I’m delighted to welcome Sandra from A Momma’s View to my blog. I connected with her early in my blogging journey and warmed to her style of writing, her down to earth conversational topics and her many and varied posts.
Sandra writes about different aspects of expat life however she also shares inspirational quotes, heartwarming and often funny stories and she has a wonderfully positive outlook on life. She features a weekly “Tell me Something Good” and a couple of years ago I shared my own true love story in her ‘couples’ series. There’s plenty to immerse yourself in on her blog.
Settle back and enjoy as she gives us her thoughts of life, love, family, making memories and forging a new life here in Australia.
Coming August, it will be 12 years since we moved from Switzerland to Australia.
12 years seems like a lot. So many years. So many seasons. And yet it seems almost like yesterday since we arrived here.
I remember it all too well. The moment the plane took off in Zurich, the mixed feelings I had when the wheels were off the ground. I remember the tears. They weren’t tears of sadness. They were tears of relief. Of letting go. Everything suddenly felt so much lighter.
There is no explanation. I think sometimes things just simply fall into place. Sometimes you just know that it’s meant to be. Sometimes you just know that you will end up where you belong.
When the plane took off in Zurich it was one of those moments. There was my husband, there was my son. All our belongings were either sold or in a container ready to be shipped to a county on the other side of the planet. Out dog, who was basically our fist “child” was with my mother-in-law waiting to eventually be picked up and moved to Australia too.
It’s 12 years since we started our new chapter in a country, so far away from everything and everyone we knew. I’m sitting on a rock somewhere between Steavenson Falls and Keppel Lookout. I’m taking in the view. It was thanks to Miriam and her travel stories on her blog that I discovered this beautiful place, just a couple of hours out of Melbourne.
The view of the little towns below, the hills, the forests. I breath in the fresh and crisp air. I feel the warmth of the sun on my back while I watch the kids. I watch my son eating his sandwich, sitting on a rock as well, taking in the view. I listen to my daughter who is chatting with my husband while eating her food. I have a cheese sandwich in one hand and a granny smith apple in the other.
I’m out here, up on top of a hill way outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on the other side of the world. And yet I haven’t felt as close to my dad as I’m feeling right now in this very moment.
He has never been here. Although travelling so much and having skied in Australia in the sixties, he has never made it to this place. He has seen so much of this world, he travelled to places that now seem so easy to reach, but back then were not only hours but weeks of travelling away from where you lived. He has seen it all, done it all. And he shared his adventures with us children by telling the stories.
I remember the sparkle he had in his eyes when he was visiting us only months after we moved. I was pregnant with our daughter and he was 86. He travelled down under again finally, not making it to the country that has given him the most of his amazing adventures: New Zealand. But he was here us, experiencing Melbourne one more time. After he was here in the sixties. And he told us everything he remembered. He pointed out where he was staying. A hotel close to Flinders Station. And he told us everything about skiing in Thredbo, him and the Swiss National Ski Team back in the days…
I’m up there, far above Marysville. Eating my cheese sandwich and green apple. The taste of the combination takes me back to the many hikes I did with my dad back in Switzerland. All those days spending outside, experiencing nature and doing things together.
I look at the soft curves of the green hills in the background and it takes me back again to Switzerland and to another little excursion we did as a family. I can’t help but smile and another strong feeling hits me while I breathe in the air and the smell of the autumn leaves combined with the soil and whatever else is in the air. Things like this just hit a spot, you know. They trigger memories and feelings. I can’t help it.
I look at my kids and wonder if one day they will be taken back to this very moment. I wonder if they will feel the sun on their skin and remember this day. I wonder if they will smell the air one day and remember the conversation and the laughter we shared today. I wonder if one day they will be a bit cold and shiver but then remember us walking through the Australian forest chatting about this and that.
While I sit here wondering about all of this while taking it all in I realize one thing: It doesn’t matter where you are in this world. You create memories. You create them by simply doing. You create them by sharing time and experiences together. This is it. This is what memories are made of, this is how stories are created. This is why you remember places and people. You share an experience.
My dad is no longer with us and yet he was so present in this very moment. I realise that he will always be there, he will always be part of it. And while things change, while you might move and some people might leave in one way or the other, you will always have your memories. Memories that will bring back that warm, cosy feeling, the smile and the feel-good moments.
It’s those moments, those memories that will always stay with you and last forever and will make you feel as if nothing has changed although everything might have …
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Stay tuned next month for anther story, another guest blogger and more travel and inspiration as I aim to bring the world just a little bit closer together.
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Outanabout YOLO “You only live once”