• Chris Edwards

That Time The World Changed...

We met Nate & Jessie (Nate & Jessie Unfold the Map) on Koh Kood, Thailand in February, 2020. We were staying at the charming Cozy House, which lived up to its name. Like us, Nate & Jessie were refugees from the harsh North American winters (Wisconsin in their case). Seasoned travellers, having explored the favoured SE Asian destinations, we shared adventures and favourite places.

Nate and Jessie were headed to Chiang Mai, Thailand, then on to Sumatra, Indonesia, while we were on our way to Bali, the Gili Islands and Flores.

We made plans to hook up in Bangkok but did not meet as planned. We did, however start yacking on WhatsApp as unprecedented events related to the Pandemic unfolded.

We did not foresee how the pandemic would impact our travel plans, and the travel industry, even as we stood directly in the eye of the hurricane.

Here are excerpts of those WhatsApp conversations.

March 7, 2021: Moving Days

Chris & Elaine are in BANGKOK/Nate & Jesse Leaving Koh Kood for Bangkok

Our first stop after leaving Koh Kood- not bad...

J&N: We will be sending Sumatra updates.

C&E: Lake Toba was like a dream.... we spent New Years there in 86-87

J&N: We will see if it is like you remember it!

J&N: Are you heading to Komodo?

C&E: Rinca which is next door and perhaps better

C&E: Ubud...Amed...Gili Air...Flores...Ubud

J&N: Awesome!

C&E: After a month on the island, I get the urge for moving

J&N: We were ready to leave the island. Kinda feels good to be back to civilization for a hot minute

C&E: I really hate buses though - it is getting worse for us.

J&N: We never understood how doing nothing could be so exhausting. Buses are terrible, we agree. I think the days of 17 hour journeys are over.

C&E: lol- Legendary ballerina Margot Fonteyn once said, "Traveling carries with it the curse of being at home everywhere and yet nowhere, for wherever one is, some part of oneself remains on another continent."

C&E: Except the long flight over- we have talked about grabbing a repositions cruise from west coast to Asia- how cool would that be!

J&N: Nate just said that’s his nightmare. He’s afraid of drowning. They have cool round the world cruises too.

C&E: I get that- not a huge boat fan - the ferry to Lombok must have been pretty terrifying

J&N: We had a terrible boat ride in Malaysia. Storm in the middle of the ocean. Everyone aboard was puking and crying; all we saw was water on both sides, it was rocking so hard. Locals were kissing the ground when we got to shore.

C&E: Not fun- no atheists on a third world boat

C&E: Perhentians?

J&N: That made us laugh out loud! We all needed a God in that moment.

J&N: Tioman.

C&E: We always said there weren’t any atheists in a third world bus- especially India and Nepal

J&N: No kidding! People ask us all the time if we were scared doing this or that. The answer is usually no. BUT transportation is always the exception...bus, boat, car with a coked out driver driving 120kph for 12 hours overnight

Bangkok before flying to Bali

March 9, 2020: Pandemic Panic Approacheth

Chris and Elaine arrived in Ubud BALI/ Nate and Jesse in Chiang man, ThailandJ&N: Are you guys in Ubud?

Denpasar Airport- soon to be the scene of much chaos

C&E: Safe and sound

J&N: Great. Is it busy? We couldn’t believe how empty the airport was today.

C&E:Airport quiet at DMK yesterday. Off season here in Bali but more empty than usual

J&N: What a great time to be here traveling!!

J&N: We went to the amulet market and the floating market I told you about. You guys need to go next year. It was all locals, local prices and great food. The boat trip was 100B per person for 1.5 ride

C&E: Fantastic are you on Sumatra?

J&N: No, we are heading to Chiang Mai for a week then off to Sumatra.

J&N: We need to get some things organized and regroup before we take off. Bangkok is so damn hot. Not that CM is any better but having a motorbike helps

J&N: There are NO tourists. It’s wild

C&E: Surprising how many tourists still in Bali

J&N: Really? Opposite situation here. It will be interesting to see for all of us as we start to move around.

