Friday, February 26, 2021

‘Below Deck’s Izzy Wouters On How She Found Confidence, Justice, And Total Relaxation

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We weren’t even halfway through the current season of Below Deck when I declared Izzy Wouters a “perfect crew member.” Now, she’s only proven that and more, with her hard work on deck resulting in her recent promotion to lead deckhand, and her neverending stream of meme-able quips serving as the only real moments we chuckle throughout an episode.

Izzy and I caught up via Zoom where she was nearly a day ahead in New Zealand, but was every bit as chatty and friendly as she appears to be on the show (which is why our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity).

It’s just as normal, basically; it’s no masks, music festivals are on, shops are open. You still have to sign in when you go into a shopping center, [lots of] hand sanitizing, which is good. And you have to wear masks on flights. But apart from that, it’s basically life pre-COVID.

I feel really bad as well, because I’m doing these fun things and having a really good time enjoying summer, but then I don’t want to post any of this on social media and make other people feel bad, because it’s so different for everyone else. It’s been really nice to be over here and see my family, too.

I say post it because I feel like I’m living through you. It feels like you were doing some touristy stuff in New Zealand, is that true? 

I was, yeah. Every time I go to New Zealand, I go and visit my family and I don’t do anything that I want to do. So I went around all the touristy areas like to Mount Cook, went to Tekapo, went to Queenstown, and it was so good. Because obviously it’s so quiet. I was at the base of Mount Cook, I think, like 20 minutes by myself, which is unheard of. In New Zealand it’s been a really good time because you can actually visit places without them being overrun with tourists.

I love spending time at home. But with the pandemic, especially after filming, when we went back to Australia and got put straight into a lockdown. It’s that thing where now that I’m forced to be home, I’m like, oh, I wish I could go out again. Yeah, hate being forced to do something.

It’s tough, but also it has allowed a lot of the citizens in the country to kind of have a normal life, which has been quite good, because I know myself and a lot of other people probably have been struggling with mental health through the whole COVID thing. They’ve been so good with mental health, like in Australia giving us 20 subsidized or free sessions with a therapist and stuff like that. So we’ve been really lucky.

Are you getting back to work soon?

Yeah, I’m leaving New Zealand, very sad for me, and then I’m flying out and going back to work in a couple of weeks. That’s going to be kind of weird because I’ve been on this little hiatus of just having the show going on and visiting family and now it’s back to real life. But I really love having money coming in. So that was a struggle to see my bank account just kind of go down instead of going up, because I’m really a saver and budgeter.

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