Expats share their thwarted travel dreams, what lockdown is like in their city, and the first thing they'll do once restrictions lift
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 travellers and expats living in cities around the world, working out their own lockdown existence.
In the Chinese capital things got serious, quickly. Kelly Shanks found her community gates guarded and a curfew in place.
"Communities' gates are locked from 10pm to 6am each night," she said.
Another injustice was having to apply for a permission to get into her own house with her ID and lease documents.
Still, the restrictions of the early days are easing. There is a hint that things in Beijing are almost back to normal, but not quite.
"We are able to go to cafes again, but if you go with a friend you have to sit at separate tables," she says.
Perhaps the most moving point of the crisis was the commemorations afterwards. Witnessing the nationwide moment of silence in a city like Beijing was humbling: "It felt like myself and the community really lived through something that will last with us forever."
• Beijing residents are finally emerging into their spring air for the popular game of hacky sack or "jianzi". If you're limited for space, keeping a kicking sack is a great way for Beijingers to keep up their step count in lockdown.
Language teacher Ri has also noticed a change in London's streets. There's a cautious tinge to Londoners' war-time spirit. Meeting people in the street has mixed emotions of "we're all in this together, isn't this weird?" but with a slight suspicion.
Pub calls after work, weekend markets and brunch in Hackney Wick, are all noticeable absences from London life. However there's one city treat that Ri has found a solution to: while the West End's theatre district is shuttered, she has continued to get her drama fix with friends online. With scheduled "theatre dates", she meets up to critique the National Theatre performances with drinks with friends over Zoom.
• London's world-class theatre scene may be shuttered but the English National Theatre has made its shows available online here.
In Sydney Stephanie Wicks has found it extra hard to homeschool. "We joke about homeschooling and how difficult it is. But for me it's the fact that I don't have an answer for her as to when she can go back to school."
Her daughter, who is 5 has only just started kindergarten, but misses her friends and teachers already.
The one thing Wicks looks forward to, most of all, is a trip to the beach.
"I don't care if it's winter I just want to sit on the sand and eat fish and chips," she says, and watch her kids "run though the waves".
At the end of all this Wicks hopes people appreciate the things they took for granted.