We have experiences that shaped our personalities and lives entirely for the better. Initially, we experience many doubts about whether to face some life realities or just give up. Nevertheless, because giving up is not for winners, we choose to face the situation despite the difficulties. I did not know that my baking hobby would finance my daily needs, especially in a foreign country, until I was caught up by coronavirus lockdown. Coronavirus put most activities on a pause, and everything changed. People had to adjust to new ways of life to survive during this pandemic. Many countries were put into lockdown, and people had to adhere to the consequences. Coronavirus pandemic gave me a pause to reflect on my life and utilize my baking hobbies. It was a hard time that allowed me to comprehend that sometimes it takes one’s world to fall apart for the most valuable things to be built up and replace the wreckages. This is my story, a story of pain that turned into success.
My pre-nursing class for an end-year season at community college was coming to a close, and summer was around the corner. Throughout the semester, my friends and I were planning for an end-year trip to Italy to refresh. We planned a trip, and immediately after exams, we boarded a plane and headed to Puglia beaches. I was very excited as it was my first visit to Italy. At this time, my parents thought I was in school tackling some units, which I had deferred in the previous session as I had informed them. Puglia beaches were full of life with beautiful coastlines, great food, and wines. After one week of enjoying beautiful sceneries, it was time to return home, but I choose to have a one-week extension.
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My friends boarded a place back home in Washington, and I was left behind enjoying the beach life and beautiful sceneries. The experience was great, from making new friends to visiting different places. Little did I know that my extension trip was the beginning of new experiences. The country announced its first case of coronavirus and banned traveling in and out of the country to minimize the virus spread. Being in a foreign land, I did not know what to do now that my parents thought I was still at school and I could just travel home as my school was few kilometers from home in case anything happened. All this time, I crossed my fingers, hoping that the US could not put strict measures due to coronavirus. After several weeks, the US government announced a locked down that transpired into the closure of all social places, including schools, and gave a few day-notice to vacate from those premises.
I did not know what to tell my parents after receiving calls from home, requesting that I travel home immediately. Being brought up by strict parents, I was worried about telling them the truth, but that was the only option as I needed help as I was stranded in a new country with no friends or relatives. I needed physical, social support, and financial help, but I was all alone. I needed financial support as my saving was getting depleted. I had to face the consequences and reveal the truth to my parents. My parents are strict, so anything worrisome was expected.
I did burst the shocking story to my parents. They did not understand how I found myself in Italy without their conscience. They got angry, and I did not know how to face them. They could not listen to my story even when I tried to apologize. They blamed me for neglecting school and lying to them all this time. The worst happened, my dad got angry and even decided not to support my stay in Italy. I needed to look for a solid plan, including someone to host me and look for something meaningful to support my bills.
I was very disturbed for a while, but I had to look for a solid plan. I remembered a female friend we had bonded at the beach, exchanged contacts, and she told me she offered professional bakery classes to those interested. At first, I was hesitant to contact her as I was doubtful if a stranger would help me, but I gained courage. After I contacted her, she was very friendly, and I had gotten someone to help me. I explained my situation to her and informed her that I was interested in enrolling in bakery classes. She agreed to host me, and I found a home away from home.
Baking classes were exciting as I was doing something that I loved. I acquired professional skills, and after a short while of training, I could bake some professional cakes for events such as anniversaries and birthdays. I marketed them online, which did well as many people shifted to online buying after the lockdown. This enabled me to survive in Italy, and I continued improving my hobby even after lockdown. This was a tremendous experience for me; I learned that hard times make one resourceful and thoughtful. Additionally, I learned that anyone could help us in times of trouble despite our relations. My help came from a stranger who turned out to be a best friend.