Happily Adopted by an Australian Family
We moved out of our house 10 months ago and officially became vagabonds.
It has been nearly six months since we left the U.S. and ventured out into this great big world. We have seen beauty, sadness and hope in the most unusual places and have been met with surprises and disappointments more times than we could count.
Yesterday, as we were taking advantage of the free WiFi in the office of our holiday park, we got to talking to the young woman who owns it. She had once been on her own year-long adventure, which brought her from Holland to Australia. She met her husband here and stayed. When Dave said to her that we were lucky to be on our own trip, she quickly replied, “It’s not lucky. You made a choice to do this. Everyone has the ability to do it, but not everyone can choose to.” Immediately following that conversation, an older woman walked into the office and without overhearing our last conversation started telling her own story of selling all the possessions of her five-bedroom house to live out of a camper with her husband for the past six months. She said she’d never been happier.
Like her, we are happy most days. There is not much that happens to us that can’t be met with, “most people are working today,” to make us feel better. However, there are days when life on the road is challenging. We don’t get much of a break from the constant to-do list of determining where we’ll go next, where we’ll stay when we get there and the eternally important, what’s for dinner? What has been hardest is not seeing our family and friends for such a long stretch of time. It becomes even more apparent when people we love are going through their own challenging times at home. It tugs at our heartstrings and keeps us waiting for the next email providing the latest news. Even when there isn’t something unfortunate happening in the lives of our loved ones, we talk about them constantly – on hikes, long car rides and over meals, wondering how their lives have changed while we’ve been away.
We arrived in Australia a little more than a week ago and were greeted with open arms by our cousin Jen’s best friend and her beautiful family. We quickly became adopted family members and enjoyed a luxurious week staying in a real house, with real people, doing real people things. After five weeks in a campervan in New Zealand, it was the best remedy for our weary traveling souls. We could have stayed there for the entire six weeks of our Australian adventure and been happy. A huge, worldwide hug and thank you to Robyn, Michael, Lily and Charlotte for taking such great care of us. From homemade health cookies, to buttered popcorn and being taken wine tasting (unlike most times when were the ones taking other people), we couldn’t have dreamt of a better week to start our tour of Australia.
Dave said it best one afternoon over Robyn’s cookies and Lily’s popcorn. It just felt good to be with a family. Whether we had realized it or not, we were missing the opportunity to be with our family and friends. Life on the road does have its downside.
Our time in Australia, though, has been great fun so far – filled with laughter, love and interesting days that have included a lot of outdoor time. It is a nice change from New Zealand where it occasionally felt dreary and sad depending on where we were, what the weather had in store for us and who we interacted with that day. We’re back in a campervan for three weeks, making our way from Melbourne to Adelaide and back. Following that adventure, we’ll be on a flight to Western Australia for two weeks before heading to London to finally get some time with our family. We’ll meet family in London for a week and then strap on our sea legs for a 10-day cruise through Norway with Dave’s parents. It couldn’t come at a better time.