For 120 stranded Australian citizens who touched down in Canberra on a repatriation flight from Singapore on Thursday, their arrival on Australian soil was a homecoming.
But as one of the very few on the flight who calls themselves a Canberran, Christine Walmsley said landing back in the ACT was a true welcome home.
"Officials at the airport were surprised that there was at least one local person who had arrived on the flight," she said.
"On the bus from the airport to the hotel, I was almost acting as a tour guide to all the others as we went past some of the familiar sites."
Ms Walmsley had been stranded in the UK after she travelled to England in June to help her sister care for her dying mother, and was worried she wouldn't be able to make it back home to Canberra for Christmas.
However, after months of waiting for a plane ticket home, she said she was given just 10 hours' notice to get on the plane back to Australia, after securing a last-minute seat on the repatriation flight.
"I got a call at 10am saying 'Would I be able to catch the flight at 8.30pm?', and I started frantically packing my bag," she said.
"I was absolutely elated, but even then I wasn't sure I had a ticket until I had got on the plane."
After a virtually empty flight from London to Singapore, followed by a seven-hour layover, Ms Walmsley boarded the repatriation flight from Singapore to Canberra with more than 150 other Aussies.
"The flight was socially distanced so there was a seat between all of the passengers," she said.
Ms Walmsley will spend the next two weeks in hotel quarantine at the Pacific Suites in Braddon before she is allowed to go home.
The only contact she has had with others since the beginning of quarantine has been with medical staff to conduct a COVID-19 test.
"We all have our own balcony which is quite spacious, and it has a lovely view of Telstra Tower," Ms Walmsley said.
"We also have an allowance of $280 we can spend on groceries and a $60 voucher for Deliveroo."
Despite the two weeks in quarantine ahead of her, she said she had plenty of space in her hotel room, even enough room to do some exercise.
"I'm determined to get up my 10,000 steps a day and I'm trying to get into a routine," she said.
"I'm going to be dieting after putting on some weight in England with all the stodgy comfort food.
"I've got a few plans and I'd like to do some knitting and felting and also a bit of reading."