Lachlan Trabinger was living in New York when COVID-19 hit closer than he would have expected.
Trabinger was studying at Wagner University where he was playing water polo, and all of a sudden friends of his started being struck down with coronavirus.
He was at a crossroads - stay behind and try and see it through, or book a flight home and escape the nation which has been affected like no other by the pandemic. Trabinger opted for the latter.
"In March the whole school were being quite suspicious about the whole thing and one day they just told us all to pack our bags," Trabinger said.
"I got out of there right before it went pear-shaped.
"I got kind of worried on the last day, but I just stayed inside and went straight to the airport."
Trabinger has returned home to play for the Vikings men's water polo team alongside his brother Justin, who has also come back to Canberra.
And while grateful for the opportunity to reunite with his brother, returning overseas was still his end goal.
"Looking at a bad situation and turning it into a good one, now I get to play again with Justin which is awesome," Trabinger said.
"The Vikings have had some tough years. I's good to play again with my brother, we have a special connection in the pool.
"At the moment it's hard to think about returning with the whole global situation. I am focused on finding a job, but I would like to return overseas. But for now I wait."
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Justin returned to Canberra and the Vikings after spending time in Sydney, where he represented Australia at a junior level.
A tough couple of years for the Vikings has just made it all worth the wait with the brothers returning.
Although losing his job at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, Justin said everything was where it was supposed to be. He's excited to be back.
"The stars have aligned because both Lachie and I are both back where we are supposed to be and at the same time," he said.
"My job became untenable and Lachie had just graduated from Wagner University. It was really just time to come home and it just feels right."