I wish I knew how it would be to be free.” Nina Simone
This was the song that Michael Ellis used to describe his year of lockdown in the UK and his decision (and subsequent adventure) to get back home after 19 years living in London.
In February, when UK COVID deaths were at over 1,800 a day, Michael secured a spot on a very happy DFAT repatriation flight. Prior to COVID, Michael had no intention of coming home. He had a great career and established life overseas and as long as he could come home at least once a year, it was a lifestyle he wanted to continue.
But the forced separation from family, particularly in the lead up to his father’s 80th birthday, forced a re-think, as it has for so many Australians living overseas.
Upon returning to Australia after a year of living on his own in lockdown, Michael took advantage of his new found freedom in Australia with an epic road trip from Darwin to Melbourne following the compulsory two weeks of quarantine.
Now back, he is now navigating and enjoying a very different life back in Australia. But he has not yet answered the question, will he stay?