It’s been a while since my last blog entry and during the intervening time I went on holiday with my family to the place I grew up and the land I have always called ‘home’ – Australia.

A ride on Puffing Billy brought back many happy memories and made new ones for my children.

It was the first time my youngest son had been to visit his relatives ‘Down Under’ and our first trip back in almost 6 years.  On each of my previous trips  I have always felt a sense of wanting to stay, of tearing myself away when it was time to pack up and fly back – but this time something very odd happened.

It was fantastic to show my children my favourite places like Puffing Billy (the only train I know of that you can still hang your legs out of the windows!), Healesville Sanctuary and the schools I went to, but I felt more like a tourist and somehow detached, like it had all happened in a previous life or to someone else.

I’m not sure whether it was the fact that my children have only ever called the UK home, or that I am settled and happy in my lovely old farmhouse with good friends surrounding me, but something definitely felt different.  I still miss my parents, sister and extended family and really enjoyed seeing them and being a part of their lives again at least for a short while, but on the other hand I looked forward to getting back to my life too.

And then it dawned on me – after 12 years living away, my ‘home’ had finally become the UK and visiting Australia felt foreign.  It reminded me of the old saying that ‘home is where the heart is’  but that sometimes you don’t really know where home is until you are somewhere altogether different, somewhere you thought of as home for so long that you just took it for granted that it would always be.

It really made me evaluate what I have now achieved in my new life abroad and how far I have come, but has also given me a chance to look back at my early life in Australia and remember how much fun I had – and now I can do it without crying and longing for those days to come again.  There will always be a special place in my heart for Oz, but home is definitely here in England with my hubby and two gorgeous little boys.

Who thought a family holiday could mean so much?


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