Getting Grounded & My Country On Fire

 

Where I Am

I’m finally back home, after spending close to 3 years on the road.

Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, France, Greece, Malta… Holy smokes, what a bloody journey. I’m working on a very belated Year In Review post to try and sum up the year that was, but for now, I’m happy to be home with family.

While I was on the road, so many different families bought into the fold with zero hesitation – it truly warmed the cockles of my heart. Knowing that where ever I go I can feel that special warmth of a happy and loving home really makes a girl feel special. So huge thank you to all my new families across the globe. You’ll always be welcomed with open arms by me and mine ❤️

Coming home for the silly season was a happy accident, but the timing was perfect. Because bringing in a new year with friends and fam back home is something I didn’t realise I’ve been sorely missing over the past three years. There’s nothing like spending weeks with your loved ones in the comfort of your home town. Though I must admit, the new year had come before I even realised what was happening, because here I am still putting 2018 down on forms…

 

Onto a serious note, coming home this time around has been more emotional than ever, because my country is on fire.

I remember talking to my parents while we were all in Malta together and demanding that they recite our fire plan to me. They live in a rural area that only just escaped the Black Saturday fires in 2009, and I’m always getting in their grill about being prepared. And yes, I am the parent in our relationship, much to their chagrin. They said I was being over the top, but I reiterated that I was convinced this year’s fires were going to be worse than ever. It’s one of the few times I haven’t enjoyed being right.

I’m going to do a write up on the fires soon, because, like many Australians, this catastrophe has shaken us to the core. I’ve never experienced an entire country banding together in a time of crisis like this, and the international support we’ve received has been mind-blowing. It’s a weird feeling knowing that what’s happening right now will affect us all for years to come, both emotionally and economically, and it’s tough to try and file that away in your noggin.

One thing that has ironically helped us Aussies to band together during the fires has been our burning dislike of our leader. Yup, the one person who should have been rallying the country via his actions, not inactions. ScoMo. Or as his final form has proven to be, Scotty from Marketing. A man with a lot of experience in tourism and marketing, but fuck all in being a compassionate and functioning leader. And a penchant for forcing people to shake his hand.

Not once…

…but twice

I just… Uhggg I can’t. I can’t deal with this guy.

Perhaps the robots are trialling their takeover of humanity by releasing their first-gen robot overlord in Australia. Hate to tell you robots, but it ain’t going well.

 

Where I’m Going

Looking to the future, and after minimal deliberation as per usual, I’ve decided that Melbourne isn’t for me. Sure, it’s an awesome city, and it’ll always be OG home. But honestly, I’m over it. I’m not excited living here any more, and after all my travels, I’m not even phased by the idea of going somewhere where I don’t know anyone.

I looked up towns along the east coast of Australia and tried to narrow down my perfect climate. QLD is too hot and humid, VIC is too meh, and ACT wasn’t even considered for a magnitude of obvious reasons. So NSW it is. Narrowing down from there, I knew it had to be north of Sydney, have good surf, a relaxed vibe and great diving. That narrowed it down to anywhere between Byron Bay to Tweed Heads. So that’s the aim, peoples!

At this stage, I’ll be heading up there around March/April, and sorting out the little details like, you know, a house, then. I’ve found that planning things down to a tee too far in advance shuts me off from a lot of awesome opportunities, so I’m more than happy just to have the framework of a plan at the mo.

There’s also a small chance that my most awesome of matey-potateys, Chloe (who you should remember from our Susan Savandon van shenanigans and time in Victoria in Canada) will be moving there at the same time. Could we see super awesome Chloe & Nikita adventures 2.0? More crappy parkour? Advanced drunken escapades and losing valuable items? Stay tuned!

 

Once I’m up north, I’ve got more than a few things to look forward to:

  • Joining the volunteer fire fighting service to give back to the community
  • Beach and ocean clean-ups in that slice of paradise
  • Living near a swimmable beach and diving to my heart’s content
  • Expanding my business and working with awesome local companies on their content and marketing needs

 

It’s an exciting time, and I’m absolutely itching to get up there.

 

 

I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
But I’ve gotta tell ya mate, I like it better when it rains.
The countryside is dying and there’s no end in sight,
And just to rub salt in the wounds, the bush has caught alight.
The landscape is on fire from Brisbane to the Gong,
And everybody’s asking “where the hell did we go wrong?”
But we can get through this one if we help each other out,
Take care of your neighbour, that’s what Aussies are about.
The rain is going to fall again, the good times will return,
But living in Australia means at times it’s going to burn.
So if you need a helping hand, just give a mate a call,
We’re all here to help you out and catch you when you fall.
The RFS, the SES, the Firies and Police,
All put their lives upon the line to help to keep the peace.
So hats off to these heroes and thanks for all you do,
And I hope that when this is over we can make it up to you!

 – Troy Gerdes

 

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