28 days

My goodness. 28 short days until Immy and I board the plane that will carry us across space and time to our new adventure. The last few weeks have been a blur of packing, contacting our service providers to give notice, writing to-do lists that I give myself 24 hours to complete and squeezing in visits with family and friends in between.

So many dusty memories and forgotten dreams have been stirred up during this process. Photos of the backpacking trip Rob and I took through Europe in 2007 - I was somewhat surprised to find that I had kept ticket stubs, train passes, brochures, menus, and hostel bookings for each city.  A trip to Victoria  Falls for our third anniversary, diving in Zanzibar for our fifth, celebrating our tenth in New York. It feels like my travel dreams have been whispered awake, and have quietly roused themselves from hibernation, stepping one by one back into memory.

Cherry blossoms in Japan. Paris with Immy when she turns 16, and a trip to Disney World sometime between now and then. The Amalfi Coast and the Walk of the Gods for my fortieth, a water villa in the Maldives, Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. Tiny sparks ignited under a pile of smouldering travel goals and dreams that I haven't really thought about in the last two years. But now my small flame burns brightly again, and since the Great Ocean Road is also on the list, I reckon that'll be an easy one to kickstart things with.

In the meantime, we're celebrating the here and now in countless small ways. 

Hard drive treasures, circa 2012. My Kewpie doll with her Kewpie doll. Be still, my heart.

Family lunches.

Winter days spent exploring, adventuring, climbing, playing and finding creepy crawly treasures.

Silver linings, and new books on sunny mornings.

A magical day with friends who are family. We panned for gold, and ate way too much sugar. I screamed with Immy on the kiddies roller coaster, and turned fifty shades of green on the Big Wheel. I soaked up every smile, every shared look between my friend and myself, the jokes, the stealing of chips off our kids' potato twisters that we were commissioned to hold while they enjoyed the rides. A friendship that spans over a decade of triumph, heartbreak, marriage, pregnancies, and kids. I try not to think too much of a life that doesn't include our cozy weekday evenings, drinking wine and staying up until the early hours of the morning talking.

This is a sugar cone filled with warm, liquid chocolate. Drinking it made me feel as though I had walked through the minty grass blades in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, and scooped up some of that chocolaty deliciousness, straight from the river.

And finally, my first camping trip. Good morning coffee, a hotel tent, and ablutions all to ourselves. It was hardly a punishment.

Well, it's late and my book beckons. Wuthering Heights, for the hundredth time. Because sometimes a person just needs the furious passion, relentless drama, and sheer folly of Cathy and Heathcliff.

“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Healthcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” 

~ m