Traveling in a Pandemic

Wow. What a crazy few weeks it’s been!

We hadn’t planned on leaving Southeast Asia in such a hurry, but when the time came, we felt like it was what we needed to do. The airport in Bali was officially shut down and we did not even have a passport for the baby.

Because of the shut down in the States, we were not able to apply for the baby’s birth certificate or a passport. But the U.S. embassy allowed us to get an emergency passport.

On the same say the emergency passport was ready, we received word of a few last flights that were leaving the island, but it was very secretive and it was only for those who were repatriating.

We felt uneasy about the lack of documentation we had on our new baby and not knowing how long we would be stuck abroad, we decided that if we had a chance to return to the States we needed to take it.

Getting tested.

We were already told that any expats trying to leave the country would need to first be tested for the virus and have documentation proving it was negative. We found a local clinic that would have results within 3 hours. So we took the test… for all 9 of us! It was not an easy task.

So we had our test results and we inquired about this “secret” flight. No one would talk about it over the phone. We had to go directly to the airport. At the airport, we were only inquiring about a flight when we were told, “The flight leaves tonight and the government cannot guarantee any others.”

We booked it. Well, sort of. They still could not guarantee that even this flight was going out. They first had to wait to see if there were enough passengers to warrant the flight and get it approved by the Indonesian government. If the flight was a go, they would notify us within a few hours and we could come back to the airport to pay for the tickets. It was a mess.

Everything we own (besides a few things scattered across different countries).

We had to assume the flight was on, because we had less than 8 hours to pack up our entire family, move out of our house, and get back to the airport. In the middle of that craziness, we squeezed in a 10-minute birthday party for Isaiah.

The airport was eerie. It was dark and quiet. Only a few passengers and even fewer airport employees. Only a few lights and no air con running. It didn’t even seem like we were supposed to be there.

Checking passengers’ test results at the airport.

We made it off the island, spent a few nights on another island, before finding flights back to the States. It all happened so fast. Out of all of our travel experiences, this was definitely the strangest.

It wasn’t all bad. The flights were practically empty, no lines for security or immigration, and we loved traveling with fellow world schoolers @clarkfamily_adventure!

We made it safely to the States, settling down in Virginia, and looking forward to announcing what’s next for our little tribe.

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4 Comments Add yours

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