There are so many things that we are thankful for right now, even though we are trying to navigate life as full-time travelers during the COVID-19 virus outbreak (see our previous post here: Our COVID-19 Story). Before we get to our list of four things we are thankful for, let’s give an update on our situation.
We have been traveling throughout Southeast Asia for the past 6 months. We were in Cambodia in February and March, planning to head to Vietnam next, but as the virus started spreading we decided to skip Vietnam for the time being and head to Malaysia instead. The government issued a Movement Control Order (MCO) a few days after being in the Cameron Highlands. We are publishing this article on day 42 of being in the Cameron Highlands under a fairly strict lockdown, and the MCO could be extended even further.
This sounds awfully depressing, gloomy, and despairing, doesn’t it? Well, we are actually very thankful for the blessings God has provided during this time. Here are the four things that we are most thankful for during our time here.
We Are Thankful For Our Airbnb Apartment
The first thing we are thankful for is our Airbnb apartment. We found this place at the last minute just before the MCO was going to take effect. It is bigger than any other apartment that we have stayed in before. But even better than the apartment itself is our Airbnb hosts. They gave us fresh vegetables from their garden. This is especially nice because the only place we can go to buy food is a small produce stand.
And we have Bert with us! Even though Bert is just a plant, we consider him to be the newest member of our family. We adopted him just before the MCO, and we fell such a strong connection to him. We like to interact with him, and talk to him, and sing to him, and play games with him. Anyone want to guess why we named him Bert?
We Are Thankful For The Weather Here
Another thing we are thankful for is the weather here. Everywhere we have been in Southeast Asia has been sweltering hot so far. But Cameron Highlands is the one place where the temperature is pleasant. Even though the MCO restricts us from going outside to enjoy the weather, we have huge windows that we can open and it feels just like being outside. Normally that wouldn’t be something to get excited about. But since we are in our apartment 99% of the time, it is nice to get some fresh air.
And it rains here! Again, normally that wouldn’t be a big deal. But this is the first time we have seen rain since we became full-time travelers 20 months ago.
We Are Thankful To Be In Malaysia
The next thing we are thankful for is the way the Malaysian government is handling the COVID-19 virus. They have taken the situation seriously right from the very beginning. The government acted very quickly to get things under control, and the results are significantly better here compared to other countries that hesitated in reacting to the virus. There is only one case of the virus in the district where we are right now.
The Malaysian government’s elaborate tracing program has really impressed us. Many of the cases in the country have been linked back to a big religious convention that took place here. The government worked efficiently to trace these people down as quickly as possible to prevent it spreading to others. And, more personally, a team from the health department came to our apartment everyday for the first 2 weeks of the MCO to check on us. Malaysia’s health care system is one of the world’s best.
The MCO is nationwide and is being very strictly enforced. Only one person per household may leave to go to the grocery store or a pharmacy. No outdoor exercise is allowed, which sounds strict but the results here so far show that this is highly effective. In our opinion the Malaysian government and its people are doing a wonderful job fighting this virus!
We Are Thankful That We Are Healthy
We are safe and healthy right now, and hope that everyone reading this is as well. Our families back home are healthy as well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to friends and people we know back home who have had a family member die from this virus or have contracted the virus themselves. We know this is a difficult time for the entire world, but we have hope that things will return normal–even if a somewhat new normal–soon.
Here’s a video where we discuss these things that we are thankful for: Four Things We Are Thankful For