With our time left in Australia ticking down, I am all-too-aware that this will be the 3rd last Expat Update post I write. We have less than 2 months left in Melbourne (we fly out the end of June), but I think the whole family is trying our hardest to not focus on that too much. We just want to enjoy the last couple of months here.
April brought our last 2-week school holidays and our last big trip in Australia. If you followed us on Instagram or Facebook, you know that we had an awesome trip to the Outback, even with the “bumps” we dealt with. More about that below.
With the arrival of May, we have also had to start thinking about the transition back to Canada. We have a wall full of sticky notes of to-do items. Things like shipping our stuff home, registering for school in Canada, and sorting our insurance and immunizations for our travels this summer.
In the past couple of months we have had some people we know pass away too soon. These passings are incredibly sad, but they do re-affirm to us the mantra that there are no guarantees in life; you cannot put off living the life you want for a future that may not come. Sometimes I feel guilty and selfish that we push the boundaries with our jobs and lifestyle. But, when we hear about lives ending too soon, we know we are doing the right thing for our family.
Did you read our March Update?
- 1 April Highlights
- 2 Top Instagram Posts
- 3 Posts Published this Month
- 4 What’s Next?
It definitely feels weird to celebrate Easter in autumn, but I don’t think the kids noticed at all. The Easter bunny found his way here and the kids enjoyed too much chocolate and sweets.
Our Outback Road Trip
We drove the 2,500 km from Melbourne to Uluru in our rented Landcruiser from Britz and it was an epic road trip. We dealt with the “bumps”: loosing part of our tent off the roof on our first day, Gavin getting 8 stitches at Uluru and battling gastro running through the family (we were camping!).
I am so glad we didn’t leave Australia without visiting the Red Centre. Seeing Uluru in person was incredible, the desert scenery is stunningly beautiful and we felt so fortunate to learn more about Aboriginal culture.
I am just starting to work on writing all about our experience, so stay tuned in May for lots of Outback posts. You can read about the first part of the drive from Melbourne to Uluru here.
Family Photo Shoot in Melbourne
There is no question we are sad about leaving Melbourne. When I was bemoaning this to a friend that has lived overseas, she suggested getting family photos done as a great souvenir of our time here. When Gavin and I were in Singapore last year we got great photos taken by Wanderloud, destination photographers. So we got in touch and did a 2-hour shoot in downtown Melbourne.
You may have already seen some of the photos I have shared on Facebook and Instagram. They turned out absolutely amazing; far surpassing my expectations. There are so many good ones that it is hard to choose which to share. When we are back in Canada, it will be so nice to have these photos on our walls to remind us of our time here. A full post will be coming in May, but here are a few. Click to enlarge them.
New Skill: Making Family Travel Videos
When we purchased our drone last month, the deal was that we would use that footage to start producing travel vlogs. The Outback was a pretty awesome place to fly the drone with all the wide-open spaces. Once we got home, Paul worked hard to teach himself video editing and get acquainted with travel vlogs. He did a super job and I am so excited to share our first video with you. We would love for you to subscribe to our Youtube channel.
Planning for our Life in Canada
We have loved our time living in Melbourne and in preparing for our move back to Canada, we knew we didn’t want to stop traveling. But we all yearned for more time with family and friends and the stability of a community. We think we have found a plan and good compromise between travel, wanderlust and community.
We have both negotiated alternative work arrangements with our employers which will allow us to travel for 3-4 months of the year. We will be home in Canada for 5 months (Sept-Jan) and then just as the winter chill is starting to set in, we will be back to Asia for 3 months in 2019. Any travel-loving person will know that managing wanderlust can be a difficult balance, but we are really hoping this gives us the best of both worlds.
Visit from an old Friend
My university room mate and her family came for a visit from Perth and we had a great few days catching up and enjoying their two little ones.
Top Instagram Posts
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I had seen countless photos of Uluru but nothing can prepare you for the sight of it in front of you. Especially once you have driven over 2,500 km to see it. . After another good day on the road we made it to Uluru in time for sunset. The rock lights up to so many different shades of orange and red at sunset. So happy that we have 3 nights here to enjoy this amazing spot but also to relax after some busy days on the road. #ntaustralia @ausoutbacknt
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I want to keep things real for you. We had an awesome experience today cycling around the base of Uluru with @outbackcycling but we also had a mini travel crisis too. . The boys were looking in caves at the base and Gavin slashed his knee really badly. I got a bandaid ready as he came over to me but quickly realized this was going to require much more than a bandaid. The poor kid went into shock, vomited and was white as a ghost. Paul quickly cycled back to the car and we got him to a road for Paul to pick him up. The tiny clinic here at Uluru was wonderful and he received 8 stitches in his leg. This stuff happens when you travel and often we don’t show it on social media. . The other two kids and I continued on cycling around the rock. It was a beautiful ride but we missed the rest of our team. Gavin now has scars and injuries from quite a few places we have travelled: the Bahamas, Malaysia and now Uluru…they will make great stories some day. #outbackcycling #ulurukatatjutanationalpark #uluru
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When visiting Uluru, you have to stay in the resort town of Yulara, a 20 minute drive from the rock. We have driven that road many times now and yet whenever Ukulu suddenly appears in front of me, it is as if I am seeing it for the first time. . Visiting Uluru wasn’t something I felt we needed to do in our time here. I lumped it in with the “nice to visit but not necessary” list. We planned this trip because we wanted an Outback adventure, not because we needed to visit Uluru. How wrong I was! I feel so blessed to have visited this incredibly beautiful and sacred spot. It should be on top of any Aussie itinerary! #ntaustralia @ausoutbacknt #uluru
Posts Published this Month
Including our March Expat Update, I got 7 posts out this month all while traveling for half of the month! That was in large part to the awesome interviews that I have done for our Travel More Case Study Series – there are 3 below, go check them out and be inspired by these families.
- Winters in the Alps and Using Airbnb to Rent Your House – the 3rd Case Study in our Travel More series
- Unplugged Travel Activities for Kids – lots of great ideas for a road trip with kids
- Travel More: Meet this Sailing Family – the 4th Case Study in our Travel More series
- A Visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park – a wonderful way to learn about desert animals
- Road Trip: Driving Melbourne to Uluru – the first part of our Outback adventure
- Family Gap Year – the 5th Case Study in our Travel More series – meet a family taking a family gap year
We don’t have any major plans for the next couple of months. It is mostly the regular life routine of school, work, and activities. We are always trying to maximize our time here by eating all the delicious food, seeing new places and spending time with new friends.
We are definitely excited about our summer travels in July and August although we are not wishing the weeks away.