When Mark and Grace left for Malaysia in 2020, they had no idea only one of them would come back.
Leaving in January for their hometown of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, the couple didn’t know the world was about to go into lockdown.
“We left in January 2020 as Mark’s mother was unwell,” says Grace.
“When we were due to come back, Mark decided to stay a bit longer with her and be with her in the resthome.
“Before we knew it, it was March. That’s when the borders shut.”
Despite repeated attempts at gaining a spot in MIQ, Mark wasn’t successful, only recently flying back into the country in March 2022 when the borders slowly opened to citizens again.
“We tried and tried and tried and couldn’t get a spot. There are only so many times you can try.”
However, when Mark finally touched down on New Zealand soil, he wasn’t returning to their family home in Te Atatu, but to a new apartment in Miriam Corban Retirement Village.
“We needed to downsize, as all the kids had long left home, so I sold the house and bought in here and moved everything while Mark was still overseas,” says Grace.
Mark is a fan of the change, saying it wasn’t hard to feel at home in the village.
“All the residents are very friendly, and we feel the management is very good. They are very courteous and care for us well. We also have a nice apartment, it’s not too big and not too small.”
With Mark and Grace now settled in together, they are looking forward to making life-long friends at Miriam Corban village.