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I remember being 22 years old having just brought a pair of pants and being at the seamstress needing them hemmed because being 5’ft everything needs to be hemmed and needing them done by 5 pm that afternoon.

Standing at the counter with my Aunt she said Debbie they are clearly busy, and they won’t be able to do it by 5 pm to which I replied there is no harm in asking.

I proceeded to ask and initially she said no.

No way can I do that she said.

Eve was what was on her badge. Eve was in her fifties I suppose whited haired with a smiley face and a round belly, and she wore a woolen vest that looked like something she had made out of the Womans Weekly magazine. However really wanting the pants to wear that night I tried again. They have already been pinned I said won’t take you a minute to cut and sew.

She grabbed them from me looked at me to which I said to her I want to impress a boy tonight I said with a big smile. You know what that’s like Eve I said smiling. My Aunt gasped turned to walk from the ‘scandalous scene’ but before she could say Debbie lets go I was handing my pants over to a smiling Eve behind the counter who promptly said to me go have a coffee they will be ready when you come back.

And so I have been using this method to get what I want ever since within reason and understand when your are flogging a dead horse and be respectful of that. People will always help you when they can.

1. Be honest. No point in telling fibs, exaggerating or being an arse. I don’t do anything for anyone if I think it smells a bit off. Throwing a tantrum will generally not get you what you want except a bad name.

2. Use your manners. It’s a sign of common courtesy and respect. I do nothing for no one without manners not even my children.

3. Use a bit of cheek and a smile. Everyone likes a bit of fun, and you know when you have crossed the line use your common sense. I am more inclined to do something for someone who has a bit of cheek and spunk about them combined with good manners of course than not.

So good luck in getting what you want be whatever that may be and despite getting the pants hemmed it never paid off. The boy wasn’t as impressed with myself as he was at himself.

Deb

{Content Deb Russo image with thanks to here}

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a fifo wife {a few things}

by debbie on August 21, 2015

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I actually had another post to place up but well they didn’t feel right and so its a few things. Things have to feel right for me to place them and well they don’t feel right. Don’t fit with the weather or my mood.

So how was your week? Mine? Smashing. I love busy weeks, hard weeks. I don’t love them at the time, but I love them on reflection. Like tonight.

Anyway a few things that I have seen heard and looked at this week.

1. The “she shed” is the real thing. I have one. Okay it used to be my ‘shop’ now it’s my place to go when I want to get away from my children and pretend I’m doing important stuff ..just like a man’s shed here.

2. To calm the kids at school we do colouring and so naturally I have bought one to take to school too. It quietens and calms the mind and they have been doing it for longer than NAPLAN has been around. I bought this one today. It works.

3. Ms T my neighbour is getting married tomorrow I am so excited. I love a good wedding.

4. I started playing with Pinterest. Wholly mother of duck nuts that is like entering a time warp you go in at 6 pm and come out at 6 am and I reckon one day I will log on and then log out only to find I have grandkids.

5. 8 Things you should know about your libido here because I wrote

xxDeb

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I wasn’t always such a happy person. I wasn’t always optimistic. I always liken myself to someone who knew everything, had a staunch opinion and if it wasn’t working out to my liking the whole situation whatever it was just shit. I’m probably being hard on myself, but that’s my way.

I remember the day you could say I had made the final transition to the continual bright side because despite my husband having left for his first offshore job four days after our baby was born {and baby then requiring surgery at eight days}. I was tired exhausted, on to week five with no end in sight and yet I found myself telling my neighbour that it was okay. It was an opportunity we couldn’t miss and I was so happy despite all of that.

I remember my friend saying to me gosh you have such a good attitude about this.

I looked at her and said there is no other way to see it. The words had come out of my mouth before I had a chance to think {so common for me} and I was proud that I had seen the glass half full idea – finally.

The old me would never have said that, or I could have been deliriously tired, but I think it was a the change for me.

