COVID-19 had a huge impact on almost every sector but in particular, on the traveling one. Some people were only slightly affected by the travel limitations while others such as expats, were hugely affected by them and I was among them.

My name is Luca, I’m a 24-year-old Italian expat who has been living in Amsterdam for several years. COVID-19 affected my life on many different levels. Apart from the shops and restaurants being closed, the mandatory mask, and the many other restrictions imposed by the government at the beginning of the crisis, I quickly realized I had no way of seeing my family in Italy.

Before the pandemic, I used to visit my family approximately three times a year but COVID-19 changed this. The coronavirus pandemic put me in front of a dilemma. I was going home for Christmas; a good idea. On the one hand, I knew that by going there I would have made my family, as well as myself, extremely happy given the long time since I last saw them and the difficult year we all had faced. On the other hand, I knew that traveling during Christmas would increase the spread of the virus. After pondering over it for a while, I decided to remain in the Netherlands.

I was able to reach my family only in February 2021. However, I had to spend hundreds of extra euros to book three different COVID-19 tests. I hope that the vaccine will simplify travel and reunite more families.