This post comes late but like for most of you the past few months have been challenging and I had to find new ways to adapt to the situation.
Living in a foreign country during a Pandemic is one thing and would probably make a whole blog post on its own. Today I’d rather share some positive vibes and good things that happened to me during Lockdown. We can all do with some positive content and I hope some of you will share encouraging stories in the comments below.
My goal with this blog has always been to show fellow vegans that one can indeed travel the world as a vegan. Well, since March last year travelling seems like something of the past and I hope we can all explore this beautiful planet again really soon. Future travel will definitely be more eco-conscious and perhaps even more vegan-friendly. Once things get sort of back to normal, I’ll shower you with vegan travel content again. For now I’ll focus more on local experiences and that’s a positive side effect of it all anyway.
South Africa went into a super strict 21 day Lockdown about a year ago and to this day we are in Lockdown, meaning we never made it further than alert level 1. My biggest passion has always been working in the Tourism sector, but even I had to acknowledge that this industry was dying by the minute with all the travel restrictions around the world. The economy was cracking and since I worked as a solo digital content creator and translator for businesses in tourism at the time, I instantly knew that I had to find other work as soon as possible. All of a sudden, PR companies stopped approaching me for content because of tight budgets, tour companies no longer needed my help because there weren’t any tourists travelling plus restaurants that I sometimes worked with were on the brink of closing. So, what choice did I have?
I’m extremely privileged to speak a foreign language in South Africa and that is my mother tongue German. With many German companies outsourcing to South Africa, I usually have it a little bit easier finding jobs than most locals. But does that also apply in the middle of a Pandemic? I browsed online job ads where German was required and at the same time found something that sounded like right up my alley. Managing a vegan shop in the neighborhood. Almost too good to be true.. It didn’t really scare me off that looking after a small restaurant during Lockdown might be a bad idea. The numbers were declining at the time and Lockdown was to be eased. So why not live that dream and be part of a vegan business? Long story short, I lasted 3 days and don’t want to get into details here and hurt anyone’s feelings. Today I know it was for the best and don’t regret anything.
By end of that week I already signed a new contract with a customer service center that needed German speaking agents. I’ve done something similar 15 years ago when I started out in Cape Town, so wasn’t put off by the shifts, mostly angry customers and high volume of cases. Guess how long I lasted…. exactly 9 days.. By now you probably think that I’m stupid, lazy and picky. Let me tell you, I have pride and at the end of the day it’s all about self-respect, even in a Pandemic. Yes, I was getting desperate, yes I was ashamed to tell my family to have yet failed another job and yes I was scared about my future.
It was a difficult time like for most of you and I’m most grateful to those who supported me in any way during those hard days (you know who you are!!). On the other side, I wanted to support local so badly and tried to order online from vegan restaurants that started deliveries as much as I could.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel they say and you know what ? It’s true!
Only 2 days after quitting the customer service job, I had a new offer from an international company and went for an interview shortly after. Surprise, surprise I’m still with them. The last 10 months have been a rollercoaster ride and I feel extremely grateful for this amazing opportunity and the people I’ve met along the way. It’s a lot of hard work but I’m in Tourism again (yes it’s possible during a health crisis) and that makes me more than happy. I’ve always wanted to work for an international firm, where lots of different cultures and languages come together and I never dreamed of achieving that during Covid19 days. Today I can say that I feel truly blessed.
Moral of the story? Try three times… I had 2 set backs and huge success on the 3rd attempt. To be honest with you, I might not have even looked for 9-5 jobs without Covid19… Of course I don’t enjoy living in a Pandemic, but think it’s interesting how life sometimes pans out. At the end of the day it’s all destiny. I tried, tried and tried and never gave up to find something that I fully enjoy doing.
To give you more positive vibes, I also moved into my dream home 2 months ago. A move wasn’t really on the cards for me but now |’m beyond happy that I was given notice in December last year. Back then, I was completely devastated and now I’m thrilled to be living in a cosy bachelor apartment with a pool in a lovely hood in the heart of Cape Town. Two months ago I would have never imagined that this was all possible.
The Lockdown is hard and it’s a daily struggle but I learned to see the positive in everything and to believe in myself. You never know what life throws at you but I guess it’s on us how we deal with the situation. I’m surprised how I handled some things with my family being so far away.
Wishing you all the very best and be grateful for what you’ve got. If anyone feels they need to talk to someone, please don’t shy away to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of love and stay strong,
Antonia aka The Vegan Rainbow