• Henrik Strand

The State of Things

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

Where we're at and what our plans are moving forward.

As shocking as it may seem, I am writing this blog post from New Hampshire, USA. In a whirlwind past couple of weeks, we had to make the tough decision to return to the USA amidst the current crisis. Our last three weeks down under were intense to say the least. Our intended itinerary had to be dramatically altered and we had to bypass major sections of New South Wales and Victoria, including Sydney and Adelaide. We faced widespread closures, some as a result of the previous seasons bushfires, but many as a result of social distancing measures. On our arrival in Kingston, South Australia, we learned of imminent state border closures. The Northern Territory decided to close its borders to any non-essential travelers, ultimately signaling the beginning of a domino effect of all the states shutting their borders.

With the shutdown of all borders within days, we hightailed it to Western Australia (more on this to come) and successfully crossed the border the day before they were closed. Thinking we could shelter in WA and still explore, our plans were once again dramatically changed as information came out that individual regions and town were closing to regional travel. Having heard reports that local stores had stopped selling food to travelers and were becoming hostile and unwelcoming to non-locals we ultimately decided it was best to wait out the pandemic back in the United States. With the amazing support of a family friend, and an international network of friends and family, we have been able to place Matilda in storage and put a pause in our expedition.

Tough decisions in the field.

A little silver lining in all of this though, is that on our last night down under I asked Anna to be my wife! With a perfect sunset over the Indian Ocean and some of the best fish and chips we've had, we've now embarked on a whole new adventure together! Through pandemics, rough dusty corrugations, scuba diving on the reef and traveling the world there's absolutely no one else in the world I would rather do all this with.

She said yes, in case you were wondering!

So that's about it in a nutshell. We are all back in the US and currently waiting through our quarantine period. Once the quarantine period is done I will be heading back to work with my police department and we'll begin to save up again for our return down under. While it's a difficult time and it's been extremely difficult we're excited for everything that awaits us on the horizon, from returning to Australia to starting our future together and continuing on this incredible journey of life with each one another. This is not the end of the line, but only a slight hiccup in our expedition while we wait for the world to reset and life to get back on track. Without any return date set, we have to just sit tight and take things as they come and be grateful that we have each other, our family, and our friends.

This is the perfect time to get a lot of writing done, so stay tuned for more updates and posts as we recount in a bit more detail our adventures that we've had so far! So now it's time to sit tight and enjoy those indoor adventures and perhaps a few upcoming blog posts from A & H Expeditions!

We're looking forward to more sunsets like this once we return to our home away from home down under!

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