The swap to the sunny side came about organically after a consecutive deployments and peacekeeping trips that were both particularly hard for both husband and me. So I can’t actually tell you how despite what the title of this says. I don’t read self-help books. I have no patience for lessons that way. I’m a learn along the way type, learn the very hard way type. I did however came to understand energy and what you put out you get back and it may not be immediate, but eventually it will come back to you and yes I wear deodorant and shave my legs on occassion. I also learnt that seeing things in a better light a positive way made life better naturally and so I think I became a better person {at least in theory}. I was open to things learnt things understood things I liked myself more.

So how do I stay so happy 90% of the time (because no one can be happy 100% of the time it’s unrealistic and boring) even when the shit has hit the fan, Murphys taken out residence on my couch and my last trip to the hairdresser has left me with a mullet these tips are how.

1. Focus on the positive. Looking on the bright side always. I focus on the fact I can walk, talk and toilet myself. I have a home and healthy children. I concentrate on what I have done rather than what I haven’t; I’m not dead yet. Besides you live longer when you focus on the positive stuff. Research has shown that when elderly patients were convinced that their health was poor, they were much more likely to end up in the hospital than those who were convinced their health was excellent.

2. You control your thoughts. After I suffered my ‘depression slash exhaustion bout’ I understood that if I wanted to win beat my sickness I had to be wanting to. I was I am in control of the thoughts in my head. You are in control of your thoughts. That’s not to say I don’t think negatively I do on occasion especially when Im day four of having a little sleep but even through the haze I understand I am in control of my thoughts.

3. Learn from mistakes and setbacks. Learn to own them. There is no shame in making a mistake. There is always a lesson in something. Be it about myself, what I am capable of or situation presented. You can always learn something. A bad day is never a bad day; it’s a day lived.

4. Be grateful for what you have. I have everything I need and all that I have ever wanted right at this very minute. I don’t require the latest gadgets or the latest fashion it doesn’t make me feel better. I have healthy kids, spunky husband and a home that’s in a country free from war and terror what else could one want? I am grateful for that every day and it’s what makes my heart sing every morning.

5. Hang out with the right people. Sometimes easier said than done but its where you have to make an effort to avoid toxic company and situations. I don’t have a lot of friends those that I do have I treasure with all my heart. I learnt through trial and error who was good for me and who wasn’t and it’s not because of anything in particular. I just learnt that we didn’t do good things for each other and that’s something that is important for the both of us.

x Deb

{Content Deb Russo image with thanks to here}

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We were so out of sync out of rhythm it was scary.

We hadn’t been this far apart in so long that I sat on the edge of the bed and cried. Had we gone too far?

In the darkness, he sensed me sitting. Patting the mattress seeing if he could find my hand. Instead, he found my waist grabbed me and pulled me back to him.

At least he wants me I thought and so in the dark I held my breath waiting to see if getting my breathing in sync would help. Our marriage it was floundering months of placing it second to the kids, to work, to the book, to everything I wondered if it had gone to far.

We have been on the brink before. It’s scary and horrible. To be that distant from the love of your life is gut wrenching and hurtful. It’s often that hurt that keeps you from making the move to fix it.

I thought back in the dark of our hotel room free from the kids, from the book, from everything but him and I and thought back to Paris and how good it was. I thought back to the conversation husband had with a friend of his and wondered if he would still say the same that our marriage was amazing. I thought about how we and this is a joint effort had neglected our marriage, and this was the scary result.

When I tell people that husband and I will go on a weekend away without the boys it’s often met with an awkward look of ‘how could you’ do that to your children. But it’s where many and I start to differ on many things. However, we will see who will still be using the word husband after the kids leave home, leaving us in their dust trail as they head off to live out their adventures. All without thought until it’s time to fight over who will change our nappies and wipe our chins when we are in our nineties.

The fact is husband, and I will often put ourselves first however it’s not ‘ourselves’ it’s our marriage. Our marriage is important to us so much so that often the kids will come second fiddle to date night. And Paris was important to us and so was this weekend sans kids to Sydney that we were on now.

After all once the kids are gone where will we be as a married couple if we don’t invest in our marriage. The fact is the kids wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our marriage, and so it comes first. Not only because I am selfish and want him to myself now and then. But because I want my marriage to last well after my children leave home and not just to last, but I want it to be a happy one.

