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So there were obstacles. Plenty of ’em. Leaving the farm. Taking the kids out of school. Paying the bills…
But this was a bucket list item. THE bucket list item. The one we’d shared for fourteen years since the two of us, supple-skinned and in love, had strapped a tent atop our troopie and headed off for a year to discover 50,000Ks’ worth of Australia.
It turned out a year wasn’t nearly enough. You’d need at least three, we’d declared. We’d go back and do it again when we had kids.
And so this year, with Miss Ten fast approaching high school, that’s suddenly where we found ourselves. With three littlies and the dream. Were we really going to do this?
When my sisters and I were little Mum used to daydream of taking a gap year with us. She wanted to take us out of school to live in France. Learn another language. Carry fresh baguettes in our bicycle baskets. Being a class-captain kind of a kid the thought freaked me out and I begged her not to do it. In the end perhaps she didn’t have the opportunity, or, lacking someone to share it with, the idea just never gained traction. We didn’t go. Now I wish we had. A magical year of family and freedom to punctuate the sameness of all those school years. That class-captain kid didn’t realise that those nervous butterflies atop the diving board evaporate in the joy of the leap.
I’m no great fan of regrets, but not making this happen – a chance to press pause and be with our kids, to freefall for a while – I knew I’d live to regret it.
And so to the obstacles. Well, as our departure approached, they ramped up. Escapee cattle trampled my vegie patch. The pump to the troughs broke. Four times. And the baby came down with chicken pox. Chicken pox I tell you!
Let’s just hope the higher and scarier the dive, the more euphoric the leap.