The rugged backdrop of the Remarkables is a world away from the glittering lights of Nashville, yet Kiwi country music sensation Jackie Bristow couldn’t imagine being anywhere else this Christmas.
As the blonde beauty wanders around the stony banks of Lake Wakatipu, she’s philosophical about the rollercoaster past 18 months, which have seen her move back to Aotearoa after two decades abroad as a bona fide star.
“I’ve really fallen in love with New Zealand again,” she tells. “I’ve had a deep homesickness and a strong calling to come back for some years, so I can’t wait to spend another Christmas here.”
The jet-setting singer-songwriter, 48, was visiting family in her native Gore when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 and she’s been unable to return to the States ever since.
She recalls, “I decided to extend my holiday by a few more days to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday, then all of a sudden, my flight back to Nashville was cancelled. The world changed overnight and I was locked out of America.
“I couldn’t get home to my partner. I was meant to be going on a large US and European tour, which was automatically canned. It was a really unnerving time.”
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