We are three weeks into the Lockdown, and we are actually loving our new Lockdown routines. We might not be moving around exploring New Zealand in the time we had initially planned when we came here, but we are getting so much more out of it.
What We Couldn’t Do on the Road
We have met wonderful neighbors here in Nelson, where we decided to spend the Lockdown – and you can read all about those hours of decision making here. We have also started some projects that full-time travelling didn’t really leave time for, both professionally as well as more personal ones. We have been cooking, barbequing and baking in a well-equipped kitchen. We have watched movies on an actual tv (not on the laptop as we did on the road) and more importantly, we’ve watched it from couches where we fit - all four of us. We have made puzzles, played soccer, tennis and badminton in our driveway, and basically done all the things we haven’t been able to for 8 months.
Only Our Own Deadlines
This Lockdown life isn’t so bad after all. We surely have a huge advantage in the fact that for eight months straight we have been homeschooling the boys and we are used to being together 24/7. Furthermore, we also don’t have the stress and pressure of worrying about work and homeschool deadlines etc. as many people naturally struggle with these days. We only have the deadlines we set ourselves. So, as long as things are the way they are, we feel quite fortunate that we ended up right here in this home in Nelson and we feel that we are making the most of it.
New Zealand is still one of the countries with a low number of Covid-19 incidents, and even though it’s very tough times for many people, the government here has been clear in their communication and the New Zealanders have remained calm and followed the guidelines so far. We are only allowed out for grocery shopping (1 person), to go to the pharmacy and a short walk/run in your neighborhood in your “bubble” (the people you live with).
What Does a Lockdown Day Look Like?
This is it – what a day in the Forever Traveler Family Lockdown life looks like:
Martin and Helene
We get up when we wake up! Start our day with some breathing exercises (the Wim Hof method). Then we get on to some work before the kids wake up. Martin is almost ready to launch a new business, which he has spent all of his lockdown time working on. I, Helene, start my day by preparing the boys’ homeschool work for the day and go through their work from the day before.
Philip and Toby
First thing when the boys get up, they write their 5 minute journal (3 things am I grateful for, 3 affirmations, 3 things I learned yesterday, how could I have made yesterday better, and how can I make today great) and then they make their plan for the day. They know what they are expected to do, but if they have some ideas of their own or something they really want to do, they have the freedom to set their own schedule for the day.
Then it’s time for our morning song. This is a traditional Danish concept which has had its revival on Danish television in these Corona times. We stream it and sing along to old and new traditional Danish songs – sometimes accompanied by famous Danish artists.
Morning Yoga and Prep.
After the songs, Martin and I do our morning yoga and morning prep. The yoga routine is how we have started our days for 4 years now – and it’s the absolute best way for us to start the day and at the same time connect with each other. We finish it off with a peronal internal prep. We’ve also done this routine on the road whenever possible – and the two yoga mats are besides clothes what takes up most of our luggage.
Then it’s usually time for homeschool to start. We are down to a routine where they read about an hour daily on their Kindle, they read a lesson set of 2-4 articles on Newsela and write essays/do quizzes/draw/write poems/discuss etc. the issue or topic of the day, then they have their Math online on Khan Academy and then there is some spelling/grammar for Philip (9 years old) as well. Toby (12 years old) usually solves and presents an “investment case” as that was a wish of his, and he also does most of the video editing for Forever Travelers Family media.
The Work We Do
I, Helene, write on our blog and articles for other online services, work on our Forever Travelers Family social media and website, and Martin continues his work on the new business. During the day we take breaks by playing outside in our driveway, playing with LEGO, baking, doing puzzles, constantly enjoying our view, and around dinnertime, I like to go for a quick run on the crazy hills we live on - so it's doesn't have to be a long run, a walk or a workout at home. I’m able to continue with my great workout buddies from Barcelona, as they also are working out from home vow via Zoom, that makes me feel part of a community, which is nice during this Lockdown.
Grocery Shopping Work Out
Some days we need grocery shopping done. As we live a few kilometers from the nearest supermarket AND on top of a steep hill, it’s not just a “walk in the park”. It’s a serious work out! We also need to carry everything in our backpacks, so we usually need to go at least a couple of us or the whole family, each with our backpack. There is only allowed one person to do the shopping, which usually is me, meanwhile Martin and boys hangout outside, each waiting for a backpack to carry home.
We take turns on cooking dinner for the family – the boys have got some really good recipes down and it’s a joy to see them present dinner so proudly. After dinner we like to watch a good documentary or a good movie – we alternate every other night. So far, we’ve been through lots of the great classic movies from the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and recent ones… We’ve watched lots of documentaries about nature, wildlife, countries, food, sport, personalities etc. If you think there is a movie or documentary, we must watch – don’t hesitate to write it in the comments down below.
So this is what one day might look like – some days we do all the things we have planned for in the morning, and other days… life happens, and we do something else like playing badminton and soccer all day outside in our driveway, or Philip makes paper airplanes for four hours straight, builds a cave and invites us all to play cards in there, or something completely else.
Going into Lockdown
I had a silly dream of catching up on 2 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy going into this Lockdown, but I have only managed 3 episodes so far. Instead, I’ve baked lots (healthy and… less healthy), done quite a bit of workouts at home, and of course, homeschooling takes up more of my time than I expect when I make my daily to-do list. But it’s all ok, the majority of these things are basically “nice to do’s”, as the “must do’s” get done.
We are enjoying our time here, and both the location of our Lockdown house here on the hill overlooking the Tasman Bay and as well as being in the sunniest place of New Zealand definitely plays a role in the joy, we feel staying here. And it seems that we are here for another 3 weeks – which we are actually quite happy about.