Long Journey Home: Relocating in The Time of COVID-19 (Part 1)

Traveling in the time of COVID-19 is complicated, let alone relocating to another country. The challenge is double, if not triple, and it’s a long journey, both literally and metaphorically! But that’s exactly what we’d been through in the last few weeks as my family and I were moving from Lund, Sweden, to Jogja, Indonesia.

Before Departure

When we first decided that we’re gonna move back to Indonesia this year, we tried to make the transition as smooth as possible. The idea was to have a less hassle travel, ideally with few baggages and minimum drama. So we started sending our stuffs via cargo as early as in February, even when we had no date of departure (yet) that time. There was a friend who arranged a delivery from Malmö to Jakarta so we joined her since it was a good opportunity to send some of our books home. We also started to check the current travel’s rules and regulations both in Europe and in Indonesia, the list of the quarantine hotels and the airlines services. But it’s not until late May that we finally decided to choose Qatar Airways.

We didn’t book the ticket right away though as we were busy with other things and we were still pretty anxious about the COVID-19 situation. After receiving our first shot of COVID-19 vaccine in the last week of June and knew exactly when our second doses would be given, we booked the tickets and prepared ourselves for the big move more seriously, including tried to find a service to send our stuffs (again), a place for quarantine and a school for my first born in Indonesia.

From that day on, the to do list was endless. We had to pack our stuffs, contacting cargo services, selling some stuffs, having school trials, and so on. Luckily, H got a place in the school that we preferred and she started to join the online school from Sweden which means she had to stay awake at 03.00-07.00 am (CEST) from Monday – Friday. At around the same time, I started to work for a company that based in Indonesia and Western Australia, so we were kind of living with a reverse schedule 😀 .

To make matters worse, the Indonesian Government decided to extend the duration of quarantine for travellers entering Indonesia from July 6, 2021 due to the spike of COVID-19 cases in the country. It affected our plans of course and we were scared to go home to be honest.

August came and the situation in Indonesia was getting better so we were a bit relieved. But knowing that our departure was less than a month, our pace automatically increased. In addition to routines, we started to visit some friends to bid farewell, to pack our stuffs, and to go to some places that we’d been wanted to visit for a long time.

Everything seemed to be under control.

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