A marriage where I know him as 50-year-old like I did the 24-year-old boy I met. I don’t want to be married to a stranger. Twiddling my thumbs as we eat dinner, having the TV blare because it’s better than making conversation across the table with my husband.

I make my marriage a priority for my kids, our family and theirs to come. And as selfish as we sound touting that we put our marriage first we do it not only for ourselves but for our children to keep our family happy and together. I want to teach my boys how to have a relationship and invest in one.

As I say to the kids the day daddy and I stop kissing is the day we need to worry.

So four ways to put your marriage first and the reality is its not that hard.

  1. Date nights. Make time to go out one on one so you cant talk about your days, troubles, future goals without the constant interruption and distraction having children can bring.
  2. Keep talking throughout the day if you can. If you can’t talk to him then a quick message or text- modern technology has come along way.
  3. Go nuts with the PDA it’s a natural progression to step 4.
  4. Have sex. No need for details. When how is all up to you but do it.

So consider placing your marriage before your kids before everything else and eventually they will thank you for it, and you won’t end up out of sync trying to find each others hand in the dark.

xDeb

{Content Deb Russo image with thanks to here}

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If I was to travel to your part of the world where should I go she asked?

Hmm with kids or without I asked her back.

With kids naturally can’t leave those little tackers home to fend for themselves.

Well, then I said I have the unique perspective in that I live in the mountains of far north Queensland but Cairns, the great barrier reef is literally at my doorstep. I use Cairns like a tourist most weekends when the husband is at work it’s so close just a day trip is enough to recharge us. So as someone who travels solo with kids a lot it. Where we go to and visit has to be sensitive to my impatient needs meaning it has to be close and it has to be entertaining if it doesn’t meet those it won’t meet me.

So my top places to go when in FNQ when travelling with kids some are free others are not.

Let’s get the costly ones over with first.

Green Island is a must with little kids its just 40 minutes away so no long trip on a boat. I recommend travelling with a smaller company over a larger one. I found the more major companies cater for big groups, and I liken them to cattle trucks so a smaller company will be fewer people but the same inclusions. Now you can either choose to have lunch included in your package, take your own or buy on Green Island. But because I am honest taking your own while can be like a recognisance mission will pay off because apparently food on an island is expensive.  Sandwiches, salad and drinks are perfect to take. In terms of the length of an excursion to the island if you have smaller kids I would do just a half day rather than an all day pass but that’s my kids. I like Green Island because it has a beach, a small reef you can snorkel plus lots of other things provided by the resort. This is awesome if the kids find they aren’t fans of snorkelling or swimming in the great big blue.

My favourite attraction for Cairns, however, is the Cairns Lagoon, Muddies and the playground in the tree. My boys and I do this circuit a lot it’s where we spent Christmas last year when the husband was rostered to work. It can be as expensive or as cheap as you like. We take a packed lunch along with my little burner to make coffee, and the kids take their scooters and swim gear. The beauty of Cairns Esplanade is you can start at one end such as the fig tree playground and scooter/ walk your way to the end at the skate park. With stops in between at the lagoon for a swim and muddies playground. The walk in its self is a few kilometres long so when determining where you might stop for lunch take that into a count. We eat or BBQ at any of the free BBQ’s and picnic spots then up and back having a second swim in the lagoon. Finishing it off with 50 cent ice cream from Mcdonalds that sits directly across from the lagoon. Saturdays are our favourite days to do the lagoon because the council runs a market and has live music playing most weekends. {check the council website for confirmation}

