Expats on the first thing they will do after the lockdown

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Published 2020-05-12 13:00

This week is marked by the much-awaited end of lockdown in many countries around the world. The past few weeks have been stressful indeed, so you'll definitely seize the opportunity to do the things you have been deprived of. However, you still have to comply with certain regulations. We have asked expats about the first thing they are looking to do as soon as the lockdown comes to an end.
 

Reunite with dear ones

Consider yourself lucky if you were locked down with your family as this wasn't the case for many. A Belgian expatriate in Ghana, Philippe has been working all through the lockdown. However, being away from his family has been a hard time for him. "As soon as the situation gets better, I'm definitely going back home." Kate, a young British mom Zurich would also love to see her parents – even though she knows it's not likely to happen anytime soon. Switzerland ended its two months of lockdown early this week. “My parents are in the United Kingdom, so I won't be seeing them for now, but my husband's parents are just a few kilometres away, so we'll be paying them a visit whenever we feel it's safe to go out with the kids".

Long-distance relationships have also gone through an ordeal during the lockdown, and this is confirmed by Sarah, a French expat in Madrid. "The first thing I'm going to do after the lockdown is to go and see my boyfriend. We've learned a lot during the past few weeks. The lockdown brought us to realise how much we mean for each other in spite of ups and downs".

Enjoy the pleasures of life

Jean-Marc, a French retiree, hopes to be able to return to Andalusia as soon as possible. “I returned to France a few weeks before the lockdown to deal with some family issues. Initially, I was planning to go back to Spain after taking care of a couple of formalities, but fate wanted otherwise”. Jean-Marc is looking to reunite with his new Spanish friends over lunch by the beach and a good glass of French wine which he intends to bring back with him. "There's also a lot of places I yet have to see, but I guess I'll have to wait a bit more".

A French expat in Mauritius, Eric is longing for the beach as well. Even though the weather is nice, the island has been locked down for nearly two months, and it looks like beaches are remaining closed until further notice. "We are just a few hundred metres away from the beach, but we didn't take the risk as that would be considered a breach of the curfew order. One thing I can say is that it's the first thing we're going to do at the final end of the lockdown".

Routine and good habits

Being locked down at home, most of us have adopted new habits that don't necessarily suit us, such as doing sports in the living room. Andrew, who lives in Dublin, is a nature lover. "I'm used to do my jogging in the park nearby, and I have a couple of friends there". Even though he managed to train after his working hours, he insists that nothing beats the fresh air and the environment he enjoys at the park. There are also those who haven't got the opportunity to do sports until the lockdown. "I was quite bored alone at home, so a friend of mine sent me an invite for an online fitness class on Zoom. I'm almost addicted to that now, so I'll definitely keep this good habit and do more sports after the lockdown", says Camille.

On a different note, Paul in Spain is tired of eating pasta every day. "I do my own cooking since I'm single and I live alone, but tapas and a good sangria are the two things I miss the most". So the end of lockdown for Paul would mean going to the restaurant and eating to his heart's content".

For others, especially those who have been working from home, the end of lockdown simply means having a social life – meeting friends, eating out, after-work with colleagues, reading a book at their favourite coffee shop, shopping, etc.

Back to normal life

Some, like Joachin, a Canadian expat in Canada, saw the lockdown as the ideal time to ponder about life. "I'm not looking to do anything special as the end of lockdown doesn't mean that the virus has been eradicated. We have reached 4 million infected people around the world: this is not the time to relax and have a good steak or grilled lobster on the world's most beautiful white-sand beaches with our dear ones – even though I admit that this is very tempting. However, I maintain that prevention is better than cure".

Michelle, in France, hopes to be able to live a normal life and that the whole world recovers soon. "We do miss the bars, restaurants, leisure activities and even having a new haircut, but the lockdown brought us to do things on our own. Of course, there will be some changed, but we don't have any priorities for now except keeping safe by adopting good habits."