C&E: We are off to Gili Monday although my Dad is deathly ill at present and we may be cutting trip short

J&N: I’m sorry to hear your dad has gotten worse. Being there for your family is always a priority.At least you got to get away from the cold and snow, even if it isn’t for as long as you planned this year.

J&N: Safe travels today over water!

Pandemic? What me worry? Amed Bali.

March 16, 2020: Trouble on the Horizon

Chris & Elaine are in Gili Air, Indonesia/Nate and Jesse on way to Medan, Indonesia

Where's Everyone Going? Gili Air

C&E: Made it to the Gilis- evidently we were on one of the last boats here- they are closing the islands to tourists today...

J&N: Oh shit

J&N: Well we are about to get on a plane to Medan.

J&N: We don’t want to be stuck there!

J&N: We hope you can get out

C&E: Don’t think that’s gonna be an issue- we might not stay the full week

J&N: We just hope we can find a place to call home after Sumatra in 3 weeks

J&N: A lot can change by then

J&N: Singapore might be out all together

C&E: We still have our booking to Flores next week from Bali

C&E: Yes did you read what they are doing in Singapore? Mandatory 14 day isolation- if you fly in...

C&E: Our return flight to Canada is from Singapore in April!

J&N: Omg re Singapore. You may be able to change your flight for free

C&E: Hoping- it’s with EVA Air- I think you said you are flying them as well?

J&N: Let me look quick

J&N: No we fly Cathay

C&E: Ok

J&N: I see nothing as of now for EVA

C&E: Exactly- very strange

C&E: Our insurance kicks in if Canadian government issues a “defer travel” order- current alert is “avoid travel”

J&N: Your country might be the only sane one! Did you see the shit happening in the USA? All schools, restaurants, and business are closing for 2 weeks.

C&E: Did you see the lines at the American airports- WTF?

J&N: Where? I saw Chicago and it was insane!! 4+ hour wait for the stupid health screening

C&E: NYC- up to 8 hours

C&E: Evidently no screening

J&N: Insanity

J&N: Bangkok is pretty busy still

J&N: Chiang Mai is a ghost town

J&N: I heard there is no tourism now on Sumatra so we will see. Going to charter a car since there is no one to share with.

J&N: Enjoy the Gilis! We will be curious to hear where you end up after!

C&E: Guess they will have to kick us out!

J&N: Did you see Norway?!

J&N: Kicking all tourists out

J&N: Are you planning on staying in Indonesia for awhile.

C&E: Depends on various lockdown scenarios- we still want to to Flores on March 23 for 5 nights- all paid for in advance

J&N: We have been having a discussion about flying back to Thailand until we see what happens in the next 3-4 weeks. Did you read what countries are doing in Central and South America? All borders are closed for 2 weeks plus in Peru and other places

J&N: We are going to watch how peninsular Malaysia reacts. We don’t want Thailand getting strong armed into locked borders or something.

C&E: Our friends headed home to Peru are stranded- we met them at Cozy House on Koh Kood...

J&N: Oh shit. Where are they now?

C&E: Mexico City

J&N: Ugh that sucks for them

C&E: I think North American borders will be closing soon

C&E: We have ticket to Malaysia April 6

J&N: Can you stay for two weeks if you need to quarantine in Malaysia?

C&E: No

J&N: We heard domestic flights in the USA are about to be shut down

C&E: That’s crazy

C&E: Gonna see if EVA will fly to Canada from Bali

J&N: That’s probably the best idea. What a cluster! This is throwing a huge wrench in all of our plans/happy time!

C&E: Anxiety level building big time- scared to look at headlines

C&E: No one left on Gili Air- we are going to ride bikes around the island to take stock of the situation.

J&N: I feel the same!! We are nervous to be somewhere we can’t/don’t want to be stuck for the next month.

C&E: Not only that, the thought of being in paid quarantined- imagine if that happened in Singapore- bankrupt!

J&N: No shit!!!

J&N: You have the island to yourselves. What a paradise...

C&E: Sad to see impact on locals though- they have built so many new businesses

J&N: Oh I know. It’s everywhere. The 4 Monkeys Hotel is closing its doors. No guests.

J&N: Maybe until next season.

C&E: Depressing.

J&N: It is.

