Willow Magazine CREATING LIFE - Page 58

I had never planned to have children. It was always something I believed wasn’t for me because I wasn’t the maternal type. I wasn’t the settling type and I wasn’t the marrying type.

I had been traveling the world for 10 years. My passion and addiction to travel fed something in my soul. I was never homesick. I was never lonely and I was unaware that there was ever anything missing.

My one-year career break fast grew to span almost a decade and it didn’t seem to be winding down.

I wanted to explore. I wanted to see the world. And I couldn’t stop.

On my 30th birthday I was living in the Caribbean and bartending at a swim-up pool bar. I mixed cocktails for the crowds of hundreds that poured off American and European cruise ships. I had quit working at the island’s newspaper because I enjoyed the hospitality lifestyle more. This had always been the struggle for me; I loved what I did but there was something about the 9 to 5 set-up that extinguished a part of me. I kept my career tucked neatly away among my degree in Communications, alongside my journalism award nominations and the fading ink on my portfolio.

I was saying farewell to my adventurous 20s. I was single. I owned little more than a laptop and a backpack full of clothes. I had a $2,000 jeep with holes in the floor and a vintage typewriter that my best friend had just mailed me from Serbia as a birthday present.

I had never really been one for possessions. The more my life was cluttered, the more my mind was and I could really only own what I could carry.

Belongings were always left behind at one destination to allow me to zip up my bag and make it to the next.

After working in countries including France, England, Greece, Canada and the Cayman Islands, and travelling through many more, I had no plans to return home. I wasn’t really even sure where home was anymore.

I rented a bedroom a short walk from the turquoise water and white sands of the island, spent days swimming with turtles and stingrays, and nights drinking cocktails to the sounds of the ocean. I had no needfor much more.

My birthday milestone crept around and to mark the occasion we hired a pirate ship. We dressed in corsets and feathers, accompanied by swords and treasures, and that night we sailed the Caribbean Sea. We were living in a real-life Neverland.

Weeks rolled on in the way they do and what I assumed was a hangover for the ages, and the result of my dwindling youth, was actually the end of the first trimester.

For the first time in almost a decade, I had a one-way flight to Australia.

Today, I sit in a tiny room in a coastal town of British Columbia, Canada, unpacking and repacking our bags. Unpacking from last week’s trip back to the Caribbean and packing for the upcoming road trip through the Canadian wilderness.

Ivy sleeps beside me as I pack. She is almost 10 months old now. She has more stamps in her passport than she has seen months on the calendar.

Ivy was conceived in the Cayman Islands and born a world away in Australia. I am a British-born Australian and her father a Canadian.

Her infectious spirit is a mixture of the oceans, the mountains and the laughter of each and every person we have been lucky enough to meet on our travels.

Her father and I have just purchased a school bus. The old yellow bus will become our new home for the summer as we travel along the west coast of Canada.

I have no solid plans. Actually, other than drive, I really have no plans at all. After the summer, we will decide what’s next. Life has a way of working out just the way it should.

People often ask me if I am rich because I travel so much. I am far from it. I have never really seen the value in money. The best things do not have price tags. The important things are not for sale.

While I have travelled for over a third of my life, Motherhood is still so new to me. Like most mums, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m going with what I think is best in any given situation.

I know I am unbelievably lucky to be able to mix all the things I love and to spend my days with Ivy.

I want Ivy to see this wide and wonderful world we live in. I want her to learn about it while being an active apart of it, not just from a textbook or the lines of a map. I want her to make friends of all skin types, races and religions, and to experience cultures, cuisines, traditions and languages. I want her to know that family is everywhere, not just in your bloodlines. I want her to experience adventure in her days, not just in the fairytales she reads.

I don’t know where the road leads, and I definitely don’t know where it ends. I can’t tell you where Ivy will go to school, or what country she will grow up in. But I can tell you I am excited for the adventures we will have and the people who will become family as we meet them along the way.

Everyday we start a new page, we write in the chapters that make up our lives. My story led me to Ivy and I wouldn’t change even a single sentence along the way.

The rest is unwritten.

No Fixed Address

Laura Buttileg