They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I wouldn’t be surprised if future generations morph that phrase into something more like time flies when you’re in the middle of a pandemic. Whether we’re in the middle or (fingers and toes crossed) towards the end is something we won’t know until it’s over of course, but I for one, feel like the past 12 months have absolutely flown by. And I’m not one to wish my life away but I certainly hope that the next few weeks and months fly pretty quickly too, so our little island and community can start to rebuild itself in the wake of economic distaster.
On this very day last year, I was sitting in the terminal in Delhi airport writing a blog entry, after using the last of my rupees to buy incense and Krispy Kreme donuts. If I knew then what I know now, I don’t think I would have done anything differently, aside from donate those said rupees to someone in need instead of buying unnecessary tat and sugar. I’d been on the greatest adventure of my life with a huge group of friends from Ibiza (you can read a little bit about it here) and loved every minute. It’s so strange to think that was the last time I saw so many of my best friends, but the memories of that trip have certainly been helpful in getting us through the time spent apart.
So, there I was, preparing to flying back to the island, to my beloved cats and to my home sweet home castle apartment. I’ve never been sad to go home from a holiday, because I’ve created a home and a life that I’m always happy to return to here. I remember feeling filled with hope and excitement for the season ahead – it was going to be the best season ever. My Indian experience had humbled me. I’d go so far as to say it was life changing. Never had I ever felt such a profound sense of peace as in India and I’d been in awe of the way life was lived. It made me appreciate my privilege of course, and I vowed to be more grateful for everything I had in my life. Not just material things – I mean friendships, experiences and memories too.
Once I ran out of rupees, I sat in that terminal and wrote the aforementioned blog that babbled on and on and on (I was tired, overwhelmed, overexcited and quite possibly a little drunk) about how special Ibiza and our connections here are and I really meant it (and I stand by my word). I boarded the plane filled with hope and happiness, planning to spend more time with loved ones. I was planning to go out clubbing more often. I was planning to enjoy splurging in my favourite restaurants on occasion, but I was also planning to live a more conscious, healthy lifestyle. I was planning to practice more yoga, more breathwork, more meditation. Ahh, they were the best laid plans.
Well, they (good old ‘they’!) do say life is what happens when you’re busy making plans and I guess that could be said about my arrival back in Ibiza. I caught a cab home. I cuddled my cats. I ordered a pizza. I drank some wine. I slept off my jet lag. And then I woke up, and the whole world was suddenly different. People were panic buying toilet paper; you couldn’t get hand sanitiser to save your life (fortunately I had some little coloured Sephora bottles leftover from my trip). Pasta and non-perishable foods were flying off the supermarket shelves and then all of a sudden, we were in the middle of a lockdown – a term that we’d probably only ever used in jest suddenly became part of our everyday vernacular.
The lockdown started and the lockdown was extended. And extended some more. The lockdown eased and then the lockdown returned. The lockdown was lifted and then restrictions were brought in. There was a little glimmer of summer as the island opened up for a couple of months. And then the season was declared over, and more restrictions were introduced. The restrictions were loosened, and then they were tightened. There was no Halloween (well, yes of course there was but if you live in Ibiza, you’ll know what I mean) and all of a sudden it was Christmas. We saw the New Year in with friends and then more restrictions were introduced, putting us into a semi-confinement. America swore in a new president (hurrah!) and the restrictions were extended, then Daft Punk split up and now here we are again, waiting patiently for news on when our season can start.
Wherever you are in the world (unless you’re a Kiwi), I imagine your experience of the past year has probably quite similar to the above, give or take a restriction or two. Our lives have been irrevocably changed; we’ve borne witness to an incredible tragedy, but we’ve also seen bravery, selflessness and triumphs. Obviously, the experience has been more challenging for some than others – and here is where I check my privilege once again. India taught me gratitude and I am sure that’s what’s kept me (partially) sane over the past 12 months. I’m more grateful to be safe, to be healthy, to be here with my beloved cats in my home sweet castle home than ever before. I’m grateful for those people who make sacrifices and take risks so that we can be safe. I’m so happy that the sun is shining, and that we can spend time outdoors and that fresh food is in abundance. I don’t take things for granted. What a difference a year makes…
In a very weird way, it feels like I’m only just waking up from my Indian jet lag. Did that year really just happen? It was the longest year of my life, and yet it also flew by in an instant. I can barely remember much from the past 12 months to be really honest – the ups, the downs, the highs, the lows, the emotional rollercoaster. It’s like my brain is blocking it out the same way it would a trauma and in a way, I’m grateful for that too. Because now as I sit here and type, I feel almost the exact same way as I did when I was getting ready to board that plane in Delhi on this exact day last year. I feel excited and filled with hope once again and I can’t wait for the summer season to begin. Although this time I’m not going to make any plans! I’m just going to let life happen…