J&N: No better at home. Are things closing down in Canada?

C&E: Our Prime Minister making big announcement 1am local time here

J&N: So you will know then

C&E: We will stay here and monitor events- likely go back to Bali- EVA Air has an office at airport-plus our trip cancellation insurance will hopefully kick in soon

J&N: I’m a realist but this shit is scary. The domino effect is in place!

C&E: Not sure what kind of world we will be going back to.

J&N: We feel the same.

C&E: Our kids are freaking out in Montreal.

J&N: About their world or the two of you?

C&E: Both.

J&N: I understand. We are hearing the same thing.

C&E: one day at a time.

C&E: What is the situation in Lake Toba?

J&N: I don’t know if we are going to stay that long. We may go back to Thailand to see what transpires and fly back here in a few weeks.

J&N: We may be chalking this up as a visa run to Bukit Lawang!

J&N: It’s a cheap and easy flight...

C&E: Thailand would definitely be a better choice now.

C&E: We are at that point as well- trying to decide if we should go back to Bali and enquire about getting our trip back home booked- would be about $1000 in reservation losses for us with our current itinerary.

J&N: No way out of the bookings?

C&E: Will depend on events.

C&E: Italy and Iran... terrible events

J&N: I know.

J&N: Sad

C&E: That situation has everyone shook up.

C&E: What do you foresee as the endgame?

J&N: Who knows really. We have been wondering the same.

C&E: Malaysia looks it’s like going into lockdown

C&E: I would say get out of Indonesia and get back to Thailand before they lock it down- food much better- lol

J&N: Well I think we are heading back to Thailand. I can’t believe Malaysia shut down so fast.

C&E: Good call on Thailand- can you get out today?

J&N: We are doing our best! In a taxi now.

J&N: There is only one flight a day to Thailand.

C&E: Good luck!

C&E: Let us know how it goes.

J&N: Thanks. Enjoy your own personal island

C&E: Crazy

March 16, 2020

Nate and Jess Flee Indonesia and Return to Chiang Mai, Thailand/ Chris and Elaine still in the eerily quiet Gili Islands

Storm Clouds Brewing- Gili Air

J&N: Well we made it on our flight. We will see how things transpire in Thailand.

J&N: But we’re planning on coming back to Indonesia as soon as things settle down. So sad this is even happening!!! Ugh!!!

C&E: We are thinking of returning to Bali as we need to get to the Eva Air office to sort out our return flight

J&N: That’s probably a good idea.

C&E: This is an unexpected turn of events

J&N: For all of us. We need to make sure we aren’t totally fucked

J&N: And with countries restricting all domestic travel that could be a huge problem

C&E: Glad you got out- best to be close to major airport at this stage

J&N: That’s what we are thinking too. How many other tourists are on the island?

C&E: I would guess no more than 100- usually over 5,000 people in the three Gilis this time of year

J&N: It will be interesting to see Bali

J&N: Keep us posted and I will do the same if I hear anything else. In the meantime enjoy!! We could be back in the cold with no toilet paper!


J&N: France closed borders, no flights in or out. Just heard from a friend.

C&E: Decided to stay put on Gili - one day at a time

C&E: When the going gets tough the tough go snorkeling!

J&N: Sounds like a fantastic way to spend your day!!

J&N: You gotta do what’s best. We are back in Chiang Mai at the condo. Now we are prepared for Armageddon to come! 😂

C&E: Zombie apocalypse

C&E: Were you able to fly direct to Chiang Mai from Medan?

J&N: No. There is only one flight a day to Thailand (DMK) from Medan. Everything else goes through Singapore or Malaysia.

C&E: So no issues in Thailand then

J&N: No. We had to get temps taken 2x and fill out a medical declaration

J&N: I saw your IG pics...The island sure looks beautiful today!

C&E: No one here- surprisingly a couple arrived today at our resort- flew into Lombok airport and made trek here

J&N: Wow they must have really wanted to come. Repeat guests?

C&E: Nope never even been in Indonesia!

C&E: More coming tomorrow evidently...

C&E: Only 9 villas... pool in middle...not on the ocean but an beautiful gardens throughout- staff at a whole other level of service

J&N: So they just told the public the islands are closed? Or only closed from Bali?

