Jessica with support local box

What I’m doing during this “break”

The world is going through something big, something scary, and something relatively unknown. It’s affected industries beyond what people may have initially thought. Pretty much everyone is hurting and we are doing our best to survive–literally.

Being inside for potentially weeks-on-end is daunting and, frankly, scary. I may be an introvert and used to working from home, but it’s even got me frustrated and scared.

For some reason, as soon as I’m told “you should really stay home,” I immediately want to leave the house. Brains are weird. And recently, that’s a common phrase for me, “Brains are weird”.

Among the industries affected by this craziness, travel blogging is one of them. If you’re reading this, please know how much it means to me, seriously. Here’s one BIG VIRTUAL HUG!!

Pageviews of most travel bloggers are less than half of what they were, and YouTube stats have tanked as well. If you enjoy blogs, YouTube or Instagram, give your favorite creator some love with a follow, subscribe, like, comment, or share. I promise you that it will be appreciated.

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Amsterdam Noord home

Our current situation

The Netherlands is not currently under an official stay-at-home order. Basically, we can leave when we want, we just can’t be in groups. If you are in a group, you can get a fine. This is to prevent people from gathering for picnics and on the beaches on a nice day. Because the last really great-weather day had everyone ignoring the advice and headed to the beach. We also have a rule that we have to be 1.5 meters away from others. This feels a bit impossible for some of the time. If you’ve been to an Amsterdam store, you’ll understand why.

Our current timeline: schools and such are closed until at least May 20 and we’ll get an update from the Prime Minister on May 13 to see if that will be extended. No large gatherings are allowed until September 1, so that means no King’s Day. Of course that’s incredibly sad because it’s a great festival, but it makes complete sense. The weird thing is that nobody is wearing masks from the few photos I see from my friends. No homemade masks anywhere.

I guess the other important information for right here and right now in the Netherlands is that you can’t come in from a non-Schengen country. So, no visitors for a while, I figure. We don’t know how long this will last, or how long it will take to feel safe again.

Jessica with drink

What I’m doing now

With all the negativity, I’m left asking myself what should I do? Fewer pageviews means less ad revenue and fewer people using affiliate links — I’m mean, who’s booking travel now anyway?

You’ll likely see more personal-ish posts like my last one on our experience traveling home through all of this and more to come. You are my people, my followers, my community, and I want to build that using my voice, my experience.

I’ll keep writing content, but it will slow down (for now) to around 1 post a week instead of 2. Spring is typically one of our peak travel times and I planned on that when creating my content calendar. Adjustments will be made.

As far as videos go, for now, we will keep up posting a video a week while we are in quarantine. They will be different from what you’re used to, but don’t worry, once we’re back to traveling, videos will be back to normal! Kind of loving the at-home cocktail series we have going on right now ?

We are having everything delivered right now and trying support local businesses. It has been pretty great. You can watch us un-box the yummy food box or the local drinks box, if you are into that sort of thing!

I want to keep you in the loop because with most of us being at home, I think it’s important to stick together and communicate. Also, I was a Comm major, so communication is key to me in every facet of life.

banana bread

Suggestions to pass the time (Mainly how I pass the time)

Since I work from home, not much has changed (sadly). I’m also an introvert so I don’t go out much, normally. But, considering how long we’ll be at home, I’m trying to create some expectations on myself and some routines.

In the mornings, I’m striving to do at least 10 minutes of mediation with Headspace and a yoga video from Yoga with Adriene. She is, by far, my favorite yoga YouTuber. I did the 30-day challenge in January and it was great!

I’m still working, so that’s still most of my day. I’m still home, so I’m still cleaning and doing laundry, ordering groceries, etc.

The difference can really come in the evenings. I’m trying to watch less TV and take online courses and use Rosetta Stone for my Dutch. And thank goodness for a Kindle and being able to “borrow” e-books from the library. I’ve been holding off on the last few chapters of a trilogy because I don’t want it to end! Is anyone else like that?