Now the biggest secret of FNQ is the Atherton Tablelands. It’s the food region of the north we can grow anything here in our volcanic soils. Starting at Smithfield you will drive up the Kuranda Range road driving through Heritage listed rainforest. Then stopping at Kuranda you can do the Kuranda markets and visit the Barron Falls lookout spectacular during the wet/summer season when rains here have been at full pelt. Then following the Kuranda-Mareeba Rd to Mareeba you can stop at a variety of local producers outlets Emerald ice creamery, the Golden drop mango winery. Then hitting Mareeba an outback town of 6800 people visits my favourite Mareeba coffee stop. Mareeba coffee works grow and produce their own coffee exporting locally and all over the world. They also make their own chocolate. From there you can travel on to Atherton stopping at Mount Uncle Distillery for a tropical wine tasting on the way. Atherton is the hub of the tablelands a service centre for surrounding farmers and producers. When I first arrived it was small and country and 15 years later it still has that country town feel that I fell in love with. Once you have eaten my favourite is Gallery 5 for their BLT, walked the streets or even done the mountain bike trails {olmpic standard} you can drive to Gallos Chocolate factory to do some cheese tasting or more chocolate tasting. Then driving to the little town of Yungaburra via the Curtain fig before heading down the Gillies Range back to Cairns.

So that’s what you would do she said.

That’s what I do do and it never gets old.

xx Deb

 

 

 

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a fifo wife {fifo life: a few things}

by debbie on August 11, 2015

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I had another brilliant night sleep last in fact it was at 1.15am that I thought how lucky I am that I am awake and breathing to be able to whinge at that fact. So despite the 1.4 kilometres I swam, the 3.1 kilometres I walked and the power class I did I wasn’t tired enough to shut off the mind. The first world problems of a thinker.

The weekend however, was great. FIFO husband came home, we did nothing. Relaxed, watched TV it was a great start to the week.

Our week ahead is super busy. How about you?

In the mean time here is some welcome distraction for this Tuesday morning.

1. A new Instagram account to follow especially of you like history. I love history it’s my thing. Here.

2. What happens 60 minutes after drinking a can of Coke. Here.

3. Getting grief right. Here.

4. Did you know Iceland was the most feminist country in the world? Here.

5. 100 years of beauty. Here.

6. What I’m reading: Teaching kids about money. Here.

 

xDeb

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tumblr_mf5wlg1AD71rqar3do1_500I broke all four of the men in my lives hearts over the course of yesterday because I have got caught up in myself. Caught up in the fact I haven’t slept, that the month has been hard, and I can’t shake the self-loathing that has come with it. I am exhausted, and I have revelled in the self-pity like a literal pig in mud.

So yesterday was or wasn’t the wake-up call I needed. I knew but didn’t know what I was doing when I crankily said to my husband yesterday when he rang ‘Your message upset the kids’. Me telling FIFO Husband wasn’t called for because it wasn’t his intention. No one upsets their kids on purpose except an arse and he wasn’t an arse he just wanted to talk to his kids, and I knew that. But I am angry still, tired still, giving excuses still and so I felt okay entitled to spit the venom.

Naturally he hung up on me.

I don’t believe in hang-ups it’s no way to solve things. I would have rathered he blasted the shit out of me than the bullshit back and forth e-mail scenario we had yesterday. He hasn’t called today he won’t and I don’t want him to. I’m assuming we are still angry at the very least I am yet not at him. Knowing him he won’t be. We believe it’s better not to speak when you are angry. Childishly I have nothing to say, but I am sorry and yes I should have behaved better things I told him via email {sigh}.

Life out there was once described to me as a cross between big brother and survivor. Husband works with a great crew you never hear a bad word spoken about anyone, however, now and then something will come a cropper. It’s life eventually you will meet people who for one reason or another don’t appreciate you. Difference? you can’t escape them. You essentially live with them. Awkward. Stressful.

My husband is a good, fair man its why he does the job he does. He has the uncanny ability to stay in control, remain unbiased and see everything from everyone’s point of view. He likes everyone, and if he doesn’t, he likes them anyway for who they are, what they do, what they have done or stand for. He also doesn’t like to sit, so his employer gets value for money from him. He earns the money he makes. However, people are funny. Things that my husband find eye rolling worry me. Keep me awake. There have been a lot of eye rolling these past six months.

And yet when he calls to have a bit of love, a bit of support because the eyeball rolling has hit an all time high on the treadmill he gets the witch from hell because all I can think is- you slept twelve hours last night. Or did he? Because I wouldn’t know, I never gave him the opportunity to tell me. I never asked. I was too involved in my own self this month because I have it worse off.