C&E: Just the fast boats from Bali- can still catch slow public boat to Lombok and fly to Bali cheap cheap.

J&N: So they are just scaring tourists away.

C&E: One case in Bali triggered this.

J&N: No way

C&E: Evidently that is the story

J&Ne: You are inspiring us

C&E: When the Dutch couple staying in next suite bailed out this morning it really shook us up as they had said they were staying put

J&N: The next week or so will be telling

C&E: Every day is like a week! I like it better when North America is asleep

J&N: We still can’t believe we bailed from Medan today. Fucking crazy.

J&N: You are in a better spot though to wait it out

J&N: Sumatra was another story

C&E: It was a good call- you need to be in a safe comfortable place to stay sane

J&N: We can get an international flight out if needed

C&E: We also have a great spot in Ubud at our friends villa

J&N: We will keep that in mind with our wads of rupiah we took out of the ATM yesterday

C&E: Staff here are great- they have a gorgeous cafe called Chill Out RIGHT on the ocean- it is one of our favourite places in SE Asia!

J&N: At least you have that to ease your mind in the meantime

C&E: Today felt much better after snorkeling - helped us focus

J&N: That earth connection is always grounding

C&E: Yeah because my head was in the GD Twilight Zone- lol

J&N: No one can blame you for that!

J&N: Look at the world we are living in - fear and panic

C&E: That’s it- so glad we met you two- came at a good time to help keep perspective

J&N: Same! We look forward to spending some time together in the coming years!

C&E: Good call to move to CM

J&N: We shall see what follows. This is really devastating on so many levels.

C&E: Reading the next two weeks are crucial- either spreading or slowing down

J&N: The incubation period. I heard people are spreading without being symptomatic. Doesn’t make sense to me but that’s what I hear from the good ol US of A

C&E: https://medium.com/@Jason_Scott_Warner/the-sober-math-everyone-must-understand-about-the-pandemic-2b0145881993

C&E: All a mystery- imagine all those people flying into US airports?

J&N: Better not to go home now

C&E: That’s what we are thinking- lay low

J&N: Find a place to call home and hang tight

C&E: Get some Khao Soy and it’s hog heaven

J&N: You must be reading our minds. That is on the agenda for dinner.

J&N: Sri Lanka also banning tourists starting tomorrow. OMG... the company we were going to use in Sumatra is closing and so are the treks to the park. WTF! We would have been there today and they aren’t operating!!

C&E: Whoa, not good

J&N: That’s how fast it’s happening. Right decision to leave

C&E: Thought that as well- CM - you know it well- just like us here

J&N: We are both in good places

J&N: Safe places to see how this plays out

Nightlife- or lack thereof- Gil Air

March 18- The Importance of an Airport Hub versus Transit

Note: Jesse is a travel agent

J&N: Did you see the latest from Indonesia?

C&E: No what?

C&E: Things are getting grim- Indonesia new visa rules means lots of planes will be cancelling

J&N: We had thought about that too

J&N: Any thoughts of coming back to Thailand?

C&E: Our flight from Singapore to Taiwan on EVA has been cancelled

C&E: I think we likely need to get to Taiwan from Bali

J&N: Did you recoup your money?

C&E: Can’t get through on phone- sent an email

J&N: To Eva?

J&N: Let me see if I can get you a different number

C&E: I booked our tickets through Expedia so tried them for over an hour- no answer

J&N: Can you send me your flight details and record locator? I will write to my contact

J&N: I will see what I can do on my end

C&E: Flight locator ML3FHT

C&E: Fri April 17- Eva 216 SIN- TPE

J&N: That’s the one that was cancelled? What about your flight home?

C&E: Fri April 17 Eva 10- TPE-YVR- still open

C&E: SIN-TPE cancelled

J&N: I also have a direct contact at Expedia

[J&N: As well as the airline

J&N: Everything was booked through Expedia?

C&E: Yes I have the Expedia itinerary number

C&E: Expedia itinerary xxxxxxxxxxxxx

J&N: Okay. We just got an email today our flight has been changed home from Taipei as well; a day earlier. They are cutting routes. We just talked today about how many flights per week will be reduced to one location and everyone will be forced on whatever is available.

