A Photo Diary of Leaving Home

June 30: The first person I had to tell was my sister and best friend, Alissa.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday hanging out with this little guy.  Like besties do, we promised to fit in as many days together as possible before moving day arrived.

July 4: No decisions made, but the idea that this could be our last 4th of July in the States or even our last 4th of July as only Americans has made it more patriotic than ever before

July 20: Planning ahead, I listed my car on KSL over the 4th of July and today, I officially handed the keys over to her new owner.  Heart broken and relieved.

Did I say relieved? Selling my car was step one towards what I needed to do for my Australian visa.  Besides, it is always fun when someone pays in cash.

July 21: Telling our friends of pending possibilities

Going all out knowing these Formula 1 weekends will never be the same

July 22: Seeing beauty in everything with the idea that I may no longer get to take advantage of seeing life like this every day

July 22: Giving away the first room full of stuff to friends and family

July 23: Realizing that every moment counts

July 27: Knowing Coffee & Crosswords will be one of those things I miss most

July 28: The first round of truly saddening goodbyes – today, I said goodbye to one of the most important people in my life – Davee.  Davee has been a great example to me and the most dedicated, consistent, kind, and real human being I have ever known.  I am forever changed by him.  You might notice just behind us is a photo of Heavenly Father hugging Jesus Christ.  Regardless of where anyone stands with their own, personal spirituality, this is truly symbolic to me.  We didn’t pose this.  We didn’t do this on purpose, but it is one of those indescribable things described only in the 1,000 words a picture holds.  He has been nothing short of a Father to me – one that has managed to save my life countless times.  I truly hope he comes to visit and I am able to see him again soon.

July 29: The goodbyes are starting to come fast.  Tonight, I met my Aunt and cousins at one of our favorite restaurants to squeeze in a “See You Later…” before they ventured out of town for a month long retreat.  The goodbyes don’t quite seem real yet.

As soon as the idea of moving became more of a reality, I set aside three specific afternoons for lunch with my family.  Each lunch date, my Dad would pick me up at work and we would meet my sisters at a nearby restaurant.  Somehow we never managed to get a photo of the whole fam – just more evidence that the goodbyes haven’t quite been sinking in – but I did manage to snap a photo of my adorable nephew knowing he’ll be a little man next time I see him.

July 31: 2 1/2 years on the waiting list and we finally landed a garden plot with the Wasatch Community Gardens.  Planting the entire garden in the few hours between coming home from South America and traveling to Seattle, we had no idea that the following week of our lives would domino into moving to the other side of the world.  So we officially handed over our pleasant project to our friends in hopes they would enjoy it even half as much as we have.

Aug 2: Starting to pack

August 3: Saying goodbye to the mountains and our friends all at once by BBQing with friends

Saying goodbye to Shauna and actually remembering to take photos with friends!

Having a laugh with my long time friend, Bri – an old friend from Texas that came to the dark side and learned how to survive here in Utah just the same as me.

Ciao for now Jason

Until next time Brodie, Ash, & Gracy

Aug 7: Contemplating the never ending summer – moving from a Utah summer into an Australian summer and leaving my favorite season behind

Aug 7: Wondering what my new life will be like and if I’ll ride the train into work every day or move up in my career.  My life had already changed in so many ways before we somehow joined the fast track.  We’ve skipped ahead 5 or more years.  Somehow that presents a certain element of, “Now what?”

August 9: Part of me was nervous that I needed to stay in the office to prove that I’m an asset to my new company in hopes of transferring to Australia, but most of me knew I would regret missing out on another trip to Southern Utah and a chance to say ‘See You Later’ to these great friends.

August 11: Spending more time than we usually do at our favorite lunch spot in Springdale, ordering our usual and enjoying the already cooling weather in the canyons of Zion National Park

Taking in that view (see: window reflection) one more time and already brainstorming excuses to come back here each time we visit the States

August 13: One of those things you never really think about before you make a major move in life is how you’ll need to visit all your doctors.  Little did I know one of these visits would lead to an immediate need to remove some abnormal skin cancer cells.  Today marks surgery #1, removing a small, deep chunk from my stomach.

I thought this was bad, but it only gets worse (keep scrolling).  A well practiced nurse, Stark changed my dressings and helped me survive a precarious two weeks in Hawaii, attempting to keep my stitches clean and dry.

August 17: Our latest Coffee & Crosswords day before moving

August 17: Finishing our Coffee & Crosswords just in time to meet friends at Oktoberfest – one of our favorite, most visited Utah events.  I was happy to find that the opening day would be in time for us to visit!

