I will be the first to admit this blog post is well overdue! But in the midst of moving countries during a global pandemic, a breakup and finding my feet again, taking some time offline really was the best resolve.
For those of you who are new here or feeling a little behind on my life happenings, I moved to South Africa back in November of 2019. A few months later, the pandemic was in full swing. And after a year of living in Cape Town (mostly indoors with multiple lockdowns), I recently moved back to Australia to start again.
Struggling to keep up? Try living it! I wrote this blog post about starting again (again) in your late twenties.
Moving back home to Tasmania
When I moved home to Australia back in November, I was still in a relationship. But I think it would be fair to say we both knew what was coming ~ doom! Just kidding. But we both knew dating across country borders during a pandemic would be difficult. Impossible? No. But with so many reasons to move home and only one reason to stay, I made the decision to pack up my bags and leave South Africa.
Besides, my visa expired. Which is fairly unromantic but it is true. I’m also a firm believer that the universe pushes us in the direction our life ought to take. And after giving it a shot, I felt myself being drawn back home to Australia.
More specifically, Tasmania. This is the island where I grew up and it made perfect sense to move home. With all the uncertainty of the pandemic looming and the temptation of living a covid-free lifestyle (we haven’t had a case here for months), it made sense. Plus, I have all of my friends and family here and while I’m not sure it is where I will live forever, it feels good for right now.
Readjusting to life in the slow lane
A lot of friends, family and readers of my blog have asked me how it has been moving home. The truth is that it has been quite an adjustment. I’ve mostly missed my daily dose of the beach in Cape Town, plus the ongoing excitement of living in a new city. There was always a new restaurant to dine in or a new neighbourhood to explore in Cape Town. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. I of course miss a handful of friends I made, market days at Oranjezicht and day trips along the Western Cape. I miss the culture, the people I met and the constant force of challenging my thought patterns from growing up in a Western country.
But for everything I miss, there’s a feeling to counteract that. While I don’t have the beach, I have plenty of nature to explore here in Tasmania. And instead of dining out, I’ve been re-learning old recipes in the kitchen.
What hasn’t changed is the feeling of missing my friends ~ who are dotted around the world from New York to Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi to London. And if there’s one aspect of the pandemic I’ve struggled with most it is not being able to go see them on a whim. But no matter where I choose to base myself, from a lifetime of travel I have learned I will always be missing someone.
But all in all I couldn’t be happier to be home. It was a weird feeling being stuck in a foreign country with no clear way of getting home. It certainly taught me to not take the freedom of travel for granted and humbled me about all I had experienced in my twenty nine years of living.
It also forced me to put a lot of things into perspective. I’ll be turning thirty this year and I’ve finally had the time to stop and reflect on what I want out of the next decade. Kinda scary! But for the first time in eight years of living out of a suitcase, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect.
Inside my new home
So with all of these big life changes happening at once, I finally stopped to reassess where I’m at in life. I’ve always been a bit of a lone ranger (this being a solo travel blog after all) and I’m honestly happy to be living on my own. I find a lot of clarity when I’m spending time alone and really, perhaps too much, enjoy my own company.
During the last few months I have moved into and started decorating my newest home. You guys might remember my first one bedroom apartment and the townhouse I renovated a couple of years ago. Both of these felt like older versions of myself, so instead of moving back into one of these, I purchased a house I felt could be my forever home.
Brosa Desk, Sunday Lane Glass, West Elm Vase
But in a classic Brooke move, I’ve started to ponder what forever really means anyway. I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to settle in one place (maybe) or if anywhere will ever feel like the end goal. The more time I spend making this house a home, the more I feel like it is the answer for right now. But I’d be lying if I said this was it for me or ~ dare I say it ~ my travel days are over. Never.
I think the pandemic has definitely taught all of us to reflect inwards and really make peace with where we are, why we’re there and who we are with. At the moment I’m happy feeling grounded, which probably comes as a direct counterbalance to living out of a suitcase since 2012. For now, this is where I want to be. Forever? I’m not so sure.
I think there is also beauty in not knowing. In not saying you won’t get it wrong sometimes. In never being too proud to pack up and move home. Because if you don’t try, you never know.
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