J&N: Our flight isn’t until May 18. We might end up going home early 😢

C&E: There may not be many airlines left by then

J&N: No shit! I’m already hearing about airline bankruptcy

C&E: Canada and US gonna tighten border for commercial flights according to sources

C&E: Stories out of Italy absolutely terrifying- try not to read them

J&N: I haven’t heard much about Italy, glad I haven’t!

C&E: Stay away from it- I regret reading about it

J&N: Expedia is only showing flights to Canada scheduled to depart March 17 - March 31. So at the moment they aren’t handling that far out yet. Let me look at the other flight

J&N: I’m wondering if it too far out for them to deal with at the moment. Not that you couldn’t rebook or cancel, get your money and buy something else.

C&E: Saying No information available….

J&N: Well what the hell

C&E: I did receive an email with a time change March 13

J&N: I don’t have a dedicated rep for Eva. Very odd.

C&E: Maybe what I saw this morning was an error. Still don’t know how we can fly out of Singapore- 14 day mandated quarantine!

J&N: I don’t think you can

J&N: They may refund your partially used flight with no fee. Cathay pacific is doing that

J&N: Is Flores out?

C&E: Worried Indonesian government might will cancel domestic flights and we’d be four days overland and by sea back to Ubud

C&E: I can barely even stand a short Bemo ride anymore- lol

J&N: FOUR days, yikes. Maybe not worth the risk

C&E: If you would have told me last Sunday Gilis would be closing I wouldn’t have believed you

J&N: We get it! We feel the same. Shit is happening at lightning speed

J&N: Do you have a better chance of getting home from Bangkok?

C&E: Thinking need to go back to Bali tomorrow to try to organize a flight back to N. America ASAP

J&N: Or is Denpasar okay to fly out?

C&E: Our luck they’ll lockdown or shutdown before we get there

J&N: Don’t put that out there

J&N: I wasn’t sure about transit countries

C&E: Good call. DPS likely to have less flights as they lockdown

J&N: Taiwan just put quarantine in effect

J&N: Fuck

C&E: There it is

J&N: Our travel plans are feeling like they are going up in smoke!

J&N: Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan- all on lockdown. Shit

J&N: Can you guys get a cheap flight to Bangkok?

J&N: From Lombok?

C&E: Not sure

J&N: Expedia won’t help you if your trip is more than 7 days out

C&E: I think Thailand will lock down next

C&E: Then we may not have anywhere to go. Our next step is to visit EVA office at DPS.

J&N: It might be best to get somewhere to sit that is more connected than Bali- it is only a transit destination.

C&E: Fly to Bali in morning- hope to hear from insurance or get in the queue on phone

J&N: EVA has flights from BKK to YVR one way for $530

J&N: Transit in TPE but that’s unavoidable

J&N: Your options from DPS are not the best and you do not want to fly through the USA

C&E: I wonder what they charge for ticket change

J&N: Only 7 airports handling all those people. That limits airline choices.

J&N: It should be waived.

J&N: That’s what I’m saying. You should be able to change your date and departure city for free

C&E: EVA office might be able to let us book best option and route

J&N: Maybe you should call and see if they can change it. Bangkok might be your best option if you can get there.

C&E: Ok will give it a shot.

J&N: KL is out

C&E: Yes sadly.We really wanted to chill at KL Journal Hotel.

J&N: Ughhhh I know! The Journal will just need to wait until next year

J&N: How soon would you go home?

J&N: Air Asia has flights to DMK direct from DPS for $163

C&E: We flew into Bali, THAI Asia Air, Don Mueng to DPS

J&N: Okay same

C&E: we feel trip our is over now

J&N: It’s hard to admit, I know

C&E: Getting depressing to be here- it is so sad for these poor people

J&N: You could come back to Thailand and try to ride it for a bit

J&N: I know. It’s horrible. So many businesses are suffering. And may never recover.

C&E: That is an option- I am afraid to book as they might lockdown tonite!

J&N: Buy the cheap cancellation insurance.

