Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On home soil.....where to/what next?

Although I’m still in the process of writing over 3 months worth of belated blog posts, I thought it might be good to post a current one about our return to Oz:

It was a strange feeling to be back in Australia when only the day before we were in northern Thailand, trying to process that our time overseas had come to an end. Which reminds me….there was no time to process anything in Bangkok, as we ran 1km to the boarding gate, listening to our names being called over the loud speaker. Funny thing is that I’ve secretly always wanted my name called at an airport (much to Tim’s disgust)….not that I really wanted to miss my plane as a result! Thankfully we made it to the gate just in the nick of time and as I slumped into my seat puffing and laughing at the movie scene that had just played out, Tim landed into his puffing and cursing me for my obsession with getting all our postcards sent before leaving Thailand. Yep, despite already being at the airport four hours before departure, this is what made us late, forcing us to run to board our plane. The most important point….we made it!

So after being away for just over 19 months, we set foot on Aussie soil 3 weeks ago in Sydney. We spent almost 24 hours in transit from Chiang Mai, Thailand and arrived bleary eyed and a little disoriented. At first it seemed like any other random airport, until we heard that distinct accent all around us and saw in big bold letters, the words ‘G’day, welcome home!’ It was a surreal and indescribable feeling that we experienced in that moment…..one that caused me to seriously well up. We were home and there was no going back….not right now at least. 

We spent a week in Sydney with good friends and the plan to cope with being back was to check out Sydney and keep the travel bug at bay.....to become a tourist in our own country I guess. Since being away, it had become extremely apparent that we may have seen a lot of the world, but we were yet to experience many of the wonders on our home turf. Once we arrived though, we realised we just needed to stop and rest for a bit. We had jam packed so much into our last week in Thailand, we were exhausted! We couldn't avoid the fact that we were indeed back in Australia, but the thought of trying was slightly appealing. We were both feeling a bit numb and although it was great to see friends, in some ways we wanted to turn around and get back on that plane. Already, we were faced with the questions of 'where to/what next?' and we wanted to run a mile! Of course it is a completely logical inquiry, but all the clarity we could muster was 'we are taking one day at a time'.  Life has been so good living with no plan but continuing to remain open to the opportunities that arise. A lot of people might say 'well you can't live like that forever', but maybe it is possible.....without being a complete bum of course! hehe! Have we been so conditioned to have our future worked out and if we haven't there must be something wrong?

After our time in Sydney, we flew to Darwin where we've been catching up with Tim's Dad. We've had a lot of time on our hands....in some ways too much and we've been feeling fidgety to say the least. It's the longest we've stopped anywhere since May last year so I guess that's to be expected.  It's given us time though to contemplate what life might be like if we continued living without too much of a plan. If we set clear goals, would we be cutting ourselves off mentally from other possibilities? I read a post from another blog recently titled 'The best goal is no goal' and it really resonated with what Tim and I have been discussing. Click on the link to view the article. We're keen to hear your thoughts....do you think a fulfilling life can be lived without goals? You can add your comments below.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Now that this chapter is drawing to a close.....

There are many blog entries that I am still to post to bring you up to date with our adventure....I got so behind while we were in Italy in October, battling with 'writer's block' and losing motivation to write, because all I wanted to be doing was experiencing every moment of being in such an incredible country!

Much has happened since we were in Italy and I will fill in those missing pieces later. Now that we are in Thailand though and this chapter of our lives is drawing to a close, I have had several people ask me how I'm feeling about returning home after such a long time away. It has been such a difficult thing to articulate, but I did try a couple of days ago, to write down some thoughts. These thoughts will ebb and flow as we continue to process our experience as well as work out our next steps in life. Hopefully, I have enough motivation to keep this blog going so we can continue to share them. Anyway, what I wrote a couple of days ago was:

How easy it is to see the world’s beauty when you’re lazing on the white sand of a Thai beach, wandering the cobblestone alleyways of Europe or standing at a cliff edge gazing out into the Grand Canyon. But the question that’s going through my head right now, is how do we continue to see the beauty that is all around us when we return home? How can we hold onto that sense of adventure, anticipation and appreciation for life, that has been with us since the day that we began this journey?

As our return home approaches extremely fast, I feel giddy with these and many other questions about our future. I sit here wondering if the change in us will simply evaporate as we return to home, to a familiar environment, to familiar people and to a society where life more often than not, revolves around work. The experiences we’ve had and the people we’ve met along the way have changed us deeply, more than I think we even realize at this point. We have discussed and dissected many ideas about where to/what next, but we are more uncertain about our future than we ever have been. Guess that's what happens when you get rid of everything that is familiar in your life! What we do know for sure, is we've been given a new freedom and we want to change the way we live according to what we’ve learned. Right now, we’re not exactly sure what that will look like, maybe that’s just where the ongoing adventure and anticipation lies. The best option for us with so much uncertainty, is one day at a time! :-)