Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Filling the Gap







It might be boredom, or midwinter blues, but we've decided we would quite like to move to New York. That should be totes easy, shouldn't it? Finding jobs, getting visas, finding schools and moving the 5 of us to the biggest of big towns? Easy. 


About 457 people we know (or at least 7) have visited the Big Apple this year. It must be a sign. 


Sigh,... we can dream. 


Ten years ago the luthier was offered a job on Long Island and sadly, we couldn't get a visa. No money and not enough qualifications held us back. It wasn't all bad though because then we moved from a very unsatisfying, debt-collecting life in Melbourne with a baby on board to an easier life in Tasmania. I remember one of the girls I worked with in Melbourne at the time read auras. She was very excited because she said mine was green and that indicated that moves and changes were imminent. You should have seen her face when I told her that she was right, but, it wasn't New York we were moving to but sunny Launceston! Her disparaging response was very unmystical. But hey, New York - Launceston. Same same. 


Tassie is extremely kind to us. And my heritage, on my father's side, is so embedded in this island's soil that no matter where we are, this will always be home. (I am fifth generation Tasmanian through my grandfather and 7th on my grandmothers' side, or something like that. Luckily my mother is English or the gene pool I'm swimming in would be more of a puddle.) Tasmania is a beautiful home. But I am itchy. My feet are itchy. 


Most islanders leave for university and travel the world. They live in the big Australian cities and then many come back. A friend of mine once described it as feeling like you are attached to the island with a huge elastic band, You can leave and travel the world for years, but there is always a little tug that bounces you back home. 


The luthier and I lived in some big towns, but we didn't travel the world in our youth and now that we are dead-set, middle aged, we both feel like we would love to take on the challenge.  That's right, there was no gap year boozing in Ibiza or playing in London pubs had by us. No touring Europe, working in bars or funny secretarial jobs for random businesses. One of my sisters had a short-lived job in the UK working in one of the country houses of a lesser royal, blacking the grates and warming beds like a chamber maid and then going out and getting plastered on pints of ale on the weekend on her travelling adventures. 


We have been lucky enough to get a travel taste with our French journey and we are hungry for more. The luthier dreams of more contact and experience in a place where the real luthier action is, and who can blame him? The biggest limitation of the island is its isolation, which is also one of its greatest blessings.


I turn 40 this year, is that too late for a gap year?

10 comments:

Tracey said...

nup, 40 definitely not too old for a gap year...
I hear you, I regularly think "lets just pack it all in and move to France/New York/sunny territorial Island somewhere. Actually, the later was done by my friend at work recently. You might like to check out her blog: http://jagos-net.blogspot.com.au

Tania said...

Are you kiddin' me? Forty IS the new Gap Year. Not only that, my computer screen is blinding me with its green aura-ness.

Mrs Smith said...

Thanks so much for that link. That is a great blog! What a gorgeous sea change.

Loz and Dinny said...

I'm with Tania ... 40 is the new 18. I say contiki it up in some edgy winebar and let the kids put themselves to bed under a table somewhere xxx

Rachael said...

In my opinion it's the PERFECT time. Keith and I have been talking lately about the thrill of embracing middle age - just letting the second half of life spread out before us, ready to be made into anything we want. It feels like a great time of life to me (day-to-day pain and domestic bullshit aside).

Mrs Smith said...

I hear you. I think that's why we are champing at the bit. Life is opening up for us after a dedicated decade of life with small children. I feel more confident and capable than I ever have - and the voice in my head is saying ' you could do it. And why not now?' We need to settle on what exactly 'It' is!

ally said...

Chase those dreams...
Even if you're not sure what they really are!!
(but contiki-ing it up doesn't sound like a half- bad consolation prize)

Isis said...

most definitely not! gosh i'm starting to think travelling later in life is much more worth it. you are actually interested in stuff and will enjoy all the travel has to offer... not just the aussie pub in london full of aussies - borrrrring! unfortunatley life is all backwards and gap years are granted to the young and the drunk. gosh listen to me. i'm gettin old aren't i. well it's just cos here was no such thing as a gap year when i left school and i'm jealous.
ps do it

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

This plan sounds sensible in a way , given the luthier's work , and children at the age yours are move perfectly well . Even the language is the same , which is a bonus .
Good luck with whatever you decide !
Just keep us all informed .....

Anonymous said...

I've been planning for our 40th gap year since I was in my 20s. Never seeing my husband as he's working so hard so I don't have to work full time has to have a pay off. Or in your case working so hard. There has to be something that makes it all worthwhile.