J&N: Air Asia offers something. Not sure if it would cover a cancelled flight

C&E: Yeah I already have a great policy for interruption as well. But who knows if the insurance companies will be able to pay back with all the claims!

J&N: I understand completely. It’s hard to know which way to turn

J&N: Wow so sad

J&N: But no matter what you will need to change your departure city

C&E: Makes sense...

J&N: For us, it isn't smart to go home yet. Our country is in crisis panic mode and shit is going into lockdown. People in SF are getting tickets for being out unless it is for essential items. That’s insane...

C&E: One step away from worst nightmare...

J&N: Schools closed through the end of the year, Nate can’t go back to work, and it’s still cold!

J&N: It feels like a movie

C&E: That’s what we thought- in that movie they are watching a newscast about the approaching Pandemic!

C&E: It gets so confusing- big fear is lack of flights and airport closings

C&E: We def consider Thailand though

C&E: Looks like we will need to go into 14 day isolation in Canada upon arrival

J&N: Corona Virus Prevention.docx • ‎1 page ‎<attached: 00000523-Corona Virus Prevention.docx>

J&N: We may have to do the same when the time comes

J&N: I feel like you could squeeze out 2 more weeks just waiting things out in Thailand

J&N: And it has the biggest airport in this region to get out

J&N: It’s the best connected

J&N: Those are our thoughts. Give it a couple weeks….

C&E: Flights still going through Middle East. Feeling DPS will not support many flight out options.

J&N: Unfortunately Bali is not very well connected

J&N: Deciding to leave is always so hard

J&N: Yesterday I was embarrassed we jumped the gun and left Medan, but today I am glad we did! Things changed that left us feeling like we had no choice.

C&E: That’s how I feel today

J&N: It’s not the virus itself but how these governments are reacting and the impact it can/will have on us

C&E: It’s because of Italy which is a doomsday scenario come to life

J&N: Let’s hope other places have things under control and caught it fast enough

J&N: Let us know how things unfold today and if a reunion on a different Thai island may be a possibility! Try to stay positive! 😁

C&E: Yes thx for this- I felt like staying on Gili Air made sense but it is so incredibly sad to see the locals; we are starting to wonder if we might get robbed by a desperate local

C&E: After the earthquake here two years ago, things got a bit intense on the Gilis

J&N: No way! I hadn’t even thought that would be a concern. There is a lot to consider.

C&E: I saw videos of the evacuation...

C&E: When we went for a walk this morning some of the locals gave us the stink eye...

C&E: A lot of the workers are poor and uneducated

J&N: That’s not good. When it starts to feel unsafe, it’s time to go.

J&N: No matter the situation. Are you getting a bad feeling?

C&E: Our staff have been amazing but they have cut back

C&E: Just a bit weird early this morning

J&N: Listen to that inner voice. We have learned over the years that when we don’t we just fuck ourselves.

J&N: Hence the fact we are here right now...

J&N: I booked a flight out of Sumatra at 7:45am that was leaving at 10:10am and we dropped our bags 10 minutes before check-in closed!

C&E: We just made the call- Bali tomorrow for sure- it is weird, I was telling Elaine this morning I kept hearing a voice telling me to skip Bali this year!

J&N: Really?! You knew all along! But could never have predicted this being the reason.

J&N: We heard the same voice about leaving Thailand, didn’t listen and the candy I bought in Medan cost us over $500!

C&E: Hard to tell if it’s just paranoia...

J&N: Of course! Or not wanting to leave a place.

some time later that day...the shit hits the fan...

C&E: I picked a bad time to quit drinking!🍺🥃🍷

J&N: Lol isn’t that the truth. We had to buy a bottle of vodka from duty free to assist in releasing the stress of the day.

C&E: Someday, we will look back on this and it will all seem funny

J&N: Exactly!

J&N: Keep us posted on how your plans are looking and what you decide.

C&E: We are gonna head back to Bali

C&E: Gonna try the Eva Air office to see if we can change our flight

C&E: Taiwan on lockdown starting tomorrow

J&N: Good plan.

J&N: How long is Taiwan on lockdown for?

