Being home after over 2 years was always going to be a new adventure, full of unknowns and new experiences!! As we approached Brisbane and our Qantas plane was getting ready for its final approach, we could see Manly where we live, its boat harbour, we could guess where our home was. The butterflies are tickling my stomach with sudden excitement. Being met at the airport by friends was wonderful. Walking through our front door and into our home felt great: we have completed our motorcycle trip and are now home safely.
We have been home over 5 weeks now and the one question everyone has asked us is: so what is it like being home? Such a huge question disguised in that tiny sentence! That question is still followed by an awkward joint “hmmm” as Anthony and I look at each other. How do we respond. So many thoughts and feelings rushing through our heads. “Great, it feels great”. Another pause. “It still feels strange”. That’s the best way we can answer this innocuous yet huge question.
The luxury of sleeping in the same bed every night, of knowing where the bathroom is in the middle of the night, of recognising everything in the supermarket, of being able to cook and eat what we feel like, of being able to talk and catch up with friends, of having a washing machine to do all the washing, of being able to make a cup of tea whenever we feel like, these all still feel like luxuries one month on. We are enjoying our routine of daily morning and afternoon walks.
So what have we been doing with our time since we got home? Maintenance!!! Everything is over 2 years older than when we left. And many home appliances either broke down or needed a good service, like the garage door, air conditioning, car, motorbike, bicycles. And our bodies too apparently. It was a lot easier just being on the road and getting on with our adventure! Our routine annual blood tests sent us to see various specialists to get suspicious results investigated but we are all good for another year. What a relief. I just need to get suspicious moles re-cut out with bigger margins – a common occurrence here and the price I pay for having fair skin and living in Queensland. The good news is that Anthony is not longer itchy and scratchy and his blisters have nearly all healed.
Anthony has been working on getting our old telephone line recommissioned for our internet and is now having to convince the main telco that although their records states we are in unit 1 as per their documentation, we are actually unit C as per council plans. What fun…
After the joy of seeing friends again, the luxury of having a home, the enjoyment of our daily walks, we have been getting great satisfaction from decluttering. When we first left our home 27 months ago, we got a tenant for an initial period of 6 months and emptied all our cupboards. Not knowing at the time that we were going to be away for that long, everything was placed in storage downstairs but not particularly well labelled. So while home was familiar, it still feels like we are in a hotel as all the cupboards are still empty. Why?! Because we are determined not to get back to our old habits and having cupboards that would nearly spill out as you opened them, like a jack in a box. One month on, we are proud not to have succumbed to the temptation of simply storing everything back where it used to be. Every item is evaluated: keep as definitely required, give away as not necessary and still in good condition, or recycle/throw out. It is a slow process. While it is a great feeling taking bags and bags to the local charity shop, it is embarrassing to see how wasteful we were in the past, buying useless or duplicate items…
What was I thinking when I bought this outrageously frivolous avocado cutter, stoner and slicer – so embarrassing…
Even grocery shopping is getting the ‘do we really need this’ treatment as the after a big weekly shop photo shows:
It is great to feel so detached from possessions which once seemed so necessary or valuable. It is very freeing. It seems to leave more room for what is important in life. We are still pathologically sentimental about things at times, so we are taking photos of items for memory sake and thanking them before giving them away. It seems perfect. We don’t need them and someone else can enjoy them.
Why had I kept this jewellery bag an old boyfriend gave me while I was still at school?!
We have also enjoyed seeing our friends again. We catch up as if we had never been away, with no change in our relationship. That feels great. Most had read our blog which was lovely to find out as they were not all official followers, and we enjoy hearing what they enjoyed or what touched them. And it has been really interesting to find out of acquaintances who had kept up with our blog while some friends had read nothing. Because people read as much or as little as they were interested in, there has not been much discussion about our trip. Life is about now. It is grounding us.
It doesn’t take much for Anthony and I to talk about our next trip though… The sound of a passing motorcycle, the feel of the breeze on our faces while we walk, the sound of rustling leaves in the trees, yes, we miss the open road, but being home, for now, is very comfortable. We even dressed up recently to go to the ballet, courtesy of generous friends who could no longer go for health reasons.
Until next time we blog, have a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year. May 2016 bring you all much happiness, joy, success, good health and all younwish for and may we see more tolerance in the world…