This morning I took my cousin, who has stayed with us for 18 days, and Josh to the airport.
My cousin is going home to Denmark and Josh is going back down to Sydney and Wollongong to finish off our old house, hand it over to the realestate and drive back up to Brisbane with the rest of our stuff in a van.
Saying goodbye was not easy.
Now, the girls and I will be hanging out in our new home alone for atleast 4 days. No biggie. Or, to be honest it is a bit daunting. We’ve been living in a kind of bubble the past week. Tired and busy but at the same time excited to be in our new home and first and foremost, we’ve been together for 24/7. This is the first time I have to be on my own here in Brisbane – with the kids, that is.
To play ‘single parent’ for several days is always a challenge – hats and glasses and shoes and make-up off for those who does it all-day-everyday. Seriously. You guys are legends! But to do it in a house that is still nowhere near an established home and in a brand new town and neighbourhood – that is going to be exciting. Lets call it that. Ohh, and ad a very tired, pregnant mum and two tired and emotionally overstimulated girls to the mix. “Oh, dear!” as Mummy Pig would put it.
I have already made some pretty decent plans for us, I’d say, so we should be sweet We’re going to the pool, the skatepark and the playground(s). But of course. And we’re going to IKEA to eat meatballs, to Bunning’s to buy a plant or two and will probably also have dinner at McDonald’s. Because surviving mentally is more important than eating a balanced diet. Right?
So yeah, we’ve got it sorted. It will be fun……………………right?
I have been so very excited to be able to tell you guys these news – there has been a lot of practical stuff and paperwork and what-not that had to fall into place, but we can finally make it official that we are moving to Brisbane. Next week!
The butterflies are going nuts in my stomach as I write this. We are leaving the house and the area that has been our home for the past 4.5 years to move 1000 km. away – obviously saying goodbye to the well-known and safe environment surrounding us to say hello to a big, unknown city and, with that, new opportunities, adventures and hopefully an exciting future.
Two weeks ago all this was still nothing but a flimsy, dreamy idea. Then we went to an open house while on our weekend away in Brisbane – two days later we had applied and gotten accepted for our new, coming home. Just like that!
Is it daunting? Hell yeah! But in that good kinda daunting way, you know.
So, why do we do it?
The short version is that we need a change and ever since I came to Australia I have dreamed of living in the climate they have in Queensland, therefore it’s been obvious that we should look north.
The longer version is a bit more complex. We moved to Wollongong 4.5 years ago and we have never really settled in. We feel like we have definitely given it a fair chance here. 4.5 years is a long time, when you are not feeling at home and it doesn’t seem to get any better any time soon.
We also miss having some more opportunities close by. I miss the buzz of the city. I miss parks to walk in. I miss paths to run on. I miss being able to walk places. I am sooooo sick and tired of having to get into our car every time we want to leave the house.
Our new house is a cute old Queenslander in the middle of Kangaroo Point. Kangaroo Point is quite central in Brisbane and we will be able to walk or ride our bikes to several parks, to the river and even to the CBD if need be.
It will be sad and very emotional to say goodbye to the close friends and awesome neighbours we do have here, but we already have some good(yet new) friends in Brisbane, so we will not be completely alone in the beginning. I also have a pretty good gut feeling that we will build up a network there a bit easier and faster than we’ve been able to here. No matter what, we will definitely have each other and we know that we are pretty damn good at getting through ups and downs and everything in between together, so I don’t actually worry (too much) about it all – but yes, there is A LOT of practical stuff that has to be sorted very fast when you decide to move 1000 km away within two weeks. In case you were wondering 😉
My biggest worry is, of course, the girls. How will they cope? How will a big move affect them?
Today Abby went to preschool where they were learning about emotions and feelings. The teacher asked them, what made them feel happy. Some answered ice cream, others answered presents. Abby answered Queensland! Maybe I cried a bit when I read that (on the preschool app). Maybe.
I hope and believe Queensland will make all of us happy!
