Monday, May 14, 2012

chasing the sun across the sky: thoughts on the last 2 years.

as i begin packing to leave australia for the third time, i've begun to reflect on the last bit of my life. it's been nearly two years since i graduated from sonoma state and began a new life of living from a suitcase and calling more places home than i could have ever imagined.
some quick statistics, since may 2010 i've:

  • packed and/or unpacked my life 24 times.
  • lived in 2 countries, 2 states, 8 cities, and 8 houses.
  • been on 12 flights and 4 roadtrips.
it's safe to say that i've been in a constant state of travel for almost 24 months and i've started to wonder, what has come from all of this? have i grown at all as a person? was a nomad lifestyle the right choice for my life? and what does that mean now? where do i go next? how do i even begin to write this post?

while i have no regrets, i think i'll start with the lows of this journey. i've encountered more challenges than i ever would have anticipated while traveling. when you move to another country, especially on your own, you're forced to face more things about yourself than you ever would have dreamed of and you're not always going to like them. i've struggled and wrestled with facets of myself, trying to decide where changes needed to be made and where i just needed to accept who i was. the first step towards growth is accepting your shortcomings so that you're able to make positive changes. it can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially in an unfamiliar culture. and heartbreak and loss? well those hurt just as bad in any country but when they follow back and forth, well it can just knock you off your feet. and don't even get me started on saying goodbye, it's just plain awful. but sometimes just trying to stand on your own two feet in your own hometown can feel the most foreign after living abroad. you feel like you've made all these changes and become this new person and then you go home and realize you're just as lost as ever. and as good as going back sounds, it's not always the answer. sometimes you gotta fall a little bit further in order to mend. and well, i've fallen. 

on a more positive note the last two years have brought bigger blessings that I could have ever dreamed of. i've met kindred spirits from all over the globe that i now carry in my heart. i met people who gave me hope and taught me what it's like to believe in yourself. i've had strangers allow me to live in their homes and become a new family for me. i got to spend 9 months with my best friend and he's taught me more about myself than i could have ever dreamed and i couldn't be more grateful for his presence in my life.  i've even met someone who not only changed my life via dawes, but slowly day by day is teaching me what love really is. i can't imagine my life without all the people that have been added in the last two years. i've also bit by bit found myself across these countries. i'm not there yet, but i'm starting to become the person i've always wanted to be. i've had ridiculous adventures and crossed things off my bucket list that i never knew i wanted to do. and i think most importantly i've found hope in the world and i've learned that no matter where you go, there will be good people and they'll change your life.

but what does that mean now? how do you go forward from all that? 
i guess to be completely honest, i have no idea. i don't know where this life is taking me and i don't know that i'm completely cured of my wanderlust. but there are a few things that i do know:
  • i'm happy.
  • i have a huge support system that will love me no matter what i do next.
  • i need to find work that is meaningful.
  • i have hope for my future.
and as much as it scares me i think that i need to unpack my suitcase, put away my maps and travel guides and find some roots for a while. i can't promise that i wont have an emergency bag packed and hidden in the back of my closet just in case, but i think that this nomad has finally found out that it's okay to be in one place for a while. and that good things can come from that as well.

i guess in closing i would say that i have mixed feelings about the last two years of my life, but i wouldn't change them for a second. and as hard as traveling can be and the toll that it takes on your life, finding that universal truth that there is goodness in all people and that love transcends any language, is worth it. and it's something that you will hold with you for the rest of your life. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

australia vs the states.

So now that we’ve been in Australia for about 2 months, we’ve begun to notice some differences between Aus and The States and things we prefer, so here are our lists! And worth noting this is actually compiled by BOTH of us, that’s right Ev is making his blog debut, you can guess who added what to the lists J

Things that AUS has/does that The States should:
  • Shopping carts: you know how at home you have to drive those like a manic to try and get them to turn? NOT HERE. They move from side to side, like spaceships, making it easy to avoid other customers and to entertain a 2 yr old.
  • Monte Carlos: best cookies ever. Enough said.
  • Sim cards: the phones run on sim cards, which means you can use the same phone for different carriers.  And its about 30 bucks for 300 dollars worth of credit a month, and if you recharge within the month it rolls over!
  • No added preservatives and sugars: from coke to orange juice, everything is healthier here. Love it.
  • No speed limits: “drive to prevailing conditions”. Best road signs. Ever.
  • Emily, Lys, and Kylan: enough said. Love my family.
  • Pumpkin: its in everything and its sooooo gooooood!
  • Lots and lots of Kombi vans, diesel powered cars, and LPG
  • Roundabouts, way more efficient than stoplights and grids.
  • Good Public Transportation in major cities
  • Utes, half car half truck, best of both worlds!
  • CLEAN cities: its amazing how much cleaner the cities are here, even big cities like Sydney are waaaaay cleaner than the states.
  • An industry that caters to backpackers and budget travelers allowing for lots of deals
  • Australian accents: sexy.  Not as much for women though.
  • Coorabella: they don’t make beauty like that or people like our new Australian family in the states.
  • Safe Hitchhiking, so far: never thought I would be one to stick my thumb out and grab a ride from a stranger but its super safe and easy here, plus you get to meet a lot of interesting characters.
  • Electrical outlet switches: there are switches on the outlets that let you turn that outlet off so you’re not wasting energy and you can’t electructe yourself.
  • Higher minimum wage, $14 dollars an hour!           
  • Healthcare, its free, and everyone gets it!
  • Less People, 21million people in a land the size of the US

