Adventure junkie expat Aussie setting out on a new life as full-time writer / domestic goddess.

Born and bred in Queensland Australia but now living in Ireland after a serial travel addiction. Met an amazing man here and ended up staying. Both of the boys were born here and have a weird accent with touches of Aussie, English, Irish and even Spanish from my mum.

To quote Jane Austen: If adventures do not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.

So I finished my degree and like so many young Aussie's headed overseas on my Grand Tour and a little like one of my literary heroes Percy Bysshe Shelley never really made it home.

Started blogging a few years ago but after getting hijacked by a hacker and the pain of taking down the site, went back to my old school journal by the bed.

Now that I am writing full-time and the laptop is superglued to me, I thought I would take up where I left off.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The art of timeless travel.

It has taken me most of my life but I think that I finally might have worked out the important things in life. Real joy and happiness does not come from the things you own or even the job you do. The last ten years slogging it out, working ridiculous hours, wearing designer suits and a fancy title, provided money to buy lots of things we did not need, but left us bereft of one of our most precious gifts - Time. Time to be with family and friends, time to write, time to travel.

This is the year of timelessness - allowing myself the luxury of time. Time to spend with my two amazing boys, Ben 7 and Sam 5, doing lots of mummy activities - baking cakes, painting pictures, reading books, treaching them to swim and play piano as well as just be together. The most important lesson I have to teach them is the one I have just learnt. Allow yourself to just be. It is good to push yourself and want to do anything you set out to do to the best of your ability, as long as it is not at the cost of living your life.

It took nearly losing my Aidan to brain surgery to realise that we had become so busy working, paying bills and being parents that we devoted very little time to being a couple. This year, I am allowing myself the time to be a great partner, to just be together - not any enforced, weird date nights or allotted mummy and daddy time - but just chilling out together, maybe reading, going for a walk, playing with the kids, asking questions about what he wants from life and from the future. The answers have changed for me since we first asked the questions of each other, so probably have for him too. It also means taking the time to challenge some of his answers and help him to step outside of his comfort zone - to help him defeat the mental lethargy left behind by his illness. More challenging than you might think. Do you decide to address past hurts (the ones you were too busy or felt ill equipped to handle at the time) or draw a line in the sand and agree to go forward always into the future. Is there a right answer?

Time for family and friends. Time to remember the people who supported us through the dark times and kept the very fabric of our little unit together and more importantly kept me from losing my mind. No longer will time be the enemy. I will find time to be there for these guardian angels. After five years away, I am packing up the tribe and heading home to Sunny Queensland to be with my sister as she has her first child and meet my brother's gorgeous daughter's and the boys amazing cousin's, Amy and Isabel. The last time we were home was for George and Emma's wedding in Palm Cove. So many kisses and cuddles saved up for my cute nieces and cannot wait to see how the two little angels interact with my own two monsters. While on the subject of little angels, I am so excited that I will finally meet Sophie and Oliver, the babies of my very good friend and although she does not know it yet, the inspiration for one of the main characters in my screenplay, who I also have not seen in five years.

On the subject of my screenplay, this has been my biggest treat to myself - the time to write. For years I thought I would be able to both work and write - who was I kidding! When someone is paying you to do a job, they own a part of your soul - the part that gets to decide which hours of the day belong to them. This means that the writer inside gets the time that is left. In my experience, that time was full of exhaustion, crankiness and rare and precious mummy time. Very little got written and what did was generally best used in place of 3 ply in the smallest room in the house. Wrote a few travel articles and a few research pieces for banking and finance trade publications but the dream screenplay did not get beyond the planning stage. Did some comms work for other people but while this does officially count as writing it brings no joy because it is on the clock. Now, I get to write when I want to and more importantly, what I want to. Still struggling to bed down the routine that will turn this from a hobby into the ideal vocation but happier than ever with how I fill my days and feel brave that I gave myself permission to make it a priority. The strangest thing is that I have had more story ideas in the space of 6 months than the preceding 6 years.

The biggest sacrifice of the past decade was the way we travelled. Both Aidan and I travelled quite a lot with work and because neither of us have family here in Ireland, our family holidays were either to Sunderland or Australia for family events rather than relaxation or experience and adventure. Gone were the days of old when we went on lavish adventure holidays or simply rocked up to the nearest airport with a packed bag and bought a ticket to the next destination within budget. I really missed the freedom of having the time to travel, the time to pack up and go at the last minute, the unscheduled time to get a phone call and be able to meet a friend within hours even if they were in another country.

Kids and school mean that we won't get that back in full, but certainly we are making it a priority to travel without purpose and for pure unadulterated joy. The dream is to knock this recession on the head so we can sell up here in Ireland and take the kids out of school for a year to travel the globe. To rediscover the art of timeless travel. To go without a strict schedule, just a rough idea of places we want to experience and an agreement  to be distracted by shiny things and interesting people. To go where the winds may take us.

1 comment:

  1. A year of timelessness sounds perfect .. life can sometimes throw unexpected, unwanted & scary events in our direction that most certainly change us forever & consequently change our perspective on life. Suddenly our view of what's important & what's not important changes also .. I know because I too have walked this road!
    I am pleased to hear that your Aiden is going to be alright, I had no idea he had been so sick. And as for Aunty N, I had no knowledge of that also .. I am so sorry to hear that this happened to her & to you as a family. Terrible stuff!