No-one really ever expected this would happen. (I don’t really know why I wanted to write this post about life as an expat during a global pandemic, but this is my online journal and sometimes we just have to have a heart to page occasionally.) The world is topsy-turvy thanks to the widespread carnage of a virus, families have been torn apart both permanently and temporarily and who knows how long this will have ramifications for – a generation, I suppose.
You mostly suck.
I started the year like most people with joy (after the grey winds of January obviously.) The first half of the year was going to be epic; trips to Bilbao (which we managed), New Zealand, Las Vegas, New York, Panama and the Isle of Wight – and who knows what might have happened in the second half of the year.
But it’s all about perspective – we might be sad at missing out on these jollies, but so many families have been affected in so many ways, that actually in the scheme of things it really doesn’t matter.
Life as an expat during a global pandemic isn’t easy being so very far from my family (I’m so happy to say that in New Zealand the effect hasn’t been so much Covid related, but knock on effects like the borders closing, businesses and livelihoods being affected) and even though this is a choice I’ve actively made – and in no way regret – I think it’s healthy to genuinely admit how it can affect us.
With probably no hope of going home for the next couple of years – I was overdue a trip this year – I like so many other expats have been making the most of tastes of home delivered to my doorstep (both planned like parcels from SANZA, and unexpected like this delicious box of Lamingtons), hanging out – where socially distance acceptable – with fellow expat friends who understand the ups and downs of having a divided heart, video/instant chatting the whanau, watching umpteen hilarious movies made by Kiwi directors & actors *cough* Xena Warrior Princess *cough* and making sure to count my blessings on this side of the world.
Life as an expat during a global pandemic has certainly made me more thankful for the community I have over here, whilst tinged with more sadness that I can’t hug my family.
But then thousands of people in the self same country can’t either.
It has also reinforced how much I adore this city and my life here, not to mention my wonderful husband and his family. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d meet someone who I’d not want to kill after spending literally 24/7 with for 4 months. Sadly we lost the feline boss of our compact crew – but the silver lining is that we got to spend 3 months under her paw 24/7. Life as a expat during a global pandemic.
What a year – and it’s only August. Some days are great, some days you just want to curl up in a ball. But I know I’m not alone in this – that’s what truly matters.
Though, to add insult to injury Instagram finally updated the fonts… and added comic sans. Yo, 2020, I’m out.
Love (and loathing),