Carlotta, 30, Italian, currently in Milan (Italy) – Live: From The Pandemic

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you the most?

I left my full-time job in February and rented my flat out, and I was going to spend two months travelling solo through Central and South America. It was a much-needed trip after an exhausting and mentally-tiring year, and it was my first solo trip. I was planning on coming back right before turning 30, and be with my family and friends celebrating. I managed to leave just before the pandemic broke off in Italy, and travelled Mexico. Then the situation worsened both in Italy and in Mexico, and the entity of it really hit. After just three weeks of travels, I made my way back home: it took me 6 days and I will never forget the chilling experience it was. Now I am living in my old bedroom at my parents’ house as my house is still rented out. I find myself without a job with a job market on its knees, and no way to move back abroad as was the plan. I’m grateful for having my parents close during this moment and especially since we lost grandma to the virus – but it is unsettling to realise none of us feels good about even going out, with an ambulance passing by every hour in Milan.

What is your wish for the future?

I wish we will be able to bring everything we learnt during this pandemic with us into the future: a sense of community, an eye to the world and nature surrounding us, an appreciation for slowing down and being mindful about how we use our own time, and value for those small things and the people in our life we rediscovered. We have since a tad of a world without vaccines and closed borders, where everyone is their neighbours’ enemy; it wasn’t nice. We are part of this world that has just given us the chance to stop and think – let’s be smart about it.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

I would love to be travelling, crossing borders freely on a plane, by car, on a train. I would like to be heading back to South America, to Africa and Australia. I want to hug all my friends scattered across the world, go trekking with them, surfing or just lying on a beach.

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