Next week I take the scary steps onto a plane to fly back to the USA. I’ve been in Fortress Australia for 15 months. Covid here is controlled by borders closed, and everyone wearing masks so there are zero community contact cases. No Australian is allowed to leave the country. I’m not Australian, it’s time to go home.
Delta Airlines has been very patient with me. I’ve changed my ticket home seven times. The first ticket home was for May 2020. In March when most tourists rushed to fly home, I ‘d just arrived. “Surely this will be over by May.” I told my friend and ignored the rush.
In April my daughter called from Texas saying, “I think you should stay there; it isn’t safe to travel.” My flight was cancelled anyway, so I extended my visa for a year. I changed my flight to September, but cancelled that, changed it again to Christmas “No its still not safe.”
In January I tried to extend my visa again. Since it looked like I was staying longer than a year the Australian government wanted $1, 000 and a police check. It didn’t matter if i stayed for one month, three months, six months or a year. I gave them the money, they gave me a bridging visa, so I’m legal. I’ve been trying to get the police check. I need to send my finger prints to the FBI in the USA. I do not have any criminal record of any sort. It is very frustrating.
I changed the ticket to February, and then to March, and finally the end of May. I got one shot. I can’t wait till July to get the second AstraZeneca shot, I’m missing summer. I’ve got the best masks I can find for travel not the pretty cloth horsy one. I’ve got sanitizer. I’m going home. I’ll keep posting the process next week.