Thursday, February 10, 2011


I’ve never had that burning desire to travel.  I’ve never ached to see Big Ben or The Grand Canyon. Big clock. Big hole in the Ground.  Not my thing.  And yes, even after hacking out the entire movie length version of Mama Mia, I was still not tempted to jump on the next plane to Greece and find a lazy pool boy or two.

Of late though, perhaps because my children are becoming more self-sufficient or maybe because I’ve been watching too many movies set there, I am beginning to want, deeply, to visit New York.    I don’t even know what I would do there.  Just stand on the street and let the throngs of suited up people pass me by.  Eat in a Diner.  Take the Subway.  Go ice skating in Central Park.  Sure, cheesy and clichéd but absolutely blissful in my opinion.  

The other day someone suggested that my sometimes questionable fashion sense comes down to the fact that I live on the Gold Coast. I however, disagree. Fact is, I could have been born on a  Milan runway and still been fashionably challenged.

And, to be honest,  the Gold Coast is all I’ve ever known.  I was born here and apart from a brief stint on the Tweed Coast, a few weekends in Melbourne and 1001 trips to Bali, I haven’t really been anywhere else in the world.


Kirsty of  4 Kids, 20 Suitcases and a Beagle asked me why I live where I live and originally, this was going to be a post about exactly that.  Why I choose to live on the Gold Coast.  But the more I thought about it, the more I could only come up with one valid reason.  It’s my home.  My friends and family live here.  And that to me is home.


Now Kirsty has covered a lot of ground.  Like, literally.  4 Kids people!  Ground covered.  But seriously, she has  lived in 7 different countries in 11 years and currently lives in Qatar with funnily enough her four children, a beagle, a vast amount of suitcases and oh, her husband.  She knows her shit.  From Libya to the USA, she has witnessed more than most, all the while making additions to her expanding family along the way.  Her favourite place in the whole entire world?  Well, she tells me it's by a creek in country South Australia.   Kirsty also went on to tell me though, she has loved each of the places she has been fortunate enough to live in, but for very different reasons.


So where is your favourite part of the world?  Where do you want to visit most and why?   Do you long to live anywhere but where you do now?


Oh and by the way, if you are wondering the real reason I live on the Gold Coast I’ve got two words for you – Warwick and Capper. 

You're welcome


Jane said...

Like you, I'm also DYING to go to New York.

I'd love to live in London for a while.

And I'm desperate to visit Italy and Greece.

I'd be happy to go anywhere, really. I have the travel bug in a big way.


Annieb25 said...

Warwick Capper??? OMG I'm not sure I can be friends with you ;)

Seriously though, I live in Brisbane because it is where I ended up when I was 21. I do love it here and it is the city my kids call home. I can't imagine living anywhere else. I do love to travel and can't wait to go to Italy in September.

Maxabella said...

I have travelled very widely (across Australia, Europe, Easten Europe, Scandanavia, the Middle East, East and Southern Africa, Asia and America... oh and NZ...) and have lived in London and Sydney as well as my home town. I miss London every day and the reason we came back to Sydney was because we missed our families. Plus we know it and it's convenient. Plus packing is a bitch.

Go to New York. Go and sit on a bench with a bad coffee and a sub and let it all wash over you. That's the best way to travel. x

Heath said...

I have quite a few favourite places in the world. But I'll limit myself to two.

Favourite city - New York. Hands down. And yes, apart from the ice skating, pretty much all I did there was what you described - just stood back and took it all in.

The other favourite is the north-east of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. So peaceful, so green, so laid back. We were there for our honeymoon 10 years ago, and I really want to go back.

bigwords is... said...

I've traveled quite a bit and my favourite place would have to be New York. The simplicity of people watching - what an amazing place. What a buzz.

