Around The World and Back Again

Getting back into this blogging thing is easier said than done, I’m finding. And it probably hasn’t helped that I’ve been away for the past three weeks on the other side of the world. Apologies for being late getting back to comments, too!

So, where have I been?

Back to my husband’s native Australia, to see family and friends we’ve not visited for seven years. It’s a trip that was a long time coming, house renovations and life getting in the way of previous plans to visit.

I confess, I was a little bit nervous about going back. Australia is a wonderful place, and there are a lot of people I love living there. But it’s a VERY LONG flight, and I’m not the biggest fan of flying. Plus, I found that, despite all the work I’ve done sorting myself out over the past few years, it turned out there was a bit of emotion to unpack about the idea of heading back to the place where I lived for seventeen years. As I said to friends when we were there, I have three passports and a lot of issues.

People often comment to me that I’ve lived such an interesting life, moving around the world, travelling and seeing different places. And I agree – I’ve been so fortunate to have lived in some wonderful parts of the world. But that has come at the price of roots, of continuity, of having a place that feels so familiar that, no matter where you are in the world, it feels like home. All the moving around I’ve done (24 different addresses, six different cities, three continents) has left me with a deep desire for a place that is mine, that won’t change and doesn’t move, where I know everyone and they know me. Returning to live in the UK seven years ago was full circle for me, both physically and metaphorically, as it’s where I was born, and where I feel most at home. Living in Australia was wonderful, definitely, but it was also tough, as I was (literally) half a world away from many of the people I loved most. Going back there brought with it a whole host of emotions and I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t going to stay there, that I was coming back.

That sounds awful, doesn’t it? As though I hated the place so much I couldn’t bear to stay there. This is not the case at all. If you’ve been to Australia you’ll know how beautiful it is, how blue the water, how bright the sky. Some of my best friends in the world live there, as well as family. It’s a country I truly love.

So, once I’d worked through all of that, I was able to face the flight with less stress and, when we finally touched down in Melbourne, I could enjoy the city for how wonderful it is. Our first day was a perfect Melbourne day – seeing family, walking through the Botanic Gardens to the National Gallery of Victoria to have lunch and see the Escher exhibition (quite a mind-blowing experience with jetlag), then dinner that evening with dear friends. And so the days unfolded, one beautiful experience after another, but each of them then tempered with goodbyes. And that, perhaps, is the key to my struggle. The endless round of goodbyes.

Well! This started out as a post to say hey, I’m back from my trip, but it’s turned into something quite different. As you can see from the photos, I had a fantastic trip in a wonderful part of the world. However, I’m glad to be back home again now (and I will be getting to comments, too!).

If you’re in the UK, here’s wishing you all a lovely holiday weekend. Also, May the Fourth be with you 😉 (Yeah, I said it.)

xx

21 thoughts on “Around The World and Back Again

    1. It’s a fabulous place, definitely, and I’m sure it’ll be part of my life for the foreseeable future. However, yes, I’m very glad to be home again for now 🙂

  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip. We traveled to New Zealand in August 2016; a 22 hour flight. I know exactly what you mean by dreading the flight and the jet lag. Awful! Now I prefer to visit Europe or Britain which is much closer and no jet lag.

    1. It was a fabulous trip but yes, there’s no getting around the length of the flights, is there? I also much prefer to visit Europe, as it’s just an hour or so away – much easier! 🙂

  2. Love that Oz feeling. I’ve never lived there but visited four times now and each was different and glorious, even when on business. And that urge for home never really leaves me, even in the midst of a fantastic holiday with those I love. I’m a roots kind of guy when all is said and done. Hope the long flights allowed for a lot of editing and writing!?

    1. I managed a bit of editing and writing, though not as much as I’d hoped. Although we did end up stuck in Melbourne for an extra three days (which is another story), so I did manage to squeeze in a bit more writing time 🙂 However, am very glad to be back home now…

  3. I doubt I would manage the flight…I’m not a fan either… but I’d love to see Australia.
    I can beat you on the addresses and cities… only one continent, though… but I know what you mean about wanting to be somewhere that feels like home.
    Lovely to see you back xx

    1. Thanks, Sue – it’s nice to be back 🙂 And yes – the flights take quite a bit of mental preparation, that’s for sure. Maybe if I was sitting up in the pointy end in my suite with fancy food and drink it might be a little more bearable? 🙂 I need to sell a few more books before I can do that, though…

  4. I could feel the pull of emotions you were experiencing, Helen. You explained it all so well. Living in different places must have been wonderful, but I understand your wish for one place that is solidly rooted.

    Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures, and it is so great to see you back!

    P.S. I’ve done that flight from Canada; yes, long beyond belief! Cher xo

    1. Thanks, Cher 🙂 It’s nice to be back. Still getting into the swing of blogging again but I’m on my way. Nice to see you too, thanks for coming by to comment xxx

  5. And may the Revenge of the Fifth pass you by. 😀

    … I know what you mean by wanting roots. Canada is my third continent, and (having just spent an inordinate amount of time recollecting) our little cottage on an island in the middle of a lake, is my 27th abode … and it’s not going to be the last either! 😀

    1. 27?! Oh, you can definitely relate, then! Which are your other two continents? I’m pretty sure this house isn’t my last house either, though I’m hoping to stay on this continent for a while yet 🙂

      1. I was born in England. My parents, and I, of course, emigrated to Australia when I was 2, so it counts. 🙂 I lived in OZ for 43 years, and have been living here in Canada since 2004. 😀

      2. Oh, so a similar trajectory to me – except we emigrated to Canada when I was 11, then I met my husband and decided to go to Australia ‘for a year’ to see what would happen…

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