When I moved to the United Kingdom from Australia it was on a whim. One moment it was an idea, and the next it was happening.
I was single, a little lost, and looking for some adventure. I didn’t think it would be long term.
Thirteen years later I’m still here, but now married with a gorgeous son, pets and a mortgage. My life is here… my love, my lifestyle, my career and my friends.
The distance back home to Australia has always been present but never a barrier. When I’ve needed to, I’ve flown home, even at short notice. I’ve maintained regular vists to my family and friends, and I’ve had my mum here every year. My brother, his wife and my amazing nephews were actually here with us in the UK until December last year. They beat the pandemic and moved back to Queensland in December.
Now that distance feels real. Now I feel more lost than ever as I cannot get home and cannot just ‘hug’ my Mum, my brothers and my family right now. It is now two years since I’ve been home to Brisbane. The longest I’ve ever been away from my hometown.
On my husband’s family side, we had one small trip to Northern Ireland in February (just before lockdown). My son has no grandparents or aunts, uncles and cousins close by. I feel this. It is hard. Not just for us as parents, but for his family relationships.
Covid has taken so much from many of us this year, and I know I’m fortunate to have my health and well-being, but I also want the comfort of family. Family is everything for me. My brothers and my sister-in-law I consider among my closest friends; my nephews are so special to me I cannot explain; and my Mum has been my constant and my rock through so much. I need to hug them, hold them, and just be around them.
This week I cancelled our flights to Australia in December. This was hard. So hard.
I’d already had our April flights cancelled, and my Mum’s trip in July was impacted too. Brisbane felt like it was a certainty. Surely this pandemic couldn’t last a whole year?
Well, here we are. It’s the end of August and there is no vaccine, cases are rising again, and the quarantine restrictions in Australia don’t seem to be easing at all. My reality check finally set in, and we made a call. A difficult call, but for the safety, well-being and sanity of all of my little family we decided to cancel our plans and stay in the UK this Christmas.
Right now, I’m truly sad. I’m a bit lost. I have to hope that there will be advancements in early 2021 that will finally allow us to start getting back to some kind of normality. I need this to happen. Many of us need this to happen.
We can only hope for a better 2021…