“I got the job!!” The words every parent of an adult child yearns to hear- except when that “job” is transatlantic and “Down Under!!”
I was elated for my daughter, of course, and extremely proud – she had turned a dream into a reality! However, part of me was scared silly for her and fear and panic coursed through my veins!! How would my 23 yr. old survive in a foreign country, ALONE, without the support of our close-knit, loving family, (her parents and 3 sisters) and her caring friends?? Would she be safe? What if there was an emergency at home or abroad, it wasn’t like I could be there in a heartbeat! Our holidays and gatherings would never be the same without our fun-loving Jenna Bean! And my WORST fear….what if she met an Aussie guy and fell in love and never returned!!
Over the course of her 1 1/2 year sabbatical our family visited several times, staggering the travels to lessen her homesickness! I, myself, was incredibly spoiled and had the pleasure of exploring this beautiful country on 3 separate occasions!! Here are some of my favorite highlights:
1. Anzac Day- with one of my best friends and Jenna. Drinking games start at 6:00 am need I say more??
2. Rugby game- Australia vs. New Zealand biggest rivalry for decades with Lindz (sis) and Jenna. Train ride over was unforgettable haha
3. Sydney 1/2 Marathon- with Jenna. On my bucket list to compete in a race abroad
4. Graffiti Artwork in Melbourne- amazing and unusual!
5. Poached eggs with bacon,avocado, lemon and homemade bread- yummy!!
6. Embarrassing a young Aussie man into buying champagne for the table. I still got it! Sometimes…haha
7. Runs/Walks on the breathtaking Coastal Walk from Bondi Beach onward
8. Paddington Farmer’s Market- the best!
On one of our bus rides Jenna and I were having a heart to heart and she said she felt like she had never done anything “great” in her life. This was a completely false statement and I pointed out numerous instances where she had. I then looked my adventurous, free-spirited, beautiful daughter in the eye and said “no one would have the balls to do what you have done and take up residence halfway across the world by themselves- you have definitely achieved GREATNESS!!”
P.S. She did survive and has unforgettable memories that will be a part of her forever.
Written by Donna M. Loftus, Mum Extraordinaire