“I love travelling, but things have changed”

Kar Soler, 27, Tenerife (Spain)

I love travelling. I hadn’t lived in Tenerife, my hometown, since I was 17. I came back last June after backpacking across Australia and Asia for three months. I have been working for a company that promotes sustainable tourism ever since. My job has now been suspended because of the coronavirus regulations, and I am getting paid 70% of my usual salary.

Kar in Komodo Island, Indonesia, during her three-month trip in 2019.

It’s weird, but I feel on holiday. Both my parents are retired, so now we all have time. We can look after my sister, who is disabled. My mother and I love experimenting in the kitchen, so we are cooking a new dish every day. I have been reading a lot, but that’s always been the case. I also picked up crochet. And because I am not working, I don’t feel like I need to travel. It’s not like I need to rest or escape anything. I am happy here with my family. Tenerife is a small island, but we have everything we need — we have the sea, we have beautiful places. I was planning on moving to Indonesia or the Caribbean in August, but now I don’t know.  

My quarantine has been very strict. I haven’t gone out at all in almost 50 days — not even to the supermarket nor to the pharmacy. That’s because of my sister — we are being careful as her immune system is a little bit weak. My mother is the one going out once a week to buy groceries and medicines. When she comes back, my dad and I  help her sterilize everything; then we wash our hands very carefully before interacting with my sister. I think a lot of things will change in the future, but I’m not sure whether people will be more responsible. I hope they will.

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