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”
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 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.”
“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.
“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.