way back home. Please, do it for all people who want to come back home but they can not.”

Big kisses from Pam

Pamela managed to fly safely to Oslo, Norway. Until she gets the chance to return home to Italy, she will be staying at the school.

Gabriella’s no choice than to leave Africa

With Pamela in the same team was also Gabriella from Romania, who shared her thoughts about Coronavirus and who now also has returned back home from Africa.

“It’s been already 4 months since I started my travels with curiosity and ready to learn from the unknown and to go with the flow. Different countries, different people, different experiences, different moods, enjoying, learning, being in the moment and still ready to go with the flow for the next months, but the flow now is called COVID-19.” 

She says that this week has been very intense with many questions and feelings about what is the best thing to do next, “Every day waking up with a decision and falling asleep with totally another decision because of the news…until suddenly…there’s no choice….it’s a must to leave Africa and to go home.” Gabriella says with a feeling of sorrow.

Gabriella from Fighting with the poor team.

“It is unexpected for everyone what is happening right now in the world but I believe God is in control of everything. This is life. Unexpected. In a second everything could change. Nothing is for guarantee,” she mentions “, it could be also an opportunity for the planet to take a little break, but also for humanity to self reflect more about what is really important in this life and how important is to fill up ourselves with love, faith, hope and kindness ’cause this is all we will keep with us in the end.”

“If we used to say “I don’t have time” for “myself”,  family or for chilling at home, now the time is here for each of us,” she says in a conclusion, “we are all in this together! Stay safe, stay home, protect yourself and the others!”

Share your positive thoughts and take care of your loved ones.

 

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You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore – Christopher Columbus

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BTP period – 3 months

Returning to school with heads and hands full of new knowledge and energy for Bringing it to the Public. Meeting with the team, showing, telling, exchanging experiences and making it common knowledge.

Producing articles, pamphlets, videos, presentations, exhibitions, speeches for debate forums, books and more. Studying further the curriculum in Fighting with The Poor, bringing the truth to the public. 

Going to different schools around Europe to spread the new knowledge in various creative ways – speeches, newspaper articles, lectures at universities and colleges, debates and other public events, exhibitions – leading to a better understanding and inspiring to take an action.

Passing the final exams in Fighting with The Poor. Using the last months together to conclude our future perspectives and possible ways of improving The Poor’s quality in life with humble ways of sharing knowledge.

Volunteer period – 6 months

The Project Work in Africa or India in cooperation with Humana People to People. In this period, you can work at:

  • Teacher training colleges
  • Educating teachers for rural areas
  • Vocational schools for young people
  • Schools for street children.Preschools
  • Sanitation and hygiene in rural areas
  • Tree planting campaigns
  • Raising funds for social projects by forming partnerships and selling second hand clothes and shoes
  • Stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS (following the program TCE/Total Control of the Epidemic)

Arriving at the project in Africa or India, having left behind a courageous journey where fundamental human capabilities have been turned around, refreshed and energised by knowing that things such as travelling can be done in a totally different way than the mainstream tourist travelling.

Ready for doing the work needed at the project, bringing plans and materials from the previous periods. Getting to know the people at the project, the vision and idea of the project and the many concrete tasks to be carried out.

Carrying out the tasks as defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor: building preschools, starting Garden Farming, doing literacy campaigns, eradicating malaria, teaching about big issues of our time while working as a teacher at DNS, starting income-generating activities, working as a TCE Special Force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – as a few examples.

Studying and working with your Specialisation in Fighting with The Poor, finalising with a People’s Exam and a written thesis at the end of the period. Acquiring skills in information work: making interviews, taking notes and pictures, writing summaries and reports, recording videos.

Living together with the people at the project, being a good example of living a humble life while improving things with small means to make daily life better.

Travel period – 3 months

Living on the road, being on the move, finding means of transport and places to sleep, talking to people on the road, being curious to understand and know about the countries you are traveling through.

Making investigations, meeting people, visiting their workplaces, staying in their homes, understanding their problems, meeting their culture and values and sharing thoughts with them about the world and the future.

Telling people about your venture to a third world country, trying out bringing it to the public what you have so far experienced and learned. Putting up investigations on a higher level, asking tough questions to self and to the group, getting hold of more answers and putting up new questions.

Taking notes and pictures, writing reports and discussing the seen and the experienced.
Finding good ways of sticking together in the Trios and in the group as such during the travel period.

Study Period – 6 months

At this school, you will find that learning is not first and foremost about listening to the teacher.

The school’s Program consists of a range of intense and spirited activities, theoretical studies and experiences that constitute the sum of learning and life processes carried through by a group of people who for a considerable period of time share a Program with each other that demands cooperation and efforts, and which at the same time is sprinkled with elements that are inspiring and also quite out of the ordinary.

Thus, learning will also take place through communication, deliberations, through working out your plan for learning and sticking to it, and putting to use what you learned, the methods you used, the ideas you got from it and the results you harvested from the training.

You will train yourself in being adventurers and survivors, living and traveling under very humble conditions, not using much money and always finding a way out by ingenuity, being smart and sticking together with your teammates.