Japan & Portugal 2020

April 27, 2022

We planned to travel for 6 months in 2020, we took the time off work, moved out of our house, put all our belongings in storage and got the doggos settled with their grandparents. As we all know, 2020 was not the year to be embarking on an epic overseas adventure. The 6 weeks we had were amazing, starting in Japan with fresh snowfalls, snowboarding and plenty of onsens. Then we headed to Portugal, Barcelona for a few days and lastly South America where we were supposed to hike and camp in the mountains. That is where everything ground to a halt, with what felt like no warning the entire world screamed to a sudden panicked pause. We were in Argentina, staying in Ushuaia, the southern most city in the world. It is totally cut off by land unless you cross into Chile, but the border to Chile shut, leaving us with only the option of flying out or trying to get on a boat. Things got scary quickly. An eerie empty main street, police cars driving up and down with their sirens on, chasing any foreigner back to their accommodation, we were now dangerous, infectious liabilities that they wanted out of their city. We ended up rushing to the airport in the dark, joining hundreds of travelers waiting on the floor of the closed airport to see if they could get us out on the last planes being flown that day. Only to land in Buenos Aires and find that the day we were there was now also the last day that planes would be leaving Argentina. It was a harrowing 48 hours, on the floor of airports, no sleep, a lot of tears and dodgy airport food, planning our possible short term future stuck in a foreign country. Every Australian and New Zealand citizen who waited at that airport, with no guarantee of a flight made it onto the last Air New Zealand flight bound for Auckland. The next day we were on a plane for Brisbane, never happier to see the brown snake come into view. It was an unforgettable experience. Bring on the next overseas adventure, just hopefully with less world pandemics!