Two Years of Travel Ban
On Friday 18th February 2022, I broke my self imposed travelled ban two years ago when COVID-19 landed on the shore of Malaysia. I went back to visit my family members in my home town Bachok. I chose to travel by train and it took fourteen hours for a distance of 700km. The first 200km was on Electrical Train service that only two hours but I had to change train to a Jungle Train using a diesel engine 2421 that travels only at 50km/hour.
I could drive or take a flight but I wanted to travel by train for old time’s sake. The train ride brought back memories of when I took my first train in January 1965 when I was thirteen years old on my way to study at a boarding school. My previous ride on this train was twenty-three years ago. I suggest you try to walk through memory lane to any interesting places of interest in your life. It would be fun.
In the last two years, the government imposed a few types of Movement Control Orders(MCO) in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. All of us had to undergo personal restrictions in moving around the district, state and inter-states. Now, we Malaysians can travel any where in our country with strict SOP compliance. So last week was my freedom week so to speak. The MCO imposed from time to time was like a prison sentence for me. Now, I feel like a free man again. we only know the meaning of freedom when we lose it.
I love the outdoors and MCO is a jail sentence to me. To keep me fit, I walk three times in the garden of my town and I also cycle 20km every fortnight in Putrajaya. To keep fit and healthy, I have to do regular exercise. What did you do during the travel ban due to COVID-19?
There were a few good things that happened to me during MCO. Firstly, I had to learn to use ZOOM in order to have meetings with my clients and do online business coaching for my students. If not because of the ban on physical meetings and classes, I will never learn to use the ZOOM of Google Meet for business and pleasure.
Secondly, I began to write the book I wanted to write five years ago. I delayed writing the book for four years and six months and completed the book in the last six months of 2021. Anything good happened in your life arising from the pandemic COVID-19?
Thirdly, I re-started my old hobby-sketching and painting watercolours. For the whole month of October 2021, I took up the Inktober Sketch Challenge by Lamy Malaysia and I got a free Lamy pen and a notebook as presents for completing the task.
Last but not least, I learned to do podcasts. In 2021, I did more than 50 episodes on Project Management. You can listen to them at Simply Project on Spotify or Google Podcasts.
My lessons learned in the last two years were to remain calm and positive in adverse conditions and also made use of the opportunities to do something useful. What lessons have you learned?