For those of you who have been following the chaotic story on my Instagram, When Liam and I arrived in Israel we were surprisingly forced into Hotel Quarantine without warning. For over 6 weeks we had been locked out of the country due to border closures and applied through special permission to return home. We had triple confirmed, prior to travel, that the possibility of being placed in a government facility didn’t apply to us because I am fully vaccinated and we had an empty home to isolate in. We would have never boarded the flight if we could have predicted what happened next.
Scenes from a War Movie
Upon arrival into mayhem and commotion, both jet-lagged and disoriented from the long plane ride, we were moved from station to station for 5 hours (yes, five) with documents being checked, questions asked, forms filled then placed online to get tagged. Apparently, if you got a red bracelet you were allowed to walk out the airport doors and drive home and if you got a pink bracelet you were sent in line to check-in for government quarantine. We got pink bracelets.
At that point, my 8-year-old started bawling amidst the chaos around us of several immigration officers surrounding each person (and there were many) who refused to be bused to the “hotel”. I tried to remain calm on the outside although I was fuming on the inside. We were loaded onto a full bus and drove an hour to the “hotel”. The entire experience felt surreal like it was all a dream (or nightmare)…we had to stay isolated in place and were directed to check-in and head straight up into our room.
Our new reality
Once there, we reluctantly settled into our room we were forced in and began to process what even happened. I spent the next 24 hours working on getting the results of my antibody test to prove I was vaccinated which was our only ticket to freedom. In the meantime, because we were unprepared for being sent here, I started making a list of everything I wish I had in my teeny room to help make the experience more comfortable. Many countries around the world are still requiring hotel quarantine so I thought I’d share my list of essentials, some are perhaps a little out of the box but can really come in handy.
Hotel Quarantine Checklist:
- Travel Nespresso machine and pods
- Hot water kettle
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- All cosmetics
- Body scrub or other amenities to pamper yourself
- Adapters, for international
- Extra iPhone chargers and cords
- Collapsable travel cooker
- Yoga mat
- Ankle weights
- Bathrobe and comfy loungewear
- Travel mug
- Clorox Wipes
- Your own washcloth
What I Wish I Knew In Quarantine
We had pretty basic 2-star conditions so, depending on your level of accommodation you might not need everything on this list. If you know in advance where you are quarantining (even if it’s in a private home) check ahead at what is available so you know what to supplement. I find that by planning ahead and preparing yourself both mentally and physically for harder-than-home conditions, your experience will be less stressful. I tried to keep calm with a few at-home yoga moves once Liam and I moved the bed to the side of the room!
Come Together for Better Days
I received an outpouring of love and support from so many of you, thank you all for your kind wishes. I have never been more grateful to be home and sip my morning cup of coffee.
There’s a lot more to this story and I shared some sneak peeks from the trip on my Instagram but I’ll leave you with this: we are living through dangerous and unprecedented times. Individual freedoms have been lost around the world and many are suffering greatly. Let’s all pray for better days and do our best to keep our spirits high.