What I learned about self care from 28 days in quarantine

Charlotte Goninan, a dear friend of Cloud Nine Global, recently spent 28 days in quarantine with her friend Tamsyn due to the global spread of COVID-19, first in Cusco, Peru while trying to get a flight home after an epic and long-planned three-month trip around South America, and then back in Australia once they managed to get a flight back.

So we can surely all agree that she's an expert on staying sane and practising self care during these strange times! We asked her to test out one of our new The Self Care packs, and to share some of her experiences and learnings from quarantine. This is what she had to say:

After three months and nine days (to be precise) and 44,621km travelled across nine countries and 44 destinations in the incredible South America, we found ourselves in mandatory isolation lockdown in Cusco, Peru.

I can hear you asking, what on earth are you meant to do in a hotel room in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language? Fab question! It was one we asked ourselves on day one and then resigned to the fact our options were limited and we were going to have to make our own fun and take care of ourselves and our sanity the best that we could.

The creative juices flowed, ridiculous dance videos were made, money was raised for Tamsyn’s orphanage in Bogota off the back of our non-Beyonce-like dance moves and we made sure we got fresh air everyday whether through our bedroom window or by sitting in the hotel courtyard for a short period (socially distanced from others of course). We even treated ourselves to the little things like playing an old fashioned board game whilst in hotel robes sporting a face mask to make isolation feel like a girls weekend away.

Before we knew it, two weeks had passed and our flight home was off. It was a military operation from Cusco to Lima to Santiago to Sydney. During this 30-hour journey home that was far from relaxing, I can confidently say I have never been happier to have my Cloud Nine Global travel pack with me - it was worth having in my backpack for the whole trip in fact.

No toilet paper in the airport? No problem: Cloud Nine tissues to the rescue. Need extra moisture for your overly hand-sanitised hands that have been sweating in gloves for hours on end? Easy: The Jojoba Company lush hand cream at the ready. Dry eyes from the AC pumping directly in to your eye balls, stinging from emotional tears of relief and the pinching of a an industrial face mask? Hello, eye drops right from my Cloud Nine Global pack. 

We landed in Sydney and were taken by police escort on a bus to the Travelodge in Sydney to begin our next 14 days of isolation. In all honesty, this was a shock and very different to the “freedom” we had experienced in Cusco. No room key, no fresh air, meals dropped at our door three times a day, no human interaction apart from each other and thinking “here we go again”.

Beyond the confines of our room, we were incredibly thankful to be back in Australia with friends and family around. Deliveries were abundant and multiple FaceTime calls and texts per day made us feel connected and very loved. Mentally, this was a lot tougher and we had to think of things to do to take care of ourselves without fresh air, the ability to leave the room and choose what we ate (sound like luxuries right?).

Kate (CEO of Cloud Nine Global) was kind enough to drop us two of the new Self Care packs to try and a few other goodies from her infamous samples draw. We have never been more thankful for the little things before. 

So here are our tips to keeping sane and taking care of you in this crazy, abnormal time:
  • Take in fresh air every day (if you can)
  • Do some form of exercise to get your endorphins going. If we can do it in a hotel room, you can do it at home. You only need a space the size of a yoga mat and your possibilities are endless
  • Be creative with how you spend your time
  • Stay connected. Call the friends and family you haven’t spoke to in a while. The sounds of voices are so much nicer than texts!
  • Do the little things you don’t usually bother with such as eye masks, face masks and foot massages
  • Find a hand sanitiser that doesn’t ruin your hands or smell funky. I can highly recommend the C9G hand sanitiser that is soft and smells delightful! Two things you never thought you’d find. I now carry mine with me on my daily walks, just in case.
  • The Tecmask was a life-saver for when we left the Travelodge as the ones from the airport were long gone. Also this was by far the most comfortable face mask we had both worn and very good to have on hand.
So, after 28 days of COVID-19 isolation in a hotel room, I am proud to say that my sanity survived with thanks to a little self-care. I am appreciating the little luxuries like fresh air, walks outside and home cooked meals!

Stay safe xx