So let’s get this straight NO ONE HAS IT WORSE OFF. I know that, knew that just needed the kick up the arse as a reminder.

Ordinarily I ask how he is. I listen but this is what I have found I don’t have outside support to spew my first world problems too, and I’m angry to a point about that because it hurts. I don’t have anyone I can tell, to just get it out so I keep it all to myself not wanting to burden my friends instead waiting for him and only him to call, so I can spew the venom at him at someone. Someone who already has shit of if his own to deal with and no one to tell. And yet knowing this that he has shit of his own to deal with I stopped listening to him and just to me. He doesn’t want me to fix it he is more than capable of that but just to listen. I am his support while he is out there and this month I have done a shitty job because he always has my back. Always.

So this is it. The cold. Wondering if I should make arrangements to have someone else collect him because the words ‘I’m done for the month’ on the computer screen can mean so much more than I’m not going to call for the last three days.

So my tips so you can avoid the cold and this goes for those at work or at home FIFO or not – no one has this easy.

  1. Listen to them just listen don’t interrupt..use ‘mmm’ to let them know your listening.
  2. Don’t minimize the problem; it comes across as you don’t think it’s important. Don’t say well at least it’s a job, or you wanted to have three kids so close together that’s not going to solve the issue.
  3. Don’t compare, no one has it better. Seriously they don’t. You might have a sleep debt bigger than Australia’s contribution to Indonesia’s economy, but they are out there with nothing familiar.
  4. Don’t shut them down because you’re too frustrated at listening. Yes it may be the same problem no doubt like your sleep debt but like yours are to you it’s a problem
  5. Don’t tell them they are silly or irrational…I can’t even come up with an example because nothing is silly or irrational.

Another thought is to have yourself a support person other than your partner for when there are times they can’t be that person. I think it makes a difference, I know it does, this month is proof. Don’t try and fix it the problem they are telling you unless they ask you to; usually they are capable of that themselves just listen. Actively listen. Love them. Listening is one of the easiest ways to show love.

And if you don’t do your fair share of listening grab a beanie its cold outside.

xxD

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I never thought much about it when it happened, but it is something I often reflect on late at night especially now I have children of my own.

I was picked up by John and Mungo this day. John was a handsome boy with a gorgeous nature and was one of my dearests of friends. Mungo we had gone to school together but he was a quiet boy and so I knew little of him but his unusual name.

We arrived at the creek it was my first time there even though it was just minutes from my home. The creek was or is beside the Darwin airport and during the wet swells to a rapid twice its size. Despite that, I didn’t know of its existence. Enthusiastically I jumped in behind the boys on old car tubes. They took off down the stream without care of me just like I was one of the boys.

Don’t swim or tube in swollen creek or rivers? Duh I was 18 the thought never ever crossed my mind because this was awesome fun.

We had done the creek run a couple of times, and I was on my third when it happened. The boys were behind me or in front I don’t remember, but they weren’t about when I went under nor when I came back.

How it happened I’m not sure but I can only describe it as being sucked into a ‘hole’ and got stuck. The tyre popped out from under me was I went under and floated away while I stayed wedged between a log and some rocks.

Initially, I tried to free myself but either I made it worse or I tired because the water was deep and so strong and so I stopped fighting. The water was cold now and I was doubled over with a stick wedged into my stomach and I recall that I was looking down to me feet seeing my hair float around my face. I remember looking at the blue in the plaid pattern of my shorts against the pale of my skin. I can remember the darkness around me whilst leaves and branches rushed by me. I remember what it felt like because I wasn’t scared, and I was surprised by that. I was losing consciousness or drowning at least and I was calm completely calm. I remember thinking I’m going to die like this.

I remember saying it again in my head I’m going to die like this and then thinking I got to try one last time to get out. I remember giving myself, one more all mighty push back against the torrent of the water and I literally popped to the surface. I looked about to see if anyone was around and I cant remember if they were already there or if they met me but we left after that. I only remember saying I got trapped and I have hurt my shoulder.

