January 26th is Australia Day and in honour of this day I thought I would share a few of my favourite memories of Australia. My experience with Australia is far more than a vacation experience, it is a place I've called home and and will soon call home again.
I remember Australia:
The thrill and excitement of seeing the Opera House for the first time, the day we first landed in Sydney, the moment I realized "I'm really here".
The sound of a thousand birds singing outside my window, joyfully waking me early each morning.
The crunch under my feet from the bark of the Eucalyptus tree that littered the side walks.
The long and windy road on the drive to the coast, with a view of the ocean occasionally peeking through the trees.
Spending long days on the river watching my husband wake board and water ski.
Learning to drive a stick shift for the first time and managing to do so on the "wrong" side of the road.
Climbing the Sydney Harbour bridge with my Mom on her first visit to Australia.
Camping at our favourite secluded beach, feeding Kangaroos and Rosellas and wrestling the occasional Goanna out of our tent.
Wearing a fancy hat to Melbourne cup and betting on the winning horse only to find out that my husband changed his mind at the betting window and choose a different horse.
Enjoying Sydney Harbour at sundown.
Hearing gripping war stories from the wise men and women at the veterans home where I worked and finding a new found respect for all those who have served.
Becoming addicted to Australian Television: Home and Away, Kath and Kim, The Footy show, Rove Live and This is your Life.
Waking at sunrise and tiptoeing amongst the kangaroos while being led to the beach by my husband (to be) with a sparkly ring in his hand.
Having the most amazing wedding I could ever imagine, just 22 of us celebrating together for an entire week before the big day.
Honeymooning for 5 weeks, driving around half of Australia in our converted Landcruiser with sleeping quarters in the back.
Fossicking for gems in little towns called Emerald and Sapphire.
Four wheel driving on Fraser Island and wading down Eli creek.
Sailing for 3 nights in the Whitsundays on a 100 year old sailboat.
Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef
Waking up on the beach most mornings of our honeymoon.
Driving for hours in the Outback on endless stretches of road listening to Silverchair and Powderfinger.
Feeling at home no matter where I went.
I am lucky to be able to call two wonderful countries my home and am struggling with the emotions of leaving one for the other but in looking back on all the wonderful things I experienced I look ahead to all the wonderful things my husband, children and I will experience together as a family.
Happy Australia Day and we will see you soon!