CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The coronavirus has had a major impact on travel, flights globally have been slashed and borders have been closed to stop the spread. The travel bans left several people stranded thousands of miles away from home, desperate to get back safe.

Last Friday, WCNC Charlotte told you about a local couple stuck in the Galapagos Islands unable to get a flight home. It was a long process but they’re finally safely back in the Queen City.

“It seems like 8 years ago but it was 2 weeks ago,” Brook Bickelhaupt-Splawn said leaving for her bucket list trip. That was before COVID-19 made getting back home an extreme challenge.

“Every step of the way we'd get a little bit of hope and then it'd just stab us in the heart, so it's nice to be home,” she said.

They made it back to Charlotte Wednesday with a new love and appreciation for home.

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“I took a picture as we were flying in and I was like wow this is home, we're back where we're supposed to be and we're safe,” Bickelhaupt-Splawn said.

They had to jump through hoops to get to mainland Ecuador and eventually were on a flight home but said once they got to Miami, they were surprised by how relaxed it was.

“There was not a single question of how are you feeling. Not a single question of have you taken your temperature, no thermal temperature scans,” said Bickelhaupt-Splawn.

A text from AT&T directing them to the CDC website is how they learned they had to self-quarantine because they were in Ecuador.

It certainly wasn't the trip they planned but they said they still wouldn't change it.

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