Friday, April 15, 2005

Off to Australia

Last night I said goodbye to two wonderful friends (and their adorable 1-year-old daughter) who are moving to Australia. Yes, right here from good old Indy, they've sold everything (and I mean everything except the 5 boxes of personal items they shipped over) and are moving all the way around the world. Do they feel like they're starting over? Yes. But, as my friend said, it will be easier. "It's not like we won't ever see our families again."

It's true. With the Internet, email, and digital photos, grandma doesn't have to rack up those huge international phone bills calling into tomorrow. The world has become very small. Home is just 26-hours (and about $2500 US away.) Via email, I'll probably stay just as in touch as I did here -- except that we won't be able to just get together for a drink or go to a foreign film.

Mostly, I respect their fearlessness. I know so many people here who -- in their mid-30s after living an established life -- wouldn't dream of picking up and moving to the next city over, let alone to the far side of the world. I'm not even sure that when presented with a chance for the great unknown, I'd be able to do it myself. Sell the house, cars, all of your furniture? Give away most of your clothes and put your memories in storage? Even find a new home for your dog? I'd want to be able to do it, but I'm not sure that when presented with the great international uknown, I 'd actually be able to pull up some very shallow roots and do it. (Meanwhile, we're laughing about how soon they're going to be able to get their driver's licenses learning on the other side of the road.) They're fearless, I tell you.

So, here's a toast to Mark, Lisa and Isobella. May their adventure continue as they make their new home in Perth at the University of Southwestern Australia. It's nice to know I have a pre-planned vacation when I decide to make the 26-hour trek. It will be a delight to see their beautiful little girl grow up with an Aussie accent and to know that when we take a girls weekend trip, it will be to Hong Kong or Sydney instead of South Beach. I get first shout.

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