A few days ago, I published a post on some of the things that have made a positive impression upon us since we arrived in Canberra.
It wasn’t the kind of list to construct a tourist weekend around. Rather, it detailed all the things that make Canberra so liveable for new migrants – you know, boring but essential stuff such as bike paths, bus services, libraries and so on.
At the end of the post, I concluded that, while the views from Mount Ainslie may be spectacular, the swimming creeks exciting and the tourist attractions almost endless, it was in the ‘real life’ categories that Canberra had really won us over.
A few hours after posting the article, I got a short but important response to it on my personal Facebook page, where I also share my posts. It went like this: “Well said! I think we struck gold when we got Canberra! it’s a great place.”
It might not seem like much, except that this comment came from my wife, Mrs CBRbound.
I’ve written a lot in this blog about the weight of responsibility that comes with relocating your whole family to a new place — the soul-searching and the moments of occasional panic when you wonder if things are actually going to work out. But every now and then, a throwaway comment from the kids, or an off-hand remark from your partner, can reassure you that yes, you did the right thing and that everybody is on board with this new adventure.
I should clarify that my wife and I don’t usually communicate with each other via Facebook. It’s just that, this past two weeks, she’s been back in the UK visiting her parents, catching up with friends and telling everyone how things are going.
There’ll be those who hug her tightly and say “come back and visit again soon.” There’ll be those who say: “It sounds wonderful, tell me all about it.” And then there’ll be those who say: “I can’t believe you’ve moved so far away. I’ll never understand that decision.”
They’ll all affect her in different ways, and each provides the perfect moment for her to get homesick and to decide that maybe Canberra was a wild folly that needs to be undone, as quickly as possible.
Except she hasn’t. Right there, among the people and places she misses the most, she didn’t dwell on what we’ve left behind; she endorsed the decision we made to become Canberrans as the right one, a good one; in fact, a fantastic one. And I agree.
She comes home today. She’ll be weary from the long flight from London, and sad to have left our loved ones behind all over again. But there’ll be a big Canberra welcome awaiting her, and a long and happy future in the place we’ve chosen as out new home.