A Personal Journey of International Travel during the Pandemic

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Nevada Humanities


January 26, 2021, I landed in LA on a long haul flight from Sydney, Australia. A year ago this would have been no big deal, a normal flight with nothing out of the ordinary to report. Australia is my country of origin, and where most of my family live. I, however, have lived in Las Vegas since August 1997. My wife and children are here, and I work and perform here so this is where I am most at home. Getting off the plane in LA and walking through deserted hallways, a mostly empty passport control area, waiting for luggage at a single active baggage carousel, and, seeing no customs officials was an eerie reminder of both the impact and emotional heaviness that COVID-19 has brought to our lives here in the United States. Sure, other countries have been hit hard, but this reality was suddenly stark as I had just spent a month in a country that has essentially shuttered itself off from the worldwide COVID-19 invasion. What led to this unique travel experience was a six month journey of emotion, unique obstacles, reinforcement of faith, and a greater appreciation for the freedoms we once had (and will have again!). Of course, there was also curious intrigue from others about what it was like to travel internationally during a global pandemic.

Controlled Subject

COVID-19 Pandemic (2020-); Australia


International Public Health

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