April went quite fast and at the same time lasted about seven weeks.
We went from overnight curfew into full lockdown in Barbados, only permitted to leave the house to visit the doctor/pharmacy or petrol station. After a couple of weeks the supermarkets reopened. Two days a week have been allocated for going to the supermarkets, based on the first letter of your last name, and IDs are checked at the door. It’s a small island and Bajans are taking no chances, rightly so.
The first day that I could go food shopping I wrapped a scarf around my face and stood in a three-hour queue that snaked across the front of the building and all around the car park, not so much because I didn’t have any food stocked at home, but because it felt good to be outside. Given how uncomfortable face coverings are in the tropical heat, that says a lot.
The streets are eerily quiet without the rev of engines and the constant Woody – the-Woodpecker-style honking of the minivans. The animals must be confused by the disappearance of the humans. The wild chickens have got free reign of the roads and one afternoon the local ragtag crew of roosters was making such a commotion that I went to my door to see a wild monkey wandering across the neighbour’s garden wall. Considering the often-contentious relationship between Bajans and the fruit-and-vegetable-stealing monkeys, it must be a relief for them to wander the island uninterrupted.
The beaches were closed at the beginning of April so we piled into the car and made the most of the last afternoon of sand and sea for a while.
Without regular trips to the beach and family across the island, my days focused on developing my freelance business. Aside from the work I’m doing with my regular clients, I put a lot of time and energy into finishing and promoting my first ebook. I say first because there’s more to come 😉
April was supposed to be spent catching up with friends in London and then heading to Thailand for the start of my two-month trip in southeast Asia. I certainly can’t complain that plan B involves working from Barbados.
Starting my own freelance business is something I would never have considered doing in the past. It’s so funny how quickly we can completely changes our lives if we so choose. It took only a few months to go from an open-plan office desk in London to a sun lounger in Barbados. Every little development and milestone is a cause for celebration. A new client, a new invoice, a first payment into my business account, running payroll, even setting things up with HMRC.
There’s a lot to be said for location independence and this is just the beginning, no matter what impact coronavirus has on travel in the future.