Listen, everybody has their coping mechanisms – weird or otherwise.
It took a while to figure out that the ways I had to cope with the upheavals of life and mental health strains pre-pandemic, were not going to work as easily during the harsher national lockdown measures of 2020s Covid-19 crisis.
I’m an only child from a single-parent household, so being on my lonesome wasn’t a paradigm shift for my everyday life.
However, when the social interactions of the outdoor world were eliminated from my weekly itinerary, and I suddenly wasn’t passing by strangers, nor sharing spaces with humans I find endlessly fascinating to observe anywhere I am…well, then problems began to arise in my abilities to cope with this isolating lockdown.
Hugs were taken away.
Freedom of movement was restricted, and every time I glanced outside my window, I remember being almost panicked by the loudness of the silence. Much like millions around the world adhering to social distancing measures, I began looking indoors and online for an “escape” – I use the word with trepidation as it’s reductive of what our human spirits were reaching for.
One of the hardest things about the globe coming to a veritable standstill with the Covid-19 pandemic, for me – and I’m deeply privileged to say so considering I had job security, shelter, access to good hygiene, safety, and food – was not being able to use my passport for over a year.
See, I started this tradition 5+ years ago, where I travel abroad once a year (means willing).
The globetrotting has kept me inspired; Driven by my September adventures, I have established and grown my brand and platform beyond what was initially just meant to be the subjective musings of a fashion observer and constantly aspiring blogger of too many things at once.
With my trips, from the glorious concrete ‘scape of New York to the lethargic warmth of the rustic South of France, I have transformed and so too has my range. My writing skills have developed incrementally, as have my photography abilities; and my effective networking has resulted in some life-changing opportunities.
Despite only happening annually, it meant a year of energy and creativity zinging through my veins as I formulated itineraries, timed my trip with global Fashion Weeks, applied for accreditation, conceptualized content, pitched, got prodded for styling, and so much more. It was my favorite exhilarating event of the year.
In my attempts to cope, I used to just Google search terms like “travel” and read articles under the News section – less to do with analytically looking for an end in sight, since that seemed so far off, but more seeking a momentary high the way discovering a city as I walk it, used to do.
When my limits on free article reads were reached on The Telegraph, The LA Times and scores more subscription-based publications, I decided one-day f*ck it, and yielded to the tempting offer New York Times made in one of their Instagram ads (yes, this one time, those incessant adverts worked).
And for just $2 a month, I basically got what I was looking for to placate my wanderlust, alleviate my anxiety on the world’s goings-on, and feel much more…socioculturally connected?!
My subscription to The New York Times is one of the best decisions I ever made this past year.
Along with my newly assembled arsenal of creature comforts that made up a sacrosanct Afternoon Tea tradition at home, the newspaper became something else that didn’t make me feel as alone, uninformed, and weirded out by (the now hated term) the “new normal”.
I have my imported loose leaf TWG teas.
I have my Conde Nast Traveller magazines (slow as they come now into South Africa).
I have my Turkish Delight.
And now, I have my New York Times.
What is your lockdown coping creature comfort?