March 22, 2015
A wise woman once told me it’s best to leave a place when you aren’t ready, that way you always have fond memories of a place.. That if you leave when you’re bored and ready to go, then your memories of the place will always be of those not so fond last moments. Well, I’m going have to take her words of advise because I’m not ready to leave Australia. This past year in Australia has been extraordinary.. and that’s not even including the previous 10 months in SE Asia. Australia has been the icing on the cake, just what I needed to personally grow and gain from everything I learned in Asia. Asia I learned and Australia I implemented. Now as I wake up on my last day in Australia, I have a feeling unlike I’ve had yet. For today, after 22 months I am finally coming home. I want to thank everyone who has been part of this process for me. For all of those conversations that still resonate in my mind. All of those drinks and dances. All of those indescribable moments. All of those long bus rides and obstacles accomplished. All of those laughs, tears and stories shared. I’ve never felt so free and alive in my life. I’ve been able to do whatever, whenever I want since I’ve left. I’ve discovered my favorite thing in life is to watch the sunset. Whether it be with mates or in the solitude of my own company, there’s something therapeutic to sit and watch the daylight come to an end. I’ve discovered again how much I love camping as in Western Australia I lived out of a tent and a car for nearly two months. The stars were so bright in the Outback. In Perth I was able to make a family out of friends in the coolest sharehouse of my life. I realized I can nearly loose a thumb and still survive. Darwin was a haze while I was adopted in Carins by my “Australian Mom” who without, the East Coast wouldn’t have been possible. She found me the job on the Farm which was an entirely new and difficult experience living so rural with no one to speak to. Not to mention achieving my Advanced Scuba Diving Certificate on the Great Barrier Reef. How heavenly it was to be amongst the most famous reef in the world with sharks, fish and sea turtles all around you. Then there was Queensland.. Sailing through the Whitsunday Islands while raging 4×4’s through Fraser Island. Watching sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand and learning how to surf in Agnes Water. Onwards to Brisbane and the Gold Coast before having a wonderful and hazy Christmas in the hippie mecca known as Byron Bay. Then onwards to Sydney.. Oh Sydney what an experience I had for New Years Eve. That city is absolutely amazing. I fell in love before quickly catching a flight down to my final destination in Melbourne. Melbourne was a completely different chapter. Here, I fell in love for the first time. Mick, I want to thank you for everything you have done. Thank you for the laughs we shared and memories we made. I can’t explain how difficult this is to leave you. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I love you. As for Melbourne itself, the city, the art and the people were unlike any place I’ve seen in Australia. Now as I leave today, I take with me these plus thousands of other wonderful memories which I can never articulate into words. These feelings and experiences will last a lifetime. Asia was about the cultural experience while Australia has been more of an internal journey. I can proudly say I have accepted and conquered some heavy realities about myself. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and love myself truly. In this world, you have to love yourself first before you can love anyone else and really live. People say traveling helps you “find yourself” and I always joke and say to put that cheesy shit away but damnit, it’s true. It’s impossible not to reflect on yourself and grow as an individual. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve found love. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve sung, I’ve danced. I’ve been absolutely terrified. I’ve lost sleep.. Then again I’ve slept in for ages.. Most importantly, I’ve met the most amazing people. It was the people who made this possible. Whether we were in each others lives for one day or someone who I ran into over and over again.. I owe this all to you. Thank you for everything, my trip wouldn’t be the same without you. To all those who had those intense and difficult conversations with me and gave me encouragement, thank you, you know who you are. Anyways, the time has come. It seems so surreal and it’s a whirlwind of emotions. I’m so ready and excited to see everyone back at home. I’ve missed you all so much. Then again, I don’t want to leave Australia behind, especially those in my life right now in Melbourne, especially you, Mick. But the time has come, in a few hours I’ll board my plane back to America. The tears are mixed with sadness and joy. From all of this, memories last a lifetime and no one can take those away. So today I part ways with fond memories and gratitude to everyone I’ve met along the way. Thank you guys, I love you.. But now it’s time to go home.