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‘Rona Around the World Transcript

Corey: [00:00:00] Welcome ladies and gentlemen to small worlds podcast. My name is Leanne Davidson. The opposite might be true, but anyway, we are here with you today with a very special episode talking about what all of us are talking about. Corona. I’m

Lianne: [00:00:30] getting crazy in quarantine with Corona.

Corey: [00:00:33] So we we had a little bit of an experience coming home from Vietnam.

Just in terms of having flights be canceled, not knowing if we were going to be able to get back, not knowing when we should come back and all that kind of stuff. So. We figured that there might be some other travelers out there who had similar experiences. We put a little post up on Instagram and got some people to get back to us.

And so we’ve got some conversations with them that we’re going to bring to you.

Lianne: [00:01:00] That’s shocking. Also expected. I mean, I think, I think we all kind of thought that there would be more security coming back in these like precious two weeks or three week period than yeah. Everyone’s been traveling in it’s really shocking, actually.

Some of the stuff, no wonder spreading so much. Yeah. He can hear from the horse’s mouth.

Corey: [00:01:21] Yeah. So we’re just going to start here. We want to just talk a little bit about our journey home, which was. Put we put, we did it three weeks earlier than we planned. So we were supposed to come home March 26th and we ended up coming home on Liam’s birthday.

Lianne: [00:01:38] And I’ve already lost my tan after three weeks in Wisconsin,

Corey: [00:01:41] terrible of a boyfriend. I am, but we made it and we’re safe and sound for the most part in Wisconsin. And just trying to work through all of this. But yeah, so it was kind of the end of January when we started catching wind of the virus, we were still in the Northern part of India.

During the golden triangle loop. And we, I was just paying more attention to it probably then definitely then Leanne was, but definitely, probably more than a lot of people. I just follow the news pretty closely on

Lianne: [00:02:20] Twitter. Yeah. I’m not,

Corey: [00:02:22] that’s where I get my news from. So I’ve, I seem to have some pretty good followers on Twitter where I see some people that I trust and it’s doesn’t seem like it’s partisan at all.

So I was able to just kind of. See this coming, it didn’t look like a good trajectory. So it was probably middle of February or maybe a little earlier than that. When I said the Leanne, like let’s move our flight from the 26th to the 15th. So we bumped it up there. And so we we did that and then I dunno, it was maybe like,

Lianne: [00:02:51] Oh, I got cancer, didn’t it?

Corey: [00:02:53] Yeah. So our original flight was going through China and obviously that got canceled. If you’re out there and there you have a flight that they’re booking in, like it’s going to go through China. We know they are still booking flights, but they will just cancel them and then they’ll keep your

Lianne: [00:03:13] the taxes.


Corey: [00:03:13] it they’ll keep your taxes in little additional things. Theist, you’re going to end up losing like 30 or 40 bucks. Just don’t book, anything going through China and really

Lianne: [00:03:21] Catholic. We shouldn’t really be booking anything right now. But if you, if you do have to just be really cautious about where you’re booking through, because I nearly booked like our second and third flights, because they kept coming up and advertisements, everything was Chinese.

And I was like, why are you, why are you. Possibly selling fight still. Cause every country was close to China,

Corey: [00:03:39] looked at flights, trying to get back in every which direction, every time we would book something, it would immediately get canceled. So fortunately we ended up getting full refunds after having to go through a little bit of a process to do that with the Chinese airline.

Yeah. But then we just. I, I really, at the very end of February, first part of March, I started getting more nervous about what was going on. So I said to, I told the end that I wanted to move it up even further. At this point we were traveling with her good friend, Hannah, and we told Hannah that we were thinking about doing it.

And she was understanding, yeah, considering that it wasn’t as it, wasn’t what it is, is now this is roughly about a month ago when we’re recording this. And it. Yeah, it just wasn’t as serious as it is now, obviously. So but we were, we did that, so we moved it to Leanne’s birthday, March 9th, everybody send gifts, send money,

Lianne: [00:04:30] send money.


Corey: [00:04:31] and so we did that and just. Ended up getting, getting on a flight. We had to book a flight the opposite way around the world. So normally from Asia to get to the States, you’d fly over the Pacific. We had to go the opposite direction.

Lianne: [00:04:43] Yeah. 40 hours of travel. It

Corey: [00:04:46] was something

Lianne: [00:04:47] for zero.

Corey: [00:04:48] But the main takeaways that I’ll give you guys is that.

On March 9th, I was already surprised how few people in the airport were social distancing. Wasn’t really a word yet. That really just came up a couple of days after we got back, but it was a yeah, we were on the flights. They were busy. They were chock-full of people. There wasn’t really anything.

At any of the airports in any of the countries that we’re in? We’re sure. Vietnam. Qatar, no. Aman. Chad Noah guitar.

Lianne: [00:05:22] Yeah. Circle back. Yeah.

Corey: [00:05:24] So it was Vietnam, Qatar, and I’m in the States. So we flew straight from Qatar to Chicago. And the biggest surprise that we had is we were expecting to probably sit in the longest customs line that we yeah,

Lianne: [00:05:39] Marin and mine in Chicago has, is one of the biggest travel hubs in the United States for airports.

We. Then on the border of China, where we had all of us stamps, you know, we’ve been in Vietnam, we’ve been in Thailand. We had had it. All of us dams were completely honest. Corey was, cause he got asked where we’d been from. Yeah. I’m not a us citizen and not even my customs agent didn’t even ask me if I’d been to China.

