Seven-hundred-and-eighty-one days is a long time to be housebound.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's first foray offshore since February 2020 is important then for the speeches she will make; the "grip-and-grin" photo opportunities; and the trade deals. But there are matters of equal and greater importance.
Firstly, the significant message it tells our fourth and fifth biggest bipartite trading partners that we are "open for business". New Zealand made headlines around the world for successful restrictions to hold off the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While there was much lauding of the compliance and kindness of the "team of five million", there was also amazement when the entire nation was locked down after one person tested positive in August last year.
Much less media attention has focused on New Zealand's gradual step-change through alert levels and, as such, few abroad would be aware of the country's comparatively open doors to the world.
News yesterday that three of the 50-strong New Zealand delegation tested positive after PCR tests will have thrown a scare into the camp but these were believed to be historic infections and unlikely to disrupt the schedule.
Ardern will have one-on-one time with her Singaporean and Japanese counterparts, Prime Ministers Lee Hsien Loong and Fumio Kishida, to discuss China's influence in the Indo-Pacific, including its reported security deal with the Solomon Islands, as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It's in these meetings that Ardern will be hoping for the big results. Prior to departure, the Prime Minister spoke of "an increasingly contested region" and the need to ensure "resilience" via economic relationships.
She will visit one of Singapore's major ports to discuss future-proofing supply chains and engage with sector leaders on making aviation more sustainable. New Zealand's supply lines were strained before the pandemic and were tested more so during it.
In Japan, Ardern will, for the first time, meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss global and regional challenges. Here, Ardern will hopefully glean more on how to balance continued trade with China while maintaining defence arrangements with Australia and the US. China and Japan are the top two-way trading partners in the world despite tense relations entrenched after the Korean War, the Cold War, and grievances of Japanese war crimes in China.
Among the Ardern delegation are representatives from New Zealand's dairy, food and beverage, technology, tourism, and renewable energy sectors. They will be keen to share business cards with counterparts in Singapore and Japan.
Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O'Connor, who is also with the delegation, has little to gain, as New Zealand already has comprehensive free trade agreements with both Singapore and Japan.
But there is a handy convergence in two big overseas missions right now.
New Zealand has sent a party of 50 to reacquaint itself with two of our closest Indo-Pacific economic and security partners. Meanwhile, a C-130H Hercules and 50-strong team is preparing to depart for Europe to support Ukraine.
Both are crucial moves for informing an unstable world where New Zealand stands.