I was reading an article about how the smallest thing – a new color, texture, smell – is a “learning” moment for a child.  “The growing brain next needs stimulation in order to change and develop. One thing it loves: novelty.”  That single line made me think of Australia.  It seems we’re always trying to reclaim our youth, right?  A time when we’re able to conquer fear of something within a blink of an eye.  A time when the smallest, simplest thing held our fascination for hours, days.  And, that’s exactly what happened to us in moving to Australia.  No matter what kind of move you make – whether it’s to a new apartment or house, to a new job or relationship, a different state, or to the other side of the world – it’s definitely a learning experience, and what’s more, a necessary experience. 

We miss Australia.  We really do.  It’s the type of sad that 15th Century British romances are made of.  Lingering, idyllic, painful and character changing.  When we were in Oz, it seemed like we had been there for a long time – a year.  But really, in retrospect, what’s a year?  What actually changes in a year?  With friends and family 10 time zones away, there were definitely days when I was like, “Everybody is probably so different now!  They probably don’t even remember us!  Nobody misses us!”  Once we came back, though, we realized, well, nothing really changed.  Different hairstyles, maybe.  New pile of bricks, possibly.  Lost/gained 5 lbs, whatever.  Australia, take us back!!

The one thing that did change, however, was US.  We learned, once more, that everyday can be a learning experience.  And, just as when you’re a kid, there’s a big curve.  In your comfort zone, going to the grocery store isn’t a big hurrah.  But, it does require a little more brainpower when your Rice Krispies are replaced with Rice Bubbles and you can’t find Oreos.  It’s an amazing feeling, though, to have your brain stretch in new ways.  

I have family and friends that have swapped the East Coast for the West.  And now, one of my friends is entertaining the idea of moving abroad – and I couldn’t be happier.  In fact, we’re considering it again, too.  Why stay in one place right now?  Sure, logistics might be difficult.  Funding can be tight.  But the payoff?  Priceless.  Maybe you realize how odd/bad/crazy things are where you were.  On the other hand, maybe you gain a new appreciation for what you left behind.  Either way, a learning experience fo’ sho.  I know one day we’ll strive for stability, and all the ‘adult’ responsbilities society deems right for us.  Until then….