I was born and raised in rural Australia and am the eldest daughter of a science teacher and child-care worker. It was hot in summer and cold in winter and far from the sea and from Sydney – my two loves at the time.
The sea is still my great love, but I made a tree change to Canberra from Sydney a few years ago for my other great love, my French husband. It’s an expansive city, full of trees and parks and yet still has all the amenities of a big metropolis. It’s wonderful. Is it too far from the sea? Yes it is.
However, it is closer than Prague, another city I lived in a while back. Much closer. A wonderful time in my life, but unsustainable. For one, I just couldn’t get my head around the language. And two, it was a landlocked country. I still miss the fried cheese and despite my best efforts have never been able to reproduce it at home.
In Barcelona, I had a go at learning Spanish and did much better. At that time you could get by speaking Spanish, something I don’t think is the case now. At any rate, I fell in love with Barcelona and a little village on the Costa Brava where I lived on my three day weekends. I became acquainted with the Black Madonna of Montserrat, read lots of books about feminist spirituality, visited isolated dolmens in forests on the weekends and did lots of short car trips into Languedoc in France.
Back in Australia I got a bit stuck. I left a big part of myself in that little Catalan village and really struggled with my re-entry into Australia. There have been other difficult transitions since then, but using the strategies that worked with that transition back to life in Australia, I now can navigate them with greater ease and less suffering.
I’d love to support you on that journey too.