And in a moment the decision is made, off we go! Or here we come. Either way it is a new chapter of the Foo Family life. It is filled with trepidation, excitement, overwhelm, eagerness, and being downright scared shitless.

8 years ago, we packed our house and said a temporary ’see ya’ to our good friends and family in Vancouver BC Canada. Living there was enviable but adventure called. Actually, truth be told I was sick and tired and decided on a whim to apply for the 1 Year Working Holiday Visa for Australia. 24 hours later the email arrived in my inbox claiming an opportunity existed for my heart to explore. Randal is an Australian by descent (through his wonderful mother) so the choice of applying to Australia for my late-in-life work abroad experience was influenced by the ease of only 1 of us needing approval from a foreign government.

Vancouver BC

Vancouver - Yaletown, where we called home

Our planned year away turned into 8 years in the blink of an eye. That’s not to imply the time rushed by, simply that it is amazing to think that it has been 8 years already! Our time in Australia brought us many wonderful experiences: 2 Australian born babies, I obtained a passport to another lovely country, work experience that perhaps neither of us would have been fortunate to gain and the chance to live right on the beach in an iconic Manly building.

When we first walked down the streets of Manly to the main beach, we looked left, we looked right and we set our sights on this ugly red building dangling on the edge of the walkway, “We will live there one day!” I proclaimed. Never did I think we’d make that building our home for so many years, almost 5! Our prized position in the building is what makes leaving so difficult. We love our unit, our view and the home we have built here.

Manly - Where WE live

Notice the black line on the right hand side upper middle. That's where WE live

How many 4 year olds can stand on their bed and see the whale migration happening? We can say Chloe can. We look out our balcony and see stingrays dancing in the ocean, groupers gently owning the sea and we even once saw a dead Wobbegong shark scare the daylights out of swimmers and kayakers the like. We had a good chuckle about that one. Cockatoos scream at us from our balcony railing, we’ve had birds take flight in our house and a few large huntsman spiders take refuge from the rain. We’ve seen some of the worst storms in over 100 years from the windows of our world, sunrises that make your spirit soar with the rise of the day and the wild ocean in all its grace and grandeur. All this without leaving our front door!

Manly Beach - calm morning waters

Manly Beach - calm morning waters

A friend of mine gave me some very valuable advice, “Never plan your life around a home you don’t own.” Those words were the turning point in my attitude about leaving this mecca. Thank-you Abbie for the invaluable words. Now let’s hope this adventure is as grand as it is in my dreams otherwise you may have hell to pay J. In all seriousness, she is right. We don’t own this slice of heaven and therefore it can end at any moment and likely we won’t have any choice in changing that outcome. Each year when our lease is up for renewal we sweat wondering what our fate will be. So far we’ve been very fortunate, and we realize that to its fullest.

So although we have settled in this little piece of paradise, we are willing to walk away knowing the ramifications it holds for us. All in the name of adventure. Where are we headed? We will be boarding a flight that will land us in a city filled with trees and gardens. With food hawkers and fancy restaurants, upscale malls and street markets, bright sky’s and torrential downpours, old city mixed with bright skyscrapers relishing their resort style living, fast trains and slow walkers, beaches and nature alongside playgrounds and amusement parks, this city apparently has it all. Well maybe not all, but it has loads for everyone. This city? Singapore! For all the unknown it holds for me I know it will be great fun and something we will always look back and say with fondness, ‘remember when we lived in Singapore?’

Who knows how many years 1 will turn into over there. We go with an open mind and open heart. Once we get past this feeling of, “what the heck are we doing leaving all this?”, “are we crazy” (Randal actually said that to me this morning while he was giving ME the grounding hug), we will embrace our new diggs. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is wherever Randal and our babies are.