When Megan McTernan (26) and Sean Wesson (24) arrived back in Ireland from Toronto, Canada, ahead of the festive season the pair were met by their families who drove from Tinahely in Wicklow and Mullingar in Westmeath to welcome them home.
“The airport reunion was great, it was like something you’d see in the movies,” Megan said of the scenes at Dublin Airport.
“It was so emotional and it was very overwhelming but it was great. There was such a buzz and it was so great to see everyone.”
They were greeted by loved ones who wore festive Christmas jumpers, Santa hats, and even fairy lights as many other travellers were also reunited with their loved ones ahead of Christmas.
While there were many tears, it was also a joyous occasion as they met each other’s families for the first time.
“I was excited, both of us were excited,” Megan said.
“I'd spoken to his parents on FaceTime so we had broken the ice. So I was just looking forward to it.”
“I left here as one person, and then we came back together.”
Sean added: “I knew they’d like her! All my family is fairly similar in a personality sense so going off how good we get along, I knew she’d fit right in with us.”
Megan from Co Wicklow, moved to Canada in September 2019, meanwhile boyfriend Sean arrived there the previous June, neither have been able to see their family back home in Ireland since they moved.
The couple began texting earlier this year while Megan was quarantined after testing positive for the virus.
“Our first few dates were walks, so we would go for walks for like three or four hours,” she explained.
“We’d never go on a walk now,” she laughed.
Last Christmas, Megan was without her family as she was forced to spend December away from family as she feared the borders would close as Covid cases began to grow amid the emergence of the Delta variant.
“Thankfully, I have a really good circle of friends in Toronto, and they are your family, you have to find the people that you can be yourself with.”
“We just put in a huge effort to make sure that we all felt like we were at home,” she said of Christmas 2020.
The group of friends incorporated everyone’s family traditions into the celebrations to make sure that everyone got to enjoy the day their way.
“We were away from everyone and that was hard, but we just made the best of it,” she said.
Sean also chose to stay in Canada last Christmas to protect his family.
“I found myself missing home but it just didn’t seem practical at the time with Covid being so rampant and I would’ve hated to be the one to bring Covid home.
For his homecoming this year, his family quite literally rolled out the red carpet.
“There’s nothing that compares to being home at Christmas time, [my family] had an old bit of red carpet at the back door of the house when I got home.”
The couple plan to spend time in Ireland together over Christmas as they get to know each other’s families better.
“We only know Toronto Megan and Toronto Sean, so I think it's a nice way to introduce each other to everybody and our home lives,” said Megan.
The couple are set to return to Canada in January and have vowed to return to Ireland again next Christmas, hoping that they will not be kept away from home again.