The Big Cheese

Life in the time of COVID-19 with TIME Unlimited Tours’ Ceillhe Sperath

Keen to know how our friends across the Tasman are faring in the time of the coronavirus? Here’s what Ceillhe Sperath had to say about turning a crisis into an opportunity.

What are you reading?

For mind, wine labels. For body, New Zealand’s Edmonds Cookery Book.

And for soul, Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie.

What are you watching?

My weight and strange expressions on the faces of my family at some cooking failures!

What are you listening to?

My hubby and daughter forever saying, “I’m bored, what are you baking next?”

What are you cooking?

Extra portions for freezing for when I have those “I’m never cooking again moments!”

How are you staying fit both physically and mentally?

Walks and talks around the neighbourhood helps with regular fitness, but also keeps us grounded based on our cultural values of placing importance around Manakitanga and Kotahitanga – or, in other words, collectively caring for people and places around you.

What’s the one thing keeping you sane?

When it gets tough, I call my 80-year-old Mum (lovingly known in our family as the ‘Vicar of Dibley’, as she is an Anglican minister and likes to tell me she gets divine interventions).

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

That I have a great family and even though we work together already as a home-based business in isolation. We don’t mind hanging out and practising this thing called ‘work-life balance’ – I thought it was only an optical illusion!

What have you learned about yourself amid the crisis?

I have learnt to spend my time and energy being thankful for what I do have rather than all the things I don’t have. I agree with what Magic Johnson was quoted as saying: “When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are.”

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

Travel the road less travelled, as they say, and truly let yourself go (no one can see you in isolation anyway), and then use this time to catch-up on yourself and declutter everything (mentally, spiritually and physically).

Most importantly, don’t treat this as a crisis. Instead, let us celebrate it as an opportunity by starting with our own outlook on life, and then the industry can only become stronger based on the premise Together Everyone Achieves More.