6 Suitcases, 2 Backpacks, 1 Violin
And a 15 hour flight from LA to Darwin, Australia.
Yes, it was that time. After all of the downsizing we had done in NYC to spending a few weeks with my dad and stepmom in Florida, to a whirlwind fast-track preparation of leaving the US since Alex happened to find a repatriation flight to Australia, we finally embarked on our journey to the land down under and arrived at the airport.
Here we are at LAX. It was so crazy to fly from Clearwater to LA after not having flown since the beginning of 2020. After our flight to LA, we went to a lab that was chosen by the Australian government and Qantas for our pre-flight COVID tests.
The flight itself was very organized and I felt super emotional seeing a lot of Aussies and others returning to their homes. The flight was about 1/3 its capacity. On the flight, the flight attendants gave us a few bio hazard bags and hand sanitizing wipes. We were allowed to have reduced meals on the flight but had to put our leftovers any packaging into the bright yellow bio hazard bags before handing it over to the flight attendants for disposal. When we got onto the flight, they also handed us all of our declaration paperwork in an organized bag and we had to have our faces scanned by a biometric scanner. I felt grateful to be able to take this flight after over 150+ pages of paperwork Alex and I had to put together for my visa and exemption!
When we landed in Darwin, we had to disembark the flight in groups of 30 and get another COVID test. This was by far the most painful COVID test I’ve had to date! Alex and I have both had four total COVID tests. They’ve all been negative and all have been for seeing family and then for this international flight! Australia does the swab a bit differently from the ones we had in the states. They swab the throat once, then each side of the nose. And ahhhh, let’s just say they went in waaaaaaay deep!!!! Ouch! My eyes watered, and haha it may have also triggered some emotional eye watering too cuz I was just so grateful we got on this flight on such short notice!
We were then taken via bus by the National Army to our quarantine camp at Howard Springs. It used to be an old mining site so all of the accommodations are very utilitarian and basic, but it’s outfitted with everything needed for the 14-day stay!
In Need of a Nap
In the afternoon, all I craved was a cozy jetlag nap after all of the logistics and travel! So I snoozed, both my mind and body and also my alarm! I must have set it and re-set my phone alarm about three times as my mind raced and wanted to wake up but my body said nooooo. It honestly just felt so good to wrap myself like a burrito in a blanket!
I then woke up to a thunderstorm and it became a torrential downpour! I saw food being delivered – a hot dinner with the next day’s cold brekkie and cold lunch – and felt a bit more relaxed post naps!!!
Dinner was surprisingly delicious and I scarfed down the chicken parm as well as the raspberry slice dessert.
CC’s Aussie Quarantine Diary: Day 1 Video Highlights
I’ll be sharing video highlights as well from each day of my 14-day mandatory Australian quarantine in Howard Springs.
Day 1 was all about P-R-O-C-E-S-S-I-N-G.
From the process of Alex finding this Qantas repatriation flight to the process of taking two COVID tests pre and post flight to the Australian Army picking us up at the airport and bringing us to our camp to the processing of many, many emotions of leaving the US. It was a day where all the physical, emotional and mental processing called for a few adult naps on my part!
We’re staying in the north of Australia which is very close to Indonesia, which means it is hot and super humid. And it’s in the wet season, meaning the afternoons will be filled with rainy thunderstorms that cool off the area from a morning 95 degrees Fahrenheit to some 75-80 degree evenings!
Enjoy our Day 1 discoveries of the living quarters which used to be an old mining camp site to the joy of opening up snacks to the invigorating downpour amongst nature. Overall, Day 1 has been a ton of processing of sorts on many fronts, but I’m so thankful and grateful Alex and I could go through this process together!
Click the below link to see the video highlights!!!