We’re riding out the pandemic in Morocco
Lauren Davenport, CEO and husband Daniel Fernandez, CMO of the Symphony Agency in St. Petersburg, sold their home and most of their belongings in early 2019 to become minimalist entrepreneurs. They travel the world and work remotely during the majority of the year, essentially making them “citizens of the world.”
We are currently in Morocco, Africa—indefinitely – after the country’s borders were completely shut down yesterday.
We had planned a family trip around Daniel’s father’s 70th birthday, long before the outbreak of the coronavirus. We thought long and hard about leaving for Spain in the days leading up to the trip, before the virus hit global pandemic status, but decided to move forward with the plans.
We spent 12 enjoyable days touring Spain before the pandemic hit that area. Our other family members flew back home on March 12, as scheduled, just hours after President Donald Trump announced the ban on travel for European nationals.
My husband and I continued on to Morocco, as planned, but without knowing that our flight would be one of the last into the country from Spain before all flights were suspended between the two countries.
As of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, we are healthy—but stuck indefinitely—in a Moroccan hotel. All of our previously booked flights home have been canceled due to border closures. We are currently waiting to hear from the US Embassy about the options they are creating for Americans to return home.
In the meantime, we are self-quarantined in a hotel in Marrakesh, Morocco quietly enjoying the delicious cuisine and the friendship of our new Moroccan family at the hotel.
As of now, we know of at least 100 other US Citizens who are in the same predicament as we are.
They are from all different walks of life, but some of them have real hardships that this situation has created. I talked to one expectant mother who is stuck in Casablanca and only has enough money for four more nights at her hotel. She’s feeling helpless.
I’ve also spoken with a woman here who is traveling with her 18-year-old son, who has special needs and requires specific medical attention. These people didn’t have notice that they needed to get out.
Their flights were simply canceled and the US Embassy isn’t providing us any information on what to do next. The best thing that people can do is share their stories. We are trying to be patient, as we know the US government has a lot on its plate right now.
If readers want to learn more and follow our story, they can follow me on Instagram at @wander_lauren”
Lauren Davenport is the CEO and Daniel Fernandez is the CMO of the Symphony Agency, a growth accelerator firm in St. Petersburg, FL. The Symphony Team focuses primarily on modernizing private healthcare practices, with multiple practitioners in multiple locations, to meet the current demands of patient-centric healthcare, using their proprietary five-step process. Lauren and Daniel founded the Symphony Agency in 2009 and have been married since 2012.