I'd also love to go to Qatar - simple reason is to see where my cousin - Kirsty - and her family live. We are due for a family fix and some late night laughing sessions. Anywhere she and her family is, is a great place xx

Miss Ruby said...

i lived in england for two years, 6 months near london and then 18 months in the northwest - went as a single 20 year old and came back a married 22 year old.

we moved to oz because i was missing family, i was over that within a week of being back and i've been yearning to move back ever since and while the Guv never wanted to move back home once we got here, lately i believe he could be swayed.

fact is the english lifestyle suits us better, it's not for everyone but it is for us.

i live in perth [i was born here] - it's a shithole - no offence to anyone who lives here and loves it but it's just not for me, i hate the heat, it hate how the city just seems to be soooo reluctant to move forward but most of all i hate the heat. did i mention that i hate the heat? if not, well i do.

if i can't move back to the uk [which unless we win lotto is looking unlikely - that moving across the other side of the world is an expensive exercise don't ya know?] then tasmania is where i long to live.

we had plans to move there a couple of years back, bought a house and everything but then my dad got ill and died and it all got put off and it's never been put back on. im working on changing that, we have a 3 year plan lol

with all that being said - if i wasn't married to such a homebody, id be moving every 6 months - long enough to discover a place, experience it and then move on - *sigh* what a life, and i still dream, 12 years on, that one day i'll live exactly like that.

new york - yes i hear you on that one.


Jodie said...

ha ha ha...those gold shorts!

Sandra said...

Paris. I resisted it for decades, poo-pooing the idea of those rude Parisiens.

Then I fell in love with a man who lived overseas so we agreed to meet in person there. Ads you do. I was 45 and had children and should have been responsible, but dammit it was a lover in paris.

So I went.

I have travelled constantly for thirty years, and often enjoyed the places I've been to, but Paris, Paris was a whole new ball of wax. I felt at home there. It resonated with me. I dressed the part and it felt good. Amazingly, incredibly, after 20 years of not speaking a word, my school-girl french came back. I walked all over that city, cracked jokes with shop keepers, whiled away the hours in food markets, orderd a double espresso (I never drink espresso!). It made complete sense to me.

The man, well we broke up two years ago and that was that. In the end he was human and no amount of romance could make up for it. But Paris? I'll be back. By myself, in a tiny apartment where no visitor can stay. Just me.

Sarah said...

I travelled and lived overseas for several years. I think I've well and truly scratched that itch. I love living here in Perth. It's home, it's a beautiful place to raise our family and we love it. Strange you should say that about yearning to visit NY, because one of the things we did was wallpaper part of our living room with streets of NY. Because it's a little reminder of a place we'd love to go one day as a family. Not for Sex and the City style stuff, but just to feel it's heart. Stopping now. I'm clearly rambling....

Tai Tai said...

I've done my fair share of travelling. Am now living in HK after 6 years in London, have done New York, the Greek Islands and a hell of a lot of places in between, but my favourite place in the world is Australia. The more I travel, the more I realise that we really DO live in the best country in the world. But I only really appreciate that because of the other places I've seen. You HAVE To go to New York. It is incredible! Definitely in my top 5. The restaurants, the super-size, the downright coolness of the place is like no other. Oh and while you're there - do yourself a favour and visit the Abercrobmie & Fitch store. You'll thank me later x

4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle said...

Ahh, it always comes back to Warrick Capper doesn't it?!

I'm married to a Queenslander and after 12 years of "heading home" to visit relatives in Noosa, Yepoon, The Gold Coast and The Sunshine Coast I can totally understand why you would stay put. It's bloody gorgeous and the weather is amazing.

I agree with you Bern, home is where family is. I grew up in country Sth Australia, my Grandmother lived next door, my Aunt and Uncle next to them, a flurry of other Aunts and Uncles were all over our block. My father and I were born in the same hospital and I had a gorgeous feeling of familiarity everywhere I went.

I also had no plans to travel, I was never a backpacker.

As a girl who struggled with change, it's incredibly ironic that I have ended up with 4 children born in 4 different countries and have called several different hotel chains home over the past 11 years. My children's upbringing and lifestyle couldn't be more different.

Thanks for writing the post Bern. I come here every day to read your blog and I bloody LOVE it.


