“One way or return?”
Only then did the tears begin to fall, in front of the bewildered gentleman at the sky bus kiosk.
“One way” I finally managed to say.
It wasn’t saying my goodbyes to people that started the tears, extremely hard as that had been, it was realising that I was getting a one way ticket to the airport, that I wasn’t coming back to Australia for a while, and that I was being torn apart from the life that I had carved out for myself.
Of course I could visit, that’s always an option but it’s not the same as living there.
I had found some incredible and inspiring people on my journey. I found this insane love for food, coffee and wine that I never really explored because I was so sick all the time. I found that I really enjoyed riding a bike, no matter how bad I was at it, but most importantly I found my health and I found me.
I’ve always been me, obviously, but through illness and operations I had lost a lot of myself. In Australia I got back to myself and then some; I had never felt more me than when I did in Melbourne. I wish I could explain to you what it was exactly, it could have been because I was allowed the freedom to just be, with no back story or preconceived notions of my character. No one really knew me. Or it could have been that I felt I belonged there.
Whatever it was, all I know is that I had never felt more comfortable and able to express myself.
It’s hard to give that up when you’re not ready to. It felt as though the Australian immigration was ripping a piece of my heart out, setting fire to it and stamping on it.
Totally dramatic, I am aware.
I know that I have made some life long friends and that those connections won’t disappear but its sad to know that I won’t be sitting at my kitchen table talking complete shit with my housemates. That I won’t be inviting people round for a cuppa and an in depth chat about life, or finding new places to have amazing breakfasts and an awesome cup of coffee.
Side note, Melbourne has taken breakfast to a while new level, I have never experienced anything like it – which is why my Instagram has been predominantly food based- Melbourne, you’ve set the bar which is simultaneously amazing and soul destroying.
So in September I left Melbourne to start a new adventure in Auckland. I was hopeful that it was the right thing to do. New Zealand after all is a beautiful country and I thought what I needed after Australia was a little bit of down time. Time to reconnect and get used to my “new” me.
A huge lesson was learnt in this, you can think and expect all you want, but you won’t know until you are there.
There where signs, when I spoke about Auckland to people I would say “If I don’t like it, I can always go home” “I’ll give it through the summer” “I have to give it a chance”
My heart was already telling me that it was going to be a struggle. I didn’t tell people “I’m really excited to go to Auckland and see what its like” “Maybe if Auckland doesn’t do it for me, I’ll go somewhere else in New Zealand”
I was already focusing on the negatives, which is most probably why, after 6 weeks in Auckland I felt the most insane relief when I booked my tickets home to London.
As beautiful as Auckland is, something just wasn’t sitting right. People gave me a weird look when I said that I was moving back so soon. Their replies of “But you never even gave it a chance” stung slightly because I know that I could certainly have given it longer.
But when you know, you just know.
I felt at home in Melbourne within the first 2 weeks of being there. I didn’t have many friends, I didn’t have a stable place to live, but I just knew that I was meant to be there.
I don’t have even a hint of that in Auckland.
The next chapter of my life is insanely terrifying but extremely exciting. I have no idea what my next steps are. Sure I have a few avenues to explore, but it means that I get to have the time to figure out what it is that I want on a professional and personal level. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and most importantly spending some quality time with my family.
I have really missed writing, and though I won’t go into the ins and outs of why I stopped or decided to continue again, I’m excited to be using the space once more.