We've been back in Australia for nearly two weeks now. I keep telling myself we're home, but really, home feels like 6,000+ kilometres away. We're all doing it a bit tough here. The kids have their sad moments, usually to do with missing Malaysia, our house, our friends, and I feel the same. I knew this part would be tough, and it isn't any tougher than I expected, and I know we've just got to push through and finish all the awful preparation before we can really get started on our trip.
After three days in Australia we bought our van. We had done all the research on second hand vans and knew what we wanted - only to end up buying a new van! We got a good deal (end of financial year) though there was a fair bit of compromising and I am waking up in the middle of the night wondering where we are going to store everything (it's a pretty small van for a family of 4), why did we agree on a van with no bathroom sink (though it does have a toilet and shower...), and what do we do about fans in the van for cooling us at night when we're off-grid and can't use the air-conditioning (since our van has already been built, it's apparently a bit of a problem to retro-fit fans exactly where we want them). But we love the van and we collect it on the 16th, after which we can share more details.
A few days ago we bought our tow vehicle - a 2006 Landcruiser. We picked it up yesterday and took it for a test run to the Gold Coast (not because we wanted to - we needed to return the rental car). The car is big, and very thirsty, but it'll have no issues towing the van, so we're happy about that.
Today we got the kids wheels of their own. Two new bikes that are finally the right size for them; in Malaysia they had both been riding bikes with 16" wheels for far longer than they should have. They spent the rest of the afternoon riding up and down the street, working out how to change gears and getting the hang of big bikes. And yet, Galen still got a bit sad, and said he wished he could have bike races on his new bike with Dylan, our neighbour in Malaysia.