Wednesday, February 20, 2013

River Dreaming - Travel

 As I look over my scheduled calendar for 2013, it seems I am in for a year of airports and living out of a suitcase. While it's mostly work related travel, I do hope to add a few more stamps to our passports at the end of the year for a special little treat. For now it's Canberra (next week), then Cairns, then Melbourne, then Sydney, then Brisbane, then Cairns, then Sydney - that's up until August anyway. It may not sound like much to the seasoned traveller, but living remote means that I have 400Km to travel before I reach my nearest domestic or international airport. Normally that means a small plane flight or a long drive south before any of the 'real' travel begins. Certainly doesn't leave much time for visiting the River Nest for the first half of the year. 

It breaks my heart to wave goodbye to my boys at the little old Cooktown airstrip, but at the same time I believe it's healthy for a mama to have a moment to herself, although there is a fine line when trying to find the balance. This year though, Caleb & Ba'il will hopefully be joining me on more than a couple of trips away, which settles my nerves a little because I've had years of travelling solo for work and leaving the boys at home. The reality of lonely nights in a hotel room is all too hard to think about until it happens, as it's night times that I miss them most. It's hard work, the preparation of packing and trying to make things easy for my boys while I'm away, having all the sheets washed, meals cooked and frozen, housework done and dusted, tying not to miss them soooo much, trying to maintain all my usual business emails, reports and funding applications that continues even when I'm away. I'm exhausted just writing about it but there's something exhilarating about it all.

Although all the travel makes for an emotional working lifestyle that is often exhausting to maintain, there's something I truly love about getting to visit Australia's big smokes regularly. It may have something to do with the change of pace (I slow down while everyone else is going fast), or the fact I get to blend into the crowded streets which is a welcome break from tiny towns where you can't go out without bumping into a dozen people. It could be the sensory overload of concrete, traffic, food smells, mobile phones and everyone on their own little adventure. Whatever it is, I like it. This year I'll also be taking some first time travellers with me, from the community I work in, which will make some of the trips extra special. Lately these photos have helped me to manifest my courage for all the travel I have ahead. 

One day really soon I will find the perfect globe, so I can show Ba'il all the places that I go. 

Probably the thing I love most about visiting cities is indulging in amazing food.... something that is a rarity when you live remote. We are all very very excited about our special trip to Melbourne, which will be filled with celebrations and quite time exploring  inner city cafes, like Milkwood

While I'm in Canberra I plan on checking out a few amazing bookshops I stumbled across a few years ago and also visiting the National Art Gallery to be inspired by the amazing exhibitions that are currently showing. 

It's all about taking the opportunity to do the things I don't normally have the chance to do living remotely, and filling the gaps that are left while I am away from my precious little family with a few good books, a little bit of art, delicious food and inspirations to take home with me.

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