I first used Slowly beginning of 2019. I knew I wanted to improve my written Norwegian and so I set out with many an optimistic “Hei! Jeg heter Lucy” messages. A few worked and one in particular stuck around. We ended up moving to SnapChat and WhatsApp and in October last year met for the first time when I was in Oslo.
But I don’t want to talk about that year. I want to talk about 2020.
I ended up deleting Slowly some time last year; life got too fast-paced, I’d kept the people I knew would be a part of my life. But this year COVID hit. And as a doctor in the English healthcare system, suddenly my life was completely changed. I moved out of my home with my parents as soon as lockdown started. I was working on wards with COVID patients. There’s a lot of reasons I want to forget this year, but Slowly certainly isn’t one of them. I re-downloaded the app to connect with new people, to practice my Norwegian again, and to provide me with a break from my day to day patients. I wanted to hear more about the world and be transported to the places lockdown meant I couldn’t visit….yet.
Re-joining Slowly was one of the best things I could’ve done, both for my mental health and for my social life. I’ve connected with people as far as Singapore and as close as an hour away in England. Despite my crazy work schedule and all my messages beginning with “I’m so sorry this is late, I’ve been working!” people have been just incredibly understanding and kind. Every time I had a bad day I’d open the phone to messages of love and encouragement; one friend even made me a Spotify playlist of relaxing songs he liked so I had something to chill out with at the end of my shifts! I don’t know what I love more, his taste in music or the touching gesture itself.
When things start to open up again I hope to get back on my travelling plans, this time with a few more destinations and a few more friends I need to see.