We aren’t on full lockdown yet, so we can still go outside, just have to keep our distance! We have a lovely green space by the recycling bins, when I take the recycling, I stay out for a few more minutes. Sometimes, I’ll just stand in our back garden. “Garden” is a general term here, there are no plants…except the occasional batch of weeds that just will not die. But it’s an outdoor space that is ours and I love that it’s there.

Baking is something I LOVE to do, but I’m trying to not overeat. It’s so easy to do that when you bake and there’s only two of you! This banana bread from BA’s Best, is a favorite in our house, now.

Obviously, I watch a fair bit of YouTube/Netflix/Amazon Prime. I do love my TV shows but I have a hard time getting into new ones, so I watch old ones over and over. I’m also seriously considering Disney +. Help me! I have a problem.

Resources I’ve mentioned + bonuses

Meditation – I use Headspace and LOVE it. The Sleepcasts are my favorite things, but there’s a meditation for any- and everyone.

Yoga – Yoga with Adriene. I can’t explain how amazing she is as an instructor. She’s easy to listen to, easy to follow, has the cutest dog, and feels like a best friend.

Exercise – Body Boss. Honestly, I don’t use it right now…but I should. I really like the set-up and the ease of following the directions. You can just get the digital version with videos and such or order the spiral-bound book. Either way, it’s a great workout indoors!

Language learning – I use Rosetta Stone through my library. But whether you use that software, Skype sessions, Duolingo or anything else, it’s a great use of time.

Read on a Kindle – I know, I know, some people LOVE to have real books in their hand. I’m not one of these, and with the electronic nature of the Kindle, you don’t have to leave your house to borrow a book. See if your library has this feature. Otherwise, please consider buying your next Kindle book through my Amazon affiliate link.

Youtube – We need a little escapism, in my opinion. Aside from our Youtube channel, which I obviously suggest, check out The Endless Adventure, Kara and Nate, and Cup of TJ.

Counseling – If you’ve ever thought of counseling, now’s a great time to start. You have the time! And my friend has been using a service where you speak to a counselor in the U.S. She has a nice post on it and I can verify that she’s loved it. And I recommend counseling to literally everyone.

purple flour

Support local when possible

This really depends on what level of quarantine you are in. Since we are not on a full lockdown, restaurants have made adjustments to make deliveries. This is really helping some businesses stay afloat which is so important right now!

If you can’t support monetarily, that’s okay! We are all in a tough spot. Consider writing reviews online for places you’ve been, share their social media posts if they are delivering, comment on their posts, or engage in some way to help the algorithm push it to more people.

While places are still open, we are ordering delivery every once in a while from places who don’t normally deliver and deliver to our neighborhood (that’s not many options, sadly). We have also discovered a farmer’s market that delivers and they are doing it every day instead of a couple times a week. So, we’re getting fresh fruits, meats, and dairy tomorrow and supporting the local farmers! It’s a little more money, but we aren’t traveling anytime soon, so we’ll just invest it into our community instead.

&K canal house

Final thoughts

My travel-loving friend, I just don’t know what the future holds. I’m antsy, I’m scared, and I just want this to be over. As much as I love seeing the incredible sense of community everywhere, I’m not appreciating the negative ways people are treating each other in this time of crisis.

Let’s remember that we are all in this together. For the time being, we aren’t going anywhere (except, maybe outside for a quick walk). I’ll keep you in the loop as best I can. In the meantime, head over to our Instagram or Twitter. On Instagram, I’m trying to share places in Amsterdam that will deliver (to help small businesses), but I also post regular stuff too. Just tap through what isn’t interesting. And Twitter, well, you never know what I’ll feel like posting on there.

In case you didn’t see our last travel video, it’s the only video we were able to film in Sicily. If you want to see our favorite foods from there, please give it a watch and support with a “like”! Thanks a bunch!

Wishing you joy and love!

2 thoughts on “What I’m doing during this “break”

  1. I loved this personal post! Thank you for sharing your days. My next Kindle book will definitely be through your link! What trilogy are you reading? I share that feeling of saving those last few chapters or pages, some characters I’ve just hated saying goodbye to.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed reading. 🙂 The trilogy I mention is The Discovery of Witches. They’ve even made the first book into a T.V. series. They will finish the books whenever they can start filming again. SO excited!

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