He didn’t ask where I had been. He just hit on me on them, was like welcome home. Yeah. And I was like, wow. Dinner, if you actually read my passport, I’m a citizen.

Corey: [00:06:13] I went through, the guy asked have you been to China or Iran recently? And I said, Nope. And I said, I suppose at this point, you’re going to probably start having to ask people.

And include Italy on that list. And he said, Oh yeah, I forgot. I should be asking if you’ve been to Italy too. Have you been there? And I just like shook my head and was like, no, I haven’t been there either. He didn’t open my passport to see if I was lying or not. He was just like, have a good time.

Lianne: [00:06:38] No, one’s taking temperatures.

Corey: [00:06:39] So this is March 9th. This just kind of caught us off guard. So over the last couple of weeks, as we were taking a break and kind of getting into our quarantine flow, we just started thinking maybe there’s some other people out there with some stories. So we’ve reached out to some people and we’ve got some good ones to share with you guys.

And we’re going to start with Taylor. I didn’t want you to tell them a little bit about what Taylor had to say.

Lianne: [00:07:02] Yeah. So Taylor and her husband were taking their honeymoon. Congratulations. And you know, they’d worked up all year to save for this and they were going out to Australia and New Zealand and yeah, well, I will feel, she explains pretty much what happened, but she just got back a few days ago to the States and to San Francisco.

And it’s this very much

Corey: [00:07:22] the same. So take a listen. And when we get done with that, we’ll recap it a little bit and then lead you into our next interview. We’re going to have three of these interviews, so hope you guys enjoy this kind of unique episode, stay safe and what the fuck I can stay home.

Lianne: [00:07:36] Yep.

I know everyone. We’re all going crazy, but you got this, you got us.

Corey: [00:07:44] Hello? Hey, how’s it going?

Taylor: [00:07:46] Good. How are you?

Corey: [00:07:47] Sorry about that. When did you guys get married?

Taylor: [00:07:52] We got married last may. So almost a year ago. We got married may. What was it? May 18th. And we want it to wait until it was sort of just not winter in New Zealand.

Lianne: [00:08:04] You want to go in some of that?

Taylor: [00:08:06] Yeah, we waited.

We were like, Oh, the fall it’ll be nice there. And it was, it was gorgeous, but yeah, we waited, saved a little bit more money. And then decided to go. And how long did the reaping,

Lianne: [00:08:19] how long was your trip?

Taylor: [00:08:21] We were, we left on March stores.

Lexi: [00:08:24] Yeah.

Taylor: [00:08:25] And we obviously got there on the sixth and then we were supposed to call on March 31st.

So it was just about four weeks.

Corey: [00:08:32] Yeah. When was the when was the original idea for the trip? Was it before the wedding even? Did you guys buy tickets? Well in advance?

Taylor: [00:08:40] I would call it brainstorming before the wedding just kind of like, okay, well, where do you want to go? In fact, we have two friends that subsequently taken Hyman’s to New Zealand because we were, we were just taking too long

so they’ve gone. But yeah, so we had done some planning, but then I didn’t really start planning until about October of last year. That’s when I actually like bought our tickets airfare. So then after that, it was kind of, you know, just planning a little bit here and there trying to figure out where to go, what to do the route we were going to take all that kind of stuff.

Corey: [00:09:18] And then in terms of how the, you know, just how things. Became to bead throughout January and February. I’m guessing. I don’t know, because I feel like maybe we were exposed to different things. I was pretty on top of this in the middle of January when we were still in India. And I’m just kinda curious if you guys were watching it and if you were having any hesitance towards making a decision to go.


Taylor: [00:09:40] when we.

Lexi: [00:09:42] Yeah, like January, February,

Taylor: [00:09:43] we really, one of the things we were concerned about was I don’t know if you guys have what Milford sound is and New Zealand it’s like the big, the place to go, right? The road had gotten washed out to Milford sound. I think it wasn’t. January they January, maybe early February.

That was honestly the only thing we were watching at that point. So we couldn’t have gone there. We were like, Oh no, our campsite, we don’t, we can’t drive her car out there. The world’s gone. Literally. That is what we were watching. It was in hindsight. So pathetic, but yeah,

Lianne: [00:10:14] I mean, we didn’t,

Taylor: [00:10:16] I mean, here in the States.

Yeah. Cause you guys weren’t here. So I mean, we started keeping an eye on it, maybe. Mid February. Just because I was like, well, I don’t know. Maybe, maybe we can just get out of the States it’s New Zealand and then it’ll be fine. Cause I think it was, it was at the middle of February when they. You had their restrictions put on them.

Yeah. Something like that. Yeah. So I was like, well, maybe we can just get out and it’ll be fine in New Zealand.

Lianne: [00:10:41] Yeah.

Taylor: [00:10:43] I mean, I had been looking, we’ve been looking forward to it for so long and it was like, nothing is going to stop us.

Lianne: [00:10:48] Yeah. That’s after all the planning and you say, okay, I’m going. Yeah, I get that.


Taylor: [00:10:54] I think a lot

Lianne: [00:10:54] of people had that kind of head space about traveling journalists as well. So, do you have any second thoughts now? Looking back. So you were in New Zealand for what? Like two weeks now. So

Lexi: [00:11:05] I was just,

Taylor: [00:11:06] yeah, just over two weeks. You know, I think yes and no. Yes, because the last, I don’t know, sort of.

Five six days or so we’re just kind of a mess. It was like, Oh, look here, let’s look at this beautiful glacier. But in the back of my mind, are we going to get stuck in this country for the next four weeks? Okay. Now let’s try one at the next thing. So it kind of, it sort of ruined the last half, I would say.

