After almost a year out travelling, I'm home now in Brisbane, Australia for a few months at least and it always feels very good and very weird to come home, at the same time. A person's experience of a place is not objective after all, it's very much subjective; a place can only be what it means to you alone, an accumulation of your experiences and memories there. So I'm going to try to describe how it feels to be home again right now for me.
Brisbane is a beautiful place. The sun shines constantly here, there's no end to the long list of healthy, cool places to eat, you can own a car and actually park it where you like, there's a billion waterfalls and islands and beaches and hikes a short drive away. Anytime someone visits us from, say, Europe, they'll always ask, 'why would you want to live anywhere else?'. So many of my dearest loved ones are here too, most days I get to see them, weekends are spent in absolute splendour with them all; this is a nurturing place for me, no doubt.
But at the same time, this being the place where I grew up and went to school, university, got my first real job, went through my clubbing phase...I know it too well. There's a familiarity that is both calming and eerie at the same time. There's a lack of novelty, mystery and wonder for me here that you find alot living in a foreign land. Living somewhere foreign, mundane tasks like going to the bakery, picking up food for dinner or going to the post office take on new meaning. These sorts of things become positively thriling when you have to speak a different language, figure out what the hell the products are, adapt to certain unknown etiquettes. It makes your everyday a little bit exciting. And simple things like going out with friends in foreign cities mean you're always meeting new people, often from countries different to your own. You miss just hanging out with the people you know like crazy but it's incredibly interesting talking to people with different perspectives from your own too. But I think all this can accumulate into stress and anxiety over time too I must admit; life is thrilling but it also becomes exhausting. Everything is just a little bit more challenging and it all adds up.
It's also hard coming from places that, in my experience anyway, are 'Peter Pan' towns and cities. The likes of Paris, Ubud, Amsterdam, London are full of twenty and thirty somethings who never want to grow up. They chase their dreams around the world with wild abandon, without much thought to security or the future. Coming home to Brisbane, a lot of people my age here have been busy making their own dreams come true - buying houses, getting married, advancing in their careers, having babies and making families. I'm happy for them but it feels a little deflating at times, like I've been left behind a bit.
So as you might guess, I'm a bit mixed up inside. Is life better when it's easy, nurturing, effortless or is the real fun in the challenge, the thrill, overcoming struggles you put upon yourself? I don't have an answer to tie this journal entry up neatly but I'm asking the question at least.
I've been hanging out working during the days at my sister's house in Brisbane, a beautiful old Queenslander (Queensland is the region where we're from) so here's a few pics from a day I spent with her there.