Several weeks ago, Darling Husband and I made a pretty big decision. Really, a pretty HUMUNGOUS decision. The kind of decision that generally speaking makes people's jaws go slack (right before they shout 'WHAT?').
* More on this later.
We are moving. Again. And not just moving to another suburb, another state, or across the country. We are moving back to Australia.
I am aware that I cannot drop that bomb without further explanation. In brief:
1) Quitting my job put some things in perspective for me about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
2) Darling Husband is not too thrilled with his job, either. (UNDERSTATEMENT!)
3) The economy in the dear ol' US of A sucks. But even during this global economic meltdown, Australia's economy is kind of like an economy on antidepressants: although it is harder to make gobs and gobs of money than in the US, but nobody is going to totally fall off a cliff financially.*
4) Everyone in Australia has access to healthcare.
5) There is no gay marriage debate in Australia. It is a non-issue, because domestic partnerships are legally binding for both heterosexual and queer relationships.
6) The Australian government actually invests in parks, social services, renewable energy, and oh so much more. In other words, many of the things that I fight to get the US political machine to take care of here, they are already done in Australia. (I know, it is not perfect! Cop-out? I don't really think so. . .)
7) Having worked on the Obama Campaign last year, I think I saw too much of the sausage being made, so to speak. I'm tired of fighting for proper governance and government, when I have the option of living somewhere where the fight is already MUCH further along.
8) Our Dear Daughters are beginning to show signs of really needing a slower lifestyle. A more mellow lifestyle. For that matter, so are we.
This list will continue to grow. . . but that at least provides a taste of the reasons. . .
Bellingen, NSW. Again, jaws tend to go pretty slack at that announcement. For now I will say that we found it nearly eight years ago now, by accident (Darling Husband was driving from Canberra to Brisbane, which is a REALLY LONG WAY, and found Bellingen on the way. He stayed for a night, and fell in love. We went back together maybe a year later. And fell in love with it again. More on why, and what we intend to do there, later. For now, just imagine living in a lush river valley, with pristine surf beach 25 kilometers to the east and rainforest 25 kilometers to the west, only a 40 minute drive from a city of 70,000 people with an airport and a university.
One year - summer 2010. It will take that long to get our lives in order, on both sides of the Pacific.
The funny thing is that when we came to the US back in 2004, we came with a specific purpose. That purpose was for Darling Husband to experience living in the US (since he hadn't, and I had spent three years in Australia) so that we would then be able to TOGETHER make a decision about where we wanted to settle, and where we wanted the kids to grow up. And we had gotten so caught up in just trying to LIVE, that we had almost forgotten about our stated purpose. I'm glad we remembered.
So, from here on out, we have a brand new goal to strive for. And I intend to document, in gory detail, all of the insanity involved in moving countries (which, by the way, I have done THREE TIMES ALREADY**, but never, of course, with two children in tow). Enjoy the ride!
** 1998 - USA to China, 2000 - China to Australia, 2004 - Australia to USA