Going away, arriving home

Kathy Krugergratitude, perspective, work-life balance21 Comments

The salt has settled all scratchy on my skin. The afternoon sea breeze is a cool, gentle caress. I inhale a fresh, sharp breath through my nose from my swim, reviving my senses. The shock of the cold water has refreshed my soul, stilling my eddying thoughts in a calm, clear pool. Clarity is bright before me, crystal like the water I have just stepped out of.

I have returned to Brunswick Heads – it feels like my spiritual home.

Brunswick water

Crystal clear water

As is usually the case, getting here has been somewhat of a drama – for starters we seem to pack as though we are camping – we stay in cabins.

We always forget things – last year it was the goldfish (since RIP) – Mr Yang had to do the dash back home to retrieve Bubbles.

The extended family holiday, an annual tradition, is sandwiched between the madness of Miss Yin’s annual dance concert (endless rehearsals etc) and the busyness of end-of-school-year activities. It’s a precious breather before the chaos of Christmas.

This year, our ninth, feels extra crazy with work frustrating and stressful, and like last year, Little Yang’s kindy concert has fallen on the morning of our departure, making last-minute preparations even more harried.

Then there is the slight problem of a rather large fridge.

Our old fridge died after 16 years and we’ve been making do with a small bar fridge for a few weeks. The new one was delivered two days before our departure only there was a bit of a problem – it wouldn’t fit through the front door.

Mr Yang intended to take off the front door, and remove the door jams (no small job), and somehow get it inside it what would still be a tight squeeze. But he ran out of time.

We weren’t all that keen to leave a brand new fridge outside under the carport for a week, so we decided to just get it inside through a sliding door into our office, knowing that we’d have to take it back outside again when we returned in order to get it through the front door and through to the kitchen (which incidentally needs ‘slight’ remodelling to accommodate said large fridge)!

the fridge

the pesky fridge

This (of course) proved no easy feat either – Mr Yang had to make a little ramp and we had to edge it up the ramp and through the opening, bit by bit, to avoid scratches. Twenty-five sweaty minutes later it was finally inside, and we were finally on our way to Brunswick Heads.

Did I mention that coming to Brunswick Heads each year feels like coming home – my soul is renewed and any and every effort is worth it!

friendly locals

friendly locals

Travel is always worth the hassles that seem inevitable…where to start with the stories?

Our flight to Vanuatu, via New Caledonia left two and a half hours late and when we arrived in Noumea airport (just before midnight) they wouldn’t let us fly on to Port Villa. So we and four other travellers spent an uncomfortable night together on hard plastic chairs in an airport café, only spotting the much more comfy lounges as we departed the next morning (we hadn’t been allowed into the lounge area since we hadn’t cleared customs). Did I mention it was the first night of our honeymoon!

As we flew out early we were ready to land before the air traffic controller in Port Villa had arrived for work (seriously we saw this little man scurry up the tower) – so we were treated to a low altitude lap of the island and a stunning introduction to Vanuatu time – she’ll be right mate, Minyama.

When we adopted Miss Yin from China, our pre-departure dramas were a saga that justifies an entirely separate post – just one of the main issues being the fact that Mr Yang snapped his Achilles tendon (playing Volleyball at work of all things) two weeks before we were due to fly. He went to China on crutches.

Mr Yang has a history of accidental injuries at inopportune times – two days before we traveled to Sydney for the 2000 Olympics, he ruptured a calf muscle (playing handball?!?) and it blew up like a balloon as he hobbled around the Olympic Stadium at Homebush.

Then there was the small matter of shooting himself in the chest with a nail gun – this incident didn’t occur at a particularly bad time, not that there is ever a good time to shoot yourself in the chest with a nail gun (the three inch nail missing his heart by 1cm and piercing his liver). Needless to say Mr Yang needed a couple of months off work (as a builder), which set back our savings for our big European trip six months later. In the end he had to sell his car to get on the plane.

Travel rarely comes without baggage  (and seldom without lost luggage) – problems in the planning phase, hassles getting to a destination, issues during the actual holiday or in getting back home.

In travelling, in getting away from the everyday, we journey home – inside ourselves. We gain new perspective, let adventures and foreign places open up new possibilities, or find renewal in the ritual of relaxation in places as comfortable and familiar as Brunswick Heads is to me.

I’d love to know how travel makes you feel – please share your funny travel stories of hassles that end up becoming part of the fabric of your holiday memories.