Lianne: [00:11:32] Yeah. Yeah.

Taylor: [00:11:34] It gradually got worse, right? Like when we had to change our flights from, you know, coming home from Australia versus coming home from New Zealand instead and skipping Australia.

Lexi: [00:11:42] Yeah.

Taylor: [00:11:43] It was sort of like, Oh, whatever. That’s okay. It’s not gonna be that bad. We’re still here. It’s great. But then it slowly got worse.

Like, Oh no, we’re going to get,

Lexi: [00:11:51] we’re not going to be able to

Lianne: [00:11:52] get back into it. So that, with that veteran in mind, would you would you try, like, would you now, would you back out and go at a later day or would you still do what you guys did?

Taylor: [00:12:05] I probably would not have gone if this happened again. Yeah, yeah.

It would have been unfortunate because I think at that time, when we were about to leave, none of the airlines were being cooperative. If you canceled, you lost everything. Yeah. In hindsight, I kind of lost money anyway, but but yeah, I mean, Yeah. As you guys know, I, 100% do not recommend traveling during a pandemic,

even if you are on it Island. That has, I mean, New Zealand when we left had less cases than San Diego County. So it was like, well,

Lianne: [00:12:43] Well, just to say,

Corey: [00:12:44] what was the vibe there? Like, were they, were they taking it seriously at all?

Taylor: [00:12:47] Yeah. So the only time we found out anything was going wrong was when our phones connected to wifi somewhere.

I mean, we had an international phone. And so we got updates every once in a while, but when we, when we connected to wifi, it was like, my parents were texting me. My siblings were sending me things on Instagram. Have you seen this? Here’s the state term? So if like there was no, I mean, people were concerned.

Yes. But. For most of the time we were there, it was like nothing had ever happened. Like nothing was happening until about probably three days before we left, we started having to like sign in wherever we went, times date, where we live. What’s our phone number. What’s her email. Okay. That way, if someone was there, you know, contracted it, they would, I guess, allegedly contact you.

Lianne: [00:13:30] Oh, that’s a smart if people like to do it. Yeah.

Taylor: [00:13:33] Right, right. So we had started doing that. And then, you know, we check into like a holiday park and there’d be like a cone barrier in front of the check-in desk. And we’d have to kind of like Chuck our stuff at them at the desk. So that was probably like the last, like three days of the trip.

But other than that, it was. I mean, you wouldn’t, it wouldn’t have even known.

Lianne: [00:13:52] Yeah. I mean, I know they just went on lock down quite, just quite recently actually, because I have friends out in Australia still, and it was only like, I think Friday or last Friday, and I looked down and I was like, Oh, okay.

Really killed.

Taylor: [00:14:04] Yeah. So we left on Monday and then on what was it? I think it was like two hours before we left. They went to like tier three or something.

And then like two days later they went down to like the full lockdown. Yeah. So I don’t know if we would have waited like. Maybe two more days, it might not have been that.


Corey: [00:14:20] How did the flight changing?

Taylor: [00:14:21] Yeah. Yeah. Nine, none of our flights actually ever got canceled. So I mean, we only, so we had a flight obviously down to New Zealand, which we took fine. And then we had a flight from Christchurch over to Melbourne, and then we had a flight home direct from Melbourne to lax.

That was the extent of the flights that we went down there with. And then of course, when everything went sideways, We can, we had our international phone line and we like called chase, which is how I did it. I mean, I saved up and booked all these points and bought all of our tickets with points. And and so we know called chase on an international phone and sit on hold for three hours, deplete all our international minutes.

And then, and just a try, buy like a new ticket.

I know. Yeah, it was, it was so that’s what we did. You know, I w I was when we changed our slides from the 31st to the 29th to leave just from New Zealand, we I’m like, Whoa, these tickets would wear like $300. So like, yes, this is great. I paid for them with like half points. It was perfect. And then that was fine.

And then after that, It was not sign. It was chaotic. You couldn’t get ahold of anyone. You know, the airline websites now are easy. You can just go on and cancel it. But when we were doing it, we couldn’t or changes or nothing. So

Lianne: [00:15:44] what route did you take home then? So obviously you couldn’t get into Melbourne, right?


Taylor: [00:15:49] you

Lianne: [00:15:49] go via Hawaii or

Taylor: [00:15:52] that, so we we couldn’t get over there. So w so we booked another, we booked a flight home. The flight was supposed to leave, I think, on a. We booked it on the 20th and it was going to leave on the 22nd. And it was like the cheapest flight week. Fine. And so we booked it and it was going to take us from Christchurch to Sydney and then from Sydney to Honolulu and then Honolulu to lax.

So that was our initial flight home. This was, I kind of was texting Corey about this. This is where we ran into the problem. Our flight home that we took was. Auckland to LA or to Oakland, to San Francisco.

Lexi: [00:16:28] Yeah,

Taylor: [00:16:29] that was our original. That was the flight. We actually took home. The one, the one to one that we initially booked.

Yeah, we booked it on the 20th. We were supposed to find the 22nd. It was at like six, 15 in the morning and we we got to the airport at like three. Am the airport didn’t open until three 30 and then no one showed up until four or something like that. So there’s lines out the door outside while we’re all waiting in the dark.

And then we all get in. It’s a mad rush

Lianne: [00:16:59] counter.

Taylor: [00:17:00] So we were on Quantas at this point for this, this leg. And so we get up to the front desk or like third in line. We did the online, check-in where we’re smart. We’re like third in line. The other line, the other line is like 200 people out the door. We would never have got like.

