We enjoyed more local connections in Launceston this week, and the ripples have followed us all the way to our new campsite at Scottsdale. It’s lovely to share in the lives of a variety of people, and our girls always enjoy playing with children their age.

While travelling, we try to hook up with local homeschooling groups. Some groups are friendlier than others, and individuals in each group can vary in their friendliness — especially when I’m “outed” as a transient. It can be hard to try to fashion a friendship with a person like me who will not be around for a long time, and busy people often have to prioritise their relationships to focus on local ones. So I’m very thankful to the beautiful people who open their lives to us, share their intimate challenges, invite us home and stay connected online.

At the park with Eden Davidson with Abby & Toby Hogarth, December 2012
We join with friends in a park — connections from online who live both here and in NSW. It's fun to meet up with people with whom I've had multiple online conversations!

One beautiful woman invited us home, and this fills in more of the picture for me. Now I know what it looks like where she lives, how she likes to spend her time and what toys her child enjoys.

Cali and Aisha building with blocks at Rosie's house, December 2012
While on a playdate at a new friend's house, the girls enjoy a different range of toys.

We were also blessed to meet up several times with the Hogarth family, whom I last saw at Elijah’s unfuneral in Brisbane. Aisha and Runah have forged a special friendship and we’ll be able to build on this in the future.

Abby Hogarth also invited Aisha and Brioni to accompany her two daughters to the cinema in Launceston. The girls watched Rise of the Guardians and loved it. I enjoyed a special time of playing in the park with just Calista and Delaney.

Delaney with colourful flowers, Launceston, December 2012
Dell buries a toy horse under a pile of flowers and leaves.

Lauren Fisher and Abby Hogarth, December 2012
It's lovely to spend more time with Abby. It's funny to be reunited here in Tasmania as we last met up in Queensland!

We’ve now ventured away from town, yet we’re still not camping in the bush. And Tasmania is quite a small place, I’m discovering. A friend of a friend came by and became my friend… just because!

Lauren Fisher and Kaeti Sarna, December 2012
Before she goes to work, Kaeti stops by our camp to show me again and again the stitches I need to crochet flowers. Although she's now a local, Kaeti is not a native Tasmanian, and so her insights into Tasmanian culture are really interesting.

These personal interactions are what keeps me buoyed. When a day passes without me involving myself in a positive conversation with someone apart from the girls — even if it’s simply someone to whom I am handing money — I find that I lose energy more quickly. However, the hope of enduring friendships — like with the beautiful women above — will return us to this region again. Our travel is not simply about the sights and the learning experiences, it’s also about exchanging love and stories as we build relationships with fellow travellers and locals.