Kim Crossman, and other expat Kiwis, share the realities of their life in lockdown in a new Herald video series, writes Stephanie Holmes

While we're stuck at home in New Zealand in our own isolation bubbles, it's easy to forget about the rest of the world. Since our borders closed, there has been an influx of New Zealanders returning home to hunker down and get through this crisis. But there are still Kiwis living in cities around the world, working out their own lockdown existence.

Our new video series, which you can view at nzherald.co.nz, meets some of these Kiwis to find out how they're getting on and some of the things they're missing.

Kiwi actor and presenter Kim Crossman is in lockdown in LA and misses her friends and family in NZ. Photo / Supplied
Kiwi actor and presenter Kim Crossman is in lockdown in LA and misses her friends and family in NZ. Photo / Supplied

One is a familiar face - actor and presenter Kim Crossman, who lives in LA and has been in lockdown for a few weeks.

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"I'm having days of struggling, where I'm waking up in the middle of the night worrying a lot, I'm a worrier by nature," she admits. "I miss my family in New Zealand. I'm worried about them. I don't like being apart from them." But there are good things coming out of this time in isolation. "In our small area where we live in LA, a lot of people are trying to help the elderly, doing their shopping for them or whatever they need to do."

Sarah Harvey, a Kiwi news journalist living in London, says lockdown has made people friendlier. Photo / Supplied
Sarah Harvey, a Kiwi news journalist living in London, says lockdown has made people friendlier. Photo / Supplied

Over in East London, news journalist Sarah Harvey admits she misses good coffee and her friends who live on the other side of the city, but she's been heartened to see a new sense of community spirit in a notoriously stand-offish city.

"When people can interact from a couple of metres away, they're smiling, everyone seems a bit friendlier," she says.

Ri Willoughby, a Kiwi based in East London, is missing visiting the local pub while in lockdown. Photo / Supplied
Ri Willoughby, a Kiwi based in East London, is missing visiting the local pub while in lockdown. Photo / Supplied

Ri Willoughby, also in East London, has come up with innovative ways to keep connected with friends. "We've set up a virtual theatre club - we meet online first for a couple of pre-theatre drinks then we watch a play, have intermission, then meet afterwards to discuss."

TV journalist Isobel Ewing is in Budapest, where lockdown rules are more relaxed - many shops and businesses are still open for those living in the city so life can carry on relatively normally. But there is one big difference: no tourists.

Isobel Ewing is based in Budapest where lockdown is a lot more relaxed than other European countries. Photo / Supplied
Isobel Ewing is based in Budapest where lockdown is a lot more relaxed than other European countries. Photo / Supplied

"Normally I'd have to dodge through hundreds of people and there's just nobody around. It's really beautiful but kind of eerie. Of course, I really feel for the people employed by the tourist sector, it's a really rough time for them, but it gives the city quite a magical and surreal feeling."

To hear more from our Kiwis about their lives in lockdown - including a father of newborn twins in Shanghai, and a couple who run wellness retreats in Bali - catch our video series online, starting today and continuing Monday and Tuesday.

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Brendon Ritchie, a Kiwi based in Shanghai, became father to newborn twins during lockdown. Photo / Supplied
Brendon Ritchie, a Kiwi based in Shanghai, became father to newborn twins during lockdown. Photo / Supplied
Trent Cottle and Janine Hall, who run Escape Haven and The Palm Tree House in Bali. Photo / Supplied
Trent Cottle and Janine Hall, who run Escape Haven and The Palm Tree House in Bali. Photo / Supplied