There are thousands of people all over the world who haven’t been able to get home and see loved ones during the pandemic. They’ve missed births, deaths, weddings, divorces and everything in between. It’s heartbreaking. But what it does demonstrate, is that even though we’ve all gotten used to the fact that the world does not seem so big, it’s still a bloody big world. I’m sad that I haven’t seen my friends and family back home for two years. But the thing is, this is kind of what I signed up for.
When I chose to move 15,000km away from where I was born, yes, I might have had some expectations on how often I would return. I certainly had expectations about being able to get home in the case of an emergency. Ok, it’s not a short flight, but if I really needed to, realistically I could make it in a few days.
But in moving so far away from home, I can hardly keep the expectation that everything is going to stay the same and it’s always going to be possible to do whatever suits me. And Covid is exactly the situation where it hits you, and the impact of your choice becomes unavoidably apparent.
It’s an exciting decision, to choose to move to another country for work, for an adventure, for a better life, for whatever the reason… but it does come with sacrifices. I understand that. Health reasons can make it impossible to travel at certain times in your life. Work commitments get in the way. Not having the funds means having to save up and sacrifice other pleasures. Covid was kind of unexpected, but it’s just one of the many things that suddenly makes the world seem huge when it didn’t previously.
It’s the reason why I will never give up my Australian passport. Because otherwise, in any moment, if I had to get home, and for whatever reason they were only allowing citizens back in, I couldn’t get there. So I’m hanging onto my little blue book.
But while the glamour of living abroad does come with its downsides, you have to take the good with the bad. I might not love the situation currently, but this is what I’ve got to live with.
I do understand that it might have been a more tumultuous time for those who live only a short flight/drive away from family and have faced the same dilemma, be that in Australia or Europe. Because in the world we live in, we never before would have imagined a situation whereby just driving across a state or country border would be difficult or impossible. My parents live in Victoria and my brother lives in New South Wales, a 3.5 hour drive away, but for months they were unable to see each other. From Austria, driving 3.5 hours gets you into multiple countries, again, many of which were locked down or very difficult to cross into during the pandemic.
Technically I could get home now, but there are a number of reasons as to why I may or may not make it in the near future. I have my fingers crossed, and in the meantime, I’m just hoping there won’t be any future global disasters that affect the internet, cause that’s my lifeline in all this.
Hope you’re all surviving out there.