Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Australia in my dreams, their nightmares...

What's the hardest thing you've ever had to do? In my case many people would say, "Moving to the other side of the world and leaving all your friends and family behind must have been pretty hard." I suppose there is some truth in that sentiment, but harder than that even is telling your friends and family that you are going to make said move.

I returned from my year in Buenos Aires just in time for Christmas in the USA. My family was so excited to see me. So thrilled to have me back. Home. Where I belonged. It was great to be back although leaving my new found friends and adventures in Buenos Aires had been a teary affair to say the least. It was such an intense year, such a big learning curve, it was hard to leave all that behind and return to the comfortable, but all too familiar surroundings of home. I suppose it all seemed a bit easier knowing in the back of my mind that this was simply a pit stop and I'd be off again soon. I had a new destination in mind and I was slowly working out how to make that next journey a reality.

I never really mentioned the Aussie mystery man to my family when I met him in Argentina. I kept the whole thing under wraps. Initially, I wasn't taking the whole thing seriously myself. I mean I was American, he was Australian, we were in Argentina--can anyone say "Holiday Romance"? The kind you remember fondly, but is exactly that--just a holiday romance. It doesn't last longer than the holiday itself and is just a bit of fun. I was having great fun with this Aussie guy, but we had different schedules, different reasons for being there and I don't think either of us were really looking for anything lasting to come from it.

Also, I didn't want to raise the alarm at home unnecessarily. One of the last comments my Dad made to me before I left for my adventure in Argentina was, "Now don't go falling in love with some Argentine guy and end up staying there forever." To which I'm sure I just rolled my eyes and said, "Please Dad! As if! Sometimes you say the most ridiculous things." (He probably wishes now that I did meet an Argentine guy--hey Buenos Aires is only an 8 hour flight from Miami. I'd be much closer to home than I am now.) Knowing that my meeting someone in my host country and staying there forever was a concern for my family, I thought it better not to mention the Aussie--I didn't want them to stress, especially when I wasn't sure myself what the 411 on the whole situation was.

Once it became clear that this thing with the Aussie was serious and that I was thinking of following him home to Australia, I only had a few weeks left in Argentina. At this point I decided I'd keep the news to myself until I returned home where I could explain it all in person. Not sure that was the best move ever, but that's the choice I made at the time.

To be fair, I think my family had some inkling that there was someone on the scene in Buenos Aires and I also think they may have known he was Australian...how else could they explain the mail I was receiving at my Texas address from the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. with my visa applications. Yes, there were certainly clues.

Nevertheless, telling my family that I was just in town for a few months while I sorted out my Australian visa and then headed off to Oz was not easy. I think they were happy for me to have found someone I was obviously so keen on, but I know there were reservations. I'd just been away for a year and here I was leaving again. And who was this Aussie guy? They didn't know him. They didn't know anything about him. I had photos...that really wasn't enough. How did I know this was a real relationship? Why was I chasing this guy across continents? What would I do when I got to Australia anyway? Does he even know you are coming? (Yes, my Dad actually asked me this). These were all valid questions and I'm not sure I had the best answers at the time, but it didn't seem like a big deal to me. I would go and see what happened..if it worked out, it worked out. If it didn't, it didn't. I remember having a pretty casual mindset about it all. I think I was more concerned about how I would feel if I didn't go. If I never gave it a chance. If I missed the opportunity. It would always be one of those, "What ifs" and I was certain I didn't want to have that resting on my conscience.

I listened to their questions. I did my best to address their many concerns, but I really couldn't understand what the big deal was. It was only Australia, and it wasn't forever. I just wanted to go and see how this whole relationship played itself out. Though there was much worry and concern on the part of my family, I can't think of a single one of them who told me not to go. I'm sure they would have preferred it if I stayed home, but no one came out and actually asked me to do so. I give them all a lot of credit for this. Especially now that I'm a mother myself...I don't know if I could be so big about it all. Did I mention my family is amazing? Well they are. They were willing to support this dream of mine even if was probably one of their biggest nightmares come true. This was truly one of those, "If you love them, set them free" kind of moments.

My friends on the other hand were pretty cool about it all. I think everyone recognised the new adventure that lay ahead of me. My girlfriends were fascinated by this Aussie mystery man and of course they would miss me, but what girl doesn't like an exotic love story? I think most of them were caught up in the emotion with me. If anything, most of my friends kept telling me how brave I was to take such a chance. I didn't see it that way at all. I would call myself a risk-averse person, so I guess throwing caution to the wind and heading over to Australia on a wing and a prayer doesn't really gel with my personality, but I guess I was blinded by love at the time because I had no fear and didn't see the potential pitfalls.

3 comments:

floridagirlinsydney said...

So is it forever?
I saw your comment on my Chicken Enchilada recipe-- and I do know about USA Foods, and I saw the green chiles on their webiste-- tempted to buy them-- if only it weren't such an insanely large jar-- what do you do with that many after you open it. I would have been thrilled to buy a case of the little cans-- but a 1 Costco size can?
Anyway, USA foods was party of the NY at Myers promo in Sydney-- that's where I got the $14 Lucky Charms--
But my normal mode of operation is having my mom send me a box of stuff every month... it's great!

I'll be checking in our your new blog often!

Annelise said...

I have read two thus far and oh so happy there were some details missing about the initial dating phase. I was sweating it! haha

And now back to the blog!

ibbabs97 said...

Maybe I should hear about these missing details that are mentioned. Might be highly educational. Now off to find out the dirt.