Two taxi rides, thirty hours of travelling, one hotel stay, four airports, one coronavirus swab-test and a lot of hand sanitiser. This was my first international travel journey since COVID-19 hit; and one that would usually have taken a simple 5 hours. Face masks, visors and coronavirus testing aside, it was still a delight to be back at an airport.
As Greece extended the travel ban for tourists coming from the UK, it felt crushing to think I, an international Siren Comms team member living in London, would still not be able to get home to my family in Crete – but never fear, there is always a way. So, thanks to heaps of cheering on and support from my teammates at Siren, my Greek nationality and the ability to travel indirectly, I am ecstatic to share that this Siren has made it home!
Whilst travelling and roaming around Heathrow, Zurich, Athens and Chania airport, there was an eeriness within these grand spaces that usually would have been buzzing with the joyful anticipation of holidays, making new memories and exploring new territories. As the majority of the shops and restaurants were closed, face masks were worn and shielded all opportunities for strangers to share a moment of chit-chat in their mutual anticipation of jetting off into the sunset.
However, eeriness aside, the discipline and respect shown by all travellers adhering to social distancing rules and the mandatory use of face masks and hand sanitisers was incredible, as was the impressive organisation displayed by all airports and staff. Every single person at every single airport, was there to make it work.
And as I now sit with my family in Greece, working away on my laptop, connecting with my team members and clients across the world, I am forever grateful to all of us for being in this together, sharing to common goal of safety first, repatriation to our families and always, positive and supportive teamwork.