A reflection on being home, family and belonging

We’ve come to the States to visit family on the northeast and northwest coasts and also to focus on the next stage of building Koala Eco locally in the US with my twin sister Adrienne. And though I’ve lived nearly two decades in Australia, the minute I return to New England and breathe in the soft summer air, I know I’m ‘home.’ I’m right back in the familiar scents, sounds and textures of a childhood spent growing up in the glorious nature close to the Atlantic, among the knotted branches of wild beach plum, with blossoms that turn from white to pink as soon as they’ve been pollinated by native bees.

Yet I love Australia passionately: it’s where Paul comes from and where our boys were born. Australia is now very much my home, too: a country of the most breathtaking power and beauty, whose incredible botanical resources have inspired and educated Paul and I, and enabled us to create Koala Eco. Visiting the States, it’s like I have left one home to return to another. I feel blessed to be so closely connected and grounded through family and business in two such extraordinary places. 

There’s something so healing about the crisp, clean smell of a cold ocean. We’ve been filling hearts, lungs and minds with it while visiting my sister Adrienne on the Pacific coast of northwest California, near where she lives in Sonoma. Here, among the tall grasses and rugged scenery, we’ve been getting some family downtime alongside many conversations about the next step in building Koala Eco’s operations in the States. This is something Paul, Adrienne, and I began working on a couple of years ago, and with the US website launched and products on sale, it’s exciting to be back to progress our plans.

Time spent in the beauty of the Californian coast has allowed me to reflect on the privilege of belonging to two continents on separate hemispheres. Though they’re vastly different countries, there’s also a lot that connects the States with Australia, not least many crossovers among native plants that grow in both places. That Koala Eco even exists because of a partnership in life and business between an Australian (Paul) and an American (me), so it’s particularly wonderful to see Koala Eco established in both our homelands. Better still, we get to work with some beloved members of our family.