What an interesting time to live through. When a pandemic puts a pause on life, casts doubt on your job security and you no longer have the same freedom you once had.
Working in hospitality, at the end of March I was very lucky not to lose my job due to Covid-19, but instead be furloughed thanks to the Federal Government’s Jobkeeper initiative.
Lucky again to be living in Perth, the most isolated city in the world, and Western Australia, the largest state in Australia, our restrictions were never quite as tight.
So how did I spend my new found free time without the freedom I once had?
Usually for me, I only ever take leave to go on a wander but travelling was not allowed so this was completely different. It was the first time in my life I was forced to not work and still be paid a wage. It’s a weird feeling but I am grateful for the time and the income.
Initially I went out and stocked up on arts and craft supplies thinking there was an imminent lockdown coming which didn’t eventuate. Besides a few colouring in pages, my artist ability did not go anywhere. It’s clear to say I didn’t find the artist in me.
Grateful to live by the coast and having always thoroughly enjoyed my coastal walks, this time taught me a new appreciation for them almost doing them once or twice everyday since. The ability to exercise with one other person allowed me to be joined on occasions by a friend or family member and presented the perfect quality time together with no where to rush off to.
My love for walking continued with a few hikes around other areas including Bold Park, Trigg Bushland Reserve, Bayswater Riverside Gardens, Kings Park, Kalamunda National Park and Serpentine National Park.
I also visited the Secret Garden in Gwelup for the first time with my nephews which has been on my list for a while and definitely felt very wonderland-like. We went on a very muddy day but the nephews loved it!
Exercise was a big part of my time off and along with my daily walk, I also completed the 12-week BBG workout by Kayla Itsines, and did regular Yoga with Adrienne from my balcony. Clear to say I am definitely the fittest I have been my whole life and I now know why it’s so easy to wear active wear all day long.
I bought my nephew a skateboard for his birthday at the end of March and he has struggled to get the hang of it since so I ended up practicing while he stuck to his scooter and have been quite surprised how quickly I have picked up the skill. I wouldn’t trust myself down a hill but I’ve got corners covered.
Then there were the beach days during April when we had the most amazing weather and when restrictions were the tightest. I am again so lucky to live within walking distance to the beach and enjoyed a few beach swim catch ups with friends and family.
I started practicing Italian again through the Duolingo app, something I haven’t done for years. My daily goal was 20 minutes which has dwindled since going back to work for a few days but I try and aim for at least 5-10 minutes on my days off.
I have also spent more time reading, watched a number of Netflix series, had countless video calls with family and friends and ensured I have had a good amount of sleep to keep the mind healthy.
I had a newfound interest in cooking and baking, having a girlfriend over for dinner one at a time and baking treats for family. I even mastered gnocchi over a few dinner catch ups. And it was the first time since living in my apartment (almost a year) that I have proper baking ingredients in the pantry.
Once regional restrictions were lifted on 18 May, I took my first road trip with my friend Rita to the Great Southern region and we indulged in an array of active experiences. It’s been really nice to spend the time exploring more of Western Australia and made me realise how much I haven’t seen.
June saw me return to work one day and then two days but I still managed to fit in a reduced five day trip north to Kalbarri and Monkey Mia to do half of my original coastal trip up to Exmouth. I will share this travel diary soon.
I also had long weekends in Cervantes and am heading to Margaret River this weekend.
Lucky once again to live by the coast and with views from my apartment I enjoyed countless evening sunsets – one of my favourite things – from my balcony and the beach.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the quality time with my nephews, family and friends. There’s been no where to rush to and I can simply focus on them. It’s really been a time to stop and reflect on what and who’s important in your life and makes you assess who you choose to put effort into. My nephew has also won too with more sleepovers and aunty time!
Strange times indeed with no clear end date. I hope to be back to full-time work hours within the next couple of months and hope I can resume plans for my international travels in the new year. But time will tell. Until then it’s one week at a time.