• Countries Visited: 23
  • Travel Wishlist: Nepal, Canada, South Africa, Japan
  • Locked down in: Ticehurst, East Sussex, England

“Finding the motivation to do something when you’re not allowed to do anything, was the most difficult challenge I have faced so far!”

Not until quite recently I thought: “I am all good, this thing out there isn’t really affecting me. I can’t travel, so I’ll just keep myself busy until…

To be honest, I can’t complain about the situation I am in. There is a roof above my head, I have a bed to sleep in, food on the table and most importantly I have my girlfriend and her family around me. Money, for the moment, is not a problem; not being able to travel, for the moment, is not a problem; not having a job, for the moment, is not a problem; uncertainty, not having a clue of what will happen tomorrow or next week, that IS a problem.

I have always been a very outgoing, happy person, enjoying the company of others and at the same time I love hiding away from everything, being by myself and reading for hours for example. It has been this balance that kept me going, always a new adventure on the horizon, chasing after another crazy opportunity and catching up with friends from all around the globe while hiking by myself somewhere in the beautiful nature out there, laying in the sun and getting lost in daydreams.

My quiet side is very pleased with what is happening, I get to read a lot, be outside, do yoga, go running and have time being static, but I miss going out, travelling, being in new places every few days and meeting new people. So far, I’ve generally had a good idea of what would happen next or at least sure that something would happen soon, but something wasn’t right and it took me a long while to pinpoint what I was struggling with lately. I love making plans, then change them for another wild idea, because why not. Recently though, doing exactly that changed into negative emotions and it caused losing interest in doing so. It used to give me energy and excitement but now I’d rather not deal with it at all.

After a few months into lockdown, I finally found something that worked for me: I started a project that got me away from those negative thoughts and it gave me something to focus on, essentially it kept me busy and made me think about different things other than Corona and Lockdown Regulations. I had the idea to start my own company, a touring company that changes the way artists and music groups tour around Europe and around the world. All of a sudden there was so much to do, so many things I had no idea about: How do I start a business? How do I get funding? Any new question that popped into my mind was like a new challenge for me and I got myself lost into researching, reading and reaching out to people. I learned so much but most of all I was doing something. It might sound weird, but it felt great to be properly using my brain again!

The second thing that helped me to get through this time was a project a friend of mine asked me to help with. He has a small amount of land close by with an orchard on it. The apples that he is growing there he is turning into Cider. So for the cider production we have been building a barn and it was such a big accomplishment when we finally put the roof on. None of us 3 had built a whole building before but talking to friends, family and professionals on the phone as well as watching YouTube videos and just figuring it out as we went made it possible and we managed to build a watertight barn. I have learnt so much, starting from laying a foundation, doing brick work over to how to build walls, doorways and window openings as well as putting in joists and flooring for another level and then putting on a roof and making it watertight. There is much more to do and by the look of the current situation we’ll have plenty more time!

We are in January now, and it has gotten very cold and rainy which put a hold on building the barn so I’m only leaving the house once every few days to go to the shops or to do some exercise. The days are so short and the last few weeks have become a big blur. It is hard to get out of this vicious cycle…getting out of bed in the morning and figuring out what to do today. I have been tempted so many times to just stay in bed and get up late to then just move to the sofa and lay back down to watch some movies. Even though I knew how bad it was for me, I was just to tired and exhausted (from doing nothing) to get up and do something. When the days all look the same and when we’re so restricted with what we can do out there, how do you find the motivation to change the situation you are in?

Writing this short story about myself has helped, so thank you Jamesa for asking me to be a part of this!

I don’t talk much about my feelings but writing them down in my own time has made me realise a lot of things about myself and I managed to slowly change a few things to improve my mental state. It took me a fair while to finish writing this, so you might have realised that not all parts of the story are very well connected because I had a few ups and downs since I have started. Right now, though, I think I am on a good path! I try to challenge myself every day with a new thing and I have a schedule for every day.

Thank you again, Jamesa and also to everyone else who has shared their story! It showed me that there are so many ways to keep going and I am so very much excited to hang out with all of you once this is all over!