Traveling during COVID19
During this crazy time of COVID19, people are still travelling to start new jobs all over Europe. Some because it was the plan all along, others because they need a chance. Whatever is your reason, it is important that you know that the times are different and always listen to people who have done it and what the authorities are advising you.
Kenneth recently took the trip from Prague to Lisbon, and here is his story on how it happened!
Why did you apply for a job abroad?
I have been happy to work abroad for the last couple of years because of the special unity there is, and
even though it becomes every day an ordinary boring Tuesday is never a very ordinary Tuesday like at home
in Denmark. I have lived in Prague for a while now, and before that Athens.
Why didn’t you choose to stay in Prague or go home to Denmark?
Job opportunities in Prague are limited, and in March it became difficult to travel from the Czech Republic to Denmark because they closed the border and restricted access to any countries, for example to Denmark I would, for example, fly to London, and on to Stockholm / Helsinki before the trip will end in Copenhagen, followed by a 3 hours train trip, So with that in mind, I choose to stay a bit longer and kept looking for opportunities abroad. I am not living in Denmark, so I did not rush home, as my home is where I have my job and my adventure.
How did you prepare to travel, knowing that the COVID19 might make it difficult?
I did not think so much about the virus itself, but more about whether I should go somewhere else and go quarantine myself and take it from there, or if I found a job, could I even fly there. I’m not so good at having my destiny in the hands of others, so I decided to compromise on destination and then explored ongoing travel opportunities and for jobs in 2-3 countries. And took advantage of my network around Europe and asked what it was like there.
I double-checked via the Danish Foreign Ministry’s website with travel advice for the different countries.
How did you find airline tickets?
Used the search portals, but quickly learned that flights were cancelled from one day to the next, so I decided to buy the ticket 2 days before because it was easier and it seemed less likely to be cancelled to closer to the Departure I booked the ticket, which obviously came with a higher price. But less stress for me. When the ticket was bought I needed to check how the actual travel was gonna happen, My Final destination was Lisbon, but my Layover was Sophie, Bulgaria for 20 hours. As Bulgaria has quarantine rules and I needed to chance terminal (checking out and in again) I would violate those rules of 14 days Quarantine. I did my best to contact the airport and embassy, yet not much reply -I took a chance!
How did it feel to travel during this time?
It was different to travel at this time. Just walking on the empty streets with your suitcase, arriving at the empty airports and you get checked your Passport many times and on my between landing in Sofia, I was welcomed by a person in full suits. They are checking your temperature at every corner, and I just took a deep breath and hope that I did not get infected in the supermarket or by someone in the plane. Most people I’ve met were really sweet and tried their best to help us travellers on the journey. I was followed from one Terminal to the other and escorted to a large room, I had to wait here for the 20 hours, there was a few others than me and by nighttime, they rolled in a bed for me to sleep in. From the windows in the terminal, I could see that the planes are being deciphered. I felt watched but safe, everyone was kept at a distance.
How did you stay optimistic about going?
I have some lovely friends many I have met abroad, they understood why I would like to go, and Linda my recruiter, helped with insights about how they were handlings the COVID19, she was there to send messages to when I got a little nervous. was it worth it? Yes! one day after the virus comes again, and I never believed it would help anyone walking around being afraid of what if, and yes it was a long journey and more difficult for sure. But it was worth it!
Some good advice?
Never give up on your dreams, if you want something you will find a way to make it happen, and even if the road may not be as direct as you hoped for, it will be worth it, and ask your self what is the worst that can happen? -Often it is not that bad!
And don’t be afraid of asking your recruiter or friends some of the questions, that pop-up, it is normal, and it will also show them you are. really interested. Be proactive !
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