I am an Australian abroad in the middle of the coronavirus. What a sentence that is.
My husband, Dylan, and I had planned our trip since we got married in March last year.
Two weeks in Vanuatu to celebrate surviving the first year of marriage - how bloody good does that sound. To be honest we didn't really take the warnings about COVID-19 all that seriously.
My brother had just returned from South Korea and was self-isolating in our house while we moved back in with my parents for four days before our trip (sister of the year over here!)
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When we left Australia on Saturday March 14 we were full of excitement. At that time there was only travel warnings for areas including South Korea and Italy but nothing to do with any of the pacific nations.
We thought we would be fine. Then we had three nights, four days, on a remote island without any internet. In that time everything had changed. We turned our phones on to what can only be described at panic out of love.
Multiple messages flooded our inbox asking if we had seen the news about all overseas travellers having to go into isolation when we got home. Great, I thought, two weeks at home with Dylan driving each other mad. But in the 24 hours that followed we had cut our trip short and booked a flight home.
This is the story of the year, decade probably, but the government advice, which we read on the Smart Traveller website, is much less dramatic than that conveyed through major media outlets.
Dylan did joke that we might not make it to our anniversary under the current stress. Jokes aside at least it will be an anniversary to remember.
Vivienne Jones is a reporter for The Border Mail. She will self-isolate upon her return. The Border Mail newsroom staff are currently working from home.
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