out with the old, in with the new!

If the past few years of my life have been a whirlwind, then it seems I have finally landed in the peaceful, calm eye of the storm. Or the storm has passed. I haven’t quite figured out the analogy.

Australia

I’ve been back in Australia for less than a month and yet I feel like Matt and I have been keeping ourselves nice and busy. The day of our arrival from Portland saw us rushing around to get ourselves cleaned up and ready to head to Matt’s company Christmas party at the Marriott Hotel – open bar, dinner included, poolside hangout – very cool.

We took an early Christmas trip to Tasmania to spend time with Matt’s family, as they hadn’t seen Samara in a few months, and that was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, due to a massive storm in Brisbane our flight was delayed 3 hours, which left a very crazy 2 ½ year old running around the Melbourne airport (where we had our layover) and not sitting still to eat, nap or do anything that we’d hoped. But overall she was a great traveler and I think Matt and I are slowly building her passion for travel so one day she can come places with us! The trip was a lot of fun; we saw a wallaby and rabbit on the drive home, met up with one of Matt’s best friends, got dressed up and went to a nice dinner, had a family bbq with all the kids (Matt’s niece and nephew and Samara), opened gifts with the family and enjoyed our trip away from Queensland.

A few days before Christmas we took a surprise trip to see glow worms! Unlike the cute characters of our youth, glow worms, as we learned, aren’t actually worms but larvae. The light they produce is a reaction created in their body as they burn off their own waste, creating a bluish-green (technically green on the light spectrum) LED-looking glow. They stay in their “cocoon” for 11 months before emerging, reproducing and dying in the three days they live as a fly. Poor things. Their webs are gorgeous, like a string of raindrops hanging together, and it turns out that they work harmoniously with one of the most poisonous creatures in Australia: the funnel web spider. Oftentimes sharing living quarters, the insects work together so both can eat and survive. Along the path to see the glow worms we were also exposed to luminescent fungi, or glowing mushrooms. As usual, my jaw was down to my knees as Matt and I stood in wonder of the glow of these creatures. Not only that, but we saw “heaps” of cane toads and tree frogs playing in the rain on the drive home. It was a very nature-oriented evening and somewhere we will probably visit again in a few months when there are more glow worms.

The other day we went to Sea World here on the Gold Coast which was a great day though short-lived because of the mass of people. It is the time of school holidays here in Oz (still weird for me that December and January are summer! Even though Peru is in the southern hemisphere, it never got hot enough to feel like “summer” during the proper summer months) which means that all the theme parks are PACKED. On top of that, it was raining for weeks straight and the day we went out was the first relatively dry day, increasing the attendance at the park.

NYE was pretty chill – we hung out, drank some beer and watched some fireworks. The perfect way to ring in what is to be one of the best years EVER, especially because my love was next to me the whole night J We started the year off with Samara and Buddha and a trip to the beach, which was a lot of fun and quite relaxing – until it started to rain. Stupid Queensland rain! At least we aren’t being affected by the rain and flooding in the northern part of the state, although all the news is saying that all the produce prices will ultimately be affected because most of the country’s fruit and veg come from that region. All we can do is support the thousands of people who have lost their possessions, their homes, their cars and in some cases, their pets and family members.

Last night Matt and I revamped our team Dare to Dream name at a local trivia night, and out of 7 teams we came in 2nd! We were super excited to win a $50 voucher for dinner to use at next week’s competition J

2010

Well 2010 was celebrated drunkenly on the coast of Costa Rica with friends and pax alike. Nothing too special but it was a rocky start to the year when I woke up on the first day of the year with a massive hangover. No fun. But since then there have been changes, a personal metamorphosis and ultimately finding out exactly where I belong!

The next rough start was after the boat accident in Panama – a shaky beginning for all of us involved. And a moment of silence was in my heart for those that died and their families on that day.

BUT after all of that, I got to visit my favorite country – again! – and reunite with old friends in Cuba! Salsa dancing, rum drinking and lots of enjoyment with loads of different people from all over was the perfect experience for me! And when that was sadly over, I decided to move on from Tucan and leap into the abyss of unknowing where I would be next and not having each day planned out for me.

Lucky for me that my jump was anything but scary, as Matt was there to catch me! Meeting my soul mate on my last Tucan trip seemed just too good to be true, and every day when I wake up in his arms I still feel like someone will wake me from this beautiful dream I’m in! 2011 is OUR year – the Leos will dominate and we have big plans, all of which can be accomplished with the support and love of the other, and I am bursting at the seams I’m so excited. Less than a week into 2011 and I already feel energized and positive!

So there’s a very very brief recap. Happy 2011 everyone – make it YOURS!

Much love and many hugs,
Joslyn

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