I went home that afternoon and the only thing I did was watch TV. I thought nothing more about it until about ten years ago when I had my first baby.

I think about that moment a lot more so since I have had more children.

I think about how calm I was and Im no longer afraid of dying. There was no bells like they say when you drown I was calm and okay with it. It was like going to sleep and everything fading. I also think that it I hadn’t tried one more time one more kick none of this would have happened because I literally would have died. It also makes me think of John. John committed suicide five years ago and I think if only he could have tried one more time, asked for help one more time but if dying if thats what it was is as I felt he would have found the peace he was looking for.

There is no moral but literally just keep swimming trry one more time you will eventually get there.

xxDeb

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I don’t fly a lot now I did once like most grown up things, but now that I have three others to take along with me I don’t travel so much but often enough to know how to get an upgrade for free. However once upon a time flying was considered glamorous and enjoyable. Now it’s an inconvenience and the term crammed like sardines is something that can be used fairly firmly with any economy flight. Having said that though there-there is no reason to behave like anything other than civilised well-mannered people when taking to the skies.

So thirteen tips to modern day air travel..

  1. Be nice to the ticket ground floor staff checking in your luggage. Dress sharp, wear deodorant for goodness sake and be nice. These are things that may just get you out of cattle class however being an arse will have you sitting by the toilet. There is no serious trick to an upgrade apart from the above tips and traveling solo. Solo travellers are more than likely to get an upgrade however, it’s no reason to ditch the kids.
  2. Be ready for security screenings. Take off your shoes, belts, empty your pockets. Get laptops and aerosols out before you get to the conveyor belt and if you haven’t done this allow those who are more prepared ahead of you.
  3. When you’re boarding the flight, get to your seat and sit down. Don’t rummage through your bag while standing in the aisle. It will not you win any friends. Perhaps help those around you with placing their overhead luggage into the overhead compartments. Karma will return the favour in taking off on time.
  4. Follow the unspoken rule of the arm rest rule. In a three-seat row, the middle person takes both it’s their compensation for not being an aisle with easy access to get up and not being able to see out the window. See easy. No more awkwardness.
  5. If you have children, it’s not easy to travel with I know I got three boys, however, perhaps this might make it easier for you at least. Crying on a flight is completely fine in my book it’s how babies communicate and unblock their ears there is nothing you can do. You could try giving them a bottle, breastfeeding, a dummy or older kids a gummy bear too chew but if these don’t work and they start crying, let them go.  If someone scowls or asks you to keep your child quiet ask the cabin crew to deal with them. However squealing you know that high pitched squeal kids make when having fun? It is not on for no reason other than to say hello once. Squealing in a confined space is not cute to anyone but a besotted parent but to cover my bases squealing is also a sign of distress use your parental common sense. Allowing your child to hit the back a seat the entire flight is not nice it’s the equivalent to are we there yet. With all that said kids are kids don’t stress it. Do your best to entertain them but 90% of your fellow travellers have been in your position. The other 10% will perhaps be one day.
  6. If you see a family, couple, friends separated offer your seat to them after takeoff so they can seat together. The seat angle will take care of you next flight.
  7. Use your manners with those around you. You don’t have to talk to anyone, but a simple hello is appreciated especially since you’re strapped in so close together, you could be on the set of 50 shades of Grey. Also being a regular flyer or member of a ‘lounge’ doesn’t make you better than anybody we all end up at the same destination in the end regardless some just faster than others.
  8. Watch your alcohol intake prior to the flight and on it. The idea you get drunk due to altitude is fallacy if anything it comes down to water intake and dehydration so watch your intake of alcohol and sedatives simple. Nothing more unattractive than a drunk. Nothing more unattractive to your employer than you slurring their name into the dirt while the cabin crew scrawl down your name, your seat and the name of your company embroidered on your shirt. Watch your language it doesn’t make you funny or engaging it makes you look like a drunken arse and one day possibly an unemployed one.
  9. Watch your hands and personal space with the cabin crew or fellow passenger be it male or female. There is no further explanation needed but consider this would you drink that much or behave that way if your wife, husband, children or employer were present. Respect the loved ones picking you up at the gate.
  10. Consider the sound of your headphones and electronic devices. Just because Sponge Bob is your cuppa tea doesn’t mean it’s anyone else’s.
  11. Turn your electronic devices off when asked, along with putting your tray table away, window and seat up. Don’t be the arse trying to squeeze a few extra minutes out of it.
  12. Thank your cabin crew on leaving and pilot if they present themselves. They got you from A to B in a metal tube that weighs several tonnes without nose diving into anything .Which given the whole physics concept is amazing still to me.
  13. Stand at least a metre away from the baggage carousel. Standing on it shin to shin blocks the view of those also trying to locate their luggage also. It doesn’t get to you any faster. Travelling is one of those things where everything is dependent on someone else so relax and make it enjoyable for all of us.
Happy Travels.

