Who are you?
We are Dagmar & Bruno. We come from Germany and currently live in Riga in Latvia. We can best be described as digital part-time nomads. You can find our trips in Lucky Ways Reiseblog.
Where and how do you live?
September 2019 we took the first step out of Germany. After we had sold, given away and scrapped around 50% of our household, we moved to a 3-room apartment in Riga with that stuff we supposed to be necessary. We exchanged the deepest Black Forest for a life by the sea in a beautiful urban environment. We are now real expads and operate our marketing agency, blogs and digital projects either from our new home in Riga or on the go. If possible, we try to combine travel and work. Before Corona it was our goal to travel to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe with Riga as our home base.
How bad is Corona, how strict are the regulations where you are?
The lockdown caught us pretty cold in March. When we started our road trip via Lithuania and Poland to Germany on March 10th, we didn't know that this was the last trip for a long time. Of course, the known rules already applied. Museums, the Reichstag and other public institutions had already closed in Berlin. But I was still able to go to the hairdresser, eat a Currywurst and even in the restaurants there was not much to notice about distance rules.
After an extended birthday party with Dagmars daughter, we were sitting comfortably at breakfast on Sundays when we received the news that Latvia was closing the borders and the airport. This news changed everything. Monday night at midnight everything is tight. It was the news that caused us to immediately rebook and get the last flight to Riga. An hour later we were sitting in the car heading for Rhineland to do a few things in the remaining time. After March 17th, life should be different.
It was all half bad though. In fact, we reached Riga an hour before the airport closed. Except for those arriving from risk areas that were tested at the airport, all others were only required to quarantine for two weeks. Germany did not count as a risk area at the time. Quarantine meant for us that we left the house for shopping and we went for a walk or a bike tour every day. The parks were empty and people were also scattered around the river or the Baltic Sea. The majority of the shops remained open, there was toilet paper in the special offer and no other empty shelves. Only yeast was difficult to get in the meantime.
Events and concerts were all canceled until further notice, restaurants and cafes had to a large extent closed or strict requirements (distance rules, hygiene regulations) had to be met. There was a ban on the assembly of more than 2 people, which was also monitored by an increased police presence in the city. All in all, we were happy to spend these days in Latvia, because it is still one of the least affected countries in Europe as of July, just over 1000 documented infections and 30 deaths.
How does Corona affect your daily life? (How did your organize your days in isolation/ quarantine)?
To start with, we haven't been bored during the pandemic lockdown. This is probably because we have been working in the home office for many years. Our daily life was little affected even during quarantine. We only noticed Corona because of the disinfectant and the disposable gloves in the shops, the two-person rule in the park, the distant greeting of other people and of course the fact that the cultural life did not take place. Only much later did the obligation to wear a mask only apply to public transport. We only saw them at the conductor. Even at the doctor. Otherwise everything is normal. As a precaution, our buff was always included. Just in case.
However, we noticed very strongly how the media coverage fed our head cinema. Film off, to be continued. We noticed for ourselves how Covid-19 dominated us in our otherwise not very different life, how the topic was always present. In addition, all the whining came at a high level. Especially in Germany. So we stopped getting information. We were already feeling better.
What do you miss the most?
In the short term, we didn't miss anything here in Latvia. A good country to get through the crisis. We were able to drink a sundowner in front of the panorama of an empty cathedral square after our bike tour. A meeting with a friend in the park with a coffee-to-go was also possible. We even had my birthday in April in a nice restaurant. In the long term, however, social life and tourists are missing. An empty old town is not very charming. And we would much rather enjoy a good concert live than virtual. A lot goes online. But nothing beats now and then about a personal meeting in a smaller or larger group.
What are you afraid of?
Basically, we are not fearful people. Times are of course becoming more uncertain. We are already concerned with the question: what about freedom of travel in the long term? Especially in countries outside of Europe? And of course, the economic changes. Can we assume that we will not have any losses in business? It looks like that at the moment, but what happens in the long run? What changes affect us and how can we react to them? Flexibility, proactivity and willingness to make decisions will be good qualities for the near future.
Any other topics right now besides Corona (political, general or personal)?
In the past weeks we had a very nice summer here in Latvia, which we enjoyed mostly on the beach. Enjoyment and free time management is only one side of the coin. In addition to business, we spend a lot of time working on the company. If travel is again easier and more permissive, we want to have come a lot closer to our goal of digitizing our business. That means reworking blogs, email and social media marketing, shooting videos, developing online courses and webinars, thinking about automation, developing our skills… ..someone said he was bored in the crisis?
Any positive outcomes or effects you see in the Corona crisis?
There is an opportunity in every crisis. It remains to be seen whether it is a good way to transform your travel blog into a food blog, publish cake recipes or suddenly report micro adventures on your doorstep. Basically, that also shows a certain creativity. Maybe all the beautiful but forgotten corners of Germany will finally come into their own?
If certain things no longer work or are currently not working, then we do something else. We always keep it that way. Creativity is required and the willingness to act. But never whine about what we can't change anyway.
In this sense, many positive changes can develop from the crisis. In addition to the many great ideas for self-help, we particularly admired the artists who made a virtue of necessity and gave us so much pleasure virtually and free of charge.
What are you looking forward to the most after Corona? What's your biggest hope or wish?
For Germany, we hope that digitization will finally achieve the boost it needs and other topics such as climate change should also be tackled with courage. Hopefully the strongest country will be able to hold Europe together and get it out of the crisis.
It was a pleasure for us to be able to contribute to this interesting series of interviews. You can also follow our path through the corona pandemic visually on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Or just have a look at our Lucky Ways Reiseblog.
Dagmar & Bruno
Thank you so much - danke Dagmar und Bruno! For all the time and effort you put in this and for the impressions from Riga! Stay safe and keep traveling...