Green Mama said...

Fantastic post, I must say. I'm a Melbourne girl, love living here and would never live anywhere else, especially now I have cherubs. But I felt an absolute peace in Italy, not very surprising considering my ancestory. I could have lived in Roma easily...

Cassie said...

I am dying to travel. I want to live in different countries & really experience the culture. We were planning to move to Japan sometime this year before I fell pregnant & had my (now 1yo) daughter. I am still determined to do within the next 5 years.

As to home, I moved away from my family in Wollongong to live in Inner West Sydney. Besides moving overseas, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I'm addicted to this lifestyle.

macsnorky said...

I've lived in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. I've loved them all for different reasons. I guess Canberra will always be home since that's where I lived the longest, where I went to school, got married, had kids. For now, the Sunshine Coast is home. Now that we're in our own house, it feels like home, with a side order of holiday lifestyle.

I'd live in Sydney again in a heartbeat. But I'd need to win Lotto to live in my chosen area, and I'm not even talking anywhere especially classy.

Favourite cities I've visited would be San Francisco and New York. I don't know what it was about SF, but from the minute we drove into the city we didn't want to leave. New York lives up to everyone's expectations. Standing in the middle of Times Square looking all around just blows your mind. It's almost surreal when you realise you're standing in a place you've seen a million times on TV and in movies, but thought you might never visit. Add to that driving over the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and all the other icons and buildings that are scattered throughout popular culture, my entire visit was one big brain explosion!

KJ said...

I live in Melbourne, I moved here from the Hunter Valley to be with my husband. We're about to move to Singapore. Bizarely NONE of these places spring to mind when I think of places I love.

There's been 3 separate times where I've thought "Yep, this is awesome, I belong here":

1. Laying on a banana lounge cobbled together with branches and rope on the East Coast of Zanzibar. It's the place I go to in my mind when I want to mentally unwind.

2. Ypres, Belgium. We stayed a night but I would've stayed a lifetime. I felt like I was 'home'. Maybe it was the spirit of the ridiculous number of Australians who died there in WW1 that made me feel that way? I don't know but I will do everything in my power to get back there ASAP.

3. Laying on my bed in my holiday house at Phillip Island this past January. Bliss.

Denyse Whelan said...

Ahhh, what a topic...I live in Sydney now.But brought up in Wollongong NSW till 10,then moved to a lovely place close to Manly with my parents & bro & left at 20 to go teaching in the NSW Country.
Met B., married & lived all over outback NSW for 8 years.
Time to settle (we thought) & buy our own home.
Would have LOVED to live near the beaches where I spent 10 years..but 2 teachers' salaries didn't stretch too far then, as now.
Went to The Hills (to Sydney siders, thats the 45 minutes drive from the City) a mix of suburbs such as Castle Hill Baulkham Hills & Kellyville.
Bought first house in The Hills, upgraded to second house in The Hills, downgraded to affordable house in NOT the Hills but Blacktown area.
Still there.
Want to be back by the beach..or close enough to check the weather for Sydney rather than Richmond!!

Thanks Bern, good one! XX

PS I have had one OS trip..solo..5 years ago to Hawaii (Oahu & Big Island) LA, Vegas, SanFran, Oahu & home - 16 days and I loved it.

NY calls me too...but want to afford a comfortable flight.

UK - especially Scotland as both England and Scotland form my heritage. said...

I spent two weeks in New York three years ago and I miss and think about the place every single day. It's strange how you can actually miss somewhere that isn't your home, but New York just did it for me. I'm planning to go back just as soon as Miss A is old enough to remember it.

MsKymOG said...

Aah, New York! You really must go there - has to be one of my favourite places on earth.

I was born and raised in Brissie, but from the age of 22 lived 6 years overseas - living in London and travelling in Europe, and then in Auckland (met a kiwi boy while know the story).

I returned to Brisbane exactly 10 years ago, but my travelling itch has never been, and likely will never be, fully scratched. I'm marrying a German, so biennial trips "home" to visit his family are a given. We try and travel to somewhere different each time.