xxDeb

 

 

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Cars-Tetons

I have spent the best part of 20 years in the Mining and Mining support industries, being based in mining towns in Aus (Roxby Downs and Cobar) and various places overseas as an Expat (Laos, China, Mongolia and Canada).  Wow where did 20 years go, I remember the first time I left, my friends thought I was nuts, as I was going to leave my comfortable life in Australia and live in a third world country and my family thought I would be back in a couple of months.  Coming from having lots of travel experiences I fell in love with the travelling/working lifestyle, seeing the world and getting paid to do it. As I’m writing to you I feel like I have come 360 degrees and ready to go home and settle my roots back in Aus. I’m surrounded by passports, visa applications, removalist quotes, selling a house and household items and juggling travel itineraries.

In summing up this life, its been adventurous, stressful at times, hectic, culturally challenging, “remotely” challenging, rewarding and super for building true resilience and making outstanding memories.

My hubby and I have lived in Canada for the past 4 years as expats and played tag so to speak as being the FIFO.  My hubby is Mongolian and me Aussie. We met in Mongolia when I was sent there to work 7 years ago when we were given the opportunity by our employer to move to Canada, which has been a great opportunity to live and work here but unfortunately I became victim to the mining downturn in March and was laid off. Even though my hubby still has his FIFO job we really only moved here for me to accept a transfer so we have decided to move back to Aus.

Life in Canada is truly awesome, Canadians share lots of the same interests as Aussies do, mainly in the summer lots of socializing and BBQ’s etc, winter is a true hibernation and you don’t see much of your friends, unless your big into being caught in a blizzard or doing outdoor snow type activities.

I have found here that it’s the same as everywhere you go as and EXPAT with a FIFO, initially you’re a complete outsider and it takes a lot of work to make friends. I’m a firm believer when you’re in these circumstances that friends need to become your absent family.  I find most people are very set in their lifestyles particularly in a place like where I am now as it’s not a mining town, generally most of the people here have grown up here.  But I believe wherever you go you need to hunt, gather, and nurture good friends, it’s like speed dating to the extreme (I’m inserting some laughs in here hope this doesn’t all sound weird), I have spent a good two decades now making friends in the locations I end up in and usually end up with a super network which is what I have done in Canada.

Most people I have been friends with here don’t have other partners doing FIFO so it’s a little hard for them to get their heads around at first but I must say I have built and amazing network of very supportive and helpful friends.  My neighbours all around are my emergency network, and I think this is one of the critical things especially when you have kids, there is always someone on hand in a crisis.

Its been significantly important that my hubby and I support each other in our resolve and make sure our family has really good balance, we spend a lot of time together as family when we are all home or each independently doing things with them when we are just a single parent, and also making sure we get some time to ourselves sharing things we love to do together like movie or date nights.

I find my kids are really independent helpful beings because we are a FIFO family, its hard on the 5-year-old most of the time but she copes.  I also raise an 18-year-old, have had her since she was 14 so she is a significant helper too. We run a tight ship especially when only one parent is home. We are super reliant on Skype and face time for keeping in touch with whichever parent is away.

As a side note to Deb and people of her page I’m truly grateful there are people like you out there sharing other people’s FIFO highs and lows, it’s not a circumstance or lifestyle that everybody understands only people who are on the inside of it.

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