After our road trip to Outback N.S.W. I am reflective. Immersed in a rugged, remote landscape, speaking to people who make rural Australia their life, my mental state has returned to a place I thought I left behind.
Last night, I dreamt I was back at my family’s farm. I was getting married and I wanted to be married there at the farm. But the farm had been sold. It was not possible. I stood and watched someone ripping up an old garden my Dad had built. My favourite flowers were tossed out like yesterday’s garbage.
That’s when I woke, crying.
The place I grew up – a farm located in the Upper Hunter in Australia – no longer exists. At least not for my family. We had to sell it when my Dad died four years ago.
Selling the farm wasn’t just losing a place for me. I lost a core part of myself when we sold it. So many important events in my life happened there. Somehow I always imagined the farm always being there. It was the place I felt most connected to and where I felt most connected to myself. It was my home base, no matter where I was in the world.
Since returning home to Australia, reminders of the past linger. I have found myself on more than one occasion exhausted simply from remembering, reliving those memories. Especially those days at the farm. It’s like a bandaid has been ripped off, but the was bandaid stuck on with superglue. My heart breaks over and over.
When I wrote the Broger’s End post, I wrote that just being there felt like reality was tapping on my soul’s window. For the first time in a very long time, I felt a connection to a place that I hadn’t felt since the farm. I can admit to what I have always known: I’m a country girl at heart. I’m just as comfortable tending to livestock as I am posting articles to this website. I’ve looked after cows, sheep, and chickens. I even raised a joey (baby kangaroo) we rescued after it lost his Mum in an unfortunate accident.
The other part of feeling lost has to do with the loss of family and their support. (Believe me, this is really hard to write, but I need to write about it.)
Some of my family have turned away because I look too much like my mother. We lost my Mum in 2001 and it’s hard to hear ‘you look so much like your mother’ at every family event and by every single family member. They don’t realise how hard it is to hear and don’t realise how very aware I am of this fact. (So much so that I see none of my father in my features!) I mean, I see it every time I look in the mirror. But to be excluded because of it…well, that’s something else all together.
It hurts deeply, but I understand how the loss of my mother haunts us all.
Some of our family have supported our move to Australia, our lifestyle as travel bloggers and of our plans to travel. Most, however, have not. It’s crushing when you have all these hopes and dreams and essentially… no one gives a shit. It certainly helps clarify what – and who – is important in your life! That’s how I look at it anyway.
I find myself eager to move on. I’m looking forward to moving away from Sydney, escaping this mad city as we embark on our full time travels. I’m eager to put some distance from the past and to those memories. I will finally be able to say “that part of my life is over.” While it’s hard to do that, I feel I need to.
While my soul craves to travel, I also look forward to the day when we find that place in the world to settle. To find that place in the world where I truly belong. A place where I can allow my inner-hippy to bloom.
Wherever that place is, it will be a small eco-friendly property, with some self-contained cabins/retreats that we will rent out. There will be an arbour, with blooming plants climbing up and over it, a spot overlooking the ocean. There, I will drink wine and eat ploughman offerings around a large picnic table with guests wishing to participate, while the sun sets beyond.
Tucked away, beneath some trees, I will have a writing studio. It won’t face the ocean. That would be too distracting. But I’ll still be able to hear the water lapping upon the shore.
And I will have a garden. A large, round garden, bordered and divided by rocks, that will be filled with herbs and my favourite flowers, just like the one at the farm. A garden with smells that will re-feed my soul and my core will once again be restored.
My dream showed me what I have been missing—a sense of belonging, a connection to a place. That’s probably why I loved the quote by David Mitchell: “Travel Far Enough, You’ll Find Yourself.”