- Countries Visited: 40
- Travel Wishlist: Nordic Countries
- Locked down in: Encinitas, CA
“I was on the season of Survivor airing in the US at the time, and I remember hesitating before going out to watch the episode that aired on March 11. We did end up going out that night, and that was the last time I have been in a group like that.“
When did you first hear about Covid.
March 4, I officiated my dad’s wedding in Costa Rica. There were some rumblings about the spread of coronavirus while we were there, but we couldn’t possibly have predicted the panic and mass shutdown as soon as we returned back to the US. I was on the season of Survivor airing in the US at the time, and I remember hesitating before going out to watch the episode that aired on March 11. We did end up going out that night, and that was the last time I have been in a group like that. The next couple days we realized how serious it all was, immediately got out of LA and began to quarantine seriously with my girlfriend.–
What were your first thoughts?
We knew very quickly that this would last a long time. My girlfriend and I had been dating long-distance, and we knew that it would be impossible to travel safely to see each other, so we decided to move in together in Lake Tahoe. It was the best decision we could have made. We didn’t have friends there so we had no temptation to socialize, and we found it actually quite nice to be able to just take a breath and enjoy each other’s company.
What restrictions/lockdowns have you had to live under?
Most of our restrictions have been self-imposed. We never were looking to push the boundaries of what was acceptable, so it didn’t really matter to us whether we could go get a haircut or eat in a restaurant – we wouldn’t have done those things even if we were allowed to. Stay at home, go to the grocery store when need be, start cooking and eating at home, and wait it out.
How did above restrictions affect your work and day to day life?
Obviously, not seeing friends and family has been the biggest change. My dad was stuck in Costa Rica until just a couple months ago, and so I didn’t see him or the rest of my family for most of the year. I also was no longer able to do in-person speaking events, which has been the majority of my income the last few years. The gigs I did have were either cancelled or moved to virtual, but my new bookings completely halted. As a result, I have had to change paths and am starting a casting coaching business for reality tv, as well as looking forward to getting a job in reality production once restrictions are lifted and I am vaccinated.
How did lockdowns affect your original plans for 2020?
While Survivor was airing, I had planned to have large in-person watch parties throughout the season. Of course, that was no longer possible after the first few episodes, but at least I was able to do some. The live Survivor reunion was cancelled, and my plans to begin work in production were put on hold.
Thoughts on the rising cases in the US?
It’s horrifying what is going on in the US right now. Cases are worse than ever, and yet people are behaving more recklessly than ever. Trump led the politicization of this pandemic, to the point where many believe that it’s been overblown, that masks don’t work, that our freedom is being infringed. There is no going back from that, even when Biden assumes the Presidency. People’s minds are already made up, and they won’t suddenly start to quarantine if they have not been already, despite the fact that at this point, we are losing more lives every day than we did on 9/11. After 9/11, we willingly gave up civil liberties in the name of saving and protecting lives, but now many people are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to curb the spread of this disease. Our only hope at this point is the swift deployment of vaccinations.
As a fellow adventurer, what are your thoughts on the future of travel?
I think there are many others out there like me who are itching to travel again and to connect with people around the world face-to-face. When it is safe to do so, I can’t wait to get back out there. And this time I’ll get to share it with my girlfriend, who has been my blessing of this crazy time, because it sped our relationship up and has only grown stronger each day, even as we spend almost 24/7 together, something I thought I would never be able to do with anyone. I can’t wait to share the world with her.