We woke up at 6.30, one hour ahead of our alarm clock and started our usual morning routine. The night before I had texted our daughter to tell her to set her alarm for 7.30 to make sure she was up in time. As I sat on my bed, ready to say “see you later” to Brisbane, I heard Ahmed talking to our son. He was up early too.
The night before, I sat with my son on my bed, watching on on his iPad, he told me he was “excited for tomorrow”. I asked him why? What was tomorrow and he said one word “Canberra”. That’s a good sign. Until now, he said he didn’t want to leave his family in Brisbane. He quickly followed up his excitement with the caveat, ‘We are only a 2 hour flight from family now’ (and not 24 hours) and in case “I was worried”, we would be back again in June for a visit which was only 5 weeks away! Ah this boy, he has such a lovely spirit.
As we collected our last minute bits and bobs (including Ahmed’s phone which he forgot was on charge in the living room) and said good bye to the family, we packed up the car and squeezed ourselves in. It was an emotional goodbye with a few tears and a lot of well wishes…
Getting into the car was tight with our worldly goods, but we managed to get it all (and us) into the car and set off at 09.00 on the dot as planned.
The first two hours of the drive went pretty quickly, we listened to music and chatted away. We then had a little stop off at a petrol station to fill up the tank (we agreed that before the tank reaches half way, we will always fill up at the next opportunity as the land mass of Australia is very different to the UK and as the young people say; we don’t want to be caught slipping fam! This petrol station was very small, but had all we needed.
As we left the worlds smallest petrol station, it started to rain, but it quickly stopped as it often does in Australia. It’s funny to look back; as on the two occasions we were packing up the car in Brisbane it also started to rain. Was this a sign?!? Or was it simply that we were moving into Autumn? Then we hit the road again.
Again, driving for another two hours, this leg was more difficult as we were feeling the impact of being squeezed into the car, with limited space. Ahmed also had spicy eyes (this meant he was tired and needed a break). We stopped of at probably the worlds most confusing service station; it was a little maze. We used the chance to stretch our legs and get some food. Then it was back on the road again. The kids were AMAZING and did not complain about the lack of space, about the bags and boxes leaning on them every turn we took or dropping every bump we drove over. They just shoved it back into place and cracked on… These are two resilient children; we’ve moved them half way across the world and away from everything they have known, to a different country, introduced them to new traditions and cultural practices, stuffed them in a car, about to drive 739.5 miles from Brisbane to Canberra and they just take it in their stride.
(AJ) Who would’ve known our expeditions to Southampton, Wales, Liverpool and Euro Disney were all practise for this drive! WOW!
Are we in civilization yet|?
JJ April 2019
We finally arrive in Port Macquarie at 17.00 and ready to explore. We dumped our kit in the hotel room, then went across the road… to the beach.
We spent the next hour taking photos and running away from the advancing waves.
It was becoming real; Our next chapter had began!
Peace, Love and Happiness!