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Tonia Welling

Tonia Welling - expat stories

Expat Stories

Tell us a little about yourself,

1 Where do you live now and how long have you been there?

I now live in Dallas, TX and we moved here 2 year ago.

2 What do you love about where you live now?

I love the weather, I’m a warm weather girl. The people are nice and we have made so many friends. We are close to a major city but also have lots of nature to appreciate.

3. How is it different to your home country?

I’m still in my home country but in a different state in the US. I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois, moved to the state of Arkansas, then to Tokyo, Japan, then to Toronto, Canada then to the State of Minnesota then to Texas. Texas is not too different from Illinois except for they are definitely more in to personal firearms and lots of football (not football/soccer).

4.What frustrates you about your host country?

I don’t think I have a frustration right now beside the normal politics and how the economy and Covid-19 is being handled but everyone has a different opinion on that.

The CoronaVirus

5.How has the CoronaVirus effected you?

Although I was a stay at home parent for 22 years which ended January of 2020, and my job had me working out of my home already most of the time, but now there are 6 of us in the house all trying to work or study. My husband gives us a daily update on washing our hands and not touching our faces and not socializing in person. My son and I are in a high risk group so we are not the ones making food and supply runs. Even that freedom makes us feel a little more isolated, but safety and health first. That’s the thing, we are safe and healthy and blessed to have a nice home and a back yard that is fenced in.

6 Where are you now and where is the rest of your family?

The whole immediate family is home. 4 kids schooling online. We have parents and siblings in 4 other states.

7.Are you in self-isolation, lock down or are you social distancing and what rules do you need to follow?

We are shelter in place. We try to do grocery pick up rather than go into the store but there are items that you do need to go to multiple stores to find and you can not pre-order them online. Shortage of all paper goods and can you believe it, BACON. I’m having trouble finding bacon, in Texas. Makes me laugh. But I can find my hair dye, no one wants to see me gray.

8.What do you find the hardest about your situation right now?

Not socializing in person. Travel is a bonus but not seeing friends and family members outside my house is harder. Worrying about if I can get my medication, if they will run out when I need a refill is stressing. Stressing if one of my kids or husband gets injured if we risk a trip to the doctors.

Isolation tips

9. Do you have any tips for anyone in lock down or self isolation?

Make a schedule for yourself Monday-Friday. Put on things that need to get done, things you always wanted to get done, fun things. It makes the days go by faster and you don’t lose track of time. Makes it more normal.

10. What are you doing differently now compared to a few months ago?

Washing my hands a lot more.

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