We bid farewell to Anima, leaving her in 5 star comfort at Rebak Island Marina. Moving off involved sending twelve 20Kg boxes to our family and friends in Australia and taking 40Kg excess luggage each for our flights. My fellow plane travellers found it quite bizarre that I had a sewing machine with me!
Upon arriving home, I noticed how clean the air is here compared to SE Asia, how little rubbish there is and how many thousands more solar panels there are now!!! In the two years we were away from Brisbane, everyone must have gone solar mad. Almost every second house now has between 8 and 20 solar panels. We also noticed that everyone drives nice cars and has smart phones too. We are a bit behind in this regard as I have been using my old cheap Nokia phone and driving my old trusty (though a little more rusty) car - Boxy. My sister had her for the first year we were away and my brother had her for the second! I love driving and have enjoyed the fast freedom of having 4 wheels again.
We moved in with my best friend in Brisbane, renting her tiny spare room. Jacqui is astounded that we can fit most of our stuff into this small room - for us, it's huge!
I enjoyed eating lots of fresh dairy though was initially a little confused about the whole 'Permeate Free' campaign that is playing out with various milk brands. Fresh fruit and vegetables also tasted better - especially salad ingredients like Avocados, rocket lettuce and tomatoes. When we arrived it was the middle of winter - a novelty again after having spent the last 24 months in the tropics. I dusted off my warm clothes and had to do some serious self-control to be able to turn off the water in the shower. After not having lived with a shower for SO long, this was probably the most luxurious thing I relished in back on land. Luckily there were no water restrictions or I would have been causing a miniature drought!!
Pretty quickly the differences became normal and we started working, working, working. Rene jumped right back into his job as a Software Developer, proudly wearing his $100 Thailand suit into the city each day. I have been working as a supply and relief teacher in schools around South Brisbane. Each school is very different and I've (mostly) enjoyed seeing how they run, meeting different colleagues, teaching a variety of subjects and meeting hundreds of students. So far I've taught: English, Maths, Sport, Science, Art, Film & TV, Media, Learning Support, Study of Society, Ancient History, SOSE and Dance.
Working has been better than we'd both been dreading. It's stimulating to feel useful in the world, to be involved with a wider range of people and to be making money rather than spending it for a change! But when things are difficult or stressful, it's easy to reminisce about our cruising days and only remember the good times, not the difficult or stressful ones!
|Fishing in Northern NSW|
Living on land is definitely easier than on the water but we still miss the freedom of cruising. To cope with water-nostalgia, I bought a small kayak when it was on a half-price sale. My dream of owning a kayak, finally came true!
|Our adventures on the water are definately not over yet.|