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We’ve been back in Australia a month!
This is hard for me to believe in many respects as it feels like a lot longer and obviously settling into a location is easier when it’s familiar. Although settling into a new life in Melbourne definitely takes a lot more work than in Penang!
We have been flat out busy but hopefully things will slow down soon! I may be fooling myself with that thought though.
S started school. It’s going very well but it has been a big adjustment for all of us. She is still getting used to having to go so often (currently 4 days a week, up to 5 in a few weeks time). Otherwise, she seems very happy and has made some good friends.
Her school is just awesome and exceeding all our (already high) expectations. I was a parent helper last week and it was amazing how well the kids already seem to be understanding the new language – 90% of their instruction is in German and not many kids already spoke it.
I was extra happy to see a confident S that was answering questions. I thought she would be shy with the teacher but the year away has done her so much good.
Z started kinder. That has gone even better. He loves it and the centre is lovely. Unfortunately, we are having to change though! We just got into our first pick of centre and it makes sense to change even though it’s frustrating and a bit sad.
They both are happy to be back and adjusting like they were never away. Kids are amazing! Z does sometimes ask when we are going to another house – I don’t think they quite understand staying put yet!
J snapped up a great job straight away and has been working for the last couple of weeks. It’s nice and convenient to our house and he earns more than before we left so that all went very well.
I am surprised just how much bloody time school takes up! And how short the days are (even though it’s 9-3:30pm). It’s better since we moved a 5 minute walk away, but I still feel like I am constantly at school or getting ready to go or doing something school related. When I thought I didn’t have time for homeschooling, I didn’t realise how much time actual schooling takes!
Additionally, I seem to have a million jobs getting us set up again or going to various appointments. My body is not handling pregnancy very well and I have a fair bit of pain. This has meant a lot of physio appointments and me having no choice but to take it quite easy. So so frustrating. On the upside, the baby is going very well and there are no problems there.
With all of this, I have found it very hard to work much and that is my biggest frustration at the moment. I poured so much of myself into my business in the last 18 months and it hurts to not be able to take care of it the way I want. I am only getting two school days to work right now and it’s not enough. Especially when I need to regularly lie down and ice my poor body.
We are trying to work out ways to increase this, but it’s difficult. I spent all weekend working to catch up a bit (all spent on my Singapore article – so please read it so it doesn’t feel like a waste of time!!), but I don’t want to be working weekends. Quality family time is important and the whole reason I started working online in the first place!
It’s also been both great and tough having the kids at home only one at a time during the week. I love the quality individual time with them, but geeze it is so much more work when I’m already tired thanks to pregnancy. It’s much easier when they can play together.
In other news, we also found a beautiful house very easily and we are loving it and living in the inner North of Melbourne (not where we lived before we left). We are all moved in but still waiting for some new furniture since we threw a lot out before we left. I am looking forward to having a chair to sit on when I work or eat dinner!
I think it helps that we are living in a different area and, with school and the kids being older, have a different life to before we left. It does not feel like we have just gone back to exactly where we were.
I am happy to be back.
Although when I think about it too much, I start trying to convince myself that I should be unhappy! As looking at it logically, I don’t really understand why I am happy to be back. Everything is just so busy. I was so happy when we were away. Plus, everyone else seems to be so miserable after returning from the life we had. I know I was when I took years off to travel in my twenties.
But I am happy to be back, even though I can see all the things that will change my mind. There is just so much routine now. So much time apart. So much time doing things to enable our life and not enough time to enjoy it.
I also miss my family who moved back to Tasmania while we were gone. Mum is over a lot for work so I have probably seen her just as much, but it’s not the same as having family on call especially when you have to do things like move and you’re pregnant. It definitely makes me less attached to Melbourne, although I do so love this city.
Once I stop being pregnant, I wonder how I will feel. Pregnancy is hard and there is no way I want to be travelling right now.
J is struggling. He has found it the hardest. He also has to make the most sacrifices really, with being back at a job that takes him out of the house the majority of the time. I always said whether we came back or not was his choice for that reason. He is feeling motivated to try to grow our online income so he can stay home too and work on some new projects. It’s hard with our lack of time though.
Will we go away again for an extended period? For sure! I have no doubt. But it won’t be for awhile. I’m thinking 4 years or so!
In the meantime, we are going to have many adventures. We are especially looking forward to doing the Trans Siberian next year. We head down to Tasmania next month. And then of course there is the adventure of having a new baby – just over 3 months away if all goes to plan.
You can also read our other updates from our time living in Asia.
Have you travelled for an extended period? What helped you ease into life back home?