“See only detours as an opportunity to experience new things.” H.Jakson Brown Jr.

 The Journey to Turkey

I have certainly had many new experiences in my quest to return to Sydney and now be in 14 days hotel quarantine.

Journeying to Turkey during the Pandemic has definitely been a defining moment in my life.

Maybe you read my last month’s story that shared how difficult my trip was to reach Kusadasi. Let me give you a quick recap for those who do not know that story.

I was due to fly out from Sydney last March however the borders were shutting, and my booked flight cancelled. Unable to accept this situation, I mounted a legal case with a lawyer, and I was granted a travel permit in August. Testing my resilience further was the compulsory wearing of a mask and shield the entire way on both my flights and in the airports, I was travelling through for 24 hours.

After my ordeal, there were quite a few more challenging moments which did pass. Settling into a new country does take time as many here would know. Add the layer of a pandemic, where you can’t move freely, and make connections easily due to lockdowns and curfews, made calling Turkey my new home that much harder. Over time, life did become easier. I had made some good friends, knew my way around more and I began to live a peaceful, joyous life again.

Life Does Not Like Us Getting Too Comfortable

Finally, my life had begun to settle down and then I got a call from home. Mum was unwell and I needed to get back to Australia.

This was not news I had wanted to hear. Apart from being worried for her, I had already seen how many Australians, over 35,000 (that is what is currently known to the government), are stranded internationally attempting to return home. Ever since last March my country has had its international borders closed. To keep Covid out they took extremely harsh measures. They implemented a hotel quarantine program and capped flights to no more than 550 persons a week being allowed back in. Such an action stopped many airlines offering flights into Australia.

With such craziness to secure flights, the best guarantee to get home is to go business class.

After waiting two months for an available seat, on receiving my mother’s news, I finally got a ticket. Like many others, here was another rollercoaster about to begin. It’s one thing to get a ticket but will you actually fly? I was quite fortunate though as my flights were only cancelled twice and then one flight was rescheduled. There are so many stories of people who bought flights 6 months ago and being bumped off 6 to 8 times. On my flight, I met an Australia Turkish citizen who had returned to Turkey to see her sick mother and had been bumped off four times since last October.

The Day Has Finally Arrived

After what seemed like a very long two months, my leaving date finally arrived. My bags were packed, all 50 kilos, together with the negative Covid test and Berkay Tunc of Boss Transportation was ready on time to collect me and drive to Izmir airport.

Part two in July’s issue of The Ege Eye

Kathy Wong is a digital nomad, who calls Turkey and Australia home. Check out Kathy’s new you tube blog about life in Turkey


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