Going to the land down under!

Adventure. Change. Balance. Exploration. A few of the reasons we decided to travel 7,918 miles (but who’s counting?) from Los Angeles, California in the States to Melbourne, Victoria in Australia… that and a dinner conversation between my husband, Joe, his former co-worker and friend, Gerardo, me and an extremely large bottle of sake (empty by the end of the night) at Sushi Roku in Pasadena a couple of years back. Gerardo had just moved to Melbourne to work for the Deloitte office there and was raving about how amazing the city was. He seemed determined to find a way to get Joe over there so they could work (and play) together again. Seemed like a long shot, like something fun we would talk about over drinks… not like something we would actually ever do. About a year later, after some of the move talked fell through, Joe and I bought a cozy little bungalow in Pasadena and considered this our “settling down” phase (we had a mortgage after all).

My hubs, Joe, and I enjoying First Friday in Venice Beach (and supporting LLA, our friend’s sustainable accessories line)!

Our “sunny” house… home to wine nights, dinner parties, outdoor movie night, and other not so fond memories of home ownership (I won’t write about the termites in this post).

Our girls: Bella (Japanese Chin) and Gouda (Bulldog) playing in the backyard garden.

A year after we bought our house the “M” word came up again at a conversation over dinner (a dinner that I cooked in our nice brand new kitchen in our lovely little home). My first reaction was “WHAT the *?!$@?! You want to move to Melbourne?We just bought a house! Weren’t we suppose to settle down? I planted 200 bulbs that are going to bloom in the spring… I have to be here to see them!” That may have been my inner granny coming out… I did pick up a niche for gardening after buying the house that my friends like to poke fun at. My pragmatic mind was filled with questions at the thought that we might tear apart the life we were building to go to a place we had never even visited before.

– What will we do with the girls (our dogs)? Don’t they have quarantine rules over there?

– Will we just go there without ever visiting… pack our bags, and assume we’ll love it?

– What about our family? Friends? We’ll be on the other side of the world (literally).

– What will we do with our house? We’ll have to rent it… can’t sell in this market!

– What will I do? I have a great job, with people I love working with… just give all that up for the unknown?

As I felt the anxiety rising, I could see Joe’s excitement and relief at the thought of leaving behind his 100 hour work weeks for the mysterious 37.5 hour work week we heard exists in Melbourne. Then I thought to myself (with looming nervousness)… Maybe this is worth a shot. Let’s see what happens. We sat on our couch and watched videos about Australia to get a “feel” for what our home might be like. Among other cheesy touristy videos touring the Melbourne and Australian landmarks, I vividly remember the old Aussie commercials with Paul Hogan. Why wouldn’t we want to go spend some time where “the fish are friendly, and even the birds have a sense of humor”? Somehow, this (and the promise of a more balanced life) got us more excited about the opportunity. We decided to sleep on it that night, and Joe suggested we go to church the next day before making a final decision.

On that Sunday, we strolled into St. Andrew Catholic Church (the amazing place we had our wedding) a little late as usual (can you blame a Mexican-Filipino duo?) and walked right into what seemed to be a blatant, “if you don’t take this as a sign, you are an idiot” message from God.  We sat down in the middle of the homily and the priest said (this is exactly what he said, it has not been reformatted to add a dramatic factor), “Sometimes God asks us to do things that may seem scary, unknown, and difficult… and we should say YES.” No joke! Joe and I looked at each other… if our eyes could talk they would have said, “are you serious right now?!?!” I’m not saying that God asked us to move to Australia, or that this move is some sort of divine intervention, but all I know is that things seems to be placed at the right place at the right time for this to work out. And it didn’t hurt that we walked in at that precise moment during the priest’s message either.

So we’re doing this? Now how do we tell our friends and family?

*This blog will follow our adventures down under. Hope you follow and enjoy!