Hello from gate 31 at Sydney *international* airport.
By the time you read this I’ll be on my way to Auckland, New Zealand, onboard Jetstar flight JQ201 – the first plane to depart Australia as part of the two-way travel bubble established between the two countries.
If, like me and basically every other person on the planet, you haven’t been through an airport check-in process for a while, I’m here to tell you that … it still sucks. I’m not sure what I expected when I turned up here, maybe that nature would have reclaimed the terminal like in an apocalypse movie. But everything is mostly as a I remember it, right down to the substandard coffee I paid $8.60 for.
But there’s obviously a great deal of anticipation among the people waiting to board. So far I’ve encountered a mix of those heading back to New Zealand after more than a year separated from family as well as the ultra-keen holiday-makers that desperate tourism providers are hoping will provide a crucial financial lifeline.
But there’s also a first day back at school vibe, too. Everyone seems a bit giddy to again be doing this thing that we all took for granted for so long.