I’ve lived on the opposite side of the world for months at a time away from family, but I have never felt so far from them as I did during 2020 when the QLD border was shut. They were 855km away in Sydney while I live just over the QLD border. The home sickness was just awful. It wasn’t even that I needed to go visit them, it was more that I knew I couldn’t because I lived 5km too far north. I felt so helpless and sad that I didn’t have a spare $3,000 to pay for quarantine. If I had the money sitting there, I absolutely would have paid for it and spent two weeks in a hotel room. A hug from Mum would have been worth it.
In the end, I hit the eject button and went down to Sydney while the borders were still shut so I could be at my best friend’s wedding and my dad’s 60th birthday. I stayed down there for 6 weeks soaking up the time with family and friends before the borders opened up. It was an enormous financial hit but I needed to feel the connection with them again.
As sad as I felt too, I knew I was one of the lucky ones. I had to be grateful, despite feeling so lonely. My family were in the country, they’re in good health and could still be a safety net if I needed, while I knew so many people whose families were overseas or in Victoria completely locked down.