10 years in Australia
Ten years ago I did not only turn 30 but (or maybe because of that) I also packed up all my belongings and stored all but five boxes at my parents place. Then I boarded a plane to Sydney, Australia with a one-way ticket and turned my back on my family and all my friends.
Granted, at that time it was meant to be for only three or four years. But time moves quickly. And it always felt like there was still too much to see, too much to do here in Australia to simply wrap up life here and move back to Austria.
The first year here was a mixture of relief and sadness. Relief at being away from the life that had seemed all too much like boring routine and being in a place where the sun shines, the sky has an incredible shade of blue and the ocean is right at your doorstep. And sadness born out of loneliness and guilt, missing my family and friends, feeling guilty at having left them, knowing no one and feeling isolated.
Eventually with the first job came the first friends and from there we started building up our small social circle. Then came the scuba diving, the 4WD travelling, diving holidays and camping trips. We bought an apartment, our own Landcruiser and diving gear. These things had to be amortised. And so we ended up extending our deadline for moving back home again and again.
Now, ten years later, our social circle has shrunk again, friends have already started moving back to Europe. And back home everyone has had one or two rounds of kids. Kids that do not know us and that we miss growing up. Parents and siblings are getting older. Life has moved on without us. And a tinge of sadness has started to creep back again.
Not enough yet to make me want to leave. But enough to make me start thinking of it. There is still too much to see here, too much to do. The Sydney Swans still need to win a third Premiership. And we haven’t yet done our boating licence. There are still so many empty areas on our Australia map, so many countries around us we haven’t been diving at, so many leafy seadragons yet to find.
But soon, soon we have to come up with a way to combine our two lives, since it seems impossible to give up the new one and impossible not to go back to the old one.