Soooo…we somehow manage to get ourselves trapped in paradise.
Coronavirus shut down the world at the worst (or best?) possible time.
We were staying on an internet-less beach on Koh Rong Samloem island in Cambodia and had no idea what was going on. By the time we got back to wifi, things had spiraled out of control and borders were closing down.
I’m still not sure if I should be excited…or terrified. *GULP*
Now, you might think it sounds like a dream to be quarantined on a stunning white-sand beach, isolated from the rest of the world—and you’re right, it is a dream (sometimes)…
▶️ There’s only a handful of tourists spread across the island. We literally have this place to ourselves. Sometimes we walk a mile down the beach without seeing another soul.
▶️ Luxury resorts—places we normally never could afford—are empty and basically giving bungalows away (check out Episode 3 to see just how cheap).
▶️ Very few people are arriving to the island, so we feel protected from the virus (plus it’s like 7000 degrees here so I don’t think it could survive anyways).
…but it’s not all butterflies and unicorns.
We have no idea what each day will bring:
- It’s rustic here. All electricity comes from generators and we have
dailyhourly blackouts (not ideal for productive online work).
- There’s no doctors. There’s no medicine. And there’s no guarantee things will stay open (about 70% of the island has closed already).
- We don’t know how long the Cambodian government will let us legally stay here.
- Now that all the “refugees” on the beach are getting to know each other, island gossip and drama are rampant (which I admit, is actually kinda entertaining…I feel like I’m back in high school again 😂)
Since there’s nothing else to do here (turns out there’s a limit to how many consecutive days you can drink piña coladas in a hammock without getting bored), we decided to make a vlog series to share our crazy quarantine with you.
It’s literally like a real-life soap opera here. The situation changes every day, so we’ll be putting out new island lockdown video updates a couple times per week.
If you’re bored at home in social isolation, make sure to subscribe to our channel and hit the notification bell to follow the story as it unfolds!
Let’s dive in…
Note: Things will make more sense if you watch in order 😎
Episode 1: Uh-Oh, We’re Trapped! – What Would You Do In Our Shoes?
In this episode, we…
- Share how we found ourselves in this sticky situation
- Give the different options (or LACK of options) we have for where to go during these crazy times
- Ask for your advice!
If you were us, what would you do??
Episode 2: Surviving The Apocalypse Town To Gather Supplies
In this episode, I have to leave the safety of the island and trek through a disaster zone city (which shall not be named for safety purposes).
This dump of a city is where most of Cambodia’s cases of coronavirus are. During my mission, I walked through what looked like a zombie apocalypse to extend our visas and stock up on supplies.
Naturally, I found myself in a Chinese supermarket and, as you’ll see, had quite an interesting experience.
Note: If you’re thinking about traveling to the islands when all this craziness is over, one of my top Cambodia tips is to NOT stay in this city under any circumstances. Seriously…pass through as quickly as possible. Some outdated info on the internet says it’s cool, but it’s not!
Episode 3: Bungalow Hunting + Our Own Slice of Lockdown Heaven
After stocking up on basic supplies (AKA pringles, weird Chinese rice crispy treats, and 30 cups of instant noodles), we needed to find a place to stay.
Resorts are closing down left and right, and it’s impossible to know which ones will weather the storm. We wanted to negotiate a discounted long-term rate, so we couldn’t afford to choose a place that would close at any second.
Check out the video to see…
- How we avoided getting screwed in negotiations…and why you should always explore your options with your OWN EYES
- How we stumbled on an unbelievably cheap deal on a huge luxury beach-front bungalow
- A tour of our slice of paradise where we’ll hunker down for the next who-knows-how-long
Episode 4: A Day In The Life of Island Quarantine Paradise
It’s now been over a month since we arrived on the island (we were only planning to stay for a few days), and we’ve finally settled into a perfect quarantine routine.
If you wanna see what a day is like stranded on one of Cambodia’s most beautiful beaches (which has now turned into a “ghost beach”), check it out!
Episode 5: How To Not Go Crazy in Lockdown (On a Remote Cambodian Island)
Turns out you can only visit each of the stunning Koh Rong Samloem beaches so many times before you start going insane quarantined in paradise.
We’ve now been trapped on the island for over SIX WEEKS, and in this week’s episode, we show how to not go crazy in lockdown on a rustic beach.
Check out the video to discover our 10 favorite island activities to pass the time…
Some are productive, some are slightly dangerous, and some are downright wonky.
Episode 6: Mitch’s Solo Mission into the Depths of the Jungle (+ Secret Path to Lazy Beach)
Today we have stubborn Mitch ignoring his wife’s advice and disappearing into the jungle alone.
After a run-in with a pack of angry dogs, nearly falling off a rock into the ocean, and getting semi-lost…
He discovers an adventurous new hiking route to Lazy Beach (and some sweet random rock carvings in the jungle).
Episode 7: Ultimate Koh Rong Samloem Island Tour
After nearly three months on Koh Rong Samloem, we’ve basically done it all (multiple times). Here is a guide showing all the island has to offer.
We hope these videos keep you entertained during lockdown. If you enjoyed them, make sure to share this post with a friend!
Stay safe out there, amigos!
Cheers from the island,
Mitch & Dayan
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered—where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).