Our Great Australian Adventure: 8 Months Lived, 4 Months Left

Today. August 24. We have been in Australia for 8 months. 8 months today. 8 months ago we landed in Australia and began one of our greatest adventures, leaving family and friends, leaving our life, to live and work in Australia for 1 year.

Today. It’s a strange reality not preparing for the start of a new school year. This time last year we were easing into the marathon of work. Dropping in to the school a few hours each day to organize, schedule, plan, meet, and review before the next week of official return to work began. Additionally, Scott was also organizing and preparing his woodshop classroom for the Aussie teacher who would take over his job in 4 months. This time last year we were gearing up to leave for a full year in Australia. We purchased our one-way flights. We were anxiously waiting for our visa approval to go through. We were cleaning and packing up the house. We were reviewing to do lists and checking them twice, thrice! It was a stressful, anxious, busy, but exciting time! This time last year we were revelling in our last two true seasons of colourful autumn and a cold, snowy winter. The winter packing would definitely be the last item on our list. This time last year we began the countdown to Australia. That was one year ago.

Same time this year we’ve settled into a life in coastal Lennox Head. In 8 months we’ve made a tribe of friends and enjoyed hosting family and friends visiting from Canada, with a few more still to come. Scott is halfway through term 3, week 5 of 10, with no PD days or long weekends to break up the 10 weeks of teaching. I’m casual teaching at 4 different schools. When not subbing my day consists of some combination of these activities: yoga, an hour at the gym, a couple of hours of writing, reading, facetime with family or friends, volunteering at the primary school, walking on the beach, working on a photobook, researching a weekend activity or planning the next term break vacation. It's been a good life in coastal Lennox Head, different than prairie life in Alberta. After 8 months lived, we are starting the countdown to Canada; returning to our home, our work, our family, our life.

With 4 months left the excitement and stress is different as we countdown to Canada. We don’t have an entire house to pack up, just a condo to clean and tidy, and a vehicle to sell. We’ll return with the 4 suitcases we arrived with, plus a didgeridoo. Looking back on all the things we’ve done to get the full Aussie adventure we realize we’ve done a lot! We’ve travelled this great continent coast to coast and to the heart of its desert core. With 4 months left we’re counting down weekends and looking at what remains on our Aussie Adventure list and how to fit it in. With 4 months left it suddenly feels like there isn’t enough time to see it all. There’s just so much more we want to do! However, we’ve also come to the realization that traveling to Australia isn’t as far or as difficult as we first thought. We can always return for more Aussie adventures - and we have plans to do so in the future!

Same time this year the tickets home are purchased bringing an end date, a finality to this Australia teacher exchange adventure. 130 days before we return to Canada. Before we board that plane and say goodbye to the land Down Under we still have 4 months left...our Australian Adventure is not over yet!