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For many people, family are the ones they grew up with: their brothers and sisters, parents and extended family. I grew up with both my parents, but I am nine years younger than my next closest sibling. They were all moved out by the time I was 10, so for most of my childhood I grew up separately to the rest of my family.

Getting to know my brother and my sisters now as an adult has been truly wonderful.

I visit my sister Ceara and her family about once a year. Ceara is the oldest out of us and looked after me pretty often when I was younger. She’s married and¬†has four kids of her own now. I never do much during my visits, just hang out with her, my brother-in-law and the kids. They live up in the north of California, near Sacramento.

It would be pretty easy to lose touch with them, staying friendly but never really seeing them. But now that I’m an adult I’ve learned you get to choose what’s important to you. My sister and her family live a long way away from me, but I choose to make them important.

I’m staying with them now. Today we went shopping and I bought some new clothes for my new job in Brisbane. This evening we ate soft tacos, chatted (“Is there a boyfriend on the scene or..?” “Nah.”) and after putting the kids to bed we sat and watched The Voice.

It’s not something you’d take photos of and brag about on Twitter, but in many ways this is still the most important part of my trip.¬†Because they are important, because I love them.

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