Talk, talk, talk. We are incredibly good at talking about all the awesome things we wish to do with our kids – unfortunately, we are less good at actually doing it. Something to work on there, for sure.
Hiking, for example. Ever since Abby was a teeny tiny human we have talked about all the amazing hikes we wanted to go on with her. Hey, fair enough, we have been hiking with her, but not nearly as much as we would like to. Especially after Billie has joined our little tribe the frequency of our hiking adventures has stagnated rapidly.
Then the talk continued. I started talking about getting a backpack carrier to carry Billie in. She has never been a huge fan of being in a regular baby carrier. Thinking back we should have gone all-in on slings and ditched the Ergo carrier from the beginning. How annoying is it to get your kid into the Ergo when you’re alone? Or is that just me? Not a fan here. Anyways, I had a hunch that she would be more comfortable in a backpack carrier and I was right. Originally I wanted to get it for our holiday in Thailand in January/February. Well, that didn’t happen. And boy, do we regret that now – because we have just learned how good such a carrier is.
A couple of weeks ago I was doing some Flybuys window shopping and I found this Phil & Teds baby carrier in there. It looked pretty decent AND we had enough points to buy it. Instantly redeemed.
So, a week later we received our brand new Phil & Teds Escape child carrier at our front door. Two days later it was time to test it out.Our first real hike in like forever was a huge success. We chose an easy track suited for beginners and children called the Brokers Nose Summit Traverse. For any locals reading along we went to the top of Mount Ousley and stopped at the truck stop on the south bound side. From there the trail goes North-ish into the bush and since the trails are non-marked it was a tiny bit exciting if we were actually on the right track. I must admit that I was slightly doubting our route at some points, but we managed to find our picninc destination/turning point where we indulged in food and snacks as if we hadn’t eaten for days…We had lunch just before we left home. One gets hungry from all that hiking, I tell ya.Billie and Abby were little troopers on the entire trip. On the actual hike Billie was mainly in the carrier – which she loved. She, however, did let Abby try it out for a little while – she loved it too. Actually, she loved it so much that she refused to walk any longer when we told her she had to let Billie get her seat back. She just sat down and refused to move any further.At this point we had walked about 200 meters from our picnic/turning point. It seemed like a very long 2 km we had left to walk. Then something got to her and she, literally, ran and laughed the entire way back to the car. At one point she ran so fast that we lost her for a moment. That girl sure can run. We got some decent exercise on our way back and to Josh’s big pleasure we put some meters behind us – fast.
It was a hot day and when we started hiking it only got warmer and warmer. Good thing we brought a lot of water – to drink and to splash in our face when things got hot.We didn’t have too many expectations to begin with and basically just went with the flow at the pace of the girls. We definitely didn’t get disappointed. The track is not very long – we walked around 4.5 km. in total – but it is very varied with cliffs to climb, open areas with breathtaking views of Wollongong and if it hadn’t been so dry lately there would even have been creeks and small waterfalls to splash in too. We can definitely recommend this little trail if you are looking for an easy, yet fun hike in the Wollongong area.There are bush trails everywhere in our local area and we have no real excuse for not going exploring them anymore. So, just bring on those bush walk adventures. Bring on kangaroos. Bring on waterfalls. Bring on rain forests. Bring on scenic views. Bring on rock climbing. Bring on fun family times.
Bring on tired kids after long, active days outside!
In four days I am flying to Denmark with the girls – without Josh. I cannot wait – but frankly, it is a bit stressing to be inside my head these days. My mind and body is filled to the brim with excitement, anticipation and a pinch of anxiousness. Most of all, I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends. To get home.
LEAVING DADDY BEHIND and THE DECISION TO FLY SEPARATELY
If everything goes to plan, Josh will join us in Denmark in late June, after his exams are over and he can get time off work, and eventually travel back to Australia with us on the 25. of July.
