Five Creative Ways To Win The Battle Against MIQ Boredom
Many people relocating to New Zealand dread the compulsory 14 day stint in managed isolation (MIQ). Creativity can be your secret weapon in getting through. Your imagination, and a few simple supplies, can provide mental release from the four walls of your MIQ room, build connection with the world outside and help you use the time to recharge before embarking upon life in New Zealand.
While working through Jess’s relocation plan with her prior to departure from the UK, she threw a question at us we’d never heard before. ‘Can I bring my watercolours through New Zealand’s strict border controls?’
Luckily the answer was yes, and we discovered painting was to be her answer to the long hours ahead in MIQ. Here’s’ what Jess told us:
“Learning watercolour was my new hobby during the UK lockdowns. I can spend hours following YouTube tutorials designed for beginners without realising where the time has gone. Our MIQ facility has given us so much vibrant fresh fruit I couldn’t resist attempting a fruity still life! Watercolour is perfect as it takes up very little room in your suitcase, makes almost no mess, and all you need in the room is a glass or cup for water and some loo roll!”
Engage through photography
Returning Kiwi Amanda works in the creative industries so it was no surprise when she posted a stunning sunset picture from her MIQ hotel and challenged those on the outside to better it.
As a solo traveller, social media was a key support for Amanda during the two weeks in a hotel room by herself.
Through the photo share she connected with friends who hadn’t caught up with her return, and got to see a stunning array of images from all over New Zealand.
Equipment required? Nothing more than a phone.
Create for the wider community
Numerous clients have sent us pictures of their MIQ window art, which is also evident to anyone driving past a managed isolation facility.
Materials range from post-it notes through to drawn images and collage cut-outs.
If your suitcase can’t accommodate bringing these supplies, order online from Warehouse Stationery as soon as you arrive and it will be in your hotel room by the time you’ve beaten jetlag.
Meals are a highlight of MIQ, mainly because there’s not much else going on!
We’ve seen some hilarious and creative responses. From illustrated food-bags, through to the chef who dissected and recreated each breakfast, lunch and dinner as plate art.
No specialist equipment needed except imagination, and perhaps a pen.
Kids gratitude art
If your MIQ bubble includes younger family members, drawing can be a great distraction, and connection point for them.
Parent of three, Amanda Sadlier, had her children making gratitude art to stick on their door to brighten the day of the nurses, food delivery staff and other hotel workers who looked after them so well.
All this required was some paper and felt pens which had been easily slipped into the luggage, and Amanda explains how the activity gained wider significance for their family.
“It wasn’t until we saw MIQ staff coming around to photograph the art for their colleagues that we realised their job is essentially to ‘serve’ meals to closed doors all day. We were grateful for all they did for us and happy to introduce some humanity into the tense environment.”
Thanks to our partners at Mobile Relocation for this piece.
Join the Kea community, NZ’s online home for returning Kiwis.
We’re here to support returning Kiwi. Here’s our list of resources to help you plan your return and next steps.
Looking for a new role in New Zealand? Visit the Kea job portal and find your next career opportunity.