New Years Eve 2010, spent in the Curtains Up pub West Kensington pondering what the next 12 months had in store over a few glasses of mulled wine. We really had no idea.
January: Still in London, had decided to move back to Australia by now though. This wasn’t a spontaneous decision by any means, and to be honest still weren’t totally sure about it. Ingunn had already quit her job, i was still working with Elliott, and planning to finish up in February. Starting to plan our route back down to Sydney, do we go through South America: Inca trail, Patagonia, Galapagos Islands, or North America, Tahiti, New Zealand , or perhaps via Asia. By the end of the month we were boxing up all our belongings once again, and shipping them off Australia.
February: Starting to feel sad and guilty about leaving London our UK/Norwegian families behind. Alot of last minute soul searching, but decide returning to Australia has more opportunities to offer us for the moment. Discover that the Inca trail is shut indefinitely, so our route back to Sydney is decided: New York, California, Tahiti and New Zealand. Tickets booked, we’re leaving Saturday 20th. Start saying good bye to friends family, and frantically packing our remaining belongings, the last couple of weeks really were intense, there is alot more involved in moving to the other hemisphere of the planet than just packing your bags. I finish my job on Friday 19th, the next morning, we fly out to New York. Doesn’t feel real yet.
March: A blissful month of travelling, some of my highlights:
- Seeing a plum of elephant seals in the wild near San Simeon, CA.
- Spending a night in the Sequoia National Park and visiting General Sherman
- Kayaking around the coral reefs of the island of Moorea, Tahiti. We stayed in the Linereva resort; run by an exceptionally hospitable French couple would certainly go back there.
- Bicycle tour of the New Zealand Marlborough wine region.
- Trekking around NZ south island, place of exceptional natural beauty.
April: So we have just arrived back in Sydney, and have discovered out that Ingunn is pregnant. Experiencing that news is a real mixture of emotions. Absolute joy, wonder of how this is going to change your life, followed by sobering fear and a sense that we really need to get ourselves in a position to support a newly born baby. At this stage we were living in hotels, had no jobs, not even started looking. Neither of us had the first clue about babies either, I mean they feed and put themselves to bed each night right? A long chain of sleepless nights soon turned worry into panic, should we just head back to the UK/Norway was a recurring 3am thought? The rest of month was spent looking for apartments (not easy in Sydney, here are some tips) whilst looking for work. And more importantly is this baby going to be a boy/girl? My bet, a daughter.
May: After turning down a couple of offers, both were still looking for work at the beginning of the month, we had however found somewhere to live in Randwick, and a short walk to Bronte beach. Eventually take a job with MetaBit and some of the stress is alleviated. The reality of a baby had really sunk in now, starting to buy hundreds of books to find out what is going to happen for the next 8 1/2 months? What hospitals do we need to visit, doctors to visit, terrifying. We are here in Sydney alone, feel incredibly isolated/helpless at this point. The job market seems to be slowing, but Ingunn picks up a great contract by the end of the month, our belongings have arrived from the UK by now too; happy days.
June: Life starts returning to a familiar pattern. A scan confirms the baby is healthy, we see “it” for the first time but decide not to learn the sex. The baby name debate is starting to get complex, so I create a speadsheet which allows to to vote. Some massive storms hit Sydney, the surf is the biggest it has been in along time; rains shrimps.