I See Beyond The Road I’m Driving

Ok…so two days, and one hour late on posting but I come bearing excellent news!

After a VERY long, and VERY expensive journey, I received news today that I have been granted my Partner Visa!!  I think I read, and re-read, the email at least 10 times. It still feels incredibly surreal.

It has taken me a long time to find my person, and the fact that he is half way around the world makes things a little a lot more complicated, but I am incredibly excited…anxious, scared, nervous…to get this chapter of my life started. In just one month we will be able to wake up next to each other, have actual face to face conversations and discussions and won’t have to wait months to see each other any more.  It has taken us over 5 years to get to this point and I can’t wait for February!

So much work has gone into this outcome and there is no possible amount of thanks that is big enough to give those who have given up their time, money and energy into helping us to get this point.  Every single person who has helped us, encouraged us or supported us in anyway, please know that Simon and I will be forever grateful and we thank each and every one of you.

It is real now.  I will be selling my house, shipping what is left of my little life here in Canada and will be moving halfway around the world to small town NSW/Victoria Australia.  I will be leaving my job, my family and my friends here (which I still don’t allow myself to think about because…well, it hurts too much) and will be joining my new Australian family and friends in my new home and at my new (old?!) job.  I cannot express how blessed I am to have so much love in two places. Honestly it is overwhelming and something that I really need to sit with and absorb.

Here’s to new beginnings, no matter how old you are! Now start saving…we’ve got plenty of room for visitors!

~Hugs and Love~

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If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right, Right?

For those who have been wondering where I have gone from the blogging world…I’ve been busy trying to get my Visa, packing up my life and enjoying time with family and friends before the big move.

Along with the move to Australia in 2017, I am planning on being much more active with the blog. I’m still trying to figure out the direction I want to take it but if you’re interested in my change from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere then keep watching this space.

That’s it for now…come back January 1st!!

Hugs & Love

 

Don’t Look Down When You Cross

I have had one incredible summer.

Full of travel, family, and friends.

But also full of change.

While driving to visit a friend the other day I had a moment of clarity; when it really sunk in that my entire life is about to change.

It is currently the dying days of summer in Canada and my Country is green and lush and everything I love about it.  It was while driving down a gorgeous country road when I realized just exactly what I’ll be saying goodbye to in less than a year: of course my family and friends but also fresh water lakes as big as seas, birds with songs you could listen to for hours, and green forests so dense there is no need for sunglasses when exploring them.

After a summer so full of adventure, to be jolted back to the reality of the change that lies ahead really took me aback.

For those who don’t know my situation, my partner lives in Australia and for our lives to move forward together it makes the most sense for me to move there.  While I am incredibly happy and excited for this new chapter, and have the most wonderful family and friends to welcome me there, I’m also finding myself having to deal with the reality of saying goodbye to my comfortable life here.  I have been on my own for a VERY long time and have a very strong independent sense of self and it would be false to say that I’m not sad about the thought of leaving behind the life I’ve made here.

I’m uncertain why I felt the need to write about my sadness…I got so overwhelmed on that drive and felt I just needed to make it real.  It’s such a strange thing, to feel so many conflicting emotions all at once; happy, sad, excited, nervous.  I know this won’t be the last time I feel sad, or write about being sad (there are goodbyes to be had and packing up to be done) but there is also so much happiness and sunshine to come and I CANNOT WAIT to write about all of that!  Plus…winter is coming, and come the middle of February when it’s still -20C I know I won’t be feeling so nostalgic for my gorgeous Country then.

Until the next time…hug those you love and tell them how much they mean to you…and watch a little Jack

~ Hugs and Love ~

Follow The Path Of A Butterfly

I’ve just come home from booking my flight back out to Australia and I thought I would update on one of my “dream come true” trips I had taken whilst out there this past year.

For as long as I can remember visiting the Great Barrier Reef had been on the top of my Bucket list…I also remember when I was a young teenager looking at a map of Australia and planning a trip to Queensland and wanting to get to Dunk Island (my last name is Duncan after all…)

Well, in September of 2014 my dreams came true.

A big trip up to far north Queensland saw me being successful at ticking two huge events off my list.

With the temperatures feeling, yet again, like -35 degrees celsius, I thought I would share some pictures from my trip and, selfishly use them to help get me pumped for my return back to Australia (I know…I really don’t need any extra reason to get pumped)

Again, it was a trip of a lifetime and I’m so incredibly blessed.

~ Hugs and Love ~

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Rolled a Lucky Pair of Dice

It’s hard to believe that a year has past.

12 months ago I was manic with packing my life away, settling things at work and emotionally prepping to live away from all that I knew for an entire year.

And now it’s over.

And I have changed.

I don’t really know where I want to go with this post…I haven’t set time aside for a long time to put the thoughts in my head down on paper…but I feel like my journey deserves recognition.  There is not a lot in my life I’d say I’m proud of myself for…many things I’m extremely happy about but pride never really fits with me.  I think it’s probably because of my quiet personality and my own weird issue that if someone feels proud about themselves its a bit too showy (but I don’t feel that way when others say they are proud of themselves…my own silly issue).  It’s funny because I feel proud for so many of my loved ones but don’t really allow it within myself.

