Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Rest of my Life -or- Now What?!

Paris, France (March)
England & Ireland (Aug/Sept)

Ireland (March)
Montreal (August)
Ireland (Aug/Sept)
Northern Ireland (November)

Northern Ireland (June - Sept)

Scotland (March)
Wales & England (May)
Ireland (December)

Amsterdam (February)
Paris (April)
Prague (April)
Northern Ireland (July)

The above is off of the last page of a blank book I've used for recipes for over 10 years. I have listed trips, from 1998 to 2007, at which point I moved 'Down Under'. When I pulled it out the other day, I realised I hadn't added anything since then, and then I realised aside from travelling around Australia and going home to the US a couple of times, I haven't really been anywhere in about 3 years. When I say I haven't been anywhere, I mean I haven't been outside of the country, which for me is a big deal since, as you can see, I used to do a lot of trips overseas. In addition to that, I'd lived in 5 different countries since 2004, so being in the same country for the past 3 years has felt rather stiffling. I decided to do a bit of a google on settling down after travelling. While I don't remember exactly what words I used, I came up with blogs such as the Grounded Traveler, the Rest of my Life, and one where I found this quote: "After so many years in perpetual motion, it's difficult to accept settling down and staying put." Ain't that the truth, I thought! After years of thinking about where I wanted to end up, putting some plans into action, and seeing some outcomes, I'm grounded. I'm married, I own a house, and I live very far from anywhere I can get to within a reasonable amount of time and in a cost efficient manner. Add to that, there are only 3 countries Adelaide Airport has flights to directly, and there goes my habit of doing a quick trip abroad on the weekend. So, the question is, now what? How do I avoid being a boring married homeowner? How do I keep life exciting? And how do I continue to do often what I love best - travel, particularly while I'm still paying off my grad school fees and renovating a house? I haven't quite figured it out yet, so I'll have to check back in later. This, right here...this blogging, is one of those things I do that makes life a bit more interesting. I may do it less frequently, and my voice may have changed over the years I've been doing it, but it somehow helps me to touch base with that part of myself that is always forward looking, thinking about what may be still to come.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Turning Wine into Water

Today marks one year and one day at my current job (well, when I began this post a few weeks ago anyway). Last year, at my first staff meeting, I was called upon as a newbie and asked a few introductory questions. I'm not sure my new boss liked either of my answers. In addition to coming up with the Big Rocking Horse as my favourite South Australian tourist destination, I answered that I never make New Year's resolutions. It's true. I find it pointless to make a resolution simply because it's expected based upon the time of year, particularly since most of those resolutions deal with the same old tired things people typically aspire to but never achieve. I'm making an exception to my rule this year, however. Two things spurred me to action. One was seeing a magazine advertisement for FebFast, which is the idea to give up alcohol for the shortest month of the year. Similar to Movember, participants usually donate to register, and collect donations from supporters, but I'm too cheap for that, so I'll simply cheer myself on. I'm going to replace all that alcohol with water and see if it makes any difference to my newly acquired allergies and the frequent dehydration I feel living in South Australia. Would love if it made a difference to my waistline as well! The second thing that made me realise I needed to make some changes was finding out that a new friend was moving away. The truth is, Expats move more often than others, and since I hang out mostly with expats, some of the friends I make are not going to stick around. I'd grown a bit lazy and complacent, not getting around to planning a monthly Expats in Adelaide meet up, but realise it's a good idea, no matter how many friends you have, to keep meeting new people. So far, I've gone 4 days without any booze, and the 2nd yearly expat meet up is this week. Perhaps I'll call these my Australia Day resolutions since I'm a month late!