During this time of uncertainty and isolation, and for David and Roslyn Craig's forced quarantine, although we do remain open for business we are working remotely from home in order to limit the spread and flatten the curve. We believe in facing challenges together, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to contribute to a future that's safe and free to travel our world. We look forward to a time when the doors are open once again!
In the midst of this very human experience, we all feel like sharing some stories as we adjust to isolation, quarantine, and physical distancing.
With all doors closed, this is what we've been up to...
CEO and Chairman
David writes while under forced quarantine on board the Zaandam "Just over a week ago we were informed we had only 20 minutes to return to our cabins where we were placed in mandatory lock down. Being in lock down of course is horrible, especially on a ship with limited accommodation. But on the plus side, it was our short term home where we had planned to stay for over three weeks. It is well equipped with TV and access to wifi - built in entertainment. We also had a supply of books to help us pass the time. Having a group with us, a newsworthy situation and lots of the world with which to communicate - in reality we have been exceptionally busy for the past week. Plus we were served three meals per day plus other treats - we were not feeling spoiled but then not hard done by either... With luck we will return to Canada in a few days, only to find ourselves in another full two weeks of further quarantine. But anything will be worth it to help stop the spread of this horrible virus." Follow David's posting on our Facebook page.
Rob jokes that his home isolation schedule is “Monday – vodka, Tuesday – gin, Wednesday – wine, Thursday – scotch…! Joking aside, my wife and I enjoy experimenting with international beverages at home and the clinking of glasses to celebrate the little things in life. I found inspiration in this Drink Like a Local list of must-sip drinks from around the world. Pisco Sour anyone? As Peru’s national drink, the egg white ingredient gives it a smooth texture. My time is also spent pursuing indoor hobbies like photo editing, reading, and leather craft. Now is a great time to look through your collection of travel photos, check out this list of 10 Best Free Photo Editing Software if you’re interested in spending time enhancing your photos at no cost. And of course, snacking while catching up on great Netflix shows enriches any experience. Food is pleasure, and I’m all stocked up! (but not hoarding)."
Roslyn writes while under forced quarantine on board the Zaandam "Our days since lockdown have been very full with many hours spent on the phone and internet keeping in touch with one and all and ensuring that everyone has correct and updated information from ground zero and not rumours which have been circulating crazily. Otherwise we are reading (haven’t run out of books yet) watching TV (getting exasperated by American news channels), playing cards (I think I am ahead) and of course there have been movies all day long."
Senior Marketing Consultant
Donna explains "Returning a week early from South India and being thrust into home isolation was a shock to the system. But as I always think of the cup as half full, I decided it's an opportune time to get my spring house cleaning done. It’s definitely not my favourite thing to do, but feels like a major accomplishment! I even stole outside to start a bit of yardwork. I realized that this “quiet time” is a great incentive to do lots of other things that have been put off for far too long; long conversations with friends, books that have sat too long on my bedside table unread, writing that article I’ve been thinking about and pondering our world post covid19. I like to think we will be a better, more caring world and I am holding on to that thought."
Gilda writes "This time in isolation has me reflecting deeper than the threat of the virus. Things have unfolded so quickly and are affecting every corner of our world. I ask myself “What did we do to put ourselves in such a situation? And I question how can we make things better for ourselves and for the generations to come?“ This very thought-provoking video has me realizing that it’s not too late to reset the button of our lives. Keep well and stay safe."
Joilyn writes "I am fortunate enough to have a separate office at home so can keep work hours separate from home hours by closing and opening a door. I have continued to stay in contact by phone with my mom, who understands that we must keep our distance. She lives on her own and is keeping quite well. I am doing some cleaning, reading and paying very close attention to the bird songs and spring growth outside. We are all in this together. I read somewhere that we are not “stuck” at home, but “safe” at home. Words are important, aren’t they?! Take care, stay healthy."
