2014 has brought some big changes. Big, but exciting.
The short story is … I’m going to be dividing my time between Australia and Canada. But that’s a bit too short.
Our snowy house
The long story is this: The only regret I’ve ever carried in life is that I’ve never lived overseas. Growing up, my head was filled with travel tales told by my mum, who shifted around the globe through her 20s and 30s. My parents met in Africa, travelled across Europe, got married in England and I was conceived in Oman, all before they settled in Australia to raise my brother and I. As a family we did many overseas trips to visit relatives and friends. When I left home I always intended to move overseas after uni, but life kind of got in the way. Fifteen years later and, well, it’s about time.
I was considering England when the opportunity to spend some time in Canada came up. I spent all of December over there, having myself a white Christmas and exploring Ottawa and the surrounds (which is where I’ll be based). There’s much to love about Canada – so much about the country and the people that have stolen my heart. It’s already left an imprint on my creative mind: I’m currently working on a new picture book about a big brown bear and a small wild girl. Plus I have a sudden urge to end my sentences in ‘eh?’ and I’m getting insatiable cravings for maple syrup.
While I’m hoping to spend more time over there than not (starting early March), I’ll actually continue to divide my time between Canada and Australia. It’s really important to me to keep in touch with my Australian readership and to continue to develop links with local schools and festivals (not to mention visiting family and friends!). I’ll be back in Australia over July and August for a packed two months of speaking engagements, however I still have days free in both months so contact my speaker’s agents if you’re interested in a visit from me or Squish Rabbit (links on the right).
Based on the photos, I keep getting told I look as though I was born in Canada. I think it’s the fair skin and pale eyes. I’m really excited about the change and love the idea of being closer to all sorts of other unique travel experiences. We already have two trips planned, first to Cuba and then in summer to the Moraine Lake Lodge
in the Rocky Mountains. But instead of trying to convince you as to why I’m setting out on this adventure, how about some photos so you can see for yourself?
Ottawa city and its frozen canal (perfect for iceskating)
Amazing museums and art galleries (I love this sculpture in the Museum of Civilisation by Bill Reid)
Weekends reading and eating French pastries (in the inner city industrial style cafe ‘Art Is In’)
Writing by the fire
Outdoor art installations (this lonely wolf still haunts my dreams)
And another, this time in Montreal (called ‘Light Therapy’)
Did I mention the food?
And the salmon (I could live on smoked atlantic salmon)
Loving the graffiti art (turns out snow makes the bunnies kinda crazy)
An Aussie style barbecue (clearly)
Icicles taller than me
REAL christmas trees (and all decorations I collected locally)
Christmas morning sunrise from a cabin in the woods
Finally, I was lured to Ottawa with the promise of divine hot chocolate. And they didn’t disappoint…