Waterloo, Ontario, May 2012.

After 10 years of semi-nomadic student life together in North America and Europe, my husband (who appears in this blog as Ace) and I have decided to settle in Newcastle, Australia with our young daughter (who appears in this blog as Octavia).

My starting stock of antipodal knowledge is embarrassingly small, but not without its appeal. Marsupials! The Man From Snowy River! Art Deco ocean baths!

I’ve never been to Australia, but four months from now it will become home.

This blog is intended to cover the distance from here to there.

Newcastle, New South Wales, April 2013.

14 months ago, I learned of the existence of this Newcastle.

12 months ago, Ace came here for his interview. The first morning, eating breakfast overlooking Newcastle beach, he saw a pod of dolphins on his left, a pod of dolphins on his right, and a pod of surfers in between them. He decided at that moment that he wanted to move here. Not infrequently, he now refers to himself as “Born-to-surf” and regularly gets up at five to go surf with the dolphins. This does not surprise me.

8 months ago, I arrived. Newcastle is starting to feel familiar. I have transitioned from shock to mixed feelings to liking many aspects of life here, most of the time, for now. Can I qualify that further? I have still not seen any dolphins. This does not surprise me. What does surprise me is that I’ve taken up skateboarding.

The new wheeled hobbies.

The new wheeled hobbies.

Having a faithful readership in the early days of this adventure has meant the world to me. Thank you for following our story, and keeping me from feeling that I have fallen off the map entirely this year. It’s a strange process, starting over–full of grief and exhaustion and excitement and delight. I’m curious to see what the next year will hold.

November 2014

Most of the newness of Newcastle is wearing off, but I am here and still exploring. In the long run, we don’t know if we’re staying or if we are going, but we have an Australian now: Baby S, who is filling our days and nights with sweet slow small things and insisting on going outside into the bright southern light whenever we get near the door. I have more photos and fewer words these days. This year we will eat and sleep and consider any other accomplishment a happy extra.

Thanks for reading!