Full Circle

29 Aug

It was only a few weeks a go that we were celebrating our first wedding anniversary but today marks another milestone for it was a year a go that we landed in Australia and woke up to that glorious day, walking through Sydney, roaming through the Botanical Gardens and catching (for me) the first ever glimpse of that most iconic of scenes: the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Now they are two landmarks, which we see on a weekly, if not daily basis but they are never the less impressive for it.

Our year in Australia has to be one of the most memorable ever, having seen so much, travelled to many new places, made some great friends and of course, there have been the inevitable bumps along the way: those moments when you miss friends and family in the UK so much, when things haven’t gone quite so well and you wonder if you made the right decision. It has been a year of frustrations, sadness and scary moments but more importantly one of adventures, excitement, new discoveries and lots of laughs; the good times have certainly outweighed the bad and we have got through it together.

The time has gone so quickly as we remember so vividly that first day in our ‘new home’ but then looking back to that day in the airport, saying our farewells to family, it really feels as if a lifetime of things have changed and happened.

James has started his new job, encountered the expected obstacles and frustrations of transitioning to a new way of doing things but has also achieved a huge amount and been given opportunities, which will stand him in good stead for the future. We have moved into our new home, started up from scratch and (finally) we unpacked all those dozens of boxes and found a home for all those military books! We have been to five of the Australian states together, camped around New Zealand and also enjoyed hosting our own visitors. We made a fantastic group of new friends, who have also been a big support during moments of homesickness and also there to celebrate the birthdays, successes and difficult decisions. I started doing something I always thought would be a pipe dream and have now written over 70,000 words of a novel and we have got through the biggest test: the months of James being deployed and the weeks of him being away at sea.

On the day we arrived, it was 22 degrees and the end of Winter, today, the sun is shining and the high is 24 degrees. Spring has definitely sprung in the last few days and we find ourselves ready to start our second year here and begin the cycle again – not from a hotel room, living out of a suitcase, but from the comfort of our home, feeling quite settled but still wondering what this next year may bring.

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