My Isolation Staycation at Kilmory Resort
With COVID-19 making its way around the world, travel has ground to a halt. Instead of planning dream trips and checking countries off their bucket list, people are staying home to help flatten the curve. So how did I end up on a two week staycation in the middle of all this?
A close friend of mine who has been teaching in China for the past 5 years left the country in January heading to Vietnam and Cambodia for his annual three week winter vacation. And then all hell broke loose.
A three week vacation turned into 10 weeks after his school closed and borders tightened. As more and more borders closed the options quickly narrowed to two: ride this out in Cambodia or come home to Canada. I urged him to do the latter since I was worried about what would happen if guest houses suddenly closed like they had in other countries.
After learning that his travel insurance (always have travel insurance folks) would cover his flight home, the decision was easy. But with a requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon re-entry to Canada there was another issue: where to stay?
I didn’t want him staying with his senior parents and my friends and family convinced me that it was risky to attempt to isolate in the same house so I began the hunt to find a reasonably priced apartment for myself (since I haven’t been travelling recently I was a low-risk guest).
Kilmory Resort stepped up big time to help me out. They gave us a fantastic price for use of one of their one bedroom chalets for the 14 days. So I packed up two weeks worth of food, some clothes and toiletries, and a few entertainment and comfort items and hunkered down in Swift Current, Newfoundland.
FYI: isolation packing might be some of the easiest but weirdest packing to do. I basically packed sweatpants, leggings, and two pairs of jeans, some t-shirts, sweatshirts, and pjs. I left my make-up and hair dryer at home (though the chalets here all come with hair dryers anyway).
Kilmory Resort is located in Swift Current, approximately two hours from St. John’s, Newfoundland on a small peninsula. They have a collection of chalets that range from single level one-bedrooms, to two-bedroom A-frames with jacuzzi tubs, to a house available for larger families. One of the best things about staying at Kilmory is that every chalet has a fantastic water view.
They arranged for a contactless check-in so that I could maintain physical distance. They phoned me with my chalet number and had the door unlocked when I arrived. They took great precautions cleaning before I got there and also left me with extra cleaning supplies I could use. They set me up with extra towels, sheets, dish cloths, soap, and shampoo so I was truly set. I felt very well looked after.
When I first walked in the door, I was greeted by a little care package that had been secretly arranged by my boyfriend since he lives in a different province and we’re not sure when we’ll see each other again. Beautiful flowers to brighten the place, Newfoundland Chocolate Company chocolates, and a bottle of bubbly that we could share virtually since he’d also bought himself the same kind.
Every day I was there those flowers made me smile. One thing this quarantine is doing, is reminding me to find the joy and happiness in small everyday things like pretty flowers, the sun shining on my face, or even jumping in puddles.
My chalet was very cozy with wooden plank walls and ceiling with two big picture windows that really let me feel that I was out in nature. As soon as I got up in the morning I would open the blinds and was again struck by how pretty my view was.
Even though my chalet was comfortable and well stocked, I bought a few things from home to make it feel a bit like my own for the two weeks. I packed a quilt, the blanket I keep on my couch, slippers, and a few candles. For non-screen entertainment I brought along a puzzle, books, yoga mat, and my brand new ukulele. Seemed like as good a time as any to learn another instrument.
Keeping a Schedule
Not that I have a lot of spare time. I’m lucky that the work I do lends itself perfectly to working from home so our little marketing company is still serving our clients and we’re also working on upgrading our own skills. Having a regular work schedule is helping keep my anxiety at bay. I turned the kitchen table into my command centre with a laptop stand, keyboard, mouse, and extra monitor and put the resort’s satellite wifi through its paces.
With the exception of one outage because of snow on the satellite dish everything ran smoothly. You should note though that there’s only spotty cell phone service at the chalets, but if you walk or drive up the path to the main road you can get a few bars.
I spent my days working with breaks for meals and walks and relaxed in the evenings on the comfy couch (which is also a pullout if I decided I needed a change of sleeping scenery) watching tv, having Zoom calls with friends, or practicing my ukulele.
Since my chalet had a fully equipped kitchen with a full sized refrigerator, coffee maker, gas stove, and microwave I could cook anything that I might at home. I even found a pastry brush with the kitchen utensils.
Communing With Nature
One unexpected bonus of secluding myself in a cabin in the woods was that the peace and quiet helped my overall well-being. I was pretty anxious and stressed when I first arrived. So much uncertainty about the world right now. On my first night I saw a rabbit hop by my window and, in the morning, I was greeted by a flock of ducks hanging out on the water outside my large picture windows. I kept an eye out for moose, but never saw any. It was quite easy to forget about what’s going on in the world for a little while.
I took myself on short walks on the property and the stillness, deep breaths of clean woodsy air, and spectacular sunsets were good for the soul. I got stupidly excited every time I caught a glimpse of my bunny neighbours.
The world works in funny ways sometimes but it seems that a stay at Kilmory Resort was just what I needed. Relaxation, comfort, and nature is some of the best self-care on the go. I feel like I’m ready to tackle whatever comes next.
So when this is all over and you’re itching to pack your suitcases again, come see us in Newfoundland and book a stay at Kilmory and say hello to my bunny friends for me.
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