And “When are you coming back?” are the two most common questions I receive when I speak to my friends and family. And my answer is usually “I don’t know yet”. 🙂 “But can you come back?” is then the question that follows afterwards.
Yes, I could board the plane if I would want to..
Well, I think I could. I haven’t really tried to buy a ticket yet, but as per my research, I could. As Guadeloupe is an overseas region of France it means the flights between continental France and Guadeloupe are considered as national flights.
Air France started its flights between Paris and Guadeloupe end of April. Only twice per week and for “urgent” cases only; for people that need to travel for work, people that have emergency family cases, people traveling back to their home country.
My permanent address is in Belgium. France in this case counts as a transit country on my way to the country of my permanent address. Accordingly I do fit into the category of “urgent” cases. So, yes, potentially I could fly back to Europe.
But one-way flights with Air France are expensive. And I don’t really have a reason to be in Europe right now. Sure, I would like to go and visit my parents in Slovenia sometime in July, but other than that, I don’t really have a reason. So, I am staying. I don’t know exactly until when. Most likely until the beginning of July, maybe mid of July. I am prolonging my Airbnb here on bi-weekly basis. Hosts are amazing and super flexible.
I count on the fact that Air Belgium, company I arrived here with, will start operating again between Brussels Charleroi and Guadeloupe at the end of June. That is at least what they announced recently. This way I get to use my return ticket and don’t have to buy a new one-way flight to Paris. Let’s see.
It has been three months and I am still loving it
Beginning of May I moved within Guadeloupe. From the flat island of Grand Terre, where I spent the first 45 days of strict confinement, I moved to a more mountainous island of Basse Terre. These two islands are the biggest two islands of Guadeloupe. Together they form a sort of “butterfly” image of two islands. Beside Grande Terre and Grand Basse, there are other 4 islands that are inhabited, In total Guadeloupe consist of 12 islands.
Through another traveler I have found a really nice Airbnb apartment. I love it. The view, the hammock, the open terrace, the gardens surrounding me. Not to mention the joy of a morning swim in the pool.
The Internet works perfectly. This way I can have my weekly working routine, work with my clients, continue with French classes online through a Belgian french School. I also met some people and made some friends. The nature is gorgeous and there is still a lot to explore on the weekends.
And the situation around COVID-19…
Like in most of other european countries, life is slowly returning back to normal here as well. We can officially go hiking, swim in the ocean, walk and chill on the beach, drive around the islands without the permit. I have finally had my first dinner in a restaurant after 3 months, had the first latte after 3 months, first beer in a bar after 3 months, first burger after 3 months, listened to some live music… a completely different perspective of Guadeloupe, let me tell you.
It’s the people, that make a difference
My apartment came with amazing hosts and some interesting neighbors. There is a very nice French lady, Patricia, a Spanish teacher and a super gentle and a patient soul. Upstairs lives Asher, an American, also a digital nomad. He kind of “got stuck” here due to a ban of all international travel.
Yes, yes, I know what you might me thinking – maybe a perfect romantic match? I mean, two nomads stuck on a paradise island, same age, same unusual life-style, both single. Ok Ok I admit, this is what I thought for a moment, but I guess the Universe had another plan. 🙂 So noup, nothing has changed, I am still on the search for my soulmate. 🙂
We really clicked with Patricia. We check in on each other every day, meet at the pool, go for evening walks, practice language tandems. I help her become more fluent with English, she helps me put my French into use beyond classes. Man, it is tough. Every day French is something totally different as the one in the classroom.
To end, all I can add is that I am truly grateful. For listening my gut-feeling to board that plane mid of March, for not listening to some of my friends saying it is not the best idea to go to Guadeloupe, for being here, for being able to live through this unique times in such a gorgeous environment. I am definitely living the present the moment. And getting the most out of it.
And for the rest, let the photos speak for itself.
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