So, not only will I have to travel alone with the girls, it also means that we will be in Denmark without him for around five weeks. Five weeks where the girls won’t see their dad. From my perspective, that’s a very long time for such young children to be separated form a parent and I really have had to put up the cons and pros of going through with this.
It took quite a lot of consideration but in the end the pros exceeded the cons and I am now positive that we have made the right decision to travel separately.
Us being away will give Josh peace and quiet to study for his exams without having the girls (or me) constantly craving for his attention. It can be rather stressful for both him and me during exam periods and this will make it easier on us.
Furthermore, the girls and I will have enough time in Denmark to see most of the people we wish to see and to play tourists for a while, but we will also get the opportunity to just ‘be’. To settle in. To relax. And most importantly to build relationships between the girls and their Danish family. It takes time – and we have it.
I cannot wait to see them connect with my family again.
FLYING ALONE WITH TWO SMALL CHILDREN
Me traveling alone around the world is not a first. I’ve done it solo and I have done it with Abby when she was one year old and just before she turned two. So I am basically a pro, right? Well, as I got back from the last trip I swore to myself, that I would never. EVER. fly alone with small children again. Jup!
And here I am. About to venture out on the longest flight I have ever been on and I am bringing with me not one but two young children.
As Abby says: ‘It’s okay to change your mind, if you want to’.
My wise child.
Life happened. I got stronger and I also got weaker. So I changed my mind.
I have been incredibly homesick this past year. I really miss spending time with people that I know – and who knows me. I miss fitting in. I miss not being the odd one out, as I still feel here sometimes. I miss eating Danish food. I miss speaking my language.
I miss seeing my children playing with my nieces and nephews. I miss being able to relax. I miss letting my guard down and just being my parents’ daughter. I miss having my sister around. Hey, I even miss my brother’s humor.
I miss it all so much that I have build up the strength and the will to embark on this trip alone with the girls.
I am already very focused on the goal. I know it will be all worth it in the end. That feeling, that I know I will have once I see my dad in Copenhagen Airport, is the best. I seriously imagine the relief and satisfaction I feel can be ranked somehow alongside finishing a marathon or an ironman. This is my current ironman – and I will finish (you can track my race on flightlocater.com).
ALL THE PRACTICAL STUFF
I prefer flying to Denmark with Thai Airways because their route to Copenhagen via Bangkok is one of the fastest, and because I know Bangkok Airport in-and-out by now. Besides, I have only experienced really good service with them, and I also appreciate that they allow 30 kg. free luggage and not only 23 kg. as many other airline companies do.
Unfortunately, I was not able to get the tickets with Thai Airways that I wanted so instead I booked with Qatar Airways. I have never flown with them before, but the total flight time on their route to Copenhagen via Doha is almost the same as with Thai Airways. However, the first flight is 15 hours long(!) That is the longest one stretch flight I have ever done. Gasp! The good thing about it is that once the 15 hours are over, the remaining flight to Copenhagen is only 6.5 hours – no biggie.
Qatar Airways also have 30 kg. free luggage. It seriously means a lot when we previously have brought home a toddler bike, a coffee machine, coffee mugs, a lamp, books and other random, heavy stuff that surprisingly fits in normal suitcases.
We are flying out of Sydney at 9.30 pm. so it is mainly a night flight, which means the girls hopefully will sleep for several hours out of the 15. Fingers crossed Billie will get a separate seat so even I can dose off for an hour or three without a rather big toddler on my lap. If dreams come true.
No matter what happens – time will pass and we will eventually reach Doha. When we do I will definitely be very tired, but I will also be very, very happy to have come so far. And the other passengers probably wish they are not catching the same connecting flight as us.
THE LAST PREPARATIONS and THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
Now, all the packing is left to do. I have not started yet. Never change a winning team, so I will probably do that on Monday. My birthday is on Sunday and we will celebrate a bit over the weekend. Maybe even go for a birthday surf in some whitewater somewhere, if I am lucky.
I will also have to do a little bit of shopping to store up on snacks and entertainment for the trip – and before I know it we will be ready for take-off…