Dear International Travel,

I miss you. Terribly.

But let’s rewind.

We’ve got history. I mean, I don’t even remember the first time I met you. My dad tells me it was Canada 1994. I’ve seen the pictures of my first New Zealand trip. Then Australia happened and we just went from there.

So, we’ve known each other for awhile.

When I heard the news that international travel was limited, I wasn’t too concerned. I hold two passports and I usually just go between New Zealand and America, anyway. I was more concerned my passports were close to expiry. That was all.

I’d be fine to get to Mexico, right? My brother and his family live there, and I’ve been wanting to go for eight years. Finally, I knew 2020 was the year—and I was about to buy one of my flights to LAX when… well, you know.

COVID-19. You’re tired of hearing about it, I know. But you know we can’t avoid talking about it, either. You know it’s why I’m writing this letter.

And you know it’s why I miss you. Terribly.

On Saturday afternoon, New Zealand released its 14-day self-isolation policy for everyone coming in. The States shut down travel, too. But by the time you read this, anyone could have locked borders (and as I’m writing this, NZ has locked theirs). Every day is like a decade at the moment.

But it was on that Saturday afternoon, when Jacinda Ardern made her press release, that I realised how much you really mean to me.

You know how people take things for granted? I thought I wasn’t one of those people. But you’ve just always been there. 2008 is the last year I stayed in one country. (And still I flew from Hawaii to Kansas City, which is basically like international travel anyway). So, I took you for granted—and I’m so sorry.

Please let me say thank you now.

You’ve made me laugh like crazy across fifteen countries. You’ve given me towering mountain ranges, playful oceans, and mysterious forests. You’ve introduced me to my most favourite people in the entire world. And you’ve given me… well, you.

I don’t know when we’ll see each other again. I don’t know when this will blow over. I don’t know if anyone does.

But this is what I do know.

We’ll get through this apart… but together.

Until We Meet Again,

Landlocked Citizen

P.S. Can you send me your favourite sleeping-on-airplanes photos? Top 5 at least. I feel like you have some hilarious ones from our London to Auckland flight last year. That was priceless. 😂