A young Australian woman has used social media to document her journey across the Tasman to surprise her Kiwi boyfriend in New Zealand.
The opening of the trans-Tasman bubble has meant quarantine-free holidays and family reunions, and for this young couple, it meant being able to finally see each other for the first since Melbourne went into COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020.
Tegan Basile met her boyfriend Nayzel Sushil when the Kiwi was in her home city of Melbourne for work in 2020. As Basile's TikTok video explains, the couple thought they would see each other in only a short few months.
"So… I just booked my flights!" Basile starts the video, giggling to the camera. Then viewers follow her, facemask donned, on the plane to New Zealand.
The video ends with her filming her boyfriend walking around a corner, only to be confronted with his Australian girlfriend standing right in front of him.
Sushil drops to the ground, overcome with emotion, and Basile walks slowly towards him, laughing and smiling. The video ends with the pair smiling at the camera, happy to be reunited after the year that has been.
"We had to stay connected via FaceTime and social media the entire year while we waited - impatiently - for the trans-Tasman bubble to open," Basile told Newshub.
Social media users flocked to congratulate the pair on their special reunion, with one user writing the couple "deserve the world".
Another user asked Basile how the pair made long-distance work, to which Basile replies "it wasn't easy".
"It wasn't always perfect - but at the end of the day, it's all about focusing on the long game."
Basile shared a few tips the couple adopted to keep the relationship strong during their year apart.
She says it was important the pair included each other in both the significant and mundane daily tasks of their lives.
"We found it easy, especially with social media, to feel as though we were missing out in being part of the other's life when we can only live it through pictures.
"Even small things like FaceTiming from our birthday parties, or helping each other pick out a new hoodie at the mall have helped us feel included."
The couple have both used social media to communicate their feelings for each other to the world, with Sushil making a dance video dedicated to his long-distance Australian love in April last year.
The dance ended up going viral and was even featured on The AM Show.
It is Basile's first time in New Zealand, so she is looking forward to "playing tourist".
Most importantly, she is excited to catch up on all the time she missed out on with her partner over the last year.