It would have been.

Lianne: [00:17:18] And you just imagine with the virus as well, that’s just like,

Taylor: [00:17:22] and yeah. And there’s that, there’s like a kid, like a kid tour. I think, I don’t know where they were from, but it was like he had like adult chaperones and there were like 50 kids that were probably 10 to 12. Well, just like right next to each other on their phones.

I’m just like, Oh my God.

Lianne: [00:17:38] Oh gosh. And did you guys, did you have any

Lexi: [00:17:42] triple when you did get

Lianne: [00:17:43] back in on any of those fights, actually, you know, people taking your temperatures or asking you the right questions, did you, did you go through all

Taylor: [00:17:49] of that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I mean, we have, we have global entry.

So I don’t know if it maybe is different because of that, you know, we just walk up to get our face and fingerprints and all that kind of stuff. So I don’t know if it was different for anyone else, but for us, no, they didn’t ask where no one asked where we had been. Yeah. No one told us. I think the rule was, if you come from a tier three country, you’re required to self isolate for 14 days when you get home.

And technically when we left New Zealand was with a tier three. Nothing. No,

Lianne: [00:18:22] we had the same thing.

Taylor: [00:18:25] That was the one, one thing that absolutely shocked me because there were people, you know, being in the airport for two days straight, basically I overheard people saying like they were trying, when was this program?

I think this girl was from London and she was trying to get home. Right. She can’t like, all the flights stopped like somewhere in Asia and then go over. So she couldn’t do any of those. And so she found one to Thailand and it She booked Dino booked, the flight showed up and they’re like, Oh, where’s your physical?

And she’s like, what would it be like to get your temperature taken and get this done and have a $100,000 bond. Right. Okay, so I’m not getting on this plane again, and that was just Thailand and I’m like, why? Yeah, we didn’t do, I didn’t do anything. That was like the biggest shock to me.

Corey: [00:19:06] Yeah. Wild. Well, I mean, I’m happy that you guys got back.

I’m sure you’re relieved. I’m wondering just to try and end this on a positive, like we try to do, what was your favorite memory and are you guys planning a redo honeymoon? Yeah,

Taylor: [00:19:18] absolutely. Okay. Yes

So now we can just go straight to the South Island, but just do cause the South Island was where we all like to really fun stuff, right. To rafting and all that kind of stuff. So yes, we’re going back. We have to do these airline Dodgers within a year. So it’ll probably be within the next year. And then our favorite part.

Oh, what was our favorite? We did we did Blackwater

Lexi: [00:19:42] rafting.

Lianne: [00:19:43] Oh

Taylor: [00:19:44] yeah. So, you know, we’ve like shot. We did like, it was like cave diving, not diving, just like cave walking.

Lianne: [00:19:51] Yeah.

Taylor: [00:19:52] Yeah. And so then and then we got to sit in a river and float down the tube and like, look at the glow worms, like hanging from the ceiling

Lianne: [00:20:00] it’s in the notes.

Isn’t it? It’s the white time of caves or something like that. That’s

Taylor: [00:20:06] a big one. That’s a big touristy one where you’re like in a boat and they just like, go with you. This one you’re actually, we got in like full it’s, like big, like five mil thick web sweatsuits, and like actually got to sit in our own little black inner tube and like slow down this underwater.

Corey: [00:20:21] I’ll just underground.

Taylor: [00:20:23] It was more of like the adventure version of glow

Lexi: [00:20:26] one. Yeah,

Lianne: [00:20:27] yeah,

Taylor: [00:20:28] yeah. You couldn’t do it if, you know, kids couldn’t really do it to walk a lot and stuff. So yeah, that was, that was really fun. And that was sort of at the end of the trip. So it was kind of like, that was, that was a nice break where we actually got to like, not think about any of the craziness going on.

Lianne: [00:20:43] That’s good. I’m glad. Yeah. Managed to enjoy yourself still then.

Taylor: [00:20:46] Yeah. Yeah, yeah,

Corey: [00:20:48] no, that’s fantastic. That’s I mean, what a great. What an unbelievable just memory.

Lianne: [00:20:56] 20th.

Taylor: [00:20:58] Totally. I know. Everyone’s going to be asking us. Oh, how was travel during the coronavirus? Well, not fun. Yeah.

Corey: [00:21:06] Well, we just want to thank you for your time.

Taylor: [00:21:08] Yeah. Thank you guys so much and good luck. And I can’t wait to hear all these stories.

Lianne: [00:21:12] Yeah.

Corey: [00:21:16] All right. Well, thank you so much to Taylor. That was really interesting. How the honeymoon?

Lianne: [00:21:22] Yeah, one to remember next we are going to speak to a small worlds podcast. Favorite?

Corey: [00:21:30] Regular,

Taylor: [00:21:30] a

Lianne: [00:21:31] good friend, the great Matthew delay, Dallas Panama.

Corey: [00:21:37] Here’s Matt. So now we are here with Mr. Matthew delis, Palomar,

Lianne: [00:21:45] not once, not twice, but thrice featuring on the small world podcast.

Corey: [00:21:51] Absolutely. Matt, how are you?

Matt: [00:21:54] Okay. I’m cold and currently on top of the mountain, but I’m good.

Corey: [00:21:59] Currently on top of it, mountain and Alaska, no one quarantines like Dallas.

Lianne: [00:22:04] I come from the Swiss house to the Alaskan mountains. No one quite lived the life of Mr. Dollar.

Corey: [00:22:10] So to continue with our theme of trying to get some kind of unique travel stories that people have had throughout the last month of this Matt has been.

