On June 24th, I got on a plane in Chicago, flew to LA, stopped in Auckland for a couple hours, and arrived in Brisbane at 10am on the 26th. Those three flights were a blur, and when I look at the calendar and see that it’s been a year since that first flight, I can hardly believe it. This past year has been a blur.
Holy crap, people. Seriously.
I moved halfway around the world, sold or gave away or stored just about everything I owned, I quit my job (sort of), learned more than I ever wanted to about filling out government paperwork and got permanent residency, and I can now drive confidently on the left (wrong) side of the road.
What have I learned?
Australia is a beautiful beautiful beautiful country. The beaches in Queensland are pristine, the waters are a turquoise that I have never seen, the sand is fine and white, and every time I visit a new beach I am shocked that I get to live here. The mountains are not subtle. As we drive on the M1 north, the Glass House Mountains rise up suddenly in the distance. The rain forests are cool and hide giant fig trees, choking vines, and little wallabies that hop across your path when you least expect it. In the morning, I am woken up by lorikeets squeaking or kookaburras cackling like monkeys in the trees. And that’s just the stuff I’ve seen within two hours of my home. I am currently making plans for a bush trip to the Red Centre. I desperately want to see the stars sans light pollution.
And the people. Oh the people. Every time I meet and talk to a new person, I’m thankful that I live here. I’ve had so many fascinating conversations at church, at the gym, at the grocery, and, yes, even at the Medicare office while applying for public health care.
We’ve had visitors – Dan’s parents and my mom – and it’s been a pleasure to take them around and show them this beautiful place and introduce them to our new friends. You should come visit. Really.
I’m a worrier. Filling out all that visa paperwork kept me up nights. Applying for new jobs and interviewing, kept me up nights. Attempting to complete my US taxes, well, that’s still keeping me up nights. But what I’ve learned most about myself is that I can handle this stuff. I can do this. I mean, it helps that I’m not doing this entirely alone. Dan’s been wonderful and funny, as usual. But this move has given me a bit more faith in who I am and what I believe. I highly recommend big changes.
About the Future