Well the time has come, for me to drink my drinks and shift my bum..

Who would have thought that has been exactly 8 weeks since I got back into the United States and now I'm jetting off to Tahiti on my way to my new home of Townsville (Queensland, Australia). A lot has gone on - even on that time frame and it's only now that I have some spare time to put a few thoughts to paper.

To say the past 2 months has been an emotional roller coaster would be like saying childbirth is fun. You're not sure it's the right decision, but there's no point in changing your mind once it's done.

I don't think there was a day when I was either speaking to one of my mates, packing my gear, dealing with the Australian Government on my Harley Davidson or deciding on what goes where, that I questioned myself on whether I was making the right decision. Counter-balancing this is the excitement of moving to a new place, living on the coast (which I always wanted to do), meeting new people & making new mates, exploring new things and all the new sights, sounds " smells of something new.

Truth be told, I haven't been idle and as much as most people think that not working for 8 months is Nirvana encompassed, I've been flat out like a lizard drinking. I've been using the internet to my advantage in aiding setting myself up for both the short an long term in Australia. In the short term, I've settled on purchasing a vehicle upon arrival in Brisbane and then driving it up the 1470 kilometers to Townsville. I've also purchased a lot of tools and gear while I've been here to aid me in one of the things I've always wanted to do - building my own house. You've all seen my remodeling skills, so I'm a fair chance of getting what I want by having a crack at building the Aussie Battlers Barrack for myself.

I found a tri-level open plan "tropical" style steel frame kit home sat down with some software and made some changes to suit my lifestyle. We'll see how that goes, especially when you consider I'll be juggling a new career and all. Maybe I should just find a shiela in the building game when I get there??? ;-)

The move has been an eye opener in regards to dealing with Movers, Customs & Immigration, Bonded Agents and the like. After a fair amount of leg work, and with help from a couple of mates in the industry, I contracted a company to supply a 20 foot container in Boise (USA) and then transport it to Brisbane (Australia) including clearing Customs. Apparently there is no U-Haul to Australia, so this segment ran a cool $6500.00 USD ($8395.00 AUD). I'm then into my sky rocket (pocket) for another $2084.00 USD ($2690.00 AUD) to get it all up to Townsville. Ironically, the boat passes Townsville to get to Brisbane, but no one stops in that port.

I guesstamated that I'd only need a 20 footer based on my storage space I was currently renting, plus a 40 footer was another $3500.00 USD ($4520.00 AUD) to Brisbane, but I didn't know how close my calculations were. We had loaded of the container before taking stock and working out that unlike Dr Who's Tardis everything would not fit. In the end, I had to sacrifice a 3 seater lounge, 2 seater love seat and the patio tables & chairs set in order to get everything in. We had to unload everything to that point as the couches were the first thing in, but it worked out OK.

Special thanks to KW, Glahn The Man, Manimal, DJ, Kush, Farside, Ian & Jax, DC, Chrome Dome, Sipper & Ruth for being the troopers (that they are) in helping out slinging stuff into the container. Just in case you're wondering - YES the yellow mop bucket made the trip across the pond despite numerous attempts to the contrary!!!

As I jet off across the deep blue something, I'd like to leave you with a couple of tracks that both work for me as part anthem and part tongue in cheek. One song kind of epitomizes what you have come to mean to me over the years, while the second on has a bit of a giggle as to what we've done over the years.

The first track is by a good mate of mine and a hell of a bloke, John Williamson and is called True Blue. You can find the song here and lyrics here.

The second track is a parody on Meredith Brooks' song Bitch and is Chris Franklin's "Bloke", likewise, you can find the song here and lyrics here.

In closing, I am both honored and privileged to have made your acquaintance and am the better person for it. Be safe, be happy but most of all - be yourself.

I am sure that one day our paths will cross and for me, there are no goodbyes - I'll just see ya later mate! ;-)

Stay Happy ;-)