Sunday 11th February 2018 | Blog #4 Living Away
This week is one year since we left the UK!
I’m starting to push into my 30’s (still at the young end mind). But as friends pop out a small army of little people and a three-course meal of adult responsibility is being served, my mind tends to cast a sideways look at where we are. Not out of doubt, but more out of curiosity and self-examination.
The journey was always going to be open-ended and with our extra twists and turns, at times it’s a bit of a roller coaster.
Taking time to ourselves has been a real difficulty, not just as a couple but as two individuals. It’s important, particularly for people like us. We like our own space, and reflection is part of this. Simply mulling over things or taking time to consider them – I’m carefully avoiding the word ‘dwell’ (other than typing it) as reflection is a long way from that.
Oh to live abroad
As a teenager, I loved the idea of living abroad. Not in some rebellious act – I don’t think I felt the need to rebel at all growing up actually (I was a good boy!). In fact, it wasn’t until university that I really started wanting to challenge the world around me in any meaningful way. Living abroad, somewhere new was something that would challenge me. Where I could learn and bring home stories from. It was probably a little romantic, but worth a try.
So here I am, in Australia. I thought I’ll go somewhere really ‘different’ if I’m going to do this. So, here I am ‘living away’. Actually, I don’t really like that phrase. It implies temporariness as if I don’t want to be doing it. I wouldn’t have said I was ‘living away’ in London. Nor at university. Australia is simply the next part of a journey, the will inevitably be other places I will live in future. With each chapter, however, I appreciate (in a very mature fashion) the things I leave. Whether it’s a pub within a 10-minute walk of wherever you are in central London, whether it’s the busyness of being in a big city or being surrounded by people with a shared interest like university. Sometimes, it’s simply familiarity. But this comes with time and we are building our new familiarity.
Here we are, one year on, Kylie and I, forging a new life. And its genuinely exciting, far more positive than I probably made it feel above. It really does feel like we’re building something for us. It’s taking a lot of energy, thought and dedication. We have days where we have ‘wins’ and the enjoyment is almost tangible, but we also have days where it feels like it will never work out. It’s a decision that we both feel in a hundred ways all the time. But it’s a decision of opportunity and curiosity, of optimism and hope. We’re searching for more purpose, one year on we’re not there yet but certainly closer.
One year on
Now, after a year away, I’ve missed home far more than expected. Little details I never realised I enjoyed so much pass through my mind regularly. Distance takes a new meaning, as does time. But it also brings my eyes up to the horizon to imagine where we are off too next. To think more freely and openly to possibility. Thinking back to the beautiful places we’ve seen, the exhaustion we’ve felt, how the two ebb and flow. At times expectedly, and others in complete surprise! To finish a day on the farm one moment, and 24hrs later to be driving home the Kombi you’ve been searching for! To be overwhelmed by expectation, that by this point, this should have happened, and we should be doing such and such…
The last year was full on in every possible way. The year ahead looks like it could be too. But this time I have a slightly clearer mind, a slightly more experienced. Ready to build and make use of the experience of the past.
One more thing!
It’s my brother’s birthday too. So happy birthday to you, you old fart!