Category Archives: Australia

boxes and furniture piled in the garage

Many Boxes

Our last months and weeks in the US were hectic, to put it mildly. We had already been preparing for the move for weeks: making and adding to lists of things to give away and enticing friends to take them, getting various paperwork we needed to be able to get into Australia (only Australian citizens Read More…

Our last months and weeks in the US were hectic, to put it mildly. We had already been preparing for the move for weeks: making and adding to lists of things to give away and enticing friends to take them, getting various paperwork we needed to be able to get into Australia (only Australian citizens and their immediate family members are currently allowed in), canceling subscriptions, insurance, utilities, etc. You don’t know how many financial and logistical ties you have to a place until you’re trying to unravel them all.

We had planned all along to do our own packing, to avoid possible COVID exposure from the movers. It would be a big job, and we started weeks in advance, putting everything we wouldn’t need to see or use for a few months into boxes. (Another advantage to doing your own packing is that it’s far less wasteful: I spent well over $1000 on packing materials, but we used clothing, linens, etc. to pad our breakables, and therefore less bubble wrap.)

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vintage poster from the Sydney Bridge Celebration 1932 showing a muscular man in a bathing suit with a flag, other people in beachwear, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background and the slogal "Australia is calling: sunshine, happiness, opportunity",

Why move to Australia?

Though we haven’t said it out loud to many people until recently, our move to Australia has been in the works for years (very fortunately, because it took two years to get my partner visa!). In that time, the people we have told often had questions about why I would want to move “so far Read More…

Though we haven’t said it out loud to many people until recently, our move to Australia has been in the works for years (very fortunately, because it took two years to get my partner visa!). In that time, the people we have told often had questions about why I would want to move “so far away.” 

The grimly ironic situation now is that no one questions our decision to move – many are frankly envious.

But, even before COVID, there were plenty of good reasons to move to Australia.

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Australia 2014-2015

This was our second trip to Australia – we went three Christmases in a row. The tickets had been paid for before we realized I had breast cancer, and, as it turned out, the trip was an important respite between surgery and chemotherapy. I only learned for sure that I would have to have chemo the day we Read More…

This was our second trip to Australia – we went three Christmases in a row. The tickets had been paid for before we realized I had breast cancer, and, as it turned out, the trip was an important respite between surgery and chemotherapy.

I only learned for sure that I would have to have chemo the day we landed in Sydney. Knowing that we would be returning to months of hellish treatment, we decided to have as much fun as we could during our vacation!

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Helicopter Ride at Uluru and Kata Tjuta

While visiting Uluru, we did something that was a first for both of us: took a ride in a helicopter. Like everything else at Uluru/Kata Tjuta, the ride was easy to arrange: we went to the tourist office at the central square, booked it, and charged it to our hotel (we later settled the bill Read More…

While visiting Uluru, we did something that was a first for both of us: took a ride in a helicopter.

Like everything else at Uluru/Kata Tjuta, the ride was easy to arrange: we went to the tourist office at the central square, booked it, and charged it to our hotel (we later settled the bill for everything when we checked out).

The views were, of course, stunning –  but the ride itself was also a lot of fun. I want to do that again!

The red desert was surprisingly green; it has received an unusual amount of rain for the last four years.

Brendan in a helicopter

 

Port Douglas: “Could Be Worse…”

Early January is off-season in Port Douglas, and we soon learned why: we arrived to tropical rain like I hadn’t seen in years (possibly decades). Leaving the hotel for a walk without umbrellas was a mistake, as very quickly became clear: we were drenched to the skin ten minutes out. In the warm, tropical evening that Read More…

Early January is off-season in Port Douglas, and we soon learned why: we arrived to tropical rain like I hadn’t seen in years (possibly decades).

Leaving the hotel for a walk without umbrellas was a mistake, as very quickly became clear: we were drenched to the skin ten minutes out. In the warm, tropical evening that was no hardship (until we got inside the air-conditioned grocery store).

Port Douglas is a small town without a lot of excitements to offer in the evening (not that we particularly wanted any). No, we did not go see the cane toad racing and, more disappointingly, we never managed to get to this pie shop while it was open:

tropical Australian pies

Brendan did manage to find some of his favorite treats at the supermarket:

musk sticks!

Beach swimming is not attractive during the rainy season, mostly because of the stinging jellyfish. This patch of surf was cordoned off with a boom and net to keep them out, but didn’t look particularly nice anyway; we stuck to the hotel pool.

stinger danger

Our main reason for being in Port Douglas was to explore the nearby Daintree Forest and Great Barrier Reef – more on that later!