Locked Down In Myanmar: This Stylish Traveller Says ‘Let The Future Take Care Of Itself’

  "I flew into Yangon on the evening of Friday, March 13. The plan was to spend the weekend there and get some work done for a couple of days. Alas, that five-day trip turned into two months as Singapore imposed travel restrictions on visitors entering the country. It is a surreal experience for me, a learning opportunity and a game of time. I am thankful for this unexpected moment that turned into a precious experience. Our experience of time always goes in one direction: Forward from yesterday towards tomorrow. Fortunately, we have the chance to make things better. Every day. When I got the news that I wasn’t able to return home at first, I thought it was just a hiccup that would last for a few days but I soon understood that there was so much uncertainty in the world and my return home would not be so quick. The major concern I had was that Myanmar’s healthcare system is unfortunately still one of the weakest; safety could have been a potential risk. The Yangon airport shut down the operations so there was no way out. All this was out of my control, hence I stopped worrying about it. I reversed my emotions. Instead of feeling worried and upset, I started practising gratitude.

"It is said that if you don’t feel fear, the unknown will be kind to you. If I was focusing my energy only on the unfairness, uncertainty and materialistic matters, I was going to lose it." – Daniela Caccia

 

Caccia at Inle Lake posing with the region's famous leg rowers.

My family and friends in Bergamo, Italy, the epicentre of the Covid-19, and other people in the world are going through a terrible time. They are exposed daily to fear and death. Despite all, I felt blessed and fear was a choice that I didn’t want to opt for. It is said that if you don’t feel fear, the unknown will be kind to you. If I was focusing my energy only on the unfairness, uncertainty and materialistic matters, I was going to lose it. I want to be grateful for myself and the people around and for the ability to work remotely from home. I approached this as a learning experience, an exploration of myself and new skills. Adversity is the foundation of growth. The first time I travelled to Myanmar was in 2010 with my dear friend from university. The country was still fairly unknown to tourists. Back then there were no ATM machines, no good infrastructures to host tourists and I felt that time was not moving at the same speed as the rest of the world. Work brought me back in Yangon for a business trip in 2013 and the city was visibly changed but I didn’t have the chance to explore much. More recently, I returned in February this year during the Chinese New Year holiday. This time I ventured into the far north of the country and it was a wonderful discovery of pristine land and old traditions. I was fascinated by its mystery, traditions and landscapes.

"We tend to predict the future constantly and we are terrible at it. We spend our days guessing how an action will impact the future, and we are often wrong. We spend most of our days worrying and we try to control the future. What if instead, just for a little while, we simply did our best?" – Daniela Caccia

  Since then, the country never really left my heart and it has always been a special memory. Here in Yangon, the lifestyle is unpretentious and more authentic. I appreciate what matters most at the core: the value of time, genuine friends, nourishing food, meditation and early nights. However, I didn’t have the chance to explore Myanmar more for this latest trip as the country took early preventive measures and I have been self-isolated most of the time. Myanmar is on lockdown and all the commercial premises like F&B outlets and hotels are closed. Furthermore, there is the evening curfew.

The northern Italian town of Bergamo (above) is the epicentre of the Covid-19 crisis in the country. "My family and friends in Bergamo, Italy, the epicentre of the Covid-19, and other people in the world are going through a terrible time," said Caccia. "They are exposed daily to fear and death. Despite all, I felt blessed and fear was a choice that I didn’t want to opt for." Photo: Showbit.com

But my genuine curiosity is fervid and I still managed to walk, with masks and gloves, around some buzzy streets of Yangon (beating the hit and fear). There is beautiful park called People Park with an unobstructed view of the Shwedagon Pagoda. The blurry colours and peace here at sunset are blissful. I learnt to fall in love with the process, with the messiness of life and the confusion of it all. We tend to predict the future constantly and we are terrible at it. We spend our days guessing how an action will impact the future, and we are often wrong. We spend most of our days worrying and we try to control the future. What if instead, just for a little while, we simply did our best? The future is still going to take care of itself. All that’s on us is to do our best work. Let the future take care of itself."

This article is originally published on Female Singapore.

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