We made it home. The rest of our journey from Tokyo actually went very smoothly. We checked the departures board obsessively and gave ourselves heart attacks more than once when we misread a cancelled flight departure for ours. When we asked attendants to check the flight status they simply said, ‘on time’ as if everything was absolutely normal.
It feels surreal to be back. I feel like I’ve been picked up out of one life and plopped back down in my pre-Australian one. Everything seems the same and like I’ve maybe only been on holiday for a few weeks and yet everything also feels completely different. It is a very different UK we have returned to than the one we left, but then it is that way even for people who haven’t left the country.
I also find I have a feeling of guilt for being home. Firstly because I know there were so many people desperately trying to get back and we were fortunate enough to manage to scrape together the cash and have support from family to be able to book these flights. Secondly because flying is risky and in doing so I may have come into contact with someone who is ill or I may already be ill (though I doubt it as I have kept away from people the last week and have no symptoms) and unknowingly passing it on. I would feel awful if I were to get sick now and infect my family and/or countless others I may have come into contact with in making my way back.
Because of this it still feels hard to explain why we were so desperate to come home but all I can say is in such uncertain times we felt we had to do what would make us feel the most safe and secure and for us that was coming home as soon as we were able so if it was possible we were going to do it.
Touching down on the tarmac Joey clapped (yes he was that guy) and I breathed a sigh of relief. The airport was practically deserted and for the first time on our long journey we saw signs about social distancing measures.
Our bags came through quickly because the flight appeared to not be very full – something that made us quite angry, it is understandable that seats need to be left for social distancing but there were only a handful of people in business class so I don’t understand why people couldn’t have been upgraded in order to free up more economy seats that would be more affordable for people to get home – and we headed out towards arrivals. I had thought I would cry on seeing my mum waiting there but I had dry eyes and a massive grin on my face. Not that my mum could see as we had been given masks by an air hostess just as we were disembarking. She even did a double take before she realised it was us. No hugs. No contact. Which is sad but necessary.
Now the self-isolation begins. Two weeks dodging my mum and aunty in my own home and Joey doing the same with his family. We’re keeping everything separate from towels to plates and cutlery and I won’t be heading outside anytime soon unless it is for a lap round the garden. But I don’t care. We’re home.
- Stay safe
- Stay isolated/social distance where you can
- Keep washing hands and sanitising
- Most importantly be kind to others