Having probably one of the best quarantines of anyone that I’ve seen so far. When did you go to Spain and did you know, was the Corona virus relevant when you were making those

Matt: [00:22:30] plans? So the start of the whole coronavirus thing, cause

Taylor: [00:22:34] I remember

Matt: [00:22:34] originally I was at the, you guys in India and it was still kind of just like a blip on everyone’s radar.

It was kind of like, Oh, coronavirus, but it wasn’t like a global thing. And then when I was in Shargel in the Philippines, then it was hard to get my flight back home because that’s when all the flights and like the beta stuff started to get canceled already grounded. But I ended up flying back to the yes, without any, it was just normal.

I mean, my flight got canceled once and then it was unpaid canceled because of a travel ban into Taiwan. And I was passing through Taiwan. But other than that, everything was normal. I, there was no text. Nobody said anything about it. I just flew to the U S. And I was in Seattle for a week. And then the day after I left Seattle with, when it hits Seattle with a nursing home.

So that was kind of like the start of it all, but then it kinda, the us, wasn’t really worried about it at that point, you know?

Corey: [00:23:27] And this is like mid February. Is that what we’re talking about here? Like

Matt: [00:23:32] that was at the end of February. And then I flew to stay. I was home in Wisconsin for a week, and then I flew to Spain, March 9th.

Taylor: [00:23:41] And that’s

Matt: [00:23:41] something that was starting in Italy, but it wasn’t as bad as it is now.

And I got to Spain and enough when it started to like really break out in like France and Italy and Spain. And so the person that I just been staying there, like, Ooh, they were talking about a lockdown and being locked down in like a city, like Madrid, like they’re not allowed to leave.

Like they can’t go to the park, like their patrol, like the police officers tell you to go home. So that is the last place that we want it to be for. Like, Who knows how long? So we flooded, so I’d say late. We were actually, we booked a flight at like midnight the night before. Cause we were debating like, should we go to this like tomorrow or the next day?

And thankfully we went the next day because that was the last day that they like stay locked down that day. And you weren’t able to fly from Spain to do it anymore.

Lianne: [00:24:36] Yeah.

Corey: [00:24:36] I mean, you guys looks like you made a really, really great decision because it was just like this little village in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

That was

Lianne: [00:24:46] actually one of the main things. Spread is because it happens to hit Seattle. And that just happens to hit the day after

Corey: [00:24:52] he was in Asia

Lianne: [00:24:55] and Madrid. He just happens to live in the day after every, that time. And then

Corey: [00:24:59] finally have him quarantine on a mountain in Alaska. So,

Matt: [00:25:05] you know, and I did think about that, but I would’ve had to have it for like a month because this is over a period of like a month. I couldn’t possibly have had it full time if I didn’t have it or had it. Yeah.

Corey: [00:25:16] Hey, whatever you do, whatever you need to do to help yourself sleep

Matt: [00:25:21] unknown.

Corey: [00:25:24] So what I kind of want to get to next is you had this, it looks like, you know, obviously some pretty great times and.

Switzerland with the family that you were with and you guys just kind of lived the home life, cooking a bunch of food, taking walks and having some amazing views and everything. I think I remember you guys, like at one point training Swan. But anyway,

Lianne: [00:25:46] but

Corey: [00:25:47] anyway you’re,  coming home from there seem to be at where you booking flights and having them canceled left and right.

Is that kind of what was going on in the last week or so?

Matt: [00:25:57] Yeah. So that was difficult because I was there and I was, this was what I had a situation, everybody then who was abroad. It’s like, you’re really uncertain whether they, like, you should stay in a way, like another week before you book a flight or you just know that.

So I was in that situation for like weeks because I didn’t have my flight home. So I was just like every day monitoring the situation because there was new travel bands. You know, the us is banning European travelers and you would bet. Meaning anybody else who wasn’t you? And it was just like really hard to like, navigate, like, should I buy it or not?

Or do I need to wait to see what else they ban? So that was kind of like the stress of getting a ticket back. And then I did decide on a ticket cause I found one that way. There’s no direct flights back. Not because the us is directing all international flights through like 13 specifically airport, just to like reduce like the amount of areas that people are flying into.

There was no direct life and I’m trying to get to juvenile, which is not, you can’t take a direct flight here anyway to Alaska. You have to pass through Seattle. So I had to go from Geneva. Through Paris, Paris to LA LA, Seattle, then Seattle did you know, to get here.

Corey: [00:27:07] Did you notice

Matt: [00:27:08] anything that you wanted to make it shorter?

Corey: [00:27:10] Yeah. Did you notice anything different at any of the airports? Cause you just did this what? Like four or five days ago.

Matt: [00:27:17] Yeah. And honestly, no

Taylor: [00:27:19] they pretty much

Matt: [00:27:21] operated the same. The ones that I went through, there were much more empty and. The flights were less frequent. So obviously that’s, it’s more empty, but in terms of like second or like standard people were doing a soap, like standing distances away.

Apparently the airport said that they’re, you know, doing sanitation methods. So I don’t know, maybe at night they’re doing more cleaning than they usually do. And then the planes before you board them, I guess the planes are doing extra sanitation methods as well, but you don’t really see any of that.

They just kind of tell you that it’s happening. But in terms of like the operation of the airports, everything was pretty much the same. It was just less people. So there is less security lines there. All the the second Gates are closed. It’s like when you go into the airport, if you haven’t checked in, but when were, they were all closed?

But there was nothing in terms of trying to like ask the people for like health monitoring, really the only airport that did that was actually do, you know, airport, the small, tiny airport in Alaska.