But Brisbane is home. Like you, for me it's home because it's where my family and friends are. And I love the lifestyle. So I will keep working hard to save money for travelling, but I suspect that my suitcases will always head back here.

ClaireyH said...

You give me Warwick Capper,

I give you two words.

Salzburg. Christmas.

Go, see the beauty, pretend you live in a dream.

I cant wait to take my girls one day, might just have to start saving though.

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Great post as always :) Don't hate me but I am going to NYC in Sept for 12 days! I was intending to go there for my 40th (last year) but didn't make it so this is the year! Went in 2005 and it has been calling me back ever since! Am going alone so I can soak up the atmosphere and do nothing or do everything - whatever I feel like.. All travel tips appreciated!

nicky said...

I heart NY

I would give my right arm to move back there...well, maybe not my right arm, because I wont be able to drive a manual car when I *do* move back, but you get the gist. I get off the plane at JFK and it feels like home.
Funnily enough, I just happen to be IN NY right now.

Bern, you can come and stay with me. I'll take you do more than stand in the middle of the street.

N x

life In A Pink Fibro said...

I've been to lots of place. I love London, because I lived there for a while and it holds very happy memories. I love New York, because I have distinct recollections of walking down Madison Avenue, amidst the huge crowds, and thinking 'noone in the world knows where I am' - and liking it. I love Jervis Bay, NSW, because I don't believe there are more beautiful beaches anywhere in the world. I love Positano, Italy, because it's like walking around in a painting. I love Paris, because it would be rude not to.

The Grand Canyon? Breathtaking. Extreme. I thought hole in the ground too - until I went.

Oh, and Clairey H is right - Salzburg for Christmas is incredible.

Damn. I thought I had that travel bug a little bit squashed and you've gone and resurrected it.

Faybian said...

Ah, the irony. As I read this an ad for a hotel chain with Warwick Capper comes on tv. You know, I grew up in Melbourne near where Warwick Capper and his ex wife grew up. Went to the same high school as her and knew boys from the same school as him, he went to the ice skating rink when my sister was hanging out there. Apparently a real poser, no really? Anywho, we're in Brisvegas now. I've been round Australia (except for WA) and love it. Due to having kids young and money have only gone overseas once to Hawaii, Loved it, but Waikiki is like Surfers in another hemisphere. Funnily enough, we're going to California & NY, leaving this weekend. Yes!!! Taking 2 youngest kids with us (7 & 10). Hoping to go to the UK in a few years.

A Cajun Down Under said...

Love this post! I have traveled a fair bit, and the place I would most love to visit again is the South of France. Beaches were not great by Aussie standards, but the whole experience was divine! I love living in Australia, but I would prefer to be up your way instead of Sydney. That said, I really only holiday in one place - Louisiana. It is hard living so far away from my family, so we visit as often as we can.

Mummahh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mummahh said...

i have traveled to 4 dif countries out of Australia, and i would love to travel more, but we recently decided to see our own country before we venture out of Aus again, and spend our hard earned dollar here, this could change, but i hope not.

nadinewrites108 said...

A tree on a rocky hill-top in Prashanti Nilayam, Puttaparthi, India. Magic.

But home is right here, in this rough old house on my big block in the Hunter Valley. And it's home because that's where my family is - Mr D, Little Lion, Blossom and Me. Don't need much more to be home.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Grew up in Perth, moved to Sydney 15 years ago and LOVE it. Miss my fam & friends, but love living here.

I've been to Europe a few times. I did one of those 6 countries in 14 days Contiki Tours waaaay back in 1991. Fun stuff. Went to France & Ireland with Hubby in 1997. To Italy with our two eldest boys in 2005. We've taken them to Vanuatu. Hubby and I went to Malaysia. I've been to Bali.

But I've NEVER been to the US, and like you, desperate to go. Maybe we could organise for the next blogging conference to be there, hey? *wink wink nudge nudge*

Trish@Show and Tell said...

