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Kangaroo Spotting

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I cried for days the first time I returned home from Europe.

Sitting on the floor next to my unpacked suitcase, I pictured getting up at 7am for the bus tour, strolling through museums, sipping wine, photographing cobblestone alleyways.  My soul longed to be back in Italy and I was only 18 years old.

It was the same after many stunning vacations and even 13 months working in Germany, The Netherlands and Finland.  Depression inevitably followed.  None worse than the time I came home from South East Asia, where I met Matt.

International travel is different for me these days.  I’m always schlepping the 24+ hours to the exotic Buffalo, New York.  Collecting stamps from my two homes, Australia and the USA.

The first few times I arrived back in Aus from a visit to my native land- I felt a little lost.  Homesick for my people.  However, my most recent return to Melbourne felt much different.  I arrived chattier, brighter, excited.  Suitcases were unpacked within 24 hours.  Mind clear, I slept through the night.

Was I revived by an injection of Buffalo Summer?  Maybe.  Or perhaps this is what it feels like to be really, really happy where I am present? 

Yes my new home is a very far distance from where I grew up, the place where my feet were always itchy.  The sheer expanse of the distance has it’s negatives which I can distill down to two basic things:

  1. I cannot get home in an emergency.
  2. I cannot go home spontaneously. 
Yes, these two things suck.  Sometimes more than others.  Guilt is a weight I’m trying to release yet will always carry with me (especially as long as my Mom is around).  I won’t be there to see my nieces and nephews grow up or visit my grandmothers when they’re sick.   My parents will only have planned visits with their grandchildren.  I feel bad for all of this, I do.

But in trade you all get a healthier, more at peace me.  Someone who is so much more capable of being that friend, daughter, sister and soulmate.
I value and cherish my roots yet I think when I feel like a visitor in the place that raised me- it means I’m where I belong for now.

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