Time Flies When You're in Oz

posted on: May 21, 2012

I can't believe that I'll be leaving Australia in just 9 days.  I also can't believe I've been here for five months- where did the time go?  I've been instagramming, twittering, and facebooking as many updates as possible to fill the gaps between blog posts- so if you need to catch up at all - look in those places for more detailed accounts of my time here in Australia. (all photos below are instagrams from iPhone)

Architecture of Downtown Melbourne
View of Downtown Melbourne

What has Australia taught me?
Family is the most important thing in life.  Period.  I knew this before, but Brisbane has really cemented this for me in a way that just never happened in the capitalist-driven United States.  Last night, while watching Dark Shadows at the Blue Room Cinebar, it was the underlying theme of "family is the only true wealth" that stuck with me most as I sat with my mom on one side, and Nicky- my flatmate who I now consider a sister on the other side.  Brisbane is so community focused on creating healthy families and healthy neighborhoods, that I've been immersed in a love of family and community that I haven't really had when moving every one or two years while growing up.  Being so far away from family and not being able to easily pick up the phone and call at any time also creates an absence that really does make the heart grow fonder.  I'm grateful that Facebook allows us to stay in touch often, even if it is asynchronous.

Nicky & My Mother relaxing before the movie at the outdoor balcony of the Blue Room Cinebar

What has Australia given me?
A renewed sense of health and healing.  I really believe that Australia will lead the way in healthcare research and holistic healing innovations over the next decade- perhaps even over the next century.  There's such a strong focus on holistic health, natural foods, and healthy lifestyles- especially here in Queensland- that many other countries can learn a lot from.  There's a strong focus on mental health and caring for your mind and stress levels as an equal partner to your heart health.  While many people in the United States might rail against socialism, it's the high taxes that provide excellent city parks for kids to play in, great sidewalks and bike lanes to encourage people to move their bodies, great river water that people can fish in, very clean air standards, and an incredible public transport system that is unparalleled in convenience to any other I've ever experienced in the world.  I've lost at least 30lbs in 5 months by simply living in Australia and doing what I would normally do.  It's really incredible and I hope that I can maintain the same sense of healthy living when I return home to the over fertilized and high fructose corn syrup society.

Street Art Bottle Key
Street Art in a Melbourne Laneway
I'll never be able to blog every single one of my experiences here.  It just isn't physically possible.  I've saved as many amazing memories as I can on my iPhone and shared many through Instagram and Facebook.  Eventually I'll put them into a memory book to have and hold forever.  Until that time comes, I have another three months of adventuring ahead!  Alex and I will be traveling several different countries in Europe, mostly so that he can strengthen his international collaborations.  I've officially decided not to bring my professional camera gear for the rest of our travels (also because I don't have working visas for the other countries), but will still have my iPhone and will be looking forward to connecting with international photographers around the world when the fates allow.  Otherwise, I'll simply be appreciating all that each day and city has to offer when I have no agenda that I need to follow.  We gave up a lot to make this trip happen, but I believe that travel is the only thing that makes you truly rich in life.  We can't take anything with us when we go, so we should live to fully experience and appreciate every beautiful moment we have right now.

Anne Ruthmann in Melbourne Laneway Cafe
Me, drinking a morning smoothie at a laneway cafe in Melbourne

2 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. Outstanding view of life lived fully. Thanks for the encouragement, Anne

  2. Wow! How exciting! I used to follow your blog all the time here in Indiana :) Your work has always been so inspiring, now wellness and health too? What is there not to admire ;) Happy travels.


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