Sarah Todd On Navigating International Travel Restrictions During A Pandemic

Sarah Todd On Navigating International Travel Restrictions During A Pandemic

by | Jun 1, 2021

I am writing to you now as I sit in a state of limbo halfway around the world. In April, I embarked on my essential travel to India, full of hope as I set out to visit the vibrant country I call my second home.

I have dedicated the best part of the last seven years of my life to opening restaurants, collaborating with brands, and shooting numerous television shows in India. However, it is not just my business that brings me back to this country but its people.

As I suited up with a face mask, doubled with a face shield and hand sanitiser, I was in a state of total anxiety. When arriving at Melbourne’s usually bustling airport, I could barely see a handful of people preparing to take an international flight. Australia’s management of COVID has meant that most of us were fortunate to not feel the full impact of this pandemic. Due to the lockdown and the closure of state borders, I had only one domestic flight home to Queensland to see my family after nearly 12 months apart. This eerie airport scene evoked very different emotions. Apart from myself and the flight steward, the cabin was empty.

I had a two-day stop-over in Dubai as I could not get a direct flight to India. It was here that I learned the devastating news that the second wave of COVID was wreaking havoc in India. Australia had banned flights from India, which made it impossible for me to continue my trip. I decided to stay in Dubai for the time being.

Sarah Todd on international travel


Everyone I know in India has been affected by this insidious virus, and I feel utterly helpless. I was on my way to Goa to support the dedicated team at my restaurant, Antares. They provided free meals to the elderly and COVID positive patients and their families in North Goa until a lockdown was imposed on May 9. Each day nutritious meals of dal, mixed vegetables, salad, and rice were home delivered to these vulnerable families. I am incredibly proud of my team and their generosity and resolve to help others in one of India’s darkest hours. Hopefully, the lockdown will be lifted on May 31, and we will continue this much-needed service.

I love that Australia embraces diversity and encourages Australians to develop strong links with other countries. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as of June 2020, 30% of Australians were born overseas. For those people like me who have professional and personal links to India, the impact of the pandemic is incredibly distressing. Not only are families separated, but the uncertainty of when a reunion is possible causes immense anxiety and a feeling of helplessness.

Many of our fellow Australians living in India are waiting to return home. Essential travel should include the very human necessity of reuniting families. In 2020, nearly every single country from around the world was represented in Australia’s population.

Sarah Todd on international travel


As I contemplate these uncertain times, I encourage all Australians to get vaccinated so we can reduce the threat of community transmission on our shores. My 83-year-old grandmother was vaccinated without hesitation. She has five children, 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren (number 11 is due in July). COVID is not going to prevent her from seeing them.

Thank you Nan, because I cannot live without your warm hugs.

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 


Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 


Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 


Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 


Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?