Seven years ago on the morning after the 2005 Mardi Gras parade (the image of party goers walking along South Dowling St will always stay with me!) Paul and I arrived fresh off a plane from the UK to begin a new life in Australia.
And what a life we’ve had. Each and every moment has been amazing. This is the place of a lot of monumental firsts for us – living together, getting engaged, getting married, having babies, buying a house, buying a dog. It's where I sky-dived, scuba-dived, fell in love with yoga, got a tattoo. Not to mention the general adventure of putting ourselves outside of our comfort zones, starting from scratch, making new friends, starting new jobs. Learning how to live in a country that wasn’t our own. It feels like it is now.
Which is why over the past few months we have had to make one of the hardest decisions of our relationship so far.
It pains me to say it, but In a few short weeks, some time around the end of April, Paul and I will be waving goodbye to these sunny shores that we have called home for so long and are moving back to England.
It still doesn’t feel real and right now I can’t imagine not being here. I love our lifestyle, our friends, our home. But for both of us, since having children there has been a continual nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right here anymore.
And that something is family. Having Grandparents close by. Having cousins to grow up with. Having Aunties and Uncles there to celebrate birthdays. Having a proper face-to-face relationship with all of these people, rather than through a computer screen or a yearly holiday.
Unfortunately I think that when you have laid down such strong roots in another country you will always lose in some way. If we stay here, we miss family. If we go home, we’ll inevitably miss our friends (who are like family) and all the wonderful things about this place. The beach life, the weather, the food, the coffee (oh my god I’ll miss the coffee!).
But we’ve decided not to dwell on things now. We could go round in circles with the 'what ifs' and the comparisons. The decision has been made and we are getting really excited about the adventures to come. About building a new life for our family of four. And most importantly about watching those special relationships unfold between our children and their family.
So please forgive me if I’m a little distant over these next few weeks. Life is crazy. Every spare minute is spent making calls, sending emails, writing lists. We arrived as two single people with a backpack each and are leaving a family of four + dog and an apartment full of stuff. This is no mean feat! I’ll keep you updated along the way.
Until then… have you had to make any hard decisions before? And if you have ever moved across the globe, do you have any tips?!