Next week we’ll have been in quarantine for almost two months! If you told me that we would be in this position two months ago, I would have never believed you. Two months ago, on March 8th, we had just entered the French city of Millau and were taking the day off to catch up on social media and to see a bit of the city. Coronavirus was in the news – especially in counties like Italy, where the numbers of deaths among the elderly was climbing at an alarming rate. However, Italy seemed so far away from us. It sounds so ridiculous now, but that was our though process.
A week later, we would be in Spain – little did we know that this would be a country that, like Italy, would also be drastically effected by the pandemic. To be honest, the whole thing caught us off guard and we were surprised how fast the “state of alarm” went into effect. In as little as two days, the entire country was in lock-down and travel came to a halting stop. We’ve been stopped now for 55 days.
Building a social media presence can be challenging and a lot of work. One of the best ways to get noticed is to produce consistent content that is engaging to watch. In the movie, Field of Dreams, the main character, Ray Kinsella, has a dream in which he remembers the words “If you build it, he will come!” Ray then builds a baseball diamond in his corn fields so deceased baseball legends can come play ball in rural Iowa. What does baseball ghosts playing in a cornfield in Iowa have to do with social media success? I too, believe the mantra “If you build it, he [they] will come!”
In the short time we’ve established viajarMOTO “they” have started to come. Just this week we crossed 100 subscribers and just a few days later were at over 120. Next stop – 1,000! This is an important milestone on YouTube because we can then start monetizing and receive a little bit of income for advertising. A little bit of income translates to gas. Gas translates to more places and counties to visit. More countries translates to wonderful memories. Chantil and I are both looking forward to sharing the adventure.
An opportunity presented itself this week that came through a YouTube channel called “Spain Speaks”: https://www.spainspeaks.com. This particular episode was providing updates to the situation in Spain, but from the perspective of a Stuart, an Australian expat. Near the end of the video, Stuart mentioned that he was interesting in having interviews with folks around Spain. Perhaps expats in Spain might be interested in our story of how two Americans on motorcycles ended up in the mess of a country-wide lockdown? I submitted our story and the next day got a message from Stuart! The following day we did an interview and it was published on their site almost immediately. It ended up being quite fun and Stuart was generous enough to plug our website and our YouTube channel.
This interview helped drive some subscribers our way and I’m grateful for that. Thanks Stuart of “Spain Speaks”! I’ll always smile when I hear “Hola amigo, ¿qué tal?”
Also, this week had even more awesomeness in that we received our first “non friend or family” supported via Patreon! A special thanks to J. Munro; your contribution made Chantil and I both beam with joy – especially on day when I was a bit down due to the quarantine. Thanks to all the other previous supporters who have helped us along the way. Much appreciated!
Here is a review of some of the other moments we’ve enjoyed through this past week:
- As of Monday, May 4th, Spain allowed walks and exercise for all of it’s citizens. Adults age, younger than 70, folks can go outside from 6-10AM and from 8-11PM. We’ve been enjoying a walk around the countryside every evening this week.
- A few days ago we were out for a walk well past sunset. As we were nearing home, we heard what sounded like a baby animal. Our investigation, found a two-week-old lamb in the weeds that appeared to have been left by the flock. I quickly called Maria, our AirBnB hostess, so she could let her brothers know that we were carrying it back to her house. It was a unique experience that could only happen our here in the countryside.
- Chantil continued to build a friendship with the two younger boys next door. This week she showed them how to make foot stilts out of a heavy-duty cardboard tube and string. They had a lot of fun walking around being tall! They also found some alternator parts that they have torn apart and removed all the copper wiring from. They will be making copper trees later this week.
- We published a video walk-thru of our motorcycles. This video focuses on all the things we added to our “mules” before starting full-time travels. I was surprised how many things we added or customized.
- “Free” money is always nice. This week we received our stimulus check via direct deposit. Having a bit of extra income is especially nice since we are using our travel savings on housing and food but not traveling.
- The Spanish Prime Minister pushed for another extension to the State of Alarm that will last until May 24th. This is good news for tourists like us because this means or visa days will not be counted until after the 24th. If Spain had not stopped counting these days, our visa would expire as of the 26th of May. Because of the State of Alarm, we still have 72 days left. Silver linings.
Now for the best news of the week! It seems the region of Murcia has been allowed to advance to Phase 1 of the Coronavirus deescalation plan. Starting this Monday, May 11th, we will be able to start exploring within the region of Murcia. We already have a few trips planned to include some closer coastal roads and a multi-day section of the Trans Euro Trail (TET) that runs through the northern part of the region.
More adventure to come!!…