A week today we board our final flight and begin our new lives in Melbourne. It’s rapidly approaching and the more I try to make this time last, drag it out and slow everything down the faster the days seem to be flying-by.

620 days to be exact and the countdown is on. This is monumental...oh my goodness we’re emigrating! Not visiting, not passing through but settling down, staying put and starting a brand new life in a new country.

It's unreal and kind of mindblowing. As you’d expect we’re up and down and all over the place. At times, I could burst with excitement, desperate to get there and get cracking with the next chapter. A moment later I’m in the depths of despair and getting in a tizz about being the last time that it’ll be our little team together. We’ve become such tight unit that I suffer separation anxiety when I nip out to the shops; I can’t even begin to imagine the four of us going our separate ways each morning.

Part of me longs to continue our long, lazy days mooching around the planet with just a rucksack and the next plane ticket in my hand. I love the freedom that brings, the possibilities, the lightness and the unhurried rhythm of our days. But life on the hoof also requires stamina and the chaos, spontaneity and upheaval can be hard going sometimes. We’re all craving a stable base, a home to call our own, and the lure of the school gates beckon, so it’s time to pack the passports away...well for awhile anyway...

This trip has changed us. We know what brings us joy, satisfaction and happiness and also what brings us guilt, stress, anxiety and regret. We take ourselves less seriously and are better at living in the moment. We’ve learnt that you need very little to live a happy life. I feel like I’m more “me” than ever, and that life is better than before.

So here comes the interesting part….staying true to all this back in the “real” world. It’s easy enough to stop worrying when you have an abundance of time and sunshine on your hands. When your watch is redundant, and you often have to think twice to remember what day of the week it is.

It’ll no doubt be harder to hold onto this new identity, this new version of “us” when the pace of hectic urban life kicks in, we have demanding routines to stick to and responsibilities to juggle. That the whole money can’t buy you happiness thing and all the vanities, consumerism and materialism I thought I’d shed will come rushing back with one sniff of the H&M sale...

After so long on the move stopping and staying put will take a bit of getting used to. We’ve grown accustomed to the constant excitement, exhilaration and novelty that travel brings, and I know a the day will come when the daily grind gets us down and I long to fling our stuff in a bag and head off on our next adventure.

But on the flipside I can’t wait for that delicious feeling of being settled, the comfort in familiar faces and the joy of setting down roots again. I realise how blessed we are to have this incredible life in Melbourne to return to. Where so much of the hard work has already been done, we have a circle of friends waiting, and we can find our feet so quickly. So now all that remains is to find our winning plan for the future so we can make enough money to live on while steering clear of the 9-5.

It’s all a whole lot easier to get our heads around it if we think about it not as the end, just the beginning of the next chapter. Here’s to sticking around, to possibilities, new beginnings and our new life together. I’m mostly excited, a tiny bit terrified, but mostly excited.

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