In years to come, I think I will be able to pinpoint the moment when I finally got it. The moment when I stopped agonising and analysing our move and just relaxed into it.
It came last week during a family holiday at Murramarang on the New South Wales coast, at a holiday park with no phone signal and no wifi connection. We’d just barbecued our dinner on the veranda and our boys had struck up a cricket match with kids from the neighbouring cabins.
Beyond, the waves crashed against the shore, fringed by a backdrop of forested cliffs, and play was occasionally interrupted to allow a kangaroo to hop through.
As all of this was taking place, I allowed myself a smile and a recognition that this was a good day, in a good place. Perhaps even a day to be recalled at the end of days.
Being this laid back takes effort, I thought to myself. That sounds like an oxymoron, but in reality, it’s a fact of life for anyone who isn’t a natural-born Aussie.
So we embraced the whole thing — holiday camp bingo, family trivia night, shared barbecues with drop-in friends and evening beers with holiday park neighbours. The Ashes tests were re-enacted, possums crept up on us in the dark as we chatted into the evening, scaring us lifeless in the process. We drank too much beer, wine and fizzy drinks, and played cards and board games until our eyes drooped.
This was a proper family holiday like one from those photos where the colour has begun to fade. A pool-splashing, barbecue-sizzling, wave-dodging, giggle-filled week of sunshine and isolated, precious family time.
And perhaps for the first time since our original trip to Australia more than 15 years ago, we got it again. ‘No worries’ isn’t a throwaway statement in this part of the world, it’s a way of life.