Just as the rest of the world has been dramatically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, us nomads have taken quite a beating too! I know what you’re thinking: we’re just travel addicts, crying about how we can’t explore the world anymore and upload the best instagram photos to make all our friends back home jealous, and although that’s true, missing out on living that ideal travel life isn’t all that nomads had to face during this crisis.
Let me start from the beginning
I myself am a nomad. I left home for the first time at 18, and could never stay in the same place for too long since. I’m now 31. I’ve seen a fair bit of the world, but nowhere near as much as I would have liked to, but this is getting off topic…
Suddenly, Covid-19 arrived
I traveled to Australia to do my Working Holiday Visa in March of 2019. I had been there just about a year when Covid-19 decided to show up. My visa was ending in March 2020 and already in February, this virus was becoming way bigger than any of us had imagined. I had a flight booked, I worked hard all year long just to have my flight cancelled and the world shut down.
Although a bummer, it was not the end of the world. Yet, I realized that I was stuck in Australia. With my visa soon coming to an end, and not enough money to catch an emergency flight back to Israel, I found myself living in a van parked outside my former house to share for the next two months. This set up wasn’t bad in the least. I had full access to the house, and lived with some really great people. But I had a lot of pressure from Australia to find a flight and get out.
I was by no means being kicked out of the country. But having to schedule monthly calls with immigration to determine whether my visa could be extended or not, was not the situation I wanted to stay in. On top of that, I was running low on money. I also had no rights to work in Australia, and all my housemates were hitting the road soon, meaning the van (aka my bedroom) would soon be gone. I would essentially be homeless. It was time to make some moves.
What comes next?
The biggest challenge I faced was deciding where to go. I have dual citizenship to the USA and Israel. In the USA I have my family and friends. But the situation there was quite intense, and without a place to live, things would be hard.
You see, most of my friends have young children. My step father has a very delicate respiratory disease and no space for me to live with him. My grandmother is much older which means a higher risk. All in all, I didn’t have a real option of where to go if I decided to head to the USA.
On the other hand, in Israel I have no family. I have some friends. But again, no one with the ability to house me while I try to get my life back together. So that’s essentially why I decided to stay in Australia as long as I did.
Now fast forward two months, I had to make a choice. I found some affordable(ish) flights to Israel and decided it was time to leave Australia. I would like to share my experience from start to finish about how traveling during this pandemic was for me. You can read more about my journey in part 2. See you there!