Things that The States has/does that Aus should:
  • Chipotle (and In N Out, and MVP’s. WING STOP!. etc): man oh man we miss our food!
  • Internet: In the US we don’t have bandwidth limits on our internet access, In Australia they do.  This means if you have 6GB for internet access a month, you can look up as many web pages you want or download as much as you want as long as it isn’t more than 6GB of data, once you pass that they start charging you $10 bucks a MB or similar.  It’s like internet access plans for phones that we have in the states, just not for houses.
  • Starbucks: will someone mail me a venti carmel macchito, because starbs are scare out here.
  • Portions: I know we Americans are fatties but I love the huge portions that we get in the states.
  • Less death animals: dear god every thing in Aus can kill you!
  • Affordability of Food/Magazines: US is soooo cheap!
  • Soft Licorice: ironically the best soft licorice is Darell Lee an Aus company but you can find it more easily in the states and they give you more in the states.
  • Restaurant service: no tips in Aus means no service, miss that about the states for sure!
  • Our families: we miss you!!!!
  • Bri: nothing compares!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

the facts.

Okay lets be honest, blogging, not our thing, esp not evan’s hence me writing all the blogs so far. I could bore you with a million excuses, but I’ll just skip that part and get to this blog, that I will affectionately refer to as THE FACTS.

WHERE: currently we are staying at a gorgeous property called Coorabella, which is in Coorabell, in the hinterland of Byron Bay. It’s a BEAUTIFUL 100 acre property, and we are also working on the River House, which is another 100-acre property next door.

WHAT: so we work from around 8am-1pm 5 days a week and the rest of the time we have off to explore, relax, and hang out. So far we’ve hit a lot of bad weather, which has left us watching full seasons of TV shows and a LOT of movies. Work consists of various things, Evan does a lot of whippersnipping and working on the River House with the contractors, and I do a little bit of everything. From weeding, to cleaning, to planting, my tasks vary from day to day which keeps life here very fun!

WHO: the crowd here at Coorabella is fantastic, so let me fill you in on the main characters:
  • Raechel and Gio: this is their property(s) and they are FANTASTIC! Seriously just giving and generous people who never miss the opportunity to tell you how fantastic you are or to offer you a cup of coffee or just amaze you with the stories of their lives. They are gentle souls who continue to amaze us both with their kind hearts, hilarious personalities and wise sentiments. We honestly couldn’t ask for better hosts, and we know its just going to be down here from here.
  • Estelle: where to even begin! Estelle is this pint-sized fireball with the best French accent. She is living at the river house and started out here as a helpx-er 2 years ago and just never left. She constantly gives of herself and is just pure joy all the way around. I get to spend a lot of my time working with her and it’s just fabulous. She’s hilarious in her own unique way and makes the most beautiful creations out of flowers. J
  • There are a few more fantastic people (like Bradley, Corrine, Beau, and Jason to name a few) that I’ll mention in the next blog, but until then know that they are just as amazing. J

WHEN: well so far we’ve been here for just about a month, and we’re not sure when we’re leaving, but we do know that we want to head north and are checking into possibilities of places to go.

Other than that life in Australia is AMAZING. I don’t know if it’s the gorgeous scenery or the fantastic people we’re living with, but life has been a whole lot of perfect lately.

Peace, love, and coorabella.
Breea (and Evan… kinda.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

we suck at blogging.

okay. we really suck at this.
BUT new blog post soon.
with lots of information and details.

peace, love, and crappy weather.

Monday, September 13, 2010

how to spend a week waiting for evan.

what you'll need:
1 adorable nephew
2 amazing hosts
1 awestruck easily impressed american

so i flew out here one week before evan to spend some time with my sister emily, lys, and my nephew kylan, and i must say that i'm having a blast. i was a big jetlagged my first day but it was pretty easy to lose an entire day and switch over. jumped right into my auntie eeeah (the b and the r are silent) duties and babysat kylan on my first full day here. i learned quickly that i have NO idea what he's saying or asking for but if he REALLY wants it he'll go get it, so i've just been relying on that. i've also been educated in children tv, such as the wiggles, elmo, and a bunch of other really obnoxious shows, but it works magic on kylan so can't complain! Lys and i went explored the botanical gardens (the first 3 pictures) and it was BEAUTIFUL! kylan had a minor meltdown but we enjoyed seeing the sights. em took me to a street fair (last 2 pictures) that was pretty similar to something you'd see in the states but a lot of fun. especially chips on a stick, which were basically delicious round french fries on a stick. so gooooooood. there was also a petting zoo which included a baby deer, baby cows, goats, rabbits, birds, etc. way more epic than any petting zoo i've been to in the states. other than that i've been to the nearby beach, and visited some of lys's family at their beautiful home. its been great and tons of delicious food like russian orphans (pavolva) and lots of pumpkin (YUM!). i got to drive (other side of the road and other side of the car) which was a lot of fun but definitely a mental workout (stay left stay left!) i've also picked up a few aussie words: prim = stroller; jumper = jacket; lemonade = sprite; solo = lemonade. well i think that's all for now. picking evan up at the airport early tomorrow morning and we're off to our first homestay on the 23rd, which will hopefully mean much more exciting posts to come! :)

peace, love, and the wiggles,