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Covid and homesick

Covid and homesick

Old Dec 9th 2021, 3:01 am
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Default Covid and homesick

Is anyone else really struggling with not being able to see family living abroad for 2+ years? I left England back in 2016 to be with my kiwi husband and we now have two children, the youngest of which still hasn’t met any of my family due to Covid (and the other doesn’t remember any of them as it’s been so long since we last visited). The time difference makes phone calls difficult and my parents live in an area with bad signal so Zoom calls aren’t really an option. All of this was bearable when we were able to see family every six months or so.

Not seeing them throughout the ****storm that is Covid has been hard and I’m absolutely crushed by the news that we still can’t have family visit until 30th April 2022, and even then they have to isolate after entering the country. I don’t know any English (or anyone foreign for that matter) people near me and any mention of this to Kiwis is met with a shrug and “ah well, it’s only another five months.”

I would go back to the UK to spend a few months there but travelling alone (hubby doesn’t want to spend more than two weeks away from work) with two children under four would be hell.

Sorry for the rant, I’ve yet to find anyone in the same situation as me, so would be reassuring to know that someone else is and also to hear how you are dealing with this? Any tips to keep my sanity?
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Old Dec 9th 2021, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Not seeing family for extended periods goes hand in hand with choosing to live on the opposite side of the planet.
I haven't seen my family since 2018. We did have a trip planned in may 2020 which we had to cancel.
Covid hasn't only effected overseas travel. I haven't seen my 5 year old granddaughter since last Christmas. Various lockdowns and travel restrictions here in NZ have meant it's not been possible for us to visit Auckland. Again it's frustrating. But rules are rules whether we agree with them or not.
The good thing is that things are starting to move again. Admittedly, much slower than many would like, but it is a sign that things are getting back to normal.
My son is getting married in Paris in 2022 and I'm still not sure I'll be able to attend. All I can do is wait and see.
At the moment venting and letting off a bit of steam is all any of us can do.


Last edited by Justcol; Dec 9th 2021 at 5:23 pm.
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Old Dec 9th 2021, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
Not seeing family for extended periods goes hand in hand with choosing to live on the opposite side of the planet.
Exactly! I haven't seen my family since 2016 and the time before that was around 2011; we had of course hoped and promised to do better than every five years but life, finances, work and other things have meant this is simply not feasible to make more regular trips. In 2016 we promised not to leave it so long and had pencilled in for 2020, but then COVID. I am desperate to get to see my family and in particular my aging and rapidly deteriorating parents but I think we have to say 'hey ho' maybe 2023.
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Old Dec 9th 2021, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

“They chose to live on the other side of the world” is a dismissive response I hear a lot in relation to anyone living abroad.

Yes, expats choose to live abroad, but on the assumption that if we need to get home for all sorts of reasons (weddings, funerals, emergencies etc) we can. No one could have foreseen this coming and I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to live abroad if I’d have known not being able to see family was the byproduct.
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Old Dec 9th 2021, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Originally Posted by tabbycat View Post
“They chose to live on the other side of the world” is a dismissive response I hear a lot in relation to anyone living abroad.

Yes, expats choose to live abroad, but on the assumption that if we need to get home for all sorts of reasons (weddings, funerals, emergencies etc) we can. No one could have foreseen this coming and I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to live abroad if I’d have known not being able to see family was the byproduct.
You're not alone in that, many of us came on the assumption we could get home if and when necessary, and sadly the “ah well, it’s only another five months.” type of response has been as common in Aus. I even had a colleague tell me that as my family aren't Australian "they do not matter" and that I should "go on holiday in the outback and forget about them".

Wish I could offer constructive help, but all I can do is send you a hug and tell you that many of us really do feel the same way.
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Old Dec 9th 2021, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Originally Posted by tabbycat View Post
“They chose to live on the other side of the world” is a dismissive response I hear a lot in relation to anyone living abroad.
Yeah, the sacrifices we make for living in paradise.

I have seen it time and time again on here and we're all guilty of living in a fantasy world when planning to live on the other side of the world that we will have the time and money to be able to pop home every couple of years and attend all the weddings, funerals and major family events - but it just ain't possible. No matter how desperately we want to see our families, the constraints of earning Kiwi $$s and spending the best part of $10k, plus 24-26 hours flying back and forth each way certainly becomes less appealing way to spend my holidays.
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Old Dec 9th 2021, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

There is somewhat of a silver lining to COVID for me in that it has taken the pressure off and I am not having to deal with the guilt trip and make excuses about why we're not not coming home for yet another year. Family are already on board with the fact that they are unlikely to see us in 2023 and understand that there's little point in trying to make any plans for another year. It has also given us time to save some money, so that we can go as soon as it is practical to do so.
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Old Dec 9th 2021, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
You're not alone in that, many of us came on the assumption we could get home if and when necessary, and sadly the “ah well, it’s only another five months.” type of response has been as common in Aus. I even had a colleague tell me that as my family aren't Australian "they do not matter" and that I should "go on holiday in the outback and forget about them".

