In this week’s update, I go over the current travel restrictions imposed out of Southern Africa and the new restrictions in Colombia and England. Beyond this, you’ll find my personal situation report detailing where I’m at and what I’m doing in the world.
Dates: 28NOV21 – 05DEC21. This information is only current as of these dates. The rules are changing rapidly, and it is imperative you consult the IATA travel map before planning anything.
With the new variant, the world has once again reacted with shutting borders and tightening controls. The most affected countries are the Southern African ones.
Southern African Countries (South Africa, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia)
At the current time, this is what travel looks like out of South Africa specifically, and pretty much the same applies to the other countries listed above too. In order to get into most places in the western world, you will need to spend two weeks in a country that will take South Africans, and then travel forward from there.
Colombia up until very recently was known to be a country with very little restrictions. Although they still let anybody enter without the need for testing or any other measures, they have recently increased restrictions, and now most premises require a Colombian ‘medical’ passport. How this translates on the ground remains to be seen.
Since ‘freedom day’ in July 2021, England has been one of the most restriction-free nations in the world outside of their strict border controls. Recently however, Boris Johnson has enacted England’s ‘Plan B’ which encompasses a medical passport to enter venues the Government deems high risk. These include nightclubs and stadiums. Outside of this, England remains relatively restriction free.
Dates: 28NOV21 – 05DEC21
Limassol, Cyprus. I was staying in a place called ‘Niki’s House’ which is a bit far out from the main touristy areas of Limassol. The best thing about this location though was its proximity to the freeway. I could easily hop on the freeway within 2 minutes, and then be either in the coastal cities of Pafos or Larnaka within 40 minutes. These two cities were my favourite and there were two groups of entrepreneurs staying in both, so being in central Limassol helped me balance this effectively.
I trained at Salveo Health & Fitness in Limassol. Honestly, I liked this gym a lot. There were no TV’s and I’d be lucky to see one other person training there in the middle of the day. It had pretty much all the equipment I needed and allowed me to focus on my training session properly. It also helped that it was barely a 5 minute drive from my accomodation. Still aiming to get that 1/2/3/4 plate, and managed to achieve 4×2 = 105kg on Bench. Just need the 3 plate squat and 4 plate deadlift (nearly there) and that will be the first gym goal achieved… Many more to come though of course.
I am in love with Greek/Cypriot traditional food. If you like meats, bread and a light spattering of vegetables, you have found your food paradise in the Mediterranean. One of the best Souvlaki place I found and ate at was Souvlaki.gr in Larnaka.
Restriction Rating Flying in:
As per the dates given, the restrictions for flying into Cyprus are 3/10, although this depends where you’re coming from. I flew in from the UAE and didn’t even need a test to get in. You will however need to fill out the ‘FlightPass‘. Make sure to stay updated on all the latest restrictions here.
Restriction Rating on the Ground:
As per the dates given, the restrictions in Cyprus are 5/10. They have something called a ‘safepass’ that is required to enter most stores, cafes, restaurants, clubs etc. This ‘safepass’ requires proof of vaccination, recovery or a test issued no more than 72 hours prior. In regards to masks, despite Government sources regulating them in most places and settings, people barely wear them. The only times people wear them is when shopping for groceries. My restriction rating would be higher, however the ‘safepass’ is loosely enforced and you can get around it pretty easily if you are a foreigner/tourist. The restrictions are tipped to tighten over the Christmas period however…
Cultural Shocks & Differences:
During my stay, I learned a few things about how things operate in Cyprus. The first point to consider is the driving. In Cyprus, they drive on the normal side (left side) and the road rules are a lot looser than they are in a place like Australia. Indicators are optional, driving 20 – 30km over the speed limit on highways is normal etc etc. The other thing that shocked me was how narrow the streets were when you got into residential areas. A lot of streets can only fit one way traffic, so you have to be cognisant of that.
The second point would be how ‘relaxed’ the population is. Despite there being a lot of restrictions on paper, they don’t really end up translating to how the population acts on the ground. There is a real mentality of people just wanting to get on with it.
Lastly, this one might not be a surprise to Europeans, but everything closes on Sunday and there are limited hours on Saturdays. I found myself dropping a gym session or two during the week and unable to train on the weekend. A bit inconvenient, but it also contributes to the nice ‘island time’ type vibe. People are generally very laid-back and subsequently so are the businesses.
I have to say, the ‘expat social life’ in Cyprus is awesome. They have a huge Entrepreneur network that meets every Saturday for brunch, and it’s a really open group. Heaps of Germans there too, so it really helped my speaking skills. Ended up going out with a bunch of them to different clubs and bars, and there is no better way of getting to know a country than talking to people who have expatriated and lived in that country for a while. They tell you the ins and outs of the culture, what things are really like behind the scenes, and where the best places are.
In regards to nightlife, even though I went there in the midst of winter, there was still a nice buzz, and people were generally having a good time. Clubs were open provided you had a Safepass or foreign vaccine certificate. The first place I went to was actually a week before the dates written in this article, and my ears were ringing for two days after. I have never been to a club louder than that in my life. The second time was at a much nicer club with a more reasonable volume. Drinks were cheap, people were chill and it was a good time.
Business & Investment:
One unfortunate thing about Cyprus is that I have to drag myself out of bed at 6am every Wednesday to be present for our weekly team meetings. However outside of that minor inconvenience, I have not really been taking a look at anything investment wise, and have really just been focusing on company structure, and the best way to earn revenue in the most tax effective way possible. There is A LOT to it, and if I had to explain it all, you would probably click off the article within a few seconds. Just know that separating from the Australian tax system is tough, and that earning money from US Youtube viewers is tough as well (the USA wants to know everything!!!).
Aside from these headaches, the business has been running smoothly and one of our channels, the front, has been growing quite rapidly thanks to some changes we made to our thumbnail processes and of course the dedication of our awesome team.
In regards to where my money is sitting at the moment, I am pretty bearish on Western currencies, stocks and even crypto at the moment. I think the markets have been too hot for too long, and the economic damage of lockdowns is going to hit sooner rather than later. I currently have a substantial amount of my money in Gold & Silver, alternative currencies such as PLN, CHF, GHC & AED as well as high yield crypto USD interest accounts such as Anchor protocol. (where I earn 20% interest on USD!).
General Insight & Cool Uncategorised Stories:
For this week, the main learning was to not park in the wrong area…