Earlier this month, I was meant to be starting my travels, first stop Manila. Now, it looks like my future will be weeding the garden at the mercy of my landlady/mother – but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
I grew up on the Isle of Man and left when I was 18 for university, staying in the UK afterwards while working as a journalist.
A few years on, my plan was to take a little break and explore for a bit while the timing was right.
I’d booked to come home before I went, to spend time with my family and catch up with friends, but my trip to the Philippines started to look just a little uncertain due to a now-infamous coronavirus.
During the course of about two days before my departure to our fair isle, I’d gone from confident I’d imminently be eating adobo on a beach (a Philippino dish), to having it confirmed my flight to Manila was cancelled.
I wasn’t particularly bothered – it was a shame, but others were and are going through much worse. No, what I was most concerned about was making sure I would get home before travel was restricted.
It was a worthy fear – the Manx borders are now closed, leaving my sister and father in the UK.
I felt palpable relief as I passed through Ronaldsway’s hallowed baggage reclaim area, and not just because my suitcase had arrived safely. Being cut off from my home would have been awful.
No one knows how to batten down the hatches like the Manx and I’m so proud to be from here.
In the last few years, there’s been an explosion in the local food scene and dare I say it: we’re in danger of becoming… really quite cool?
Loads of great eateries have quickly transitioned to doing takeaways and deliveries, and it is my honour, nay, my duty, to eat like royalty to support them.
Volunteer networks have popped up across the island to help those in need and suddenly I’m swapping contact details for fresh produce deliverers with friends like some sort of drug dealer.
Getting your exercise in while social distancing outside of Douglas is relatively straightforward in our beautiful countryside and if it wasn’t for obsessively refreshing the news, you might even forget that the virus was lurking about.
Friends have asked me when I’ll be going back to the UK – right now, I don’t have a return ticket.