Moving to Another Country at the Onset of a Pandemic

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This week, we talk about mental well-being as part of the Agoda’s global and virtual well-being festival. 2020 has been unpredictable and rough on everyone.

It’s easy to get stuck in an endless cycle of emotions but it’s important to fight your way out of it and be grateful for the positive aspects of your life.

We chat with Viktoriya Gridneva from the People team who tells us about how she moved to Bangkok during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the way she has been able to focus on her mental health during this period.

Looking at the bright side

ViktoriyaViktoriya Gridneva, Talent Acquisition Partner, Bangkok

I moved to Bangkok at the onset of the pandemic. When I heard that countries were going under lockdown, I was scared about moving to Thailand. Still, I plucked some courage, and armed with enthusiasm, I made the move.

It’s not been an easy journey with the pandemic, but I’ve dealt with it by focusing on the positives, building my support system, and being grateful for what I have.

It was overwhelming

I’ll never forget my first Bangkok experience. It was my first trip to the local supermarket that’s 500 meters from my condo. It took me 25 min to get there on foot; the street was busy and crowded with people, dogs, street shops, and food stalls.

It was noisy, hot, and humid. When I got home, I wanted to cry; I had never experienced anything like this before. I can’t say I’ve overcome it, but it gets better as I try to focus on the positives.

Yes, it’s hot, but I get to wear silky summer clothes all year long! Yes, it’s crowded, but the people are friendly.

My team is the best support system

When we went into lockdown in Thailand, I had been in Bangkok for only several weeks. I had not had the chance to build a support system and network here yet. But it was not as bad as I thought it would be.

My colleagues and my manager at that time were the best support system during the lockdown. My team at Agoda is by far one of the most caring and comforting teams I’ve come across in my career.

We used to send homemade food and treats to one another, unwind over cocktails in the evening and have live virtual guitar sessions during the lockdown. All of this was very helpful, and I am grateful for being part of such a team.

Enjoying life in Thailand

In Russian we have a saying “what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.” I try not to get nostalgic and homesick by focusing on new adventures, discovering new places, cultures, and food.

Thailand has been one is the safest country in the world in this period. While international travel isn’t permissible, I’m grateful that I can still travel domestically in Thailand and there’s so much to explore here!

I love how convenient and easy things are here like ordering food late at night or going for a massage, but most of all, I love the Thai people and Thai culture – I feel so safe and at ease in this country.

Went through a similar experience? Share with us how you coped in the comment section on our Facebook and LinkedIn post.

Read more: Agoda’s Global and Virtual Well-being Festival