So, here I am. Eleven months since my last post. It’s been a quiet year for me writing-wise. If I’m being honest, my heart just hasn’t been in it. Even journaling has been a struggle, and I’ve kept a journal since I was a pre-teen.
Chris and I had ambitious plans to blog multiple times per week during our South America trip last January and February. It lasted for just a few weeks. After finding out about my Mom’s breast cancer recurrence, writing about our experiences felt both frivolous and like a Herculean task. So, I stopped. I did my best to stay present during our travels and am working on it in my day-to-day life. Anyone with anxiety knows how hard this can be.
But, by the grace of God and my Mom’s health care team, her Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) is stable. The path she has been forced to walk over the past year is total garbage. Breast cancer and MBC can suck it. I can only hope I have half of her strength, grace, faith and honesty as I move through my own life. And that researchers (or AI) will find a cure.
Coming home and postponing our plans to relocate overseas to spend time with my Mom, our families and our friends was the best decision we could have made. Chris and I had wonderful people come into our lives over the past nine months at home. From our Wednesday night trivia crew to nonprofit leaders in environmental advocacy during my stint at Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, you’ve made our lives undeniably richer. The bonus pontoon rides, cabin weekends, North Shore hikes, brunches and happy hours is what makes this place home. Minnesota friends and family? We love you. So much.
Australia: Take Two
And so, our Australia re-set is in process and we’re headed for Melbourne. I’m currently writing in the one room in our entire house that isn’t a chaotic conglomeration of half-packed boxes. A giant thank you to my sister (Laura), brother-in-law (Tony), and brother-from-another-mother (Rock) for babysitting our Minnesota-home possessions while we’re away. We’re shipping two boxes of clothes and carrying the rest of our possessions with us on the airplane. It’s sort of freeing in a weird way, shedding stuff. I’m also grateful beyond belief for our Aussie friends Krissy and James who are housing us in Melbourne for the first few weeks while we (fingers crossed) get jobs and find our own flat. Whose anxiety is through the roof about interviewing in a new country? This lady.
Before we settle into life in Melbourne, Chris and I get to spend a week on Australia’s east coast. Two of my favorite people on earth, Emily and Mark, are embarking on an Australia trip of their own. Chris and I arrive in Brisbane a day before they do! Our good friend Tanya got us tickets to the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, a 12-team tournament on the day we land. Catching up with her and watching Rugby is the perfect way for us to stay awake and beat the jet lag. After the weekend in Brisbane, we’ll travel to the Gold Coast to hang out with Emily and Mark on the beach. I’ve been doing a little research and for sure plan to visit Lamington National Park for a tree-top canopy walk and a hike to some of the regions waterfalls. (Thanks, 2 Aussie Travelers for the awesome post). The park is in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world.
Starting our Aussie adventure with our dearest friends? It’s serendipity.
Chris and I do plan to write about the rest of our time in Peru and the Galapagos Islands. We also plan to write about all of our Aussie adventures. We hope you’ll keep up with us here and on Instagram. See you in Brisbane!