I live in Brisbane and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else...(for now). Both because my family is here...but also because I love the climate and lifestyle. It's a very family friendly city.
NYC is definitely on my list of places to visit. Funny you should mention the Grand Canyon, Bern. My 8yo swears blind she is taking me there for Mothers' Day this year. I'm kinda hoping she's right, because I've started looking forward to it!

Veggie Mama said...

oh New York City was phenomenal. So much in one city! Veggie Dad and I fell in love with it and immediately wanted to move to the East Village and hang out with the punk kids and eat amazingly varied food all the time and have so much at our disposal to see and do and absorb. I just adored it.

I won't rest until I've gone to London though. Say hi to the Queen. Drink some tea. Find Ricky Gervais. Stalk Stephen Fry. Drink some more tea. That sort of thing.

I loved the Gold Coast when I lived there, but think I belong to the Sunshine Coast now x

Thea said...

I didn't ever want to travel...until I did.
I've been to Europe twice now and although being there was pretty tough (being NOT brave and not knowing the languages) seeing the sights was amazing.
New York is one place I've never wanted to go. I think it would scare the living daylights out of me! lol

Littlemissairgap said...

I've got to share with you my Warwick Capper story. Back in 1990 I was in my 1st year of teaching at a school on the Redcliffe Peninsula. Pretty poor & pretty tough. Everyone was excited because Warwick Capper was coming to visit to do some sort of footy clinic with the older kids although I'm not too sure how much of a clinic eventuated. I was sitting in the staff room when Capper walked in with his tight shorts, mullet hair & Big Rooster meal, scoffed it down & then promptly collapsed on an old "sick room" bed (old Ed Qld issue cane divan ... wish I had one now ... bet they've all been thrown out over the years). Capper looked mighty hung over, quite shabby & not too happy to be where he was. He must have eventually got off the sick bed in his tight shorts to interact with the kids because when it was 'home time' quite a few Year 7 girls came and showed me where Capper had signed their school shirts and their ... wait for it ... bras!!! I'm not talking 'sign on the bra strap' kinda autograph, but signing on the cup!!! WTF??? Classy Capper ... classy!

River said...

Warwick Capper is your reason for staying on the Gold Coast??? Oh. Dear.

I travelled quite a bit within Aus, mostly up and down the east coast as my soldier husband got moved from post to post. After that all I ever wanted was to stay in one place.
Well, I've been in Adelaide for 25 years now and I'm thinking I might like to move around a bit. As soon as I win the lottery (Ha Ha), I'm spending six months each in Canada, Ireland, NZ and Tasmania. Then I'll be coming home to Adelaide.

Terry said...

Oh dear lord, Warwick Capper. I could have done without the photo Bern.

My favorite place in the whole world is Currumbin Beach. My holidays are centered around Football and following the Socceroos to the ends of the Earth if required. Things I want to see are all based on Major Sporting Events.

Niki said...

Ha, I am exactly the same as you.
Big Clock & Big Hole. Ha.
But I too have a burning desire to visit New York.
Have done since I was about 22.
And yes apart from the 2000 Bali trips, nada for me either.
But I am a homebody through and through.
I love living in my little part of the world.
But I do love Melbourne a smidgy bit too.
I guess home is where the "familiarity" is.
Later, Niki

Mrs Woog said...

W C rocks! He is so wrong.
I would move to Bali tomorrow if I could. I have been all over and loved in London, spent a lot of time in New York and have a special place in my heart for Vietnam. I love to travel and wish I could do it for a living. Only place I would not go back to is Fiji. No.
But I will come up to the Gold Coast if you invited me - could hang out with Cappers xo

Catch the Kids said...

I love to travel. All I need is a rich sponsor:) NY is everything it's said to be - both good and bad. I adore it and could just take my toothbrush to MOMA and never leave.

My current obsession is Eastern Europe and Russia. Though my sis has been travelling Nepal and all that snow is looking mighty good in this heat...

And Warwick Capper? Is he STILL around? This guy is unsinkable.

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