Whenever you go on an adventure, there’s always someone who misses out. I’m not talking about those that make empty excuses, but someone who really wanted to come. Instead, they couldn’t get their boss to give them the weekend off. They came down with a really bad case of the flu. Both of their cars broke down. The realities of life conspired against them, and so… they didn’t get to experience the adventure.
For these people, my goal has always been to make them feel like they really did go with me. How do I do that? Well, that’s where my brain is at, when I’m writing a letter about a trip. I write my letters like I wish everyone would write to me. I try to fill in the important details (where we went, what we ate), remember whatever struck me as funny (I have a weird sense of humor), and provide pictures of what we saw (pictures speak more, especially when my writing doesn’t live up to the view). I want my friends to GO there, in their minds, if they can’t go there in the flesh.
And then, one day, I found a job in Australia. For a year, as an au pair (nanny) to 5 girls. Talk about an adventure! I mean, seriously, I have four brothers, so I barely knew what girls were like!
While I was preparing to leave, I wondered how many questions I would be asked, by my friends. Would I receive fifty million FB messages, asking me “How’s Australia?”. How many e-mails would I have to write, to fill them in, and would I remember who I told what?
A blog was my answer to this question. My way of telling my friends what Australia is really like to this American who only gets to see a piece of it. But since I was the one who would be living it, I would find out what Aussies are like in real life, not just what you learn about them when you spend two weeks in Sydney. I wouldn’t be in the Outback or in the cities, but I would be getting to know the people.
And learn about Australia and its people, I certainly did! If you are only just visiting my blog for the first time, you’ve probably discovered that the majority of my posts were written in Australia! If you’re trying to catch up, this was originally my “About Me” page, but I’ve made a few changes. I think people should understand what started this blog, though I’m still in the process of figuring out how and what to write, while stateside.
My year in Australia was an amazing year, where I was blessed by all of my experiences. I discovered firsthand what parents have to deal with, 24/7, with both the delights and troubles of raising children. Though I hope to visit again, many times, over the years, in my mind, my Aussie girls will always be the same age as when I lived there. During my year there, I was also blessed to be part of a wonderful church family, take part in several Bible studies, and become close friends with a wonderful Christian circle. I was so blessed by that experience that I can’t even find words for it.
Yes, you’ve read about my travels in Australia, but I didn’t see enough of the country, not by a long shot. I have a growing list of places in Australia that I still need to visit, both because I can’t go through life without seeing Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef… and because some of my friends in Emerald are moving! Because of that, Tasmania will definitely be on my list of places to see, when I return to the land Down Under.
A year in another country changes you. I am not the same person that I was when I left, and I won’t be the same person, now that I’m back. I can even get depressed after wandering around a grocery store, not because I miss Aussie shopping trolleys, but because I keep looking for items that aren’t on the shelves here. I’m looking for things that remind me of my girls and my friends, but I can’t find them. Vegemite, CheesyBite, and Weetbix are not to be found, and I find I’m somewhat lost without them. Of course, if I could find them, I’d probably have my Bub riding around in the front of the cart, too, and don’t I just wish for that!
My journey in the United States continues, but if you continue to read my blog, you will find many mentions of Australia and what I miss the most. I can’t escape from it, nor do I want to, so at least you’ll know why this place comes up so often. And what do I miss the most? The wonderful Aussie people that took me to heart, made me their friend, and consider me an honorary Australian. Aussie Aussie Aussie!