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A Day in the Life When Nomad Life Comes to a Halt – Meet Martha from Shield GEO

As a globally distributed team, we are made up of extremely diverse people with different backgrounds, home countries and ways of life. In order for you to get to know our team a little better, we profile one of our Shield team members each month to showcase the various ways they structure their days, how their remote work fits into their overall life and what else they are passionate about. 

Since COVID-19 spread across the globe, these profiles have tended to focus more on how life has changed since lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders have come into effect. Of course, circumstances vary greatly depending on where they live. Many of our team have had plans cancelled, have had to quarantine away from their regular homes or are grappling with having children and partners home while they work potentially for the first time. 

Meet Martha 

This month, we’re profiling Martha Torices, one of our account managers who is currently sheltering in place in Mexico City after some long term travel plans were put on hold due to COVID-19. 

Martha in Mexico City right before quarantine

“I was only supposed to be here for two months,” she says. 

The plan was to stay put until our (unfortunately, cancelled) company retreat that was set to take place in Bali in May. Martha then wanted to travel in Asia before heading back to Spain, where she had spent a few months earlier this year.

Now, Martha doesn’t see herself leaving until the end of the year at the earliest. 

“I arrived in Mexico City on the first of March and around the 22nd lockdowns started happening.”

“At first it was supposed to be until April 30th, then to May 30th and it just kept moving back.”

Despite the challenging circumstances, Martha remains hopeful that this time won’t be wasted. 

“Three years ago I quit my office job,” she says. “I had been working there for eight years. I was tired of my job, and I didn’t feel like I was growing. So then I thought this is the best opportunity for me to do something that I always wanted to do which was travel. So I quit my job, I sold everything, and off I went.”

A night in Madrid with the Shield GEO team in Spain

She then spent the few years travelling throughout Mexico, Central and South America doing odd jobs here and there, volunteering and learning new things. 

About two years in, Martha applied for her role with Shield and shortly after started travelling again. At first throughout Mexico and then onto Europe, spending the bulk of her time in Spain and the UK where she met a bunch of the Shield team. 

But after three years of virtually non-stop travel, it was starting to take its toll. 

“I was starting to get tired of living out of my backpack and was starting to think about staying in one spot for a while,” Martha admits. 

From that perspective, there are definitely parts of the lockdown that have been positive.

“I feel like this is what I asked for,” Martha says. “Not that I asked for a global pandemic, but maybe I just needed a little bit of time to stay in one place and have a routine.”

Martha and her sister having a great time in London

Martha has moved her working hours back to prioritise a morning routine of yoga and tea and bi-weekly French lessons. She’s cooking more, something she’s always loved but hasn’t always had the opportunity to do and has gotten into an ayurvedic practice that she says really resonates with her and makes her feel good. 

“Ayurveda is kind of like the study of life,” Martha says. 

“They do these retreats at the beach, but due to coronavirus they started doing it at home.”

Martha recently joined a retreat, where she followed a daily schedule, logged in to virtual seminars and practised yoga and meditation alongside a global group. 

“They had an Ayurvedic cooking class then another they had a psychologist talking about emotional health and one day we had a day spa and with all these different face masks,” she says. 

“I didn’t read the news. It was just me doing my thing for a few days, and I found it really centring during this time.”

A Day in the Life of Martha

7:00 a.m.Wake up, takes me a while to wake up, so I stay in bed for a little bit
7:20-7:30 a.m.I finally wake up, brush my teeth and prepare my daily ginger tea with Aloe Vera and drink it while sitting by the window.
8:00 a.m.On Wednesdays and Fridays, I have French lessons with an online tutor, on Thursdays we have our weekly team call at 8:30, and the other days I try to do Yoga.
9:00 a.m.I shower, make breakfast and start looking at my inbox, slack, Skype to see what the day will be like.
10:00 a.m.I start work; when I was traveling, I used to start work at 7 am so I could take advantage of my day, but now in quarantine, I start later so I can do my morning rituals. I organize my emails by category and start actioning. Reach out to Juan Pablo, who is my associate on Tuesdays and Thursdays to see what we need to act on those days.
11:00 a.m.Take a break, make some tea, sometimes I pick up the ukulele and just start strumming away or I chat with my roommate for a little bit about how her day is going.
11:30 a.mContinue working
12:30 p.m.During quarantine I have been cooking a lot, so around this time I start preparing lunch and working while I cook. I have been trying to eat in an Ayurvedic way and it takes a while to prepare.
3:00 p.m.I eat lunch around this time
3:30 p.m.Continue with work
4:30 p.m.I take another break, usually I have some desert or make more tea and just move around my house.
5:00 p.m.Back to work, trying to finish up for the day. I try to leave my inbox free as much as I can.
6:00 – 6:30 p.m.I finish work and then I just chill at home, maybe watch some Netlfix, read, learn a new song on the Ukulele, now I got some watercolors so that is another activity I will be doing.
7:00 p.m. and onLiving my best quarantined life

Perspective Changes Everything 

“I do believe that the world and life works in a certain way to make us realise certain things,” Martha says. 

“And, I think this time is making us really think about the small things that maybe we’ve never stopped to think about and makes me grateful for what I do have. I think maybe we all needed that.”

Living in Mexico makes Martha extremely aware of how lucky she is. While the city has started opening up this month, she is opting to mostly stay home. 

Meeting the team from Shield GEO UK

“Here in Mexico, the sad reality is that around 30% of people work in the informal sector. So, if they don’t go to work, then they can’t eat,” she says. 

“You have a family — what do you do?”

She doesn’t want to add to crowds when she doesn’t have to, particularly when many people don’t have a choice but to be out to go to work. 

“I’m fortunate enough that I don’t have those decisions to make, so that’s why I stay home — if it has to be three more months then so be it to lower the risk for everybody.”

Of course, despite all this, it’s not always easy to keep a positive outlook. Martha admits she’s gone through some low periods throughout this time as well. 

“We’re living under circumstances that none of us has before so we don’t know what to do or how to feel, so we can only do the best we can,” she says.

– Bree Caggiati, June 2020

Want to know more about Martha? Visit her profile on Our Team page!


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