How It All Started

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On January 21st of this year, I was having lunch with a former social worker of mine. We met to discuss a presentation I was to give one of his Graduate-Level classes. Our conversation revolved around intersectionality of oppression and how perceptions and first-impressions can taint relationships between social workers and clients, and how these things can be overcome.

We have a lot of experience with this- but that is a story for another day.

During our meeting, he had to take a call from his wife. While I waited, I checked my email. And, in that moment, my life was turned upside down. Travis registered the look on my face and quickly got off the phone. He asked me if I was okay, and my hands shook as I handed him my phone.

“I’m going to Australia.” I whispered, dry-tongued.

Travis read the message carefully, several times. I have been accepted for a prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship at the University of Queensland in Australia.  When he finally looked up at me, he said “When we started working together ten years ago- did you ever think this is where we’d end up?”

The answer was No. Of course not. I trod the path from troubled youth to Peace & Conflict Studies. The journey was not easy but one that, in retrospect, makes absolute sense. I have an intimate relationship with these concepts, and I am now set to stand along with others who hope to use their personal experiences to promote peace and justice in local, national and international contexts.

My goal with this blog is to take readers along on the journey as my family crosses the globe in search of education, enrichment and adventure. We are traveling from Durham, NC, USA to Brisbane, QLD, Australia so that I can pursue a Masters of International Studies in Peace & Conflict Resolution as a Rotary Peace Fellow. This is a record of the things we will experience along the way.

BLOX is an acronym made up of the first letters of my family’s names. I am “L,” My husband “B,” and our two sons are “O”(aged 8) and “X”(12). We are a quirky, loving and indefatigable family.

We are currently four months away from our departure date. The wave of excitement is ebbing, and a new tide of panic is starting to set in. All of the things we never thought to think about are edging their way into our consciousness. Things like: how do we transfer our cell phone service overseas; where do we store all our things while we are gone; and, what do we do with the pet rabbit?

This is a blog for friends and family, Rotarians and past/current/future Peace Fellows, or anyone who has ever wondered what it feels like to take an unexpected turn into living abroad. Thank you all for coming along with us.

It’s about to get REAL.