Wish I could offer constructive help, but all I can do is send you a hug and tell you that many of us really do feel the same way.
Thanks for your supportive response and for making me feel not quite so alone, Pollyana 🥰 Though am sorry to hear you’re going through the same thing and how insensitive your colleague was to say that 🙈

I suppose I should count myself lucky that I have family I really want to see rather than family I’m glad to be far away from 🤣

Last edited by tabbycat; Dec 9th 2021 at 10:29 pm.
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Old Dec 9th 2021, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

It's happening all over the world, unfortunately, and you are not alone.

We're in Canada. I haven't seen my daughter and grandson for almost 2 years, and they live in Canada. We waved goodbye on December 27 2019, as our train left Halifax Station in Nova Scotia after our Christmas trip. It has been impossible for us to travel over there since then, due to restrictions and quarantine regulations.

Similarly, it has been very hard for people to take a trip to the UK to see family for almost 2 years, for the same reasons. We're maybe lucky in that respect .............. we're old enough that most of our relations are no longer with us, but we've lost contact with younger members.

And this applies even though it is so much cheaper to fly from Canada to the UK. In fact, it is much more expensive for us to fly from the West Coast to the East Coast of this country, than it is to fly to the UK.

I'm afraid that like Justcol ..........venting occasionally is really all we can do, and meantime try to count the blessings that have resulted from the move we all made deliberately.
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Old Dec 10th 2021, 6:54 am
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

I suppose I should count myself lucky that I have family I really want to see rather than family I’m glad to be far away from 🤣[/QUOTE]

What a lovely way of thinking…I use to wish I was like my other expats friends who for the most either did not really get on with their families or just did not care a great deal about them as this made it much easier for them to settle and not have the worry/expense of making “trips” home etc. Hopefully soon this will be just a bad memory and you’ll be with your family again.

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Old Dec 10th 2021, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

I've not heard any announcement from government about reopening. Obviously with every new variant existing vaccine effectiveness will likely decline and I think the current vaccine manufacturer guidelines are that a six month booster is required even to offer reduced protection from the Omicron variant. If reopening is to go ahead on schedule at the end of April will need to offer boosters to the 3.3m people who where vaccinated prior to October 1st I suppose.

However with the new drugs pending approval for treating Covid-19 from Pfizer and Merck there many be a better management strategy than vaccinations already available. We've somehow got to move from pandemic to endemic be it now or later.
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Old Dec 12th 2021, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Have started checking flight prices for a European trip in October. Current best is $1466 return to Zurich. The plan is to do a big loop road trip for 3 to 4 weeks with my son's wedding in Paris slotted in at the end of the first week.
Actually making plans for this trip has lifted spirits somewhat and makes the light that has always been at the end of the tunnel seem a whole lot clearer, despite the efforts of those who refuse to let go of COVID and drag it around like big wet blanket into every aspect of life and conversation.
I am now looking forward to a normal life, because that's what it is, a normal life. The only difference is we may have to show a travel document and wear a mask occasionally...big deal, it's not the end of the world is it.
I couldn't care less about traffic lights, variants, research, projections, vax rates or passports.
Onwards and upwards...Tally ho !!

Last edited by Justcol; Dec 12th 2021 at 1:36 am.
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Old Dec 12th 2021, 9:30 am
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
Have started checking flight prices for a European trip in October. Current best is $1466 return to Zurich. The plan is to do a big loop road trip for 3 to 4 weeks with my son's wedding in Paris slotted in at the end of the first week.
Actually making plans for this trip has lifted spirits somewhat and makes the light that has always been at the end of the tunnel seem a whole lot clearer, despite the efforts of those who refuse to let go of COVID and drag it around like big wet blanket into every aspect of life and conversation.
I am now looking forward to a normal life, because that's what it is, a normal life. The only difference is we may have to show a travel document and wear a mask occasionally...big deal, it's not the end of the world is it.
I couldn't care less about traffic lights, variants, research, projections, vax rates or passports.
Onwards and upwards...Tally ho !!
I couldn't like this post more!
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Old Dec 13th 2021, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Was watching one of the news channels with the pm updating everyone ( may have been news hub)
she said they will re look and be advised from Jan about international borders ie uk to nz etc

MIQ could well still be used but it’s really hard to get into I’ve heard, so just be careful you can get back again 🙂
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Old Dec 14th 2021, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Covid and homesick

Originally Posted by Clareuk View Post
Was watching one of the news channels with the pm updating everyone ( may have been news hub)
she said they will re look and be advised from Jan about international borders ie uk to nz etc

MIQ could well still be used but it’s really hard to get into I’ve heard, so just be careful you can get back again 🙂
Don't hold your breathe for international flights.
I heard a few people in Nigeria stubbed their toes which may be a symptom of a new strain, so best continue to f##k everyone over for a good few more months just in case 👍
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