We arrived in Holland nearly 20 days ago. I have been managing what little I can for the team, remotely. I have been fortunate enough that my team is more than capable and that I have trained them well enough to manage the day to day operations without my constant presence to reassure them. They know this is a necessity, as my family had to relocate, they also know I will come back for the final month of our lease, to tie up all the loose ends before we hand over the shop to the landlord.
Its about a month or so before I get back on a flight to Hong Kong, and much to my dismay I have found that the government has upped the quarantine period to 21 days. This will mean 21 days that I sit in one room in a hotel, without being permitted to leave! I have been struggling to deal with the anxiety already creeping in purely from me thinking about being trapped in a room for 21 days.
How am I going to cope? How will I keep myself from going nuts? I mean, lets face it, Netflix ran out of anything good to watch after the first 4 months of the pandemic, and we are heading up to a year now! I know, these are completely minor first world complaints, but I am seriously worried I will get extremely panicked being stuck alone for 21 days without any change of scenery!
Anyway, its because of the 21 day quarantine that I have had to return to Hong Kong earlier than I had originally planned. There are so many issues with coming back, not the least of which is that Cathay only has one singular flight to Hong Kong from Amsterdam a week! Used to be one flight a day! Now its one a week.
This Covid19 pandemic has just been the ultimate spanking for everyone, hasn't it? Not just my business, but my family, our life, our security. Oh well. Can't go whining about stuff I can't change, all we can do is look to the future.
I feel optimistic about the future, I just wish it would get here sooner! So many things I want to get out of the way and so many things I have no clue how we will cope with, and yet, its just a matter of time and us being able to handle ourselves through the years of pandemic ahead of us.
What is the deal with the vaccine? If we got it, would travel become easier? If we got it, how long does it remain effective? So many questions and as yet, no one has any concrete answers.
My mother-in-law has been slated to be one of the first few to receive the vaccine as she is front line staff, working in a care facility for elderly patients with AD (Alzheimer's disease), she is also in a high risk category as she has MS. So although we are waiting for her to be able to get protected from Covid-19, we are also anxious about the widely discussed side effects and also about the efficacy of the vaccine, not to mention that we have no idea what the prognosis is in the long term. She has had allergic reactions to the common flu vaccine in the past, so we are concerned about how it will go with this vaccine. On top of that, many at her work are becoming concerned and having second thoughts on whether or not they will get the vaccine because they are unsure of the safety aspect of the vaccine.
So do I want to get vaccinated? No. I have never been one for the flu vaccine either. I am not an anti-vaccination nitwit, as I have mentioned previously, I have been vaccinated in my youth for all childhood diseases and I never got a single one, so my immune system actually received the vaccinations well and protected me. My children are all up to date on their vaccines too. The only issue I have is that this vaccine has been rushed to production and I honestly am no expert, but I wouldn't be willing to take it except if it made my life easier from a travel standpoint.
As we have seen time and again, many sailing families have ended up stranded off shore as countries refuse to allow them to set foot on land in a time of Covid-19 fear. Its understandable, but its also of great concern that we don't end up experiencing the same, unable to restock on supplies or being quarantined at sea.
We have bought a boat, a second hand sailing vessel, in Sweden, and we need to wait until the end of winter and the beginning of spring before we can get the boat from the yard there and into the water for all the final checks to ensure its ready for voyage through Sweden and Norway down to Holland. We have chosen this route because its likely the safer bet than sailing down to Holland via the North Sea, which will be rough and unforgiving at that time of the year.
I say "we" but really when it comes to the pick up of the boat and the subsequent sail down to Holland, I will be absent from the journey, it will be my husband, my father-in-law and some random third person they hope to join them, who will make the 7-10 day journey back, bringing our mono hull to Holland.
We have decided to name the vessel a Japanese name, Kokoro.
It was a tough decision, mainly one because we had initially thought we would name the vessel, "Confusion" after the shop and to just keep that dream alive, but after my first week in Holland, and a minor hiccup of my sister having a bit of a breakdown on the other side of the world, I came to the conclusion that the meaning of the name runs deeper than just two Spanish words pushed together and I didn't want that feeling following us around into the future.
Its a long story, maybe one I can go into at some point in the future, but for now, what I can share is that our boat will be named Kokoro. Kokoro is a hard term to translate, but it essentially means "heart, mind, spirit", its a very Japanese concept of being. It looks good in Kanji (Chinese alphabet) as well as Katakana (Japanese alphabet), so much as Confusion has a place in our history, we will not be naming the boat the same.
Our sailing vessel is a 52 foot yacht, a custom build from the 90's that has already done a few ocean crossings. Its a sturdy vessel with fully wood interior, 5 cabins and once we are done with fixing her up, will be kitted out with solar, lithium batteries big enough to run an air conditioning unit on, and with a water maker to make water that is drinkable, from the ocean around us.
Come summer of 2021, we will set sail to the Mediterranean and then sail around the Med for 2 years, home schooling our kids, creating video content about the world we see and our life lesson of sustainable living that we hope to share with others, as well as cooking videos that are creative and plant based, from our journey to farmers markets every port we call into.
But first, I have to come back to Hong Kong, quarantine for 21 days alone in some hotel room, then I have to get down to clearing out all the excess stock and equipment from the shop, one day at a time, one piece at a time, before we go through the process of breaking the shop back down to what they call "bare shell condition" which means no plaster on the walls, no furniture, no built in cupboards, no toilet bowl or doors, nothing...
Feels nuts to think that in just a few months, our little piece of home will be reduced to nothing but rubble and dust.
And so the story goes, maybe one day I can open another Confusion in the Netherlands...
I would like that very much.
But first...I want to travel the world, show my sons the beauty all around them before its too late.
Wishing you all well in the year ahead. And see you all soon.
My name's Lisa. I love to cook, I love to laugh, I love to write. I don't always believe I have the time for creating, and now I am going to work on simply going with the flow, with the food, the restaurant, the writing...and if I can, for one moment, spread a little joy along the way, well, its worth the effort.