There’s the physical packing: trying to select clothes for both blazing hot and freezing cold temperatures (night temp dips below zero in the desert in winter). Tour resources and extra enhancements are needed. Household items need to be brought so that I can live basically in a little space of my own.
There’s the paperwork. Trying to organise paperwork for the new licences I will need. Trying to arrange police checks. Trying to enrol in the education course I am required to do. Trying to find somewhere to live. Transferring bills and authorities to my husband so he can deal with any utility problems coming up whilst I am not here.
It all takes hours of phone time and it all pretty much costs money.
On the money side, there is spending a fair bit on basic desert equipment. ‘Uniform supplied’ doesn’t mean anything other than a shirt so I need serviceable pants, hat and shoes. More money, but at least it is tax deductable.
Then comes organisation of what I am leaving behind: the Nuggets will have to go to my mother. My daughter is moving to her Dad’s place, which somewhat bothers me but at least she knows she is very much wanted here and can always come back if she needs to, even if I am not there. The garden and my much loved plants that nobody else ever thinks about unless specifically asked and even then doesn’t pay too much attention to. Luckily, we are coming into winter.
My husband needs to think about how he will handle living by himself again. It is going to be hard and there are lots of times I wonder if we are doing the right thing. If I thought our marriage wasn’t strong enough to withstand it, then I wouldn’t go. Nothing is more important than him and our relationship.
We will be driving across together to Alice Springs and he will fly back from there. We are planning on taking the Great Central Road, which is mostly unsealed and passes through remote Aboriginal communities. I’ve had to get permits to do so. It’s a nice thought travelling through an area that neither of us have been through before; we like road trips together so we are looking forward to it but at the same time dreading it because the start of it means that our time together is coming to a temporary end.
Time is ticking away so fast.