The Urge to Fly

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

When I met my now-husband, we were both visiting a monastery near Stroud, NSW. It was an interesting and unlikely place to meet a future husband. Soon after we became an item, we left Sydney to travel around Australia visiting Intentional Communities…. a lifestyle choice we were both interested in at that time. We made it as far as a Buddhist Monastery in QLD, where we conceived William and soon after returned to Sydney.

Prayer wheel at Chenrezig

Prayer wheel at Chenrezig

Teachingsand blessings in the Temple.

Teachings and blessings in the Temple.


When William was a toddler, we moved to QLD to live. We ended up in a beautiful blue Queenslander near Eumundi. We named that house the ‘Miracle House’. When I became pregnant with Samuel however, and needed to stop work due to severe morning sickness, we realised we had to move back to a city so Sol could find more work….. and we ended up in Brisbane for a year before returning to Sydney.

Our 'Miracle House'. It was like waking up in paradise every day.

Our ‘Miracle House’. It was like waking up in paradise every day.

After Lily was born, both Sol and I felt restless. He went to a spiritual retreat in QLD, and returned with the suggestion we move there again. I was ready… we packed up and had left within a couple of months! We had a blissful six months next to the beach, followed by an intense, stressful and also thrilling time fruit picking in Western QLD, then losing our tent (our home at the time) and ending up in emergency housing on the Sunshine Coast, before settling in Caloundra.  Sol was getting gigs as a musician and we planned to have another baby…. we moved back to Sydney again to be near family.

Great Keppel Island, 2008.

Great Keppel Island, 2008.

Munduberra, 2008. We lived in a tent and Sol picked mandarins while I took the boys to the skateramp all day.

Munduberra, 2008. We lived in a tent and Sol picked mandarins while I took the boys to the skateramp all day.

There is a theme emerging here!

I learnt some painful lessons in that last time in QLD. Running away from responsibilities doesn’t work. It does take a village to raise a child (and stay sane). I really, really love my family and want to live near them.

And yet.

Sometimes Sol and I get the urge to fly away and live big, unorthodox lives. The sense of freedom, adventure and lightness we felt in our travels was addictive. However the loneliness and isolation from support was very hard to bear.

It’s hard to admit, but I feel like jumping into some kind of different life right now. I asked the kids the other day: “Who wants to buy a bus and go travelling around Australia for 6 months!”

They all said no.

As I have more kids, and as they grow older, it feels harder and harder to break out of this life. But then I think – why am I wanting to break out? I’ve noticed that the urge to fly comes in times of financial stress. All of a sudden it feels crazy to spend so much money on rent, electricity and activities when we could be waking up with the sunrise at the beach every day, swimming with dolphins, visiting Uluru……

My kids are loving their life (I think!) – they have friends, family, activities, love school. But since the school term began I am struggling…. with the demanding physical routine, with giving all we have to a fantastic school (and having not much left over for us), with the metaphorical load I feel on my shoulders.

I promised myself on our last return to Sydney that I would NOT up and go again. Maybe it is time to plan a fantastic family holiday. And to sit with the urge to fly, to see what is really underneath.


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