Over two months ago I wrote my last blog post, The long journey home. Today I write having completed that journey.
A journey that took us over a month and 26,500 km (16,460 miles), six flights (not counting the four flights that were booked and cancelled), four countries, 14 days hotel quarantine, seven Covid tests, and 150 kg of luggage (again not counting the 16 cubic metres of belongings that are on a slow boat from China which will hopefully arrive by Christmas).
Moving countries is never easy. Moving countries during a global pandemic is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. Usually I focus on the end goal as I work through the steps to achieving it, whether that has been training for and completing the Great Wall Half Marathon or returning to study. But this time the steps we needed to complete were not entirely within my control. Would we be able to get a flight out of China? Would our US visa application be approved? Would we be given permission to leave Australia? Would we test negative for the virus?
To be honest I still can’t believe we made it.
What lessons did I learn during this experience?
1. Firstly, don’t try to move countries during a pandemic. Especially when there are increasing political tensions between those countries. (Seriously, DO NOT do it!)
2. Focus on achieving one step at a time.
3. Recognise and accept that there are things beyond your control.
4. Family is the most important thing. No matter where we are, where we will end up, as long as we are together.