Soul in Wanderlust



photo by Andrew Reid

As 2015 kicks off, I have one target that has consumed me since January 3, 2012: Australia (and if I’m completely honest, it was even prior to that date, but that was the date of my flight back to the US from my 3 weeks in Australia.) While I was on the flight back to the US, my friend Heather said that I seemed sad, and sad was not even close to describing what I was feeling.

I felt like I was leaving home.

There are places that feel like home the moment you step foot in them and I had never understood that until the moment I landed in Key West circa 2000 (if my memory is correct) and I really never thought I would have that feeling again until the moment I stepped off the plane in Australia. When I say you feel at home, it’s the moment the soul let’s out a sigh of relief. (Imagine yourself on a vacation you have desperately wanted and worked hard for.) My soul felt at peace and at home.

I knew Australia was always one of those places I wanted to visit and that the 3 week trip would change my life, but I  never imagined it would have changed my life the way it has.

<— This quote sums up Australia for me.

It had always been in my mind but like a far off dream. Insert Dec 2009 and the death of my mother made me realize life is short. Real fucking short. I lived 2010 in a blur, not necessarily a healthy blur, more like a constant state of alcohol blur, but I finally got my shit together and let myself heal. When 2011 rolled around, I made Australia #1 on my list of things to check off that old bucket list. I set the ball in motion one step at a time. Like getting a traveling visa and once that was done and cleared, a plane ticket, a place to stay when I landed, and then a camper van to scurry around in. December 2011, I was in Australia. It was 3 glorious and way too short weeks for me. Moments seemed to stretch into lifetimes that were never ending and the memories seared themselves into my soul and spirit. For every moment I spent in Key West with my soul at rest, Australia matched it. I was at peace.

The moment I set foot back in the US, I started working on how to get my booty back to Australia and had plans to get back there by December 2012. Life, well, it laughed at my plans and threw a giant wrench into them and I saw the target slip out of my sight. From half of November 2012 through the first four months of 2013, I felt that Australia was just so out of reach, but it was my saving grace. I might have been knocked off course, but god damnit, it was my dream and no one was taking that from me and it kept me alive through the cold months. 2013 passed and so did 2014.

I haven’t gone one day since 2012 without thinking about Australia. It has consumed my thoughts and it’s time to get back there.

I want to expatriate to Australia. If you know me, I would drop everything at this very moment and be on the next flight to anywhere in Australia leaving my US self behind.

The reality is, I’m a bit afraid of failing on the dream…mostly, what if I get to Australia and I can’t get a work visa and then my soul asks, what if you get to Australia and you do get a work visa and then my brain, being the snarky ass it is asks, what if you get to Australia and you get attacked by a chimpanzee?

What if…

Two words that will paralyze or push one forward.

What if…

My what ifs: I don’t have enough money, a place to live, a job, a workable plan, and the heart breaking of what if…what if I can only stay there for only a few months and not for a lifetime.

What if…

My what ifs: I fail to inspire and motivate my oldest niece to live the life she wants for herself by not living the life I want for myself.

What if…

And then Jimmy Buffett spoke to me: “It’s a strange situation, a wild occupation, living my life like a song.”

The music of Jimmy Buffett has always inspired me. I could even say I blame him for igniting my love Australia when he mentioned “the songline of the Aboriginals/dreaming tracks” in a song, a book, or interview I read as a teen. At the young age, having no clue as to what that meant, I looked up the meaning of songline and fell in love. “The Wino and I Know” has always been one of my favorite Buffett songs because of the lyrics. My soul has always connected with it on so many levels and today it is my reminder to go where I want to be and to not give up getting there“Back to the island, honey, back to the sea; Back to the only place that I want to be. And the Wino and I know the joys of the ocean, like a boy knows the joys of his milkshake in motion. It’s a strange situation, a wild occupation, Living my life like a song.”