5 Days to Go: Moving house, backpacks, minus-degree temperatures, flight cancellations and last-minute panic-mode!

We have five days left of normality – if you can even call it that.

In less than a week, we’ll be smiling and sweating in the sweltering 30+ degree heat; thousands of kilometres, and a world away from home.
Or, will we be ‘home’?

Either way, it’s surreal, exciting, and – let’s be honest; we’re in a bit of a tizz; panic mode has set in as we juggle moving out of our house, our last few days of work, packing, organising, finalising, seeing as much of our friends and family as possible and trying to appreciate our last few days of an absolutely bitter-freezing Melbourne Winter.

…And a lot of cups of Milo and Vegemite on toast: we’re going to miss our Aussie comforts.

While our alarm clocks keep screaming at 6am, the peak-hour traffic has us stuck amongst blankets fogs, the temperatures keep plummeting closer and closer to zero, and there seems to be more and more to do; we’re trying to appreciate our last few days here before we head off to Asia.

We had a garage sale and offloaded way too many items of clothing and a heap of other crap that was clogging our drawers and lives.

We moved out of our share house over the weekend, and said goodbye to our house mates over “dirty pizza” by the open fire.

We began packing our backpacks; sorting hiking socks and sleeping sacks, mosquito nets and zip-off pants, ugly sandals and insect repellents, and baby wipes and money belts.

We’ve spent hours (or, Em has) on the phone trying to re-shedule cancelled flights….

We’re spending our evenings with our much-loved family and friends; enjoying too many delicious dinners out and eating way too much chocolate.

We’re slowly crossing off our to-do list; but only half as quickly as we seem to be adding to it.

We’ve still got flights to book, things to buy, documents to organise, things to pack, people to see, work to do, studies to complete and…and…
…there just seems like too much to think about for the 5 days we have left!

Oh!… and did I mention panic?

This is it.

The next time you hear from us; our feet will be firmly in place (in our ugly hiking sandals) on our Asian stomping ground.

Home is… Where Your Backpack Lands?

I’ve always sort of liked change. Although I love my comforts, and am pretty habitual at times, I find it easy to frollic from here to there, adjust to new, places, homes, jobs, people, surroundings…I get bored of things quickly; they seem to become mundane and I crave new things to keep myself enthused.

Perhaps that’s why I crave travel so much; I have a severe case of wanderlust that keeps me needing more and more of it, to keep me on my toes; to challenge me at every turn, to shock me and surprise me, to educate me, and to excite my senses constantly.

I’ve always thought of Melbourne, Australia as home; Jake too – we were born here, and we love our beautiful big city. We love it’s old buildings and sprawling gardens, it’s passion for food and for good coffee. We love it’s sporaddic four-seasons-in-a-day weather (most of the time), it’s rumbling trams, and spectacular Flinders Street Station. We love black-coat clad commuters in the Winter, and hot beach days and gelato in the Summer (mmm…maybe not so much Jake, with his fair skin, but I do!). We love the various markets, the festivals and events, and the live music scene that never stops. We just love Melbourne. It’s our home…

But, then again. So is my backpack. I love that sensation; your backpack is bulging – you prepare yourself for the lift onto your back. Knees bent, you brace yourself, arm through one strap, then comes the all important lift swing and you heave and haul it onto your back. Other arm through, wiggle wiggle wiggle, adjust yourself and shake a little, then stand, hitch your pants back up, make yourself comfortable and clip yourself in for support. I love my backpack; it feels good, and it makes me feel all the more like a traveller, not just at heart but in reality too.

It feels so good, when hot and sweaty, tired from travelling and untimely, overcrowded transportation, crowds of people and little sleep, you enter your new hostel for the first time…check in, find your dorm and dump your pack down. You’re home…for now. It’s nice. Even if there are sometimes strange types of dorm mates and ‘not so nice’ rooms… it’s all part of the experience, and it makes you more grateful and appreciative of the ‘better’ homes..

Well, at least that’s how I feel.

As long as I’ve considered Melbourne my home, I’ve considered somewhere else home too. Everywhere else; wherever I go, I make it home. In the past I sometimes mightn’t have liked it as much as other homes I’ve been to, but… still.

Knowing in a few short months we are leaving Melbourne behind for some time, I think we are loving it even more!… or at least, appreciating it more-so. But, I don’t think you can really ever stop being a Melbournian, regardless of where you go. So, we’ll take her with us when we leave, and make Sri Lanka our home… and then India for a few months… and then Burma, then Thailand again. Then spend some time at home in Vietnam before going home to Malaysia and Singapore. Finally, I think we’ll end up dumping our packs back down in old Melbourne town, and be able to say “we’re home”.

Where is home for you?