Lexi: [00:28:25] Only

Taylor: [00:28:25] one that, yeah. They handed

Matt: [00:28:27] out paperwork about the shutdown, not the virus. They ended up paperwork about the lockdown they handed out and they did voluntary.

What is it? The type of cancer they did that they did the most, but when I flew into the U S.

Lexi: [00:28:43] Did anyone ask,

Lianne: [00:28:45] did anyone ask where you’d been or anything did I want to ask about if you’ve been to China or anywhere like that, or

Matt: [00:28:53] has already been hit and they still aren’t.

Corey: [00:28:56] Yeah. And after the Spain has been hit so badly and you had been in Spain, I mean, it’s just wild how the they’re just not regulating that at all. It’s just surprising that there’s just not more stops.

Matt: [00:29:09] Yeah, I think they’re mainly just like. Assuming that if you were there, that when you come to the guys, you’re just going to self quarantine for two weeks.

Like they, I don’t think they really have a legal way to like put you in quarantine in the U S and the U S citizen. I don’t think they can just like take you and be like, you’re restricted from going anywhere for two weeks, but they have to, like, they kind of expect you to just do it. Come on. We all know as human beings and that’s not,

Corey: [00:29:31] if you had been in the, if you had been near the Wu Han province in China, they were doing a mandatory quarantine and like a military base.

So they can do it.

Matt: [00:29:40] Yeah. That, yeah. That’s the only thing only when it was blue Honda daycare in, after it spread, it was kind of just like, Oh, that’s too late.

Corey: [00:29:49] It just seems like if they would’ve seen your passport and seen like, Oh, you were in Spain, like the second week of March, maybe we should actually quarantine you.

That that would actually make logical sense. But yeah. I mean, I’m happy that it didn’t happen, but yeah. Yeah, that’s just kind of one of the things that

Matt: [00:30:05] I expected to be more as well when

Lianne: [00:30:08] we went to the same thing,

Corey: [00:30:09] we appreciate it. And hope that your quarantine and Alaska keeps going as well as the rest of your quarantine has been hopefully switched from Swiss Alps to amazing Alaskan mountains and Wales

Lianne: [00:30:21] Macy know where to find summons.

Yep. Yeah, they won’t be stuck for fuse.

Matt: [00:30:27] No, I feel pretty set up here. Yeah,

Corey: [00:30:34] really appreciate it. Thank you, Matt. Awesome. Thank you so much, Matt. That was a heck of a story. We feel so bad for your miserable corn

Lianne: [00:30:44] team, because awful, but it’s quite alarming that the the airports checking at this point, but yeah, really, really.

Corey: [00:30:53] Unbelievable. But our next story is a little bit different.

This is a sister of one of Leanne’s good friends and Lexi has been down in El Salvador since the first part of March and is currently still there. And since she lives in New York city, she’s opted not to come home, but she can tell her story better than we can. So here’s Lexi.

Lianne: [00:31:17] So we are with Lexi who lives in New York city and she is currently stranded in El Salvador.

So thank you for speaking with us today, Lexi. And what brought you to El Salvador and how long have you been there for.

Lexi: [00:31:32] So this is my third time visiting. Well, hi everyone.

Okay. So this is my third time to El Salvador. The first time that I came was in August of 2019 and I just became kind of obsessed with this place and the people here. So I came back again for Christmas and then I was here for three weeks and then I came back in March just to surf and reconnect with the people that I had met back in and December.

And I ended up flying and I arrived here March 11th, which was the day that they closed the border.

Lianne: [00:32:10] Yeah.

Lexi: [00:32:11] Crazy. But yeah, I really just came for. Kind of like a surf trip vacation and ended up staying here now for, I think it’s been like a month now that I’ve been here.

Corey: [00:32:21] Yeah. And w w what was the original plan for how long to stay and then what’s the, what’s your current situation?

Lexi: [00:32:28] Yeah, so I was only gonna stay for 10 days. I was supposed to leave on March 23rd and then I like the president was really quick here, which was great for the, for the people of El Salvador. Quick to close the border and quick to take actions to make sure that everybody is staying inside and kind of quarantining themselves.

So that’s basically what happened is here. And I was, I probably five days before I was supposed to leave. He shut down the airport. And so then I was, I was definitely, you know, kind of stuck here. I don’t really like to stay stuck I guess, because I actually feel pretty peaceful being here, but they, since then have the embassies we’ve been working with the El Salvador.

Government here to organize evacuation flights. So I’ve had, yeah, I’ve had the opportunity to leave and I’ve actually just decided to stay because I, I don’t feel comfortable traveling. And I, I live in New York and obviously that’s labeled the epicenter of the virus and the United States. And so I felt like it was better.

Mentally and physically to stay, but

Lianne: [00:33:39] yeah, I would agree with that.

Corey: [00:33:40] It’s really had to be a big decision to be like what to do, but I mean, as you’ve watched your decision pan out over the last few weeks, it’s just kind of, yeah.

Lexi: [00:33:50] Yeah. And I think I it’s. Yeah, it was actually, it was a really hard decision.

And I think when you have two choices in front of you, there’s always a lot of anxiety until you decide on one. And so I, I was toggling between going home and being back in the United States and because it’s a little bit scary to be out of your home country at a time like this, but ultimately I kind of decided that that wasn’t really the safest place for me.

Having to travel in the midst of all of this. So yeah.

Lianne: [00:34:19] Yeah, no, I think that’s smart.

Corey: [00:34:21] What’s the visa situation?

