My Facebook feed does that ‘on this day’ thing, where it pops up memories of events in previous years and lately its been peppering me with images from our trip round Oz in 2009. Each time I see a pic something in me goes ‘boom’ and I want to be back there. Here’s one of Danelle and Sam at Ubirr in Kakadu. Danelle is showing Sam the way to Arnhem Land – and possibly hoping he and his teddy would take off there because he was being a proper little turd that day! That’s where we were on June 8th 2009…
If I had a memory/memories I would choose to carry with me every day of our life as a family then it would be the 6 months we spent on the road travelling around this country. As soon as I see the images I think ‘we should do it again!’ It triggers one of those ‘feel good’ chemicals in my brain and I want to quit everything and hit the road once more in anticipation of an awesome experience.
Then I come back to reality.
It’s not that we couldn’t do it, because we probably could make it happen. But the reality comes in knowing that part of what made it special was that our kids were 8 & 6 and still loved hanging with us. We had a ball together. They are teenagers now and while we get on really well, the thought of 6 months away from friends cooped up with us just doesn’t inspire them like it did then. Now when we go on holidays the primary question is not ‘where are we going?’ but rather ‘who else will be there?’ and often ‘when will be home?’
And then there’s the reality that seeing somewhere twice is never the same as the first time you encounter it. 2009 was a trip of ‘firsts’, of saying ‘wow!’ often, of waking up in strange new places or sometimes just on the side of the road and unsure of what the day would hold. It was our first extended time of camping and figuring out how to live on the road. We’ve been to a big slab of this country now and seen it at its best, and I know that having revisited some places since, the magic of that first visit can’t be replicated. We’re experienced campers / caravaners now and it all seems less of an adventure now.
But how good is it to have memories – thoughts that spark feelings of good times – that remind us of how good life can be?
I sometimes have to remind myself that while on that trip we lost a job and $250K in a bad investment, because those are not the things that come back to me. What does is the beauty of our country, the joy of family travel and the fun of adventure.
I’m hoping that one day we will do it again, most likely just the two of us, but who knows, maybe our kids will take their kids and invite us to join them…
And just for fun here are a few random memories that still make me smile:
Our first ‘capital improvement’ to the camper. In Mission Beach we bought a portaloo and Danelle was excited.
We stayed with Ken & Leanne in inner city Brisbane and it was one long narrow driveway to back the van up.
A stormy night in Yambuk made better by this crazy slide
And I could keep going as I’m having another winter day off from retic, but that’ll do for now, or I really will want to hit the road again