As we’ve talked about on our podcast and in our previous blog, being abroad during the pandemic has certainly been a sometimes uncomfortable experience, yet a learning opportunity nonetheless.
We’ve previously discussed how we narrowly made it into Thailand after our flight from India to Bali was cancelled. Although we were upset that we wouldn’t be able to go to Bali (and still are unable to for the foreseeable future), coming to Thailand turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Once we made it into Thailand, exactly one month ago, we were overwhelmed with gratitude and relief. Shit had really started to hit the fan abroad so we were absolutely ecstatic when the customs agent stamped our passports with a one month visa.
COVID-19 Gets More Serious
However, shortly after we made it to Koh Phangan, Thailand, we started to feel a little uneasy. The U.S. issued yet another warning for all citizens to come immediately. Thailand, who was kind of late to the game in terms of containment, started experiencing higher numbers and was in the process of shutting down. Concerned shopkeepers in Koh Phangan began to tell us that they were unsure if their business could survive the shutdown. Suddenly, perfectly healthy people were starting to need ventilators to stay alive and New York was becoming a hotbed. Things changed rapidly in a short amount of time. Our friends and family started to lose their jobs. We worried about their health and safety. At that point, we fully understood just how far from home we actually were.
Our Lockdown in Koh Phangan
Every company’s government is different. The Thai government is not like our own. When they decided to shut down, it became the law of the land. It was not up to the governors or the states at it was in the U.S. When we arrived, all bars, clubs, spas, gyms, and other public areas had already been shut down. However, shortly after arriving on the island, all restaurants were ordered to shut down as well, only providing a takeaway option.
We realized the degree of enforcement after the new announcement. One day, as we rode our scooter through town, police stopped us at a checkpoint. But they did not scold us for not wearing helmets (sorry mom & dad). Instead, they asked us if we had masks. We did, we said, in our backpacks. They told us to put on the masks immediately and next time we’d be arrested.
Ok so they mean business here. About a week later, the Thai government imposed a 10pm-4am curfew and the island responded accordingly. We even received a visit from government officials who stopped by to take our temperature. With these new changes in full effect, we realized that we would likely be in Koh Phangan for much longer than a month.
We’ve happily kept to ourselves here and wouldn’t dare try to break the rules. In fact, a local shop owner told us that police arrested people for having a party and after slapping them with a hefty fine, threw them in jail for 15 days.
How We’re Spending our time in Koh Phangan
We feel extremely lucky for the ability to be quarantined in such a beautiful place. We’ve been keeping ourselves as busy as possible while still taking time to enjoy the island. On the weekends, we usually visit a new beach, watch the sunset, hike, or take a motorcycle ride to a new part of the island. It’s a nice reprieve from our normal workday.
Speaking of work, we have been working A LOT. Remember what I said about a blessing in disguise? At Year Disrupted, we took a huge step and had huge goals. Business goals, mental/wellness goals, life outlook goals, financial goals, you name it! We made the world our laboratory for achieving these goals while living a happy and fulfilling life. While we’ve had an incredible experience so far, we really haven’t had the time to “get to work.” Some of our goals have hung on the back burner.
With so much time on our hands and literally no distractions, it seemed like the best time to really get cranking on our goals. It feels satisfying and motivating to make real dents in our business plans while continuing to crank out content for Year Disrupted.
The stillness has also been an opportunity to become more mindful. Often times, we are guilty of filling our lives with so many distractions that we barely have a moment alone with our own brains. Now, these moments are not always easy. But sometimes they are inspirational, creative, and happy. We’ve realized that people rarely give themselves time to think, to just be these days.
We’re getting to know ourselves. We’re getting to know each other. And, we’re committed to learning more, to pushing ourselves mentally and physically, and to check those satisfying boxes that have been on our “to do” lists for too damn long.
As many of you may already know, we are 30 days into the 75 Hard challenge, a physical and mental toughness challenge designed by Andy Frisella. The components of this challenge are easy to do in one day, but hard to maintain for 75 days (the length of the program). Each day includes:
- 1 progress photo
- 10 pages of reading a nonfiction, personal growth, or business book
- 1 gallon of water
- 2 workouts, each 45 minutes, and one must be outside
- no alcohol
- adherence to a diet of your choosing (can be anything in line with your goals)
We are extremely proud of ourselves for the progress we’ve made during this challenge. Overall, when you wake up every day with a “no excuse/get it done” mindset, you always wind up surprising yourself.
While much of this challenge seems physical, the mental benefits are the most significance. In this lifestyle, we are our own bosses. We are only accountable to ourselves. If we won’t hold ourselves accountable, then who will?
A Typical Day in Koh Phangan Quarantine
One of the most refreshing things about our quarantine is our laid back but consistent routine. We’re really starting to master the whole work from home thing, something we’ve been trying to navigate for a while.
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- 8:30/9:30 am: Gabby wakes up first, meditates, and does her daily writing. Maybe checks in with family or answers some emails from clients. This is a huge change from Medellin where we were up and at our desks by 7am.
- 10/11am: Abhi wakes up, meditates, eats breakfast, and usually takes this time to hang out a bit, watch TV, catch up on the news. Sometimes we talk and catch up as, although we’re together 24/7, we’ve been working pretty independently of each other.
- 11:30am-1pm: we usually do a bit of work before lunch. Gabby likes to knock out one of her big tasks at this time to have a lighter workload later.
- 1pm-2pm: LUNCH! We eat something that’s in line with our Hard75 diet.
- 2:30-4:30/5pm: We either do a bit more work, go for a walk, or run errands if we need to. Although let’s be honest, we usually work during this time.
- 5- 7pm: If we haven’t completed our workouts yet. We normally do them during this time. Sometimes we go for a walk as our outdoor workout and pick up dinner. Other times, we go for runs and then do some sort of indoor workout (cardio, weightlifting, yoga) depending on how sore we are.
- 7pm: Abhi starts working and eats dinner while Gabby has a chill dinner, listens to podcasts, or checks in with the family (I don’t like eating and working at the same time).
- 7pm-12am: Work. This is usually our longest work stretch and the majority of Abhi’s work happens as he’s on the stock market. I (Gabby) try to spread my work out throughout the day because I lose brainpower when the sun goes down (I’m serious). I try to save my less important tasks for night time to keep it open for networking, working on my business, or catching up with clients.
- 1-1:30am: After doing my reading, I (Gabby) am usually pretty beat and can not do any more work at this time. I usually go to bed.
- 2:30-3:30am: Abhi goes to bed during this time.
Rinse and repeat! It might seem like a lot of work. It might seem boring. But we are proud of ourselves. If we don’t put in the work, nobody else will. There’s literally nothing else to do so why not use it as an opportunity to grow!
Regardless of what happens, we continue to appreciate the love and support we’ve received during our journey. We don’t know exactly what the future will hold; we don’t even know where we’re going next. But we’re taking every day as it comes and focusing on becoming better people in the process.
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