You’re doing WHAT?!

America by an Australian

Our vacations over the past 5 years have been spectacular. Europe, Japan, South-east Asia… they’ve all been fantastic in very different ways. One way they’ve all been similarly disappointing is that we always return home before I really understand the culture. I want the chance to understand another culture, and now thanks to my amazing wife, it looks like I’ll get it. After years of planning, we’re moving to Australia.

As we’ve told people about our move, inevitably we face the same few questions. Some are the obvious but good questions about our future living conditions like – Have you found a place to stay? How much is it to move your things? What are YOU going to do? (since Rema found the position), but others are questions like I might have asked years ago: 1) Why are you leaving/why would you leave? 2) How long until you move back (permanently)? 3) Aren’t you going to miss ____? Usually I like the person too much to answer how I really want, which would be 1) Why are you staying?/Why would I stay? 2) Chances are better that we’ll move somewhere else than to return to San Diego. 3) Of course! We’re still going.

Rema posted recently about how she feels like Sydney is home because I’ll be there. I couldn’t agree more that home is where she is, but there used to be more to the idea of home. I used to feel that home was also a physical location. A place in which all our most important life events happened, or at least where we met before or after those events to digest the magnitude. A place that didn’t change while life changed all around us. A solid object that remained comfortingly stable… a baby’s blanket for adults. This is how I was raised. Slowly, over the years, this idea has become less and less important. Since I went to college this will be my 16th move. 16. Before that I’d lived in two houses over the previous 12 years. Not only have we continued to move, but we’ve begun traveling whenever and wherever possible. I’ve changed. At some point, the comfort of staying here became uncomfortable. I used to imagine my entire life taking place in the bubble that is Southern California. Not only Southern California, but in a particular area of San Diego. Barbecues, football, shuttling kids to and from soccer practice, all within a 20 mile span along the coast of Southern California. Now I can’t. My exposure to the world outside of my snow globe has changed me in ways I can’t undo. I love my family, I love my friends. I won’t forget any of them, and I hope they don’t forget me…. but it’s time to go. I’m not sure whether my life will be a “success” in the conventional sense, but I’m positive that this move is exactly what I want with exactly who I want.

Rema already considers Sydney home. That’s not something I would claim, but as we’ve traveled and made plans to leave, at some point I stopped considering San Diego home. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel about another place how I used to feel about San Diego… and I’m okay with that.

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