Less than a month after my 27th birthday my partner of ten years died. Two years later, still struggling, I got on a plane and went to Australia. This blog was meant to be a travel diary and it has been.
However it is also the chronicle of my transition from a grief stricken widow to a travel addicted wanderer. Thoughts on posts tell the story of this transition so if that's why you are here have a look at them. I hope they help.
Well it’s official, Australia are letting me back into the country. I
got my second year working visa through today and I am indescribably hyper
about my life. I have my visa and my ticket out there. I am waiting for the
nice man from Emirates to phone me back with the details of changing my ticket
from one way to a return so I can attend my big brother’s wedding next year
then I’m set. Once I get to Australia I shall apply for my New Zealand visa and
then wait a few months before looking at flights back t Australia and on to New
Zealand for the continuation of Plan C.
I am hyper but there is an edge to it. Don’t get me wrong I am happy. I
am truly grateful for everything I am able to do mostly thanks to my amazing
parents but as always there is that edge.
The niggling thought that this wasn’t how it was all meant to be. That worry
that if I am too happy then, am I somehow being unfaithful to Jonathan and the
memory of the life we had? Yes I know
that’s bollocks but if our thought processes made sense then self help books
wouldn’t be the billion dollar industry that they are.
I’ve been home for two months now and it’s been interesting. Within a
week of being back in the country I had waitressing job at a local fish n chip
shop restaurant. I felt bad as I knew I wanted to leave soon but without the
job I couldn’t afford to go back to Australia and wasn’t going anywhere so it
was a catch 22 situation. If I stayed I had to work and if I worked then I
could leave again. So I worked. I took the job and didn’t utter a word about my
plans. Well they know now. Not the details, I was waiting for my visa to come
through for that but now I have it I’m letting them know that I’m leaving. I’m
not sorry to go but it was a good place to work. The staff were all really nice
to work with and I acquired yet another skill to add to my ever growing CV of
random jobs. The job also enabled me to purchase a new camera. Not just any
camera but a DSLR. It’s safe to say I’ve fallen in love all over again. I love
it and I can’t wait to see what it’s capable of. I would be outside right now
taking photos of everything and anything but I’m waiting for the Emirates man
to call so I’m stuck inside during this rare thing; a sunny day in Scotland.
Ah yes, the weather. I was lucky on my return as it was sunny and even
warm but it didn’t last. The cold, grey, wet weather did not help me
acclimatise to being back home. After the high of seeing my family and friends
and getting paid employment I crashed. I was fortunate to get a job so quickly but due to the hours I worked my UK friends felt as far away as my Aussie ones. I missed my friends and the sunshine and
as I had come off the pill whilst I was in Australia my hormones were going
haywire and I missed Jonathan. My lowest point was when my mum told me by brother was planning his
wedding for next summer. I was planning on coming back from New Zealand for it
not Australia. I didn’t know if I could save the money to come back. I had a
one way ticket. See the common theme there? I. It was all about me. I was hit
hard. It would be a hard day without Jonathan there. It was too soon. I couldn’t
cope. All me, me, me. Thankfully the hormones calmed down and I soon removed my
head from my ass and started to plan. My parents promised they’d help me out so
I could come home if I wanted to. If I
wanted to? Yes that’s how bad I got, my own family doubted I would come
home for my brother’s wedding and I must admit I did too at one point. But that
was whilst my head was still up my ass so let’s not talk about it. The fact is
I started to plan. I soon had multiple scenarios based on various dates and
thanks to my parents the means to carry them out. Now it’s safe to say my head
is as straight as it ever gets and I am delighted for my brother and his fiancée
and looking forward to coming back for
her hen night and their wedding next year. I am even as nosey as everyone else
about all the wedding plans. I have to say here that they have both been
amazing. They have kept me informed of their plans and dates as much as possible
so I can make my own plans. His fiancée even discussed the hen night with me
even though of course she couldn’t give me an exact date she let me know what
she was thinking so I could make as many plans as possible. To them all I’d say
is that now I have my tickets and insurance booked I shall restrain myself to the usually
sisterly levels of wedding nosiness. Do you think they’ll notice the
OK so I have a job, my brother is getting married and I miss my friends what else have I been
up to in the last two months? Oh yes, internet dating. Now don’t get all
excited I’ve not actually been dating I just joined a site to see what it was
all about. I discovered that there are indeed a lot of nutters out there but
there were a few nice guys in among them too. I even swapped a few messages
with a few of the more sane looking ones. Fortunately being a widowed waitress
with a PhD in physics who lives in her parents spare room put most guys off so
I never actually go to the point of meeting anyone. When I started telling the
guys I was messaging those pertinent details it didn’t take a therapist to
point out I was actively trying to scare them off and not really interested. Still
it was fun to have a look and I it was a good stepping stone in to the dating
game. Of course now I’m travelling again the dating issue will go back on the
shelf but it was an interesting experiment while it lasted, though one I am
unlikely to repeat. I get why people date online but I don’t think it’s for me.
If there is someone else out there for me then we’ll meet if not then well, I
quite like my life just the way it is really. See that’s the real problem.
Anyone I meet isn’t just competing with the memory of a great guy who I still
love they are competing with the great lifestyle I now have. My life is pretty
full and it’s going to take someone really special to mess with that. It’s a
good thing I like cats really.
Living with my Parents
Except I don't think I will become a crazy cat lady because against the odds I like living in my parents spare room. I've enjoyed spending time with my dad when I have a split shift and come home from lunch. I like seeing my mum at night when I get in and I am very excited about the girls day out we have planned for tomorrow. I am lucky enough to be able to borrow my dad's car if I need it and there are buses and trains to Aberdeen and Glasgow if I can't use it for any reason. They also have another spare room so if anyone did want to visit me then they could. I more or less left home at 17 when I went to uni. I thought I could never live at home again but it's easier than I thought it would be. Sorry mum and dad looks like your stuck with being my home base for the foreseeable future.
When I returned to the UK I bought my ticket back to Australia with my
dad’s credit card as it was his 30th birthday present to me but I
was in debt and I knew it was going to take hard work to make this new life work.
Two months later and I have the ticket, my visa and some money in both my UK
and Australian accounts. This time I’m not going there to find myself I’m going
to find everyone else. I’m going to explore as much of the world as I can and
hopefully photograph and write about it as I go. This time I have a plan. I
know what I have to do to make this work and I’m going to give it everything I’ve
got. I hope that if you are still with
me after this essay then you will stick with me for the next part of my epic journey
because sharing to with you all is part of what makes it so special for me. Watch out world, here I come.