The coronavirus throws a unique set of spanners in the works if you don’t have a home.
This time last week, a friend and I were settling into a lovely rhythm of work and training in a beautiful Californian suburb, when the pandemic hit. Very quickly, the countries where my family lives-France and Belgium-closed their borders to non-citizens, which unfortunately, includes me. I wasn’t due to see my family for a month and I’m used to spending long stretches of time apart from them but this felt different. Anxiety hit me pretty hard. It was a struggle to concentrate and I could feel my muscles tightening up.
Flying and passing through busy cities seemed to be our two greatest risks for catching the virus so we decided to sit tight until the lockdown was lifted in Europe. I filled the freezer with food and breathed and stretched my way back to a state of equilibrium. We fast became a mini-experts on the virus-tracking stats, listening to diverse commentary and watching the different ways that each country handled the spread. There looked to be a 3-month cycle in each location…which was not ideal since my visa was due to run out right as the peak was forecast in America.
Since Canada had already shut its border, we looked to Mexico-speaking to friends and monitoring updates. Initially, we had been making decisions every couple of days but we started having to reassess every day, and then every hour.
THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING HOMELESS
“Have no attachments; allow nothing to be in your life that you cannot walk out on in 30 seconds flat, if you spot the heat around the corner.” Heat
Getting ready to leave at a moment’s notice is one of the advantages of a minimalist lifestyle. Over the course of several years, I’ve reduced my belongings to fit in a cabin-sized suitcase and I keep all my true essentials-passport, bank cards, iPhone and laptop, in a small Eastpak rucksack that my friend gave me for Christmas. As we have the car, my mobile home kit this time also includes kettlebells and a couple of yoga mats.
The moment we heard from friends that Mexico was likely to shut its borders, we made the decision to leave our lovely Airbnb and our freezer packed with supplies…