Our New Year tradition is to camp, very simply, on our own place. We load the ute with kids and food, swags and champagne and head down to our creek. At sunset by the fire, one by one, we share and write down our highlights of the passing year, as well as something we are looking forward to and something we would like to do better. Most of all the kids love hearing what their mum and dad would like to improve on.
This new year is bringing with it some big changes for our family. We are leaving our home in the mountains for a year to head north to work on a project there. My youngest babies will be starting school, and I will be working full time. John is combining bits of work with some study and taking over more of the domestic stuff/kid wrangling while I am at work. We are going to be living in an urban environment (even the Darwin is hardly your usual city), and I have all sorts of concerns about how we are going to compress our unruly spread-out country ways into a smaller, denser, more structured life.
But we have consciously chosen to live in an area which has easy access to natural spaces, to make the transition easier on us all. We are looking forward to enjoying the conveniences of town life for a while, especially being close to school and extra-curricular activities (instead of the usual 100km round trip). We are also excited about opportunities to explore the bush of the tropical north, and to keep alive our connections to people and places there. Our eldest two boys were born here, so instead of it being just a part of their history, they will now have the chance to make it an active part of their lives.
Still, there will be lots of challenges, not least missing our home and the land our children have grown up on for most or all of their lives. Even though we are currently on the road, en route to our new life, I already feel a deep yearning for what we have left behind. It will be a year of plenty of challenges as we adjust to a very different life, but also, I hope, one which will enable us to continue adventuring, as we always have.