Monday, January 2, 2017

A Year Ends and Another Begins

By jen
Well, the last few weeks for us have been spent with my family. After spending 3 years in the same town as Jonathan’s family, I felt like it was time to give my family some attention. It has been really good to visit with them and spend some quality time with them. It had been a long time since I had spent much time with my siblings, so they each got the honor of hosting us for a week. ;)  I enjoyed seeing what they do in their normal, daily lives and what their current passions are.

Christmas was hosted by my sister this year. I am older than my sister by 4 years, so most of my most-recent memories of her are from when she was in elementary or middle school while I was in high school. Sometimes I feel like it is almost black-and-white contrast to how she was then to how she is now. She successfully planned 2 days of Christmas celebration that worked well with my family’s quirks, including getting us to the gym to workout. I must give her kudos. It was a good Christmas celebration. Jonathan and I even got some last-minute items we needed for our travels, including a satellite phone so that we can make emergency calls in the middle of nowhere.

Family cat helping with presents!

My brother and I were always close growing up, so much of his current self doesn’t surprise me. I do get surprised by how much of a mediator he is now. Though that shouldn’t be too surprising, he is a middle child. He has become such a good manager. And, I am proud of how much fitness is a part of his life now and how much weight he has lost.

But, as we change from house to house, Jonathan and I have been counting down the days until we arrive in Australia. We are so eager to reach this goal that we have been working on for the past 3 years. We have dedicated most of our waking hours to reach this goal for the past nearly 3 years. It has been both exhausting and rewarding. I feel that this season in our lives has been preparation for the next decade or so. Because of the groundwork we laid down, we should be able to do less prep work next time we decide to travel. It definitely wasn’t my favorite way to spend 3 years, but because of it, I think we will be able to do something more enjoyable and more future-looking when we stop next.

For now, we are planning our trip in Australia. This next year should be a good one. This will be Jonathan’s first time on this continent (my second), and we will both be seeing new places. We will be doing what we love to do. And, Jonathan and I both turn 30 (me first!). While you may think I am crazy, I am actually looking forward to it. I like celebrating my birthday (though I don’t expect anyone else to like celebrating it, so I will only tell you once when my birthday is) and getting a year older. Perhaps I only enjoy it because I normally don’t feel older or more rickety, just more experienced. But, I enjoy life, so why shouldn’t I enjoy getting older? Especially when I plan to live to a healthy 120. Anyways, going to a fun new place is a great way to celebrate my birthday.

And, we are hoping that several of our friends and family will make it down here to visit us. Most of them haven’t been to Australia before, so it will be a new adventure for them as well. I know the plane ride (hefty price and long flight time) is one of the biggest hurdles for many of you; but once you can get past that, there are many options for how to spend one’s time down here, such as:
  1. Rent a vacation rental (condo) for your time here (you can always bring friends down with you to share in the cost).
  2. Rent a RV if you want to travel to more places than just one area. Alternatively, you can rent a trailer, and we can pull you (make sure to check with us that the max weight is something we can tow).
  3. Of course, you can always stay in hotels or hostels.
  4. For a longer stay, you can even buy your own vehicle (including RV) down there and sell it when you leave. All a foreigner needs to buy a vehicle down there is an address (even the post office’s or hotel’s).

Remember to give us several weeks head’s up so that we can make sure to meet you (it can take a while to cross the continent).

As each year passes, remember that life is short. Live your life intentionally so that it will be full. 

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