Lexi: [00:34:23] I don’t know.

Corey: [00:34:25] I’m not sure.

Lianne: [00:34:27] Maybe not supposed to be here. Not quite sure. Tell Salvador.

Lexi: [00:34:32] I’m not really sure. I don’t know. Like, I, I don’t, I didn’t need anything to be here for like 10 days and I don’t know what.

What consecutive amount of time, you need to secure a visa to remain here. But I also know that these are. Yeah.

Lianne: [00:34:47] I mean, I think the worst that had happened is you probably get a fine when you leave the airport, but then I’m sure if you’re like, Hey look, I was here, Sam, show me. Yeah. I very highly doubt.

Yeah. So what, what is the plan then? Are you just gonna stay there and just wait it out until New York is safe and just for however long that may be whether it’s months, weeks.

Lexi: [00:35:11] Yeah, I apparently the airport is going to open for commercial flights on April 18th is when commercial flights will become available.

So, I mean, that’s now I don’t know how, I don’t know if that will change. I think that the issue for me is Traveling, like I said, and going back to New York, even if the airport’s open here, I’m not sure that I really feel comfortable going back. So at this, at this moment in time, I’m just playing it day by day.

I think it’s hard to make a plan. When everything’s so up in the air and changing, and I’m trying to just I’m trying to be calm. It’s a scary situation, but one of the, one of the things I learned have learned through my surf lessons is that there’s a difference between fear and panic. You can have fear, but once you start to panic you kind of lose all control, so I’m trying not to panic and just and just kind of play it day by day.

Lianne: [00:36:09] Yeah. And what’s about what’s the current situation like in El Salvador? Like the police patrol in the street. So you, I guess you’re allowed to go for groceries. Are you limited with your activities?

Lexi: [00:36:21] Yeah, so definitely limited. It’s. I don’t know if they, if it’s officially like a corn team that’s in place, but you’re not allowed to leave your house unless it’s for essentials.

So the grocery stores are still open. It’s like many places. But you also, it’s only one person per like vehicle. So you know, you can’t be in a car with, you’re not supposed to be in a car with two people going to a grocery store. One person from your family or household can go at a time. You know, they’re limiting the amount of people in the grocery stores.

They do have a military and police patrolling for sure.

Lianne: [00:36:57] It can be scary. Yeah.

Lexi: [00:37:03] You know, I’m not, I’m not really totally well-versed in like the politics or government of El Salvador, but I do feel that the people here take. They’re military very serious inside. They are inside. Where it’s a little bit different in the States.

I think people retaliate we’re

Lianne: [00:37:22] very entitled. Aren’t we? We’re very entitled. Yeah.

Lexi: [00:37:26] Yeah. It’s

Taylor: [00:37:26] true. Like

Lexi: [00:37:28] people here, listen, and I don’t know if that’s like out of a fear of the past or what, but, so yeah, so people are staying inside. I’m going to the grocery when they need things. I. Notice, like from a tourist perspective, it’s super interesting because obviously like hostels and hotels and stuff are closed, but if you were here when this shutdown happened, like they’re not going to kick you out.

Out. And so I was at a hostel, I decided to get a house with a friend of mine, so we’re staying here, but I do have friends that are still in the hostel and it’s it’s okay. You know, like they’re really banding together. So they’re cooking as a family, almost in the hostels. A lot of the hostel owners or the hotel owners here have given all of the guests free stay.

So they don’t necessarily don’t have to pay. Which I think is, is great. So yeah, it’s, I think there’s also, I mean, there’s so many things to be said, I guess, about the state of things in El Salvador, the virus itself hasn’t really permeated the country. There’s I think 50 reported cases, three reported deaths.

And that’s because the president shuts down the border so quickly. A lot of those cases were actually people that were in quarantine and stopped from coming in. So to my knowledge, it hasn’t been like widespread in the cities or anything, which is great. But a lot of people are out of work and many people, especially where I’m staying in the beach towns and the coastal coastal towns, like they don’t have their money comes from and tourism.

Yep. And so it’s really difficult that as far as I know, they also don’t have an employment or anything set up here. The government is giving is giving like stipends to every family of, I think 300. Dollars it’s a one-time thing or a monthly thing, but people are given, are being given money from the government.

And I think they have like free rent for two months and don’t have to pay utilities and stuff. So it’s good. But still people are suffering here. A lot of people don’t have cars to easily access food. So we’ve been doing our part to try and rally and. Get food and stuff to people that we’ve heard our names.

Corey: [00:39:44] We just looked at the, your story over the last 24 hours. And you’ve got this great little thing going with this everyday. Sunset that I saw. Tell us a little bit more about that.

Lexi: [00:39:54] Yeah, the sunset thing. So the person that I’m staying with, he, the two of us got a house. He’s a surf instructor here and.

Zonta El Salvador. And we were talking about things that we could be doing over this time. And he said, I want to show the sunset to everybody. Yeah, that’s great.

Lianne: [00:40:11] We love it. We’re up in Wisconsin. We’re loving it.

Lexi: [00:40:16] The sunsets beautiful. And like, some people have access to the sunset around the world still, but a lot of people are in their homes and they can’t see it.

And so for us, we were thinking, gosh, let’s try and figure out a way to stream it. And he has a nice camera and have my computer. So I taught myself. Yeah. We taught each other basically how to live stream. And we set up this site where we’re asking for donation. So the sunsets are free, but. Donations are encouraged and we’re taking that money and using it in in a variety of places so far, we’ve used everything to buy food and, and deliver it to families that are in need here.

