Yesterday I stumbled upon a scrap of paper while decluttering our soon-to-be nursery. On it, was my thoughts from 30th May 2016, the day we left Australia. For those of you who have lived abroad for any length of time, I’m sure you can relate to some of these sentiments:
Yesterday it all got a bit real. The sun was shining over South Beach and our day was mostly spent packing. Leaving parties over, we spent our last few nights at Rachel’s back in our old bedroom at Scott St. It felt like we had returned home which made getting rid of our last few bits and bobs all the more difficult. Like every journey, once the suitcase was closed, the fear left and the excitement crept in. What was just an idea had evolved into an epic plan to go on an motorbike journey across Europe and there we were, day one of the rest of our lives.
Perth – London. And so concludes four years in the Southern Hemisphere.
3:30am: We crammed our two cases, two backpacks and a surfboard into Garry’s truck. It seems expert packing is a skill I have acquired since our first trip to Australia. I arrived in 2012 with a full to bursting backpack, stuffed with things I didn’t need and returned with my whole life neatly rolled into ziplock bags, stripped down to just the bare essentials. It was still dark when we boarded the plane but sunrise came soon after. With a half empty (half full?) plane, I migrated from seat to seat trying to capture that perfect golden light that flooded the cabin. It was, perhaps, the last Australian sunrise I would see for a very long time. It was a beautiful still moment which I will remember forever. The best way to start a new beginning… of what, I wasn’t yet sure but I knew there was only one way to find out! In that moment, I was also keenly aware of how immensely liberated I felt, knowing that I didn’t have to go to work and that the next few months were entirely my own. I had everything I could wish for. My lovely husband, my freedom and a sense of adventure… oh, and three years worth of savings squirrelled away in a bank account!
When I read these words yesterday, I looked over at my beautiful baby asleep in her cot and up at all the photos on the wall of our epic motorcycle adventure and I couldn’t help but smile. There’s no way we can know what the future holds when we decide to uproot our lives but I certainly feel like we have made our time count. One thing we didn’t count on however was bloody Brexit and if we’d gambled on changing our savings over a few days later we would have been MUCH better off…but that’s another nauseating story entirely .
Have you ever lived abroad then returned to your own country? Taken a risk and changed your life? Did it work out how you imagined? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. XX