Five years ago my life changed in a way I could never have imagined.
I was riddled with wanderlust for most of my adult life, and was always in the position of being able to satisfy the overwhelming need to travel on a whim. Living in London, it was easy – travel was cheap and the world so tantalizingly accessible. Escaping to a new country with a different culture, even for a long weekend, was a regular occurrence.
Yet, five years ago, the constraints of family sought to tie me to one place – in a place I really didn’t want to be, a place I felt forced to be… at that time. We had planned to come to Australia for one year, but that year turned into two, then three, and the longer we stayed the harder it was to leave.
I felt trapped.
I was in constant turmoil of wanting to be where I wasn’t. I wanted to be back in Europe with my London friends, who after 15 years had become my family. I hadn’t said ‘goodbye’ properly and found it really hard to settle into a life so isolated from the rest of the world; especially in travel terms. It’s expensive to live here, travel around and get out of, and to be honest, regardless of becoming a new mum, I had a serious case of FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.
I am a traveller and travel planner. My head was filled with itineraries I’d been dreaming of, of the places I had yet to visit, of the languages and cultures I had yet to experience. I had plans. Big plans! But, as I have learned oh so many times, life happens when you’re busy making plans.
I certainly hadn’t planned to be so content to be right where I am, right now.
If it wasn’t for this little person standing in silhouette in the picture above, I wouldn’t have stopped. I wouldn’t have grown to appreciate the here and now quite so much.
The reason we’re here in Australia is because of this little one. She was born at a time when my Australian family needed her most. We all know that without her we certainly wouldn’t have the most amazing Grandfather to have ever graced this Earth, or the best father-in-law any daughter-in-law could wish for. He lives because she is here. She keeps him here; she keeps him going and so I must keep her near. Near to him and our family in Oz.
And she doesn’t want to be anywhere other than here.
So we stay close to home, close to family, close to those who have had to give up so much more in the past few years than just the way they travel.
Instead of all the overseas trips we imagined and planned and wished for, we are learning to embrace the small joys of travelling within our own country.
And I am more accepting than ever of our fate. I’ve learned to be more accepting of so much.
Five years ago this week, this beautiful little soul was born and changed my world and the way I live and travel forever more. Just one more thing to be grateful for in my life.
The above image was taken in November last year, when we were on holiday in Noosa with the whole family. Wherever we travel with our in-laws we need to be close to a hospital at all times. Noosa is a pretty good spot that covers all the bases for an amazing break for every one. I’ll be sharing more about the natural beauty of Noosa in upcoming posts. Stay tuned!