But we may start making financial contributions to other organizations in El Salvador that are

Taylor: [00:40:56] a little bit more

Lexi: [00:40:57] well-equipped to

Lianne: [00:41:00] get around

Lexi: [00:41:00] to all the towns and a little bit better organized. And the two of us. So yeah, we’re kind of trying to figure out what that is. I think it was kind of interesting was like, you know, I’m from the States.

And so, and that’s been, it’s been hit really hard. And Chimera who I’m staying with here is, is a local from El Salvador. So we’re trying to figure out like, How can we raise money? And it benefits both places. And so the world health organization is another place where thinking about giving money to, but yeah, it’s been fun.


Lianne: [00:41:29] It’s been fun to like learn

Lexi: [00:41:31] something new to a live stream. People appreciate it. Like we have people that watch every night and I think we’re up to like 11 total viewers at one time. Hey, you got to stop. Smile.

Corey: [00:41:45] Totally plug it. I think it’s such a cool cause. And what like for us being up in Northern Wisconsin.

Yeah. We’re we don’t, we’re not getting that, that West coast sunset, so yeah,

Lianne: [00:41:55] but that’s a really great thing that you do in it, so. Awesome. Well, I can hear things like that.

Corey: [00:41:59] So what is the, what is your hope then? W you, you don’t, you just keeping an open mind and just kind of, you said you’re going day by day, so trying to get home or anything like that, isn’t really something that’s on your mind.

You’re just trying to help. Yeah.

Lexi: [00:42:12] I think until home feels safe to be, it’s not really a priority right now. Maybe if I lived somewhere outside of New York, I would feel a little bit better about going home. I mean, that’s not Sebastian New York. It’s just, it’s more so that, like, I haven’t been in my home in New York.

I’ve been like, I would have to travel to get there. And I just,

Lianne: [00:42:31] you didn’t need to bring that in. Yeah,

Lexi: [00:42:34] yeah. Yeah. So so yeah, it is, it’s just kind of like, I don’t know, like I think that this is such a, like, Huge opportunity for all of us to sort of practice being comfortable with the unknown. So I’m trying to practice, practice that and find peace with that at the same time, be, you know, well equipped and informed and not naive about what’s happening.

And what’s, what’s the safest measures for me to take, but I also work for myself and I’m,

Taylor: [00:43:05] I don’t have a lot of work right now, so

Lexi: [00:43:07] it’s not like.

Lianne: [00:43:09] It’s Chris’ mom.

Lexi: [00:43:11] Yeah. Yeah.

Corey: [00:43:12] It’s a unique situation. I mean, I think that your perspective is something that I’m, I feel like a lot of my friends and people that I’m talking to have this, and they’re like looking at this as not, Oh, woe is me.

They’re looking at it as an opportunity to maybe slow down their lives or do something positive, learn something new. Or, and I’m just loving that. I’m getting a lot of that perspective. And as we’ve been talking to people trying to put together this episode, it’s, it’s been a lot of. It’s been interesting to see how the, like, that your airport shut down.

The other people that we’ve chatted with. That’ll be on this, on this episode, they’ve been in situations where they haven’t necessarily the U S airports were like not doing anything to screen people. And that was our experience on March 9th, flying back from Vietnam. And that’s one of the reasons that we decided to do this because we were just like, well, I wonder where things are at two weeks later, but nothing’s changed and that’s scary.

Taylor: [00:44:05] Yeah,

Lexi: [00:44:05] totally. It everybody’s everybody’s experiences doing during this time are so fascinating and everyone is having a different experience with it, like both as it relates to the world as a whole. And I think as it relates to each person’s individual lives, and I think also. I know a lot of friends of mine who are just sort of re-evaluating their work reevaluating, like their location.

Re-evaluating a lot of different things. And how, how they maybe intend to move forward after all of this is done. So, yeah, it’s it, it’s a really interesting time and good time to just try and have a little bit of perspective.

Lianne: [00:44:47] Yeah. And reflect on how lucky and fortunate we all are as well. That’s how I feel.

I just feel so, so lucky. And that’s it. You want to help people? So.

Corey: [00:44:56] If you have anybody in New York. And I imagine that you do know a lot of people that are probably being affected by this. So we hope the best for them. And we’re just super appreciative of your time. I know it was kind of hard for us to connect, but we loved having this and we’re super appreciative.

This is just interesting story.

Lexi: [00:45:12] Yeah, thanks so much for having me

Corey: [00:45:14] have a good day. We’ll talk to you again.

Lianne: [00:45:16] Bye. So thank you so much, Lexi, letting us know how things are done in El Salvador. Fascinating stuff. Yeah. And if you guys do want to visit VSAM set page, it is some set for everyone TV on Instagram.

We’ll write it in the show notes as well. So make sure you check that out. To see how you can help also just see a beautiful center.

Corey: [00:45:40] Yeah. Check it out. Sunset for everyone. Dot com is their website donate. If you can. Thank you as always, we appreciate it. Wanted to bring you some travel stories, amidst the current pandemic that we’re all in together.

What an interesting way to make the world feel so small.

Lianne: [00:45:57] Yeah, but also makes us feel so fortunate for everything that we do have.

Corey: [00:46:01] Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So thank you very much. Don’t forget guys. We’ve got great stuff on the website. We had a couple of of our travel videos, India Northern Vietnam come out in the last couple of weeks and we are Sri Lanka is almost done.

So hold tight for that, but be on the lookout at small worlds, and Hope you guys have a good one.

Lianne: [00:46:23] Stay healthy. Stay happy,

Corey: [00:46:25] stay safe.

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