Less than two weeks, actually.
I wrote the below while in San Francisco, on January 3rd, 2020:
Last time we visited San Francisco (in May) it was fun but felt like a reminder of why we left. This time, I’m a little heartbroken.
The fires in Australia are devastating to watch from afar. I’m terrified and deeply saddened by the loss of life, of homes, of vast swathes of land. Political issues aside, the future looks scary.
And our timing… oh, our timing. We’re heading home at the end of February and I’m so scared. Do we buy property? Do we plan to stay as long as we were originally thinking? Do we even entertain the idea of kids while the world seems to be burning down around us, literally and figuratively?
California isn’t immune to natural disasters (hello, earthquakes and fires) but being here and walking along my favourite beach with a blissed-out dog and the sun in my eyes sure makes me afraid to leave the Pacific Northwest.
If you’ve got the cash, life in the Bay Area is fucking breezy. And I say that with full awareness of how the opposite is also true – it’s becoming hell for everyone except the super-rich. But we built a life here that felt real and connected, with a network of the best people, and even though we have more of the same caliber of people waiting for us at home, change is fucking frightening and I’m starting to get nervous.
I’m going back to Melbourne. I’m going back into the arms of my beautiful parents and friends and family but I’m still scared. I’m scared of having to leave again if things continue to worsen. I’m scared of the idea of fleeing back to the PNW and leaving loved ones to fight and try to survive.
We leave so soon, and we’re organized. Dog export/import is proceeding according to plan. Everyone is pumped for us to get back. We’re pumped to be back.
I know Melbourne has changed, and that’s fine. I’ve changed too.
Jesse and I only had a few months together in Melbourne before leaving the country, so we’re most excited to explore our home city together. We’re excited to build a home in which we can host our friends and family frequently, not just once every few years when they’re able to visit. We’ve experienced city life and country life and we’re ready to figure out what kind of life comes next.
The Pacific Northwest is my physical and spiritual home, and always will be. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being drawn to these forests, mountains, rivers… but I’ll be back.
For now, we’re going south.