• Alixblicbloc

First months in New Zealand - Emotions, isolation and newfound freedom

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Here we are! After several months of uncertainty, here we are finally on New Zealand soil after a rather epic trip: a plane cancelled, two days waiting in a hotel, 28 hours travel time, 14 days of managed isolation in a hotel, another flight, to finally arrive at our destination, all this while carrying 110 kg of luggage and a one-year-old baby...

A lot of things to tell, which seem far away now that I am comfortably settled on a sofa writing these lines.

"It will seem far away when it's over": this is the state of mind that I forced myself to keep throughout this journey, that has lasted 18 days from our departure from my parents' house to the arrival at my in-laws' house!

First, there was the journey itself. It's hard to describe the emotion you feel when you are going to be split from your family and friends for an indefinite period of time, at least a year most probably. The excitement and joy of leaving is mixed with nostalgia and sadness.

A nice cocktail of emotions that reached its climax in the first half hour of flight after spilling the sticky mango juice I had just been served on myself and my baby. We had hardly taken off and I was having a tearful crisis!

It was needed though, and soon the rest of the trip turned quite ideal, although I obviously made it my mission to spill all the drinks I was served. Baby slept halfway through and we managed to sleep ourselves. There was plenty of room, the planes were quite empty because of Covid.

So here we are on New Zealand soil on October 2nd at 5am. From then on I must say the organisation was at its best. Everything was done so that we were easily directed to our hotel for the 14 days managed isolation. Medical check, customs, immigration, bus, allocation of rooms, second medical check and finally in our isolation residence.

We were lucky enough to be assigned a small suite. A little more space to evolve during these two weeks. Good news: it is possible to go jogging in 15 square meters, you just have yo learn to run around in circles.

Chronology of our feelings during 14 days :

- Day 1 to 4: Chronic fatigue

- Day 5 to 11: deadly boredom

- Day 12 to 14: maximum excitement

After the first emotions of discovery ("unpack the suitcases, put away in the wardrobe", "menus are nice", "let's watch a film it's been a long time") and the essential recovery phase, we soon found ourselves facing boredom in its purest sense...even with a entertaining baby and electronic tools, not being able to go out (or being able every other day, on part of a pier surrounded by fences and under police and military surveillance...) was hard to cope with.

One major event however: Baby took her first steps!

D15 we were finally able to leave our hotel and head for Christchurch where we have been for the past two months.

Being free again was a real happiness. Strange that it seems bizarre to us not to wear a mask when we go out. Reflection of the year 2020 I guess.

So for two months now, I've been getting used to my new country which, at last 10 days ago, gave me my resident visa! The end of a process that we would have thought much simpler a year ago.

See you soon, dear readers, I hope for more regular posts as soon as I've settled in my new home (yes, one more mission in perspective, the last one normally for quite a while!).

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