In the words of sexy hotness, Matthew McConaughey, “alright alright alright”.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted … so I just want to bring you all up to date on the current lay of the land -> the status of my year long adventure to South East Asia, the COVID-19 pandemic and the world of social distancing.
What a crazy time we are living in at the moment! On March 13, 2020 COVID-19 turned our world into 4 walls and a ceiling. Hundreds of thousands are infected, thousands have died and the whole world is living in a circle of physical distancing and a certain degree of fear. We’ve started hoarding hand sanitizer and toilet paper! Some of us are following the rules established by government and others continue to act like this is not the global pandemic that it is.
I live in Canada, the province of Ontario – I live in a community in South Western Ontario called the Region of Waterloo – which is comprised of the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. Region of Waterloo Public Health has reported another 26 cases of COVID-19 in the region, bringing the total to 58.
Canada is making unprecedented use of the federal Quarantine Act in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting tonight at midnight, all travelers returning to Canada are now legally required to go into self-isolation for 14 days rather than simply urged to do so.
I’m currently held up at my youngest daughter’s house while I wait for coronavirus to become a thing of the past. I was supposed to leave on my year long epic adventure all over South East Asia last Wednesday. Not gonna lie, I was crushed. I spent the better part of 12 months prepping, planning, plotting and organizing. I had plans to travel to 12-14 different countries in 12 months — Vietnam – Phu Quoc and climbing Mount Bà Đen, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia – climbing Mount Bromo volcano (in Java) and relaxing with both of my kids in Bali. I was going to spend the month of July in Japan and had plans to attend the Summer Olympics with my friends Linda and Mark (and their kids) – I was going to climb Mount Fuji. Northern Thailand was on my list prior to heading over the New Delhi and meeting up with my friend who is supposed to be flying over from Canada – we’re supposed to spend 4 days in New Delhi and then fly up to Nepal to climb Mount Everest Base Camp – from there I had more plans to spend time in India, head down to Sri Lanka and then I wasn’t quite sure. I am hoping that I’m still able to do the last part of my adventure.
I sold my car, rented out my condo, resigned from my job and put all of my worldly possessions in storage, ready to take off and live a year of a lifetime – only to have that all change 4 days before my departure date! I was CRUSHED! I went with it, I allowed myself to feel whatever it was I was feeling – upset, anger, fear, disappointment. I lived with it for a bit, didn’t make myself wrong about it and then I was ok. It took 6 days. I am able to stay with my youngest in her townhouse until the end of the month. I was able to rescind my resignation from my job and I was able to postpone my flight for a $69.00 fee and get reimbursed for my travel insurance.
After I got complete with that, I decided that if this was happening and it is out of my control, I’m going to come out the other side ready to set my world on fire. I don’t have to sit here and mope. I can do all of the things that I’ve been wanting to do – here, now. My new favourite saying is a Buddhist saying, “Relax, everything is out of control”
I enrolled into two courses 1) The Science of Well Being through Yale and 2) Leadership in 21st Century Organizations via the Copenhagen Business School. If you’re looking to take some continuing education courses to further your career, your life, your well being – consider taking some courses, here’s the link to a bunch of Ivy League Schools Edx courses which are FREE!
I also decided to face one of my biggest phobias head on … finances, stocks and investments. Ask my financial planner how much the word “taxes” sends me into a downward spiral. I never file my taxes on time, ever. I’m decent with money, and that’s thanks to the trust and faith I put into my planner. So, just like I’ve been tackling all of my fears head on this past year (remember when I jumped out of a plane in September? Or when I did the Polar Dip in January?). Last November I took Phil Town’s Rule One Investing Course. What’s Rule #1? DON’T LOSE MONEY. The best investors in the world use this rule to invest with certainty. I learned how to not just invest in stocks, and rather invest in a wonderful business at an attractive price to generate consistent returns.
What did I do after I was so gung-ho post-course? Nothing, I did nothing with it! I did what I always did when something is out of my wheelhouse and frightens me, I ignored it. Enter the novel coronavirus and event-driven investing, now is the time, markets are low, so I decided to tackle it once and for all (I mean I have nothing else to do than catch up on 5 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy – which is getting really awesome btw – I’m at Season 11 ep. 10). I set up my brokerage account and talked to a couple of friends who invest and trade and off I went. I’m trying to remember 2 things — 1) I don’t need to be an expert to invest like one and 2) Don’t lose money.
I’ve popped into some free concerts that musicians are hosting. I’ve joined a Being In Communication: Time With a Landmark Forum leader call with Forum Leaders who are keeping the community connected. I’ve had daily Facebook Messenger calls with my oldest, who lives in Vietnam, she wakes me every morning with a new song she’s learned on the ukulele, I love this! I take extra long walks with the dog and binge watch my fave shows that I’ve long ignored.
While we’ve been sequestered, the world continues to spin, people are living and sadly dying (this breaks my heart) and no matter, the sun comes up and the sun goes down. The earth is starting to heal itself – the canals in Venice are again running clear and there are minnows, dolphins have returned. Forests and plants are regenerating. COVID-19 has decreased air pollution. The ozone layer is starting to repair itself. There’s an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus: The planet. Is this the earth’s way of dealing with what we’ve chosen to ignore?
Many are binging pandemic like movies: Contagion, Steven Soderbergh’s strikingly realistic portrayal of the modern world scrambling to contain the fictional virus MEV-1. Outbreak, inspired in part by the AIDS epidemic. Stephen King’s “The Stand,” Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain and Max Brooks’s World War Z, have proliferated on social media as of late. In a time of real crisis, many of us are spending our time watching fake crises. Why? We’re living in ONE RIGHT NOW. I’m a documentary nerd. I prefer fact over fiction any day. I’ve been watching documentaries on past pandemics, the plague, the Spanish Flu (which contrary to popular belief did not originate in Spain). The 1956-1958 Influenza Pandemic, the 1968 Flu Pandemic, SARS and H1N1. What really lands for me is that as I’m researching these past pandemics, what we are living through right now, at this very moment, will form part of the future generations history. Just as I’m watching and reading about pandemics in the last 100 years, future generations are going to be watching, reading and learning about the 2019-2020 novel coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic.
I tell you bizarre times … I wonder how long this will last?
Where in the world are you and practicing social distancing? How are you occupying your time?