C&E: Don’t know

J&N: Let’s hope we can still transit there

C&E: If not then we are major screwed

C&E: Expect Thailand to lockdown soon

J&N: We just heard

J&N: They are going to a stage 3 lockdown

J&N: We have 60 days if we need it here

J&N: They won’t kick tourists out?

C&E: that was a great call to leave Sumatra- hard to believe that was only a couple of days ago

J&N: Yesterday!!!

C&E: What? Oh man...

J&N: I know! Even for us we can’t believe it

J&N: Travel friends around the world are in touch. One friend is in full lockdown mode in Spain. Police said he can’t be outside.

J&N: Is it worse now to get on a plane home with that recycled air!?? And all those people jammed together?

C&E: My friend flying out of Madrid today- he took the train from Cadiz- not one person in the car (note- he caught the last plane to Toronto)

J&N: He better get out

C&E: Who knows- we have read that planes are pretty safe from the virus

J&N: I saw Europe is locking borders

J&N: You have the option to come here and stay away from the cold!!!

C&E: If Thailand locks down then we have nowhere to go

C&E: We have a beautiful compound to stay in Ubud with a Bali family

C&E: I can’t believe that was only yesterday you booked out of Sumatra

J&N: I know. I can’t believe how things have changed already

C&E: Off to Bali Friday to try to get sorted

J&N: Are you flying?

C&E: Yup only $15 free bags on Air Asia

J&N: Celebrations in order!

J&N: A decision has been made. And alcohol always helps lighten the mood!

J&N: Laos also suspended visas

J&N: At Least you can get home from Bali on Eva

C&E: We hope

J&N: Well Eva flies from DPS so that’s huge

J&N: In the meantime try to enjoy your last day and know it’s not goodbye but see you soon!

C&E: Right - off to snorkel now

C&E: Headline: Qantas suspends all flights until end of May

J&N: I saw

J&N: Good thing we aren’t Australian

C&E: People are stranded all over the world

J&N: Is your dollar dropping? OZ friends freaking out

C&E: Dollar has tanked but not like NZ and OZ

C&E: They are asking 800,000 RP for boat and taxi to Lombok airport- normally about one quarter that price

J&N: Woah

J&N: But they are desperate

C&E: Exactly, but I still got it down to 550!

J&N: Will you have time to get to the Eva office before the weekend?

C&E: I hope

J&N: Understandable. It’s hard to make a sound decision with all the stress

C&E: Open Friday and Saturday according to web

C&E: Our buddy Agung picking us up and we will stay in his compound at new house our Canadian friend built

J&N: At least you have some support there

C&E: Yes the apartment is beautiful

C&E: Did Thailand shut down yet?

J&N: No

J&N: We are still in stage 2

J&N: Thank whatever God(s) we listened to the voice that said GO

J&N: Did you get money back for the other hotels?

C&E: No- might have lots of time in airport lounges flying halfway round the world!

J&N: No kidding! So much gratitude for lounge access

J&N: It’s a game changer

C&E: We have 5 passes left

C&E: Do you know if it is still possible to transit through Singapore?

J&N: I’m assuming all transit in major airports is ok

C&E: Can you imagine a world where all flights are grounded?

J&N: That’s fucking scary

J&N: Choose where you want to be very wisely

J&N: There has been news here about not closing down just increasing health checks so every tourist has somewhere to go and in turn will stimulate the economy a bit here

C&E: No place left to go in this world

J&N: Exactly

C&E: Our friends have been traveling around the world for almost two years. They were in Sri Lanka when it hit the fan- they said the locals were giving them the stink eye as if they were carriers of the virus- they were totally freaked out- can you imagine?

J&N: Feels like the twilight zone...

J&N: I just heard the same about Krabi and Phuket!

C&E: What a world!

J&N: At least we are both in places with a lot of expats live….

J&N: Us crackers are a normal sight all year round 😂

C&E: If the lockdown continues all the expats living in Bali won’t be able to do Visa runs to Singapore...

J&N: Impossible without quarantine?

C&E: They are so screwed

J&N: They will need to make the trek to Thailand

J&N: No other choice

C&E: Off to watch the sunset best over Bali

J&N: Live in the moment! 😎