Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How Our Vision Changes as We Travel

Moving from one side of the planet to another means a lot of things. 

It means, quite literally, the longest recorded flight on the books, which is really all I can say about that, mostly thanks to Ambien and her sweet, sweet warm blanket of uncompromised slumber. 

It means weeks, if not months, of wading through 20 plus years of combined households and definitively placing every single item in one of three bins: water container, long-term storage or donate. 

The status of those three bins, you may be wondering, just as I am? The water container still has not arrived even though we are well past month number 2 of this 36 month adventure. We've been through all seven stages of death with our unforlorn water container, now joking that our belongings are at the bottom of the ocean next to Leo and his doorframe to nowhere. The long-term storage goods and wares were sent off to a local long-term storage facility a few weeks after Halloween of last year, so please don't ask me what I am storing long-term. That part of my life seems like a dream. As does the amount of trips I took to load my car with what I thought was treasured and useful belongings (mostly my clothes and accessories) to the chosen charities and donation centers. Those things, what I did and how I lived and loved those things, are now but a blurry memory in my minds eye. 

My memory, in general, is a lot like my vision. Eerily similar to how my own vision is morphing from myopic to presbyopic as I age, I am losing sight of what I once thought was a reality within my own reach, or in the very least, surrounding me. 

Now, more often, I find myself in a place of discomfort and curiosity in what could be, but without the crisp edges of focus on things closer to me.  It's altogether unsettling and romantic as can be. I find myself ping-ponging between enjoying isolation and investigation on so many levels one minute, but then desperately lonely and out of sorts the next; looking for familiar scents, places, faces and experiences. I see my child endure the same and am reminded to focus on her; next to me, holding my hand, asking to climb into my lap or laughing at something foreign that would certainly only happen in Australia. It's then that I realize how lucky I am to get to experience this, as unpleasant and unrelenting as this amount of change can be. How lucky for a grown-up to get to endure a child-like lens on life a second time around? To relocate, to age, to grow up; they all mean the same thing. Our vision matures. 

The thing I have learned about relocating to the other side of the planet is that relocation does not mean that everything stops or that everything changes. In month 2, relocation to me means adjusting to a vision that is entirely blurry; equal parts frightening and exhilarating and 100% exhausting. 

Oh, and one last thing. Bacon. Bacon is not bacon in Australia. And baseball?!?!

 Don't get me started on baseball. 


Monday, February 8, 2016

A Clear Need For More Diversity in Australia

So the good news is that I have finally memorized my Australian phone number. 


The bad news is that Australia does not have Twizzlers. Which means I am very close to sending a resume and business proposal to the Twizzler head office back in the US and make a case for why they need to expand into the land down under in a big way. 

I realize the hilarity of this scenario. Australia. Australian licorice. Perhaps Twizzler decided to strategically avoid this market due to magic and wizardy of the unknown Australia licorice underworld; a black market, dare I say. I mean, I KNOW we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. It's the wonderful world of Oz. Land of cricket, rugby, football, spiders, ants and snakes. All that jazz. But seriously, where have all the Twizzlers gone?

And more importantly, how to bring them here. It's not as easy as bringing sexy back. But I think it may be worth it. If there is anything that a land full of one thing (black licorice) needs most, it's Twizzlers, or ya know, diversity. I would probably settle on my luggage arriving from America, now that I have been in my host country for more than a month. But Twizzlers would be nice, too. 

Also, I would enjoy cars that drive on the right side of the road. Because now I can do both. I drug my feet at first. I whined. I complained. I was super afraid that I was going to kill my whole family or another carful of decent human beings. But then I charged through all the discomfort and made it to the other side. Now I'm a little embarrassed that I resisted so much. It's not a perfect relationship, but every day gets a little easier. But when I'm tired, eating, drinking, chewing gum, reaching for a pen, trying to scratch my calf, checking to see if I forgot something or something just fell over and is spilling around in the back of the car, well I gotta admit, I default to driving on the right side of the road. And let's face it. Rarely am I simply just driving around, paying attention to the road like a grown ass adult should do, not trying to multitask or daydream or maybe take a little extra mental time for myself. Which means that I now celebrate being able to chew gum AND drive at the same time. 

Which is not much to celebrate, I realize, but if there is one thing I am learning in this adventure 9000 miles away from my comfort zone, it's to celebrate the small stuff. 

Like Twizzlers.