Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Travellers Choice’s Robyn Mitchell

This week, Travellers Choice’s general manager for marketing tells us how the host of Gardening Australia saved her butt during the toilet paper shortage.

What are you reading?

The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne – to my two sons at bedtime.

What are you watching?

All things Scandi on SBS On Demand – Agent Hamilton, Blinded and Home Ground.

What are you listening to?

Rodriguez after re-watching Searching for Sugar Man, and Kenny Rogers to remember a legend.

What are you cooking?

As little as possible! With my husband now working from home, he’s got more time to do his share in the kitchen at dinnertime. But I am baking – it’s a practical way to achieve a maths lesson, use up the bananas that no one wants to eat and ensure we are well-provisioned with healthy treats.

How are you staying fit both physically and mentally?

Australia has to be one of the better places to be living in this time of COVID-19. We’ve got the weather and outdoor space to be able to get out into the fresh air and sunshine, but still maintain physical distance from others.

I’ve been taking the kids to parklands that have plenty of good tree-climbing trees, as well as space to kick the footy or hit a softball.

What’s the one thing keeping you sane?

The routine of parenting. While some things are very different, other things are exactly the same. Apart from the true basics like making sure they are clean, fed and educated, there’s all the other stuff that’s important when you’re trying to raise good humans – gratitude, patience, manners, tidiness, and the ability to tie your own shoelaces.

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the coronavirus hit?

Attending last year’s Travel DAZE, I was inspired by keynote Costa Georgiadis to make the move to recycled toilet paper, so six months ago, I subscribed our household to Who Gives A Crap.

When the next box of 48 toilet rolls landed on my doorstep in late January, I told myself not to feel inconvenienced by needing to store the three months’ supply.

Fast forward a few weeks… all I can say is thank you, Costa! Not only did you put me on a more sustainable path, you made my coronavirus trips to the supermarket so much more enjoyable!

What have you learned about yourself amid the crisis?

That I’d make a better English teacher than a maths teacher.

What’s your advice for others in the travel industry on coping with the crisis?

More than ever, look after yourself. Drink more water. Eat sensibly. Get enough rest. Exercise. Stay informed, but don’t overexpose yourself to mass media. Look for reasons to laugh. Be as physically and mentally well as you can be, should you need those reserves if you or your loved ones get sick.

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