Melanie explains "The pleasures of not commuting to work are definitely affording me more personal time. That time combined with my husband’s reduced operating hours have given us the ability to enjoy delicious breakfasts together every morning before he is off to contribute as support to the essential service workers. This morning was Mexican poached eggs on a bed of baby spinach and leftover taco meat, topped with diced onions, tomato and jalapeno peppers, sour cream and squeeze of lime. Yum! I’ve also had time to get around to that pile of clothes that need mending – so many buttons! Virtual tea (real tea with virtual company) has become almost a daily thing as I connect with my friends and family to ensure they are keeping well. I look forward to being able to scratch that travel itch when this is all over, even if it’s just a road trip to SK to celebrate my mother-in-law’s milestone birthday. Until then, let’s all continue to do our part to stay healthy."
Yvonne says "I’ve been in contact with family and friends, including my grandmother who has been in isolation since mid-March. Feeling connected to people I love relaxes me, and reminds me that we’ll all get through this together. During my recent trip to the grocery store I noticed a frail elderly lady. My heart sank. I felt so protective of her yet the best I could do is keep my distance. We must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable among us. I look forward to a global recovery of this terrible epidemic, that's for sure!"
Katrina says “As someone with a more introverted personality, I’m finding the extra time at home to be relaxing but I’m definitely looking forward to getting back outside. The closure of local parks and trails is a bit disappointing, especially with the beautiful Spring weather on its way, but it’s necessary to help promote social distancing measures. Until I can get back to the great outdoors I’m keeping busy with at home fitness videos, family trivia nights over Skype, and plenty of home cooked meals.”
Where do we go from here?
Never before has the sentiment of us all being in this together been more true and more inspiring. We must all put in our best effort to help flatten the epidemic curve and heal together as a world. In the midst of recovery, pause to reflect, care, share and support each other. Here are some ways you can take a healthy approach to doing your part, but also to coping with the changes.
Stay socially connected.
Keep in touch with family and friends by phone, social media, text, video chat, or email. Or how about working on an art that's worth bringing back - letter writing. The writing and reception of letters will always offer an experience that modern technology cannot touch. Letters to congratulate, encourage, or thank someone are always incredibly heartwarming to receive. Perhaps get involved with volunteering if there is a safe option to pitch in, or simply offer your help to a neighbour in need.
Helpful resource: How to Write a Heartfelt Letter by WikiHow
Plan for change.
Think about the future and plan for what can ease transitions. Discuss the plan with friends and family and build up a support system and source out information that can help you with your plan. If you're facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19, there is support available through the Government of Canada, get the support you need here. Consider also checking with your mortgage provider to see if they can offer you a skip a payment option to help ease the financial strain.
Stay active, in body and mind.
Keep your spirits up by enjoying walks in the outdoors, keeping your distance from others walking. Get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, and employ relaxation techniques when stressed. Exercise is extremely important for both your physical and mental health. Take time for a hobby, whether that is reading, arts and crafts, or music, or something new you've been meaning to try. Be sure to utilize your own backyard, garden, or courtyard for fresh air and uplifting inspiration.
Helpful resource: Meditation for Heart Health
Find emotional support.
Understand what changes you can control. Be sure to talk with family, friends, or a health professoinal if you feel sad or lonely. Listening to this collection of ten people sharing their insights about confined life in Italy, Spain, China, Pakistan Israel. Lebanon, the Philippines, and the United States is a reminder that we are not alone in this - worldwide support.
While it's helpful to stay informed, it's also important you don't allow yourself to be bombarded with anxiety-provoking news all day. We are dedicating some time to provide you with informative websites and notices through our monthly e-newsletters. Stay connected as we share valuable tips on health and exercise while in isolation, ways to use your time at home productively, reliable resources for fact-checking about the pandemic, and much more. Stay informed by signing up here to receive up to date information on our monthly Sail Away and Travel Talk e-newsletters.
Be well. Take care of yourself and each other.