We have been high up on a fence about winter plans this year. On one side there is Florida and the other, well, Australia?! With winter approaching faster than willing to accept, we had to jump one way and quick! There is no better time to travel than now since Cypress isn’t in school yet and a trip to Australia has been a life long dream for Ryne and I both!
After several months of undecidedness and trying to convince ourselves why we shouldn’t fulfill a lifelong dream, we chose the land down under! Life is too short, why not go? A few reasons why we were apprehensive…..
1) work. We could do office work, write grants, publications, or look for field work in the south. As you may know, we can’t do field work up here in the winter because everything is buried in snow! We could stay nestled in our cozy cabin where the only source of heat is a wood burning stove, but who wants to spend energy trying to keep warm when we have the freedom to wonder to a hot playground? It’s so great that nothing is tying us down here to endure the harsh and dismal winter the UP has to offer! Plus, we can count this trip as ‘work’ since we plan to study the local flora and fauna to prepare for the day we expand our business and we (Ryne) leads nature/bird tours there. Ryne is an excellent naturalist, the best I know, and he could be/will be a very successful nature guide, but he’s got to get his foot stuck in the door somewhere first!! Dream Big!
2) money. Australia will be an expensive trip, even if we do budget travel. I believe in quality of life over material goods though and experiences are priceless.
3) travelling 24 hours and making a long haul flight with a toddler in tow! Okay, so this really wasn’t an issue about Cypress (he’s a great, seasoned traveller), it was more or less stressing me out, as it would any sane mother! It will be tiring and stressful but totally doable and worth it in the end. Thanks to family travel blogs, I have found several sites that offer advice on long haul flights with toddlers (believe it or not, thousands of families go on big travel adventures with small people in tow. Sometimes for a year or more!).
4) family. Family really does mean the world to me and I didn’t like the thought of not being around for yet another Christmas season, particularly for grandparents sake! I know that making holiday memories with their grandson would mean a lot to them!
In the end we decided we can pack in enough office work this fall and maybe do some grant searching and writing in Australia ( yeah, right! That’s unlikely), we can afford it, but we might be living on a diet of peanut butter & jam sandwiches and whatever bush tucker (traditional aboriginal wild food) we can find. I can pull up my boot straps and come to terms with the idea of Cy being a tad uncomfortable on the flight, but chances are he will cope very well, sleep soundly and handle the flight better than us!! And as for family, who will dearly miss Cypress, we promise to make up this time to you in the future. When he’s older and doesn’t need Mom and Dad as much, we will drop him off for a week or maybe a summer!? 😉
Please follow us on our dream adventure to Oz, starting November 30, 2014!!!! We will be gone for 4 months!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”
– Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad