Working and wrapping up a full time job with 30 staff, moving a three-bedroom home into storage and having eye surgery are individually pretty stressful life events. As a highly organized and efficient woman I decided to throw caution to the wind and undertake all of these activities within a seven-day period. I’d strongly advise against doing this unless you are keen to experience a near calamitous breakdown. I know this was a ludicrous feat but I had no choice, we had a deadline, we were joining the circus. (Hence the title of this post which is from James Darren’s song ‘Goodbye Cruel World, we’re off to join the circus’. Warning, if you You Tube this song it WILL get stuck in your head.)

Telling friends, family and work colleagues that we were joining the circus felt like a lie, a story I’d made up to entertain myself on a ‘slow news day’. I felt like I was claiming to have invented the hills hoist, a ridiculous statement and yet it were true…the bit about the circus, not the hills hoist.

My talented and handsome husband had been offered a head chef role touring around Europe with Cirque Du Soleil’s big top show, ‘Kooza’. We didn’t immediately jump at the prospect of becoming “carni folk”, it took a lot of cajoling on my front to encourage Skip to get back into the kitchen after turning his focus to food photography. (He also just happens to be a great singer and musician too. Gush, sigh, blush!) With a spoonful of trepidation and pinch of excitement he agreed.


In three weeks we packed our lives into cardboard boxes, made dozens of phone calls to cancel utilities, cable TV, internet, phone, you know all of those things that take you a month to set up when you first move. We re-directed all our mail from Sydney to Brisbane (thanks Mum), dined excessively with people we love, indulged in much laughter with said people and then boarded a plane bound for Vienna, the land of tortes and pastries.


In the lead up to departure I was constantly peppered with jestful jokes on my role in the circus. Perhaps they could fire you out of a cannon? Can you walk a tight rope? Are you going to become a clown? Then came the more ominous questions, the ones that had been lurking in the back of my overactive mind, teasing me, afraid to answer. Won’t you get bored if you don’t work? Can you handle being on your own all the time? Won’t it be sad to sightsee on your own?


In the six weeks we have been on the road I have learnt that I am extremely capable of being in my own company. A welcome surprise that I feel quite proud about. I have also decided to take this time to expand my career options and undertake a Masters degree while I’m on this journey, part time of course, I still have important sightseeing to do!

Has there been a time when you have you surprised yourself? Achieved something you thought was not possible and yet happened? I’d love to hear about it…


From the Big Top,