Many of you have sent messages to check in and ask what’s going on with our project, and for a long time we had no real answers for you. Our original departure date was March 25. We said goodbye to a lot of our closest friends at a going away party in Paris on March 7.
Covid-19 was already a concern then, but we were reassured by multiple government agencies that we could maintain our event. A week later France was on one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. Our final training sessions were cancelled and we hunkered down in Morade’s parents’ house in the Paris suburbs.
Emotionally and mentally it was like getting punched in the gut. You spend years planning a trip around the world — saving money, researching itineraries, building a website, creating a business model — and then all of a sudden you hit a brick wall. We laughed about it, because how can you not? The sheer absurdity of a literal pandemic forcing all international borders closed and derailing your life.
All things considered, we are lucky. We had a place to stay. We had a rainy day fund. We had our health. Seeing how the coronavirus wreaked havoc around the world — knowing people who had lost family members, jobs — was a sobering experience.
I won’t bore you with our lockdown activities because I’m sure you have your own. But one good thing that came out of this whole thing was we were forced to slow down. We learned new things, like how to grow vegetables, or sew a face mask. We spent more time taking care of ourselves, by cooking food or exercising more.