I can’t believe it’s actually finished and I’m home again. I really can’t. The last 14 months of travel just flew past in the blink of an eye, and the familiarity of people and places of home makes me feel like I’ve been gone a week or two.
I had two birthdays overseas, that’s a weird thought. I’ve been with C for over a year, and she’s just met my parents. She is in Australia for the first time, and inbetween getting set up, I’ve tried to show her a bit of Australia. It’s been a busy 2 weeks, and inbetween apartment hunting and car registering, we have been able to pat a kangaroo. There’s so much to do, so many people to see, so many things I want to show her.
Coming home from a world trip is hard work. I guess I could have spent a few weeks sleeping in and being unemployed, but C and I are pretty proactive people. Next time, though, a decompression period would be nice. Everything sorted itself out jaw-droppingly quickly. My new job (which I applied for, and interviewed for via Skype) was waiting for me after 2 weeks. But then we were approved for an apartment in Sydney after just one day of inspections, a process I thought would take several weeks, even months.
Internet, gas, water, groceries, all that stuff ticked off. Wow. Back to reality. Now everyday things that I was without for over a year, like having a phone, and arranging internet, are suddenly very stressful again. I see Australia a little differently now. Everything is so green, the trees are tall and people’s backyards look like tropical jungles. The distances we travel is just amazing, just for local journeys! I used to drive for an hour to get to a mate’s place, no worries.
Now I feel like I could have crossed half of Europe in that time. The trains are few and far between, and I got stuck at the station for half an hour, as I swore and sulked. In London or Paris, 6 trains would have come and gone in that time. In cities with efficient metro systems, I remember getting impatient waiting 5 minutes.
A few times I’ve been unpacking my bag, and i’ll come across a little memento, a ticket stub for a Costa Rican national park, my Paris museum pass, a bag I bought in Malaysia all those months ago, and this flash of nostalgia just wells up inside. That perfect moment of freedom.
Even the ‘boring’ days, like Monday mornings in Paris when C had work, and buying a baguette was the highlight of my day. I cherish all these memories now. I want to be back there, back out there, in the world, in the chaos, on the buses and eating the fried rice, hiking the mountains, photographing the monkeys, making the snowmen, getting lost and making friends and stressing about visas.
The world is so big, and even with all the time C and I spent on its surface, getting to know the cultures and the places, it seems as though we explored just a few pinpricks on the map. Another trip, one day? Never say never…
As for the blog, i’m going to keep writing, bit by bit, about things that happened a long time ago. I have stories about Malaysia that are over a year old and nobody has heard yet. More for myself, really, but keep reading if you’ve enjoyed my writing so far!