It only took about two months of planning, three separate respite placements, the recruitment and approval of some wonderful friends as kinship carers and the lovely ongoing support of a couple of extended birth families, but I went away for a long weekend – child free!
I had wanted to take the baby up with me, but his birth mother refused permission for him to travel out of the state. So I decided to really enjoy the rare opportunity, get some extra sleep and have some child free fun in the tropics.
Darwin is a 4 hour plane ride away from where I live or a three day drive if you like driving about 12 hours a day. I’ve driven both ways quite a few times over the years. It’s amazing country, desolate and beautiful and a long way between pit stops. I love an epic road trip but I love flying over all that space as well.
Darwin is a remote, tropical city. It’s closer to Asia than it is to the southern capitals. It’s the the traditional land of the Larrakia people and a regional centre and home for many Indigenous people from towns and in communities all over the Top End. It’s also very multi-cultural with big, long established Greek and Chinese populations and more recently south east Asian, Papua New Guinea and East Timorese communities.
I’ve lived there on and off over the years. My family moved to Alice Springs (in the centre of Australia) in 1977 and then ended up in Darwin a few years later. All of my family has lived there at one point or another so there’s a lot of memories, friendships and family history up there. It is one of my homes.
One thing we often do when there is a gathering of the clan is to head out to a place called East Point where you can watch the sun set, go for a walk or just enjoy the view and though I have a lot more to tell you about my trip. This is how I’m starting. Sunset at East Point on a Sunday night.
But even better was…