PS – I wrote this post on Sunday, the day after we arrived at Brunswick, then proceeded that night to knock a full cup of coffee over my laptop (it is not looking good). Then yesterday the steering malfunctioned on Mr Yang’s boat, forcing him to spend several hours pulling it apart.  But I’m trying to think positively – the weather is beautiful, the water crystal clear.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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Kathy KrugerGoing away, arriving home

21 Comments on “Going away, arriving home”

  1. coloursofsunset

    oh my gosh if my travel experiences were all like that I think I’d just stay home! haha! no I wouldn’t, because you are right, once you’re there, it’s all worth it. Travel makes me really anxious – until I get where I’m going, then I love it! Then I’m sad when it’s time to go home! At which point I get really anxious again, until I am home safe and sound and can breathe again. How is your laptop? Hope it survived the coffee incident! xo Aroha

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Aroha – catching up with comments as laptop didn’t survive so well – waiting on a new keyboard to repair it so using my daughter’s school laptop! The rest of Brunswick was lovely and we were sad to go home.

  2. Eleise

    Oh no, it sounds like Mr Yang is a little accident prone. It is hard to stay upset though when you have beautiful clear waters and stunning weather, enjoy Brunswick Heads, I have holidayed there, it is such a beautiful serene place to stay!

  3. Me

    I presume your laptop is OK seeing as this post is up ? I love Brunswick Heads – such a lovely place to relax and unwind. What a great idea to do it before the silly season starts and I love that you have a tradition of going there.
    Oh no about the fridge – if we put an offer in the house we have seen a few times, we will have to do some alterations to get our fridge to fit as well.
    I love travelling although I don’t like having stop overs on the way – when I get going I just want to get there.
    Have the best time at BH and come back refreshed and ready to tackle all that the silly season throws at you.
    Love, hugs and positive energy !

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Linda – hope the house selling/hunting process is going well. Laptop will be OK, meantime I’ve been slack online sneaking in using my daughter’s school laptop.

  4. Lizzy - Muddle-Headed Mamma

    Yours photos of Brunswick Heads are lovely, Kathy. Just looking at them makes me feel more relaxed! That’s so fantastic that you could go to Vanuatu and New Caledonia as a family – I’d love to make it to those places one day! But I also love how you write about the feeling of coming home and how the water refreshes your soul. I think Mr Yang should give up sport for good! LOL he takes accident prone to a whole new level! 🙂 I can’t adequately describe in a sentence how travel makes me feel. It makes me feel bigger and smaller than I thought I was both at the same time. xx

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Love that sentiment about feeling bigger and smaller at the same time through travel – it helps us realise our universal connection and so makes the world feel smaller and our hearts bigger I think. We’ve been lucky to do some great travel over the years, despite the accidents and incidents.

  5. always josefa (@always_josefa)

    Oh my goodness!! So much happening all in one post! But the idea of that beautiful water and just being away from it all – surely that makes it all worth it! We love to travel. Travel buys us back our sanity, very lucky indeed x Josefa from #teamIBOT

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I did get on quite the roll with the travel drama stories Josefa, but they make it fun really, don’t you think. And the serenity, space and sanity was certainly worth it last week – shame it had to end.

  6. Serenely

    Enjoy your holiday! The photos look great. I too am always wary of Murphy’s law which often seems to come a calling at the most inconvenient times. This Christmas, I’ll be on a 5 hour flight alone with baby and toddler (hubs is joining us later)… so that should be interesting!

  7. homelifesimplified

    love the brunswick heads pics!!!
    seriously your hubby is worse than me – i have always been a klutz but that nail gun sounds menacing lol

    hope all is well with the laptop now xx

  8. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

    Wow your holidays sure sound like quite hard work but I’m sure you were able to see the good side of it all once you get there. So much info in that post! Bloody fridge. Glad you had a nice break away. I can’t wait to go away somewhere, but looks like it’ll be to relatives in NZ which isn’t really a holiday, it’s a chore 🙁

    1. Kathy Kruger

      The hassles have been worth it for sure and we had a really great week and Brunswick. Fridge in place now, yeh! I know what you mean about visiting relatives being not quite the relaxing holiday – when I lived in Rockhampton, then Townsville, it seemed a lot of time was spent travelling back to Brisbane (mostly the long drive) rather than relaxing under a palm tree. Maybe you should try a ‘staycation’ without the chores.

  9. mummywifemeenee

    OMG Kathy. You definitely need to focus on that crystal clear water and float like a starfish. I can just imagine how stressful that fridge issue was and Mr Yang sounds a bit like Tim the Toolman Taylor from Home Improvement. In the lead up to your next holiday, I’d be keeping a close eye on him and definitely no handball 😉 I hope the laptop makes it through okay 🙂

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Renee – fridge is all good now – Mr Yang was a very good toolman builder and no accidents either! Laptop will be fine, once I pay the computer repairman – expensive cup of coffee.

  10. Tegan Churchill

    Wow you must want to wrap Mr Yang up in cotton wool! The water in the pictures looks gorgeous, I can see why you look forward to going there. We went away a couple of weeks ago and it was the best weekend away we have ever had. I tried to convince my partner to stay an extra couple of days but alas he had to work.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Short breaks can be amazing – even better when they are longer. Brunswick is such a great time, but it sped by quickly and here I find myself replying to comments a week afterwards!

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