I’ve spent a full month now back in Australia and in that time I have been fortunate enough to of spent most of my time exploring it. Visiting places I’ve never been before and getting to know better the places I have.
Being away for so long and getting this opportunity has really opened my eyes to how much I once took for granted, to how truly beautiful my Island home really is.
From deserted sprawling beaches rivalling anywhere in the world, to beautiful untouched rainforest and bushlands. A tropical climate and great open roads with stunning scenery dotted with small unique country and beach towns. Large modern cities, wineries, breweries and the greatest coffee culture on this planet. An enormous and diverse landscape with endemic species and countless opportunity for adventure we really deserve the title of “The Lucky Country”.
There are so many aspects of life in Australia that I once considered “normal” but comparatively to the rest of the world are the exception. We shower ourselves in fresh drinkable water that we heat so that it’s just perfect. That same water flows from our taps into our glasses, waters our plants and cleans our cars. The luxury of real and refrigerated milk, fresh bread and produce and the choice of a thousand different cultures cuisine is standard.
We have bins on every corner and public bathrooms where toilet paper goes in the toilet not outside of it. When we are sick or jobless or hungry we have systems to help us eat, survive or treat us. Our streets for the most part are clean and we can feel safe walking down almost every street corner or alley at any time of the day or night.
The biggest culture shock of my trip was returning, seeing Australia with new eyes and a new appreciation, it was perhaps the most humbling part of my journey thus far. To of grown up here has definitely shaped who I am. Immersed in multiculturalism and stuck on an island, granted a pretty freaking huge one, instilled within me a deep seeded desire to see the rest of the world. The advantages we have helped me realise those dreams.
We can complain, and I definitely still do, about our foreign policy, our laws and regulations, our Prime Minister, but we are not left in need of anything. We have that basic necessities of life and so much more as well as abundant opportunity. That doesn’t mean we should be content there’s plenty of room for change, but it doesn’t hurt to take a moment every now and then to appreciate what we’ve got.
When I left on my trip all that time ago it really felt like I was leaving one home in search of another. I don’t think I every really found that in any house, land or hostel but I did find it in the people and experiences I had in different and unexpected corners of this Earth.
My backpack still feels more like home than anything else it’s a symbol of freedom knowing that I can pick it back up at any time and visit people and places, old and new, around the world. Yet I can’t deny the connection I have to Australia. It’s where I grew up, it’s what gave me the opportunity to live the life I live. I think I can finally accept that it’s a place, no matter where I end up, that I will find myself coming back to again and again. I guess for all my hopes and dreams of travel and adventure I still call Australia home.
“Home is where one starts from.A” T. S. Eliot
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