My first thought after I had decided that I am moving was "What have I got myself into?" When Ruth and I moved over here, her previous employer E–Systems (who became Raytheon) footed the bill for the entire move. For $13,500 we just had to pack out clothes in suitcases for the flight over while the movers did everything else, including unpacking in Boise.

A bit different when I'm footing the bill. I'll be packing and loading myself, sorting the customs paperwork and all the little hidden things that you know nothing about until someone produces a "please pay" invoice and believe me, everybody has their hand out for a taste. Once it's all done, I'll put fingers to keyboard and let you all know how it turns out.

The trouble with leaving anyplace, especially after 10+ years, is that you're are going to run the whole spectrum of emotions, feelings and thoughts. There are going to be times to remember and moments to forget, the incredible highs and some God awful lows, there were lots of giggles & laughter and there will ultimately be a few more tears before my time is done here. I learnt long ago to do my crying in the rain, but it still wont make some of the losses any easier to handle.

I have met some wonderful people in the time that I've been here in the United States. They say that the true measure of a man is his mates and in that regard I feel that I am truly fortunate. I may leaving the country, but those folks will forever be with me in my heart.

I have openly admitted that I was truly heart broken that my marriage disintegrated and to this day do not believe that no individual was ever to blame, it's simply lessons to be learnt – all be it very painfully. In the 7 years that we went our separate ways, Ruth and I have remained very close mates as have my relationships with her family.

Over the years I've been asked "why aren't you married up again?". The truth be told, I was very nearly ball & chained twice, but in my mind it was simply too early after the divorce or that I was not ready in my own mind. Over the last 12 months or so, I knew that it would have been unfair on the woman in entering a long term relationship. I didn't know what I wanted to do in my own life and as such, would not have focused the necessary energy and commitment into that relationship. Having said that, there was one tremendous person that I could have settled down with in a heartbeat, but alas, she was a lot like me in that she wasn't comfortable and settled as well.

I have been truly blessed to have traveled this country to the extent that I have. I think at last count there are only 13 states that I haven't visited in my time here. They are Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia. Not a bad record I think. ;-)

America has a lot of unique and wonderful places to visit things to do, it's simply a matter of getting out there and doing it. In reality, I would be committing a huge injustice of my travels by singling out any one place or activity and highlighting it, as they are all special to me. I will say one thing though, my travels in the United States had given me a greater appreciation of the sights, sounds and smells of Australia. By living in ALice Springs and being so close to some truly spectacular world class attractions, such a Ayers Rock & The Olgas, Rainbow Valley, Kings Canyon etc etc etc, caused me to become really blasé about those spots because I was living so close to them.

I picked up a few vices over here and not all of them would keep the Pearly Gates closed to me. I fell into photography for some reason, which is an enigma as I was never really into it until I started playing with Ruth's gear. Her camera – you dirty minded individual!!! ;-)

Funnily enough, this was also the exact same method in how I became so interested in computers. Prior to meeting Ruth, I had never sat down in front of monitor. I was a fully qualified Diesel Fitter and computers were things for poofters & pansies. It must have left an impression as that's what I went on to do for a career here in the States. I haven't even opened my toolbox in furthering my trade while I'm over here and I'm not real upset about it either.

Ironically, my father was a typewriter mechanic and when he heard that computers were coming out, I remember him saying that "those things will never take off". I wonder if he's fixing keyboards???

When I got over here, I hooked up with the 43rd State Crimson Lions Rugby Union team and have only played for them and our brother club the Trail Colonials from British Columbia, Canada. I was never a huge fan of rugby union as I loved playing rugby league. Back in Alice Springs, Memorial Rugby League and West's Rugby League teams combined over the Summers as the Tigers RUFC, which is where I got my start with Union. As there was no League over here in the States, I hooked up with the Lions and away I went.

The hardest part in playing over here is the mindset of a lot of the Americans, my own team included. The young fellas have a "smash everything and brag about it" mentality and miss that the game, for all it's physical contact, it a thinking game. Playing until you're 40 at a competition level is not advised in Australia, but I got away with it over here not with athleticism (although I was called the fastest fat man by some) but with being able to read a game. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing and subsequently coaching the Lions and wish them every success.

Part III of III – The Future can be found at this link – The Future.

Stay Happy ;-)