Squeezing Jan goodbye at Oktoberfest even though we will see each other at work before the big day

Happy to have some of the very best friends a person could ask for!
-Jaimal, DH, Me, Stark, Jason, Tiffany, Jeff, Shaun, Bry, Sarah-

Spending the entire afternoon hanging out in that cool Snowbird sunshine

August 31: We took a pre-planned break for two weeks and visited The Big Island, Hawaii. For one of those week’s, some of Stark’s family joined us.  This is our last night and for me, that final goodbye… until next time.

September 1: Fresh off a redeye flight from Hawaii, spending my day trying to do some last minute errands and packing, my nieces and nephew came to say goodbye

Next time I see this sister of mine, she’ll have one more little one, completing her family with the perfect four.

There’s always time for silly family photos

My generation?  We gave high-fives, but this little guy gives fist-bumps goodbye.  I’m going to miss that little giggly guy.

You know it’s the little things that start to make the idea of leaving hurt in your core – things like no longer living above the QuikiMart on Main or the best Pho in Salt Lake City.  As insignificant as it seems, this is our last trip for our Coke & Pepsi combo.  Being a holiday, the streets are more quiet than ever.  Not many cities offer up such solitude in these final moments.

September 3: Packing up my desk and leaving most of it for anyone with the same office supply obsession I have.  I’m going to miss having an office to go to with such a view.

Taking the train one last time, just me and Iron Man wearing the Tshirt my manager made sure to get for me before he dropped me off at the train station

Did I mention that on September 3, I had my stitches taken out from surgery #1 and had to have surgery #2 in my leg?  I had to have Jan drive me to work and my boss drop me off at the train to come home.  I needed to move as little as possible, but somehow that was still more than I normally have been getting around.  It is impossible to stay still when you have to pack and have to attend work because it is your last day in the office for several months.  This is the horrific sight after unwrapping the first two layers of bandages.  Changing this first 24 hours of dressing was uncomfortably reminiscent of when Stark and I first met and I had to survive him changing the bandages around my fingers.  As gross as it is, I can’t leave out the fact that this was part of wrapping everything up and moving our lives out of the country.

I didn’t get a lot done before my Dad and his wife came by to say goodbye at the same time that my friend North dropped in.  Jeff was already over, planning to go with us to Beerhive to say goodbye to any friends who wanted to hang out in the 11th hour – literally.  Always at the last minute (if at all), I remembered to snap photos.  DH always manages to avoid these opportunities, so I snapped one when he wasn’t even looking.  It turned out to be one of the best.  I’ll miss the guy – a friend I’ve had for about 10 years in Utah and someone who has stuck with me through many moves, poor decisions, and silent eras.  I look forward to when he comes to visit us for the Singapore Formula 1 race.

Goodnight my friends!  Thank you for some of the hardest laughs I’ve had in years and for making staying out til 2am well worth it even with so much left to do.

September 5:  It’s the big M-Day.  I thought I had almost everything packed before we even left for Hawaii in mid-August.  I had only a few items hanging in my closet and still, somehow, had several bags left to pack and hours worth of things to sort through.  In these final moments, it simply came down to: If it won’t fit, I won’t need it.  I didn’t have the time to be picky or to wonder if I would miss anything.  Eating the chocolates that my best friend brought to me, somehow I survived another sleepless night, a bunk leg, and the helter skelter of not knowing what exactly I should do in these final moments.  I literally zipped the last bag within an hour of needing to arrive at the airport.

Our entire lives fit into these 10 bags and boxes.  This is the very definition of starting over – something many couples ask for and I will simply say, “Be careful what you ask for.”  Moving is very trying, but starting over entirely comes with a roller coaster of excitement, relief, happiness, anger, doubt, and terrifying ideas.  In the end, if you can make it, it is worth it.

Walking out the door, it nearly made me cry to notice how beautiful the day was.  I had to snap one more photo of this view that we’ve taken advantage of and been so spoiled by.  I will miss the sunsets reflecting off the Wells Fargo building.  I will miss watching the mountains turn from green to orange to red and then white throughout a hazy, frigid Winter.  I’ll miss that couch….

You never think to take a picture coming home.  We only take those photos of some place we are about to land.  So, without any photos of the Salt Lake from above, I thought there would be no better final photo than this.

Next stop… Sydney

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2 responses to “A Photo Diary of Leaving Home

  1. I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see you before you left. Hopefully we can meet again soon, either in Utah or Australia. This was a moving post & I look forward to keeping on touch online & enjoying all your many adventures! Thanks for sharing!

    • Aww I miss you. Whenever I would walk past the hot chocolate place there on 900 South and realize it was no longer there, I would think of you. I hate when those sort of things change. We’ll be back! Visiting is always difficult because you can’t fit in everything all at once but I am sure I will be sending out invites for everyone I know to meet up at picnics or dinners or what have you. I hope I’ll see you then! Until then, take care of your sweet family. 🙂

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