Until 2014.

I took a huge gamble in March of 2013 when I applied for a teaching exchange to Australia and to say it worked out well is an understatement.  I packed up my life, said goodbyes to my family and friends (and my final goodbye to my dog) and sorted out my last few days of work and then shipped myself off to the unknown…granted, I knew a few people in town before going, but it still is quite a daunting adventure.

Everything was new.  New house, new job, new town, and (having to make) new friends.  I’m almost 40…you don’t really make new friends when you’re almost 40!!  And, with being an introvert, this was one of the scariest things I was faced with.

The main reason I wanted to do an exchange was to get out of the funk I was feeling at work.  Teaching, for me, had become too routine.  I needed a bit of a challenge and I know I needed to grow professionally.  In Australia I was thrown into a system I knew nothing about (still aspects of it I don’t totally understand) but instantly fell in love.  My new work colleagues fit nicely into my life and it was just “easy”….the work aspect was hard, and for the first month my head was spinning with all the differences and changes, but in terms of who I was working with…it was eerily easy.

I just fit.

A year later and what I have come away from all of this with, besides saying ‘reckon’, is such a greater sense of self.  In all aspects.  It’s funny because just a few days after my arrival home I ran into a friend at the supermarket and he asked “well did you find yourself?!”…a question I didn’t really think I needed to be focused on during my exchange…but has been, in the end, what it was all about and one of the greatest gifts this journey has given me.

I know now, more than ever, who I am, what’s important to me and where I belong.  I have realised that for the past ten years I have been living a life that is not true to me, my heart or soul…but boy am I excited to start!

And that is something to be proud of.

May you all live a life that is true to your soul.

Happy New Year!!!

~ Hugs and love ~

 

Bright Lights

A lot has happened since my last post…another Term has finished at school (now almost two full terms!) and I have a few other Aussie adventures under my belt.  However for this post I want to focus on just one of those.

A little background:  Just over three years ago I met the reason why I have fallen in love with Australia so much…now to clarify I have always had a desire to visit Australia (it was a constant #1 on my list even as I got older and my travel wishes changed) but I was given an actual opportunity to visit after a chance meeting in March 2011.  I was in Vegas and met a couple of Aussie blokes…now as the saying goes (“what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”) I won’t go into detail but the end result was that I kept in contact and eventually made my way over to visit the land down under and was fortunate to see it less as a tourist and more as a true Aussie.

I actually visited a couple of times from July to August 2011 and eventually living here for a trial period in 2012…but my first trip out was the most memorable for so many reasons.  One of these reasons being the first little town I visited…the little alpine town of Bright, in the state of Victoria…

I instantly fell in love.  It was winter so it was cold (pfft..cold) but the sun was out and the town was cozy.  We stayed in a fantastically cool accommodation called The Odd Frog which gave us a beautiful view of the country side…in a split second I felt like I was home…not the Australia I had always thought of (beaches and surfing…).  This was true Victorian country and it was beautiful.

To celebrate an anniversary of sorts, SG and I booked in again three years to the date of our first visit.  We stayed in the same Studio and enjoyed exploring the town I fell in love with (and yes, it was cold…much colder than the last time we visited…minus three in the mornings!!)

Anyway…here are some pictures of that adventure!

Who knows…maybe three years from now we will be able to celebrate again…

Thanks for reading!

~ Hugs and Love ~

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Hello!!

Our backyard friends

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall

I hate my body.

I have always hated my body.

Maybe it’s because when I was in Primary school I heard echoes of “Debbie, Debbie, 2×4, can’t fit through the bathroom door” while in class and on the playground.

Or…

Maybe it’s because I tipped the scales at over 200 pounds when I was in Grade 8.

Or…

Maybe it’s the fact that the genetics gods thought it would be an excellent idea to make my skin resemble that of an orange peel (or, more accurately, like the skin of an over ripe passionfruit)

But…

I am loved, regardless of the size of my clothes, by so many amazing people.  I am also incredibly blessed to have someone in my life who looks me in the eyes and tells me I’m beautiful even when I am at my most vulnerable…

Yet…

I still cannot find peace in my body.

And…

I know it’s ridiculous…I have run four half marathons, completed multiple triathlons, I can kick ass in any spinning class, can flip tires, do jump squats (although begrudgingly) and sling huge, heavy ropes…yet, instead of seeing the strength I carry, all I see is soft and all I feel is doughy.

However…

I know I’m not alone.  I have stunningly beautiful friends who all struggle with body image…who complain, find fault and allow their unhappiness with certain aspects of their body to control their emotions…

Which leads me to ask…why is it so hard to think about all the positives of our bodies?  They carry us, grow babies, give nourishment and hold and give warmth to those we love.  Why is it so hard to switch the negative thoughts we hear in our heads to encouraging, positive thoughts?

Well, I’m going to try.

Little by little, starting in the month of June, for every negative thought that creeps into my head I’m going to silence it with two positive thoughts, said out loud..from me, to me…all while looking myself in the eyes.

If you’re like me and the first word that creeps into your mind when you look at yourself in the mirror is “disgusting” I challenge you to join me on a journey to positive thought and love.

~ Giving you strength and love ~