Home sweet home?


I have long believed that being outdoors dissipates ratty behaviour in children. The nastiness evaporates.  It is diluted in the breeze and space and light.  Their shouts have less force, there are no walls to bounce off, no echos, no corners. (the opposite of this effect is called cabin fever, and not some lovely Laura-and-Mary cabin either)

Since stopping our travels, I have learnt that movement has a similar effect on baggage.
Not the backpack sort, the OTHER sort. Memories, fears, lingering festering doubts, troubled histories, petty dislikes, traumas and boring old crappy memories of mediocrity that play in my mind like re-run tv episodes…..when I am in motion, all these things lose their strength. I cannot be caught and tied down so well as when I am sitting ….like a sitting duck.

When I am moving, I am unencumbered. I am not stagnant, and plaque and and mould cannot grow on me.  I am more like a slippery leaf floating on top of  a river, than a stone being jostled and bashed about on its floor.

When I am moving, my mind is open for business. I’m out in the world saying ‘Hello! Here I am, what can you teach me today? What can I do?”



At home in my house I’m not really open for business, I’m not going to meet anyone new, see anything I haven’t seen before, or encounter anything unpredictable.  Its all in English here. I got it covered, I’m right here in my rut, with all my junk, same as yesterday, and same as tomorrow. I feel like a fat lazy (lactating) cow chewing my cud. Knee deep in it.

(I know I know I could  go out and meet people and do things, but doing so here is like climbing out of a vat of mud with lead weights on. When I’m traveling it just happens…usually before breakfast)



I’m engulfed by memories of who I was last time I was here, or the time before that….


In my old bedroom in the house I grew up in, I am straight away a silly, boy-crazy, not very studious high school student surrounded by incriminating old diaries and half read textbooks, still on the shelves.

Down by the river, I am a child at myriad family picnics.

At the traffic lights, I am the popcorn girl late for work at the cinema. Seriously, every time I stop at those red lights, that’s where my mind takes me.

The memories are not all bad, not at all. But it is impossbible for a memory to be new and different. Its all re-runs.


Now that I have stopped, there’s this flood of stuff, baggage and nonsense that has swelled in behind me like tsunami. Now I AM a sitting duck. Now I am in for for a dunking if not a drowning.

I’m sitting back in our old house, surrounded by boxes. I’m on the floor, because the couches are stacked, because the boxes are taking up all the space. In the front room is all the stuff ‘for sale‘

Oh, that a hord of bargain hunters would knock upon my door with hands full of cash and poor self discipline when it comes to extraneous items they didn’t know they wanted…


In a cruel mockery of the traveling spirit, I’m now doing 10km per day by foot around the house again. Picking stuff up, sweeping again, finding things, chasing the baby, making mess, tidying it up again. 10km a day, without a change in the view, or the soundtrack. ( I’m not kidding, I wore a pedometer once)

I used to do 300km a week in my car, school and back, ballet and back, other, (crappier) school and back. 300km a week!! Round and round and round again. Snowy was a late walker and talker, not surprising; he grew up strapped into the back seat!


In 2009  we drove around Australia for 9 months. It took not much more than 300km a week, and if you add on the 150km a week that Chris did, round and round, in his car, I reckon driving around Australia was less milage all up!  And we saw stuff! And met people! And healed! And thrived!

Trip 1 WA, NT, QLD images.121

We need to be here for a bit, earn some dosh, do a few jobs, see a few people. These are the facts, and I will love the seeing people part.   I just wish I could put the part of me that’s gonna hurt, in the freezer, and get it out when its time to travel again.


Maybe I’m a newness junky. An eternally immature, stimulation-seeking, novelty-gravitating stability-phobe.

Which only matters if it makes me makes me a bad mother.

Travel is not my salvation.  It’s just my favourite.


Anyone know how I feel?


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34 Responses to Home sweet home?

  1. Jennifer Pearce March 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, Jill, so beautifully and with such an open heart. Lately, I’ve been a bit stuck in sad thought patterns and memories that distract me from all the joy to be found in the present moment. Many triggers all at once can do that to a person, that’s for sure. We are traveling a bit right now though, after a long stint of being homebodies in Ubud. It really does feel nice to be out and about again. Isn’t it true how amazing things just seem to magically happen while traveling, which seem so difficult to come by otherwise? I’m still not exactly sure why it works that way, but that’s what keeps me coming back for more, every time. It’s so refreshing and rejuvenating. I’m excited to hear about the new adventures you’ll have during your time at home though, too. I’m sure the months spent in a less stimulating environment, will help make your upcoming travel adventures even more welcome and rewarding, which are thankfully getting closer every day. :) Just keep swimming…walking…driving…whatever the case may be, and know you have lots of people who love you and are cheering for you. Thank you for being you, exactly as you are. You make a wonderfully positive difference in my life, and in the lives of very many others, of that I am certain.

  2. Deb @ Bright and Precious March 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Oh Jill! You’re home! (See how much I have to catch up with?). I read your reflections and could relate. Even though I haven’t travelled for years (and not with kids) – I related to that sense of nostalgia for life on the road, the thrill of the new adventure. There’s nothing wrong with being a newness junkie. It reflects your curious and passionate spirit. You’re GOOD at travelling. And coming home is such a static strange state to be in after life on the road for so long. I can’t wait to read more reflections. xx

  3. Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel April 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Hmmm, yes, I feel more aware and alert when on the road, as if everything is brighter and you’re so right, it’s MUCH easier to be in the moment and to be mindful.

    So lucky for me, I’m outta here with two of my children in 24 hours… on a plane FOR 24 hours and then seeing Mum and sisters and brother and all the family in Scotland for a couple of weeks.

    Then back… hmmm….
    Seana – Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel recently posted..15 Things To Do In Sydney These April School HolidaysMy Profile

  4. Ainlay April 18, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    Just found this blog and loving it. Te only cure for your wanderlust is more travel. My hubby & I took off last year to travel for a year with our 4 kids and I’m just about to pack them all up again for two months on the Trans SIberian Express. Sadly that’s all we can take off right now – we are arriving back literally one day before school starts again!

    The one thing that helped with re -entry blues was that we came back to a new house and school in a different state than the one we left so it was sort of like we were still traveling. By the time we sorted out schools, grocery stores, churches, neighbors we had found new friends and new activities so it wasn’t just slotting into the same old, same old that we had left. Seems to have worked, but I am looking forward to getting back into travel mode!

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