Sunday, June 19, 2011

West vs East

Last year we had a plan. We were going to travel around Europe and the USA and our last destination on our itinerary was Melbourne. We were going to stay for 4 nights, visit friends, drink coffee & wine and seriously ask ourselves could we live here? Then we had a baby in Tokyo and of course our plans changed. We decided to return to Perth for the comfort of familiarity and the support of family and regroup. Its been a mix bag.

The downside to living in Perth is that in the last 12 months there was a mass exodus in our group of friends. We have a really great bunch of friends. Proper close friends you can talk crap and drink wine with but also call them in a crisis, people I love. They have scattered themselves all over the world from London to Singapore to Broome to Melbourne. So Perth for us at the moment is a little weird. Its the city that both Ross and I grew up in but it feels foreign and we both have the feeling that perhaps its time to move on. We both are feeling that there is maybe more out there both career and lifestyle wise and it might be time to pack up and explore.

On the flipside, since we got back from Tokyo we have met more new people than ever before. Mainly because we have a baby. These new friends are amazing. They are on the same page as us, not just the baby page but you know when you meet people who from your tribe? We also have our family here. They are also amazing. I never grew up with Grandparents or extended family as they live in NSW & Victoria, it was always just my Dad, Mum, brother and me. I never really got to know my Grandparents that much as we only ever saw them a handful of times before they passed away. Ross grew up with Grandparents who are still in our lives now and its fabulous. I look at Ross' family and they are all so close, they celebrate everyones birthdays with massive get-togethers, their Christmases are magic and its kind of something I want Tallulah to experience. Its the kind of family I always wanted when I was a kid.

But then we start to thinking if we don't go and live somewhere different now while Tallulah is still little we may never leave. This scares me. 18-year-old Renee was always going to move to Melbourne but I went to uni, then travelled, then started a jewellery label, then decided to study again, then I opened a shop in Perth and juggled an amazing job working for Perth Fashion Festival. Owning my own business meant Perth and I were in a committed relationship. But then last June my business partner and I decided to sell and we waved goodbye to our little shop. It was all types of sad and excitement. But suddenly Ross and I had no ties to Perth and the world became our oyster. 

We still feel the world is our oyster and we have always said that our dreams don't have to over since becoming parents. Its just certain things have become more important now we have a kiddo! Since we have been back in Perth we have had what seems a million conversations (mostly over wine, I swear I have wine on the brain!) about what our next step should be. It seems to change weekly, sometimes daily but what we are scheming at the moment feels pretty spot on. 

Our lease is up early next year and we are planning to pack up our house (again!) and go on a 6 week holiday to the USA. Then on our return to Perth move in with the Parentals (again!) and explore career options in both Perth and Melbourne and just see what is on offer and then go from there.

But you know what, we had grand plans before and the most unexpected (and amazing!) thing happened to us and everything changed so I guess I have learnt that planning is super fun but sometimes plans choose you which is why we are just going to see what happens! Good plan, I think! 


Jess said...

So exciting. My siblings in law just took our niece and nephew to Sydney to start an amazing new life. What a fun time to be at in life.
PS: America is AWESOME!

fifi said...

thanks for this post!!!! it has been hot topic in our household for about a month now. and i'd blog about it but my mum reads my blog ;) everything you say is so true. and since experiencing life AWAY from family with Lottie it seems insane to be away for any longer. for us its the opposite though - we feel like if we are going to be in a place like perth its best while she's little and most dependent on us (ie: we'll have less 'adult' time) and in melbourne, whilst we have active awesome lives, it feels like we live in this amazing city that we can't quite enjoy!!! oh - i could talk forever about this. plus, how do i get a new mums group? mine is flippin' RAD! i'd miss them so much.

and yes - america is awesome. we spent quite a bit of time there. what you got planned? san fran is incredible, as are all of the national parks surrounding and K proposed to me in brooklyn so i have a mega soft spot for that place :)

p.s. great to hear a bit of biographical stuff about you - you certainly can't say you didn't live a full life before kinder surprise came along! go you!

Renee said...

@Jess- I can not wait to go to America, I am beyond excited!

@fif- I so know what you mean about not being able to do much adult stuff whilst the babes are little! Its great having the parentals near as they love babysitting and its give us some 'us' time which is super nice!

So, I have heard from a bunch of friends with kids that mums group are totally hit and miss! I love mine to bits so I have lucked out! We did ours through our suburbs health centre! I think you also join playgroups too- there is a super great one in Mt Lawley!

Anonymous said...

Wow this post sounds like something that comes out of my mouth! I love Perth purely for my family, great career opportunities and okay I admit it has good weather. But there is so much more to see and I was always said to myself at 23 that I would travel some more after living in Japan and then I did honours, then I got a job, and then I bought a house and then I got married and you get the picture.

Ever since then, I've been rather unfair on Perth. I'm always complaining about something whether it is the ridiculous food/drink prices ($11 for a pint and $4.50 for a flat white???), or the 'backward' mentality at change (are we getting this river redevelopment or what?).

I always thought I would be in London, New York or even Melbourne (my fave fave Australian city) by this stage. But you know what? I'm currently really happy just being a mum at the moment and just seeing where things take us. I don't mind Perth as much at the moment and see the benefits of being around family.

I admire your courage to acknowledge that you still want to see the world but are open to what ever life throws you on the way.

BTW we are practically neighbours! I'm more than happy to meet you sometime for a coffee (hahah $4.50 flat white!) with our bubs around our local area? Let me know!

Renee said...

@sassandspice- coffee would be fun! I don't hate Perth but you know when you just realise that there is probably more exciting and fun places to live in the world? I just want to get amongst it and not be scared about doing it with a baby!

Did you love living in Japan? I loved it for the 2 months we were there and I'm pretty sure will return for a mammoth holiday when Tallulah is a little older!

Anonymous said...

ohhh dilemas dilemas!

My sister lives in Melbourne and every time I visit her I decide I want to move there. Apart from the weather, its just the BEST city ever. I get the feeling you guys would fit right in.

We made the move to a remote coutry town for career/financial reasons- then I got pregnant by surprise. We had no friends or family here. The friends part has been fine, I do think having kids makes it easier to meet new people.. but there is no substitute for family.
Somedays I would give my right arm for a cuppa with my Mum.. Its sad that Bay doesn't recognize her Grandparents.. None of my family are really getting to know her that well. And most of all it is hard not having any family support.. you never get a break, as there isn't anyone to lend a hand- ever!

It must have been quite hard for you both to process such a massive change of plan. A Round the World trip vs. Coming Home to raise a CHild its like you are living in the Land of Opposites!

I did do lots of travel before having a baby, including living/working overseas for a few years.. so in many ways I got that out of my system.. but lots of my friends are still living 'the dream' and when I hear all about their amazing travel plans and adventures I wish it were us.
I wonder how I ended up in a dusty town in the middle of nowhere with a baby.

I do really like your philospohy of waiting to see what happens.. I agree that more often than not, the answer becomes obvious as time goes on. It is wonderful that we live lives where we have such wonderful choices.