Back to Brisbane, and as always it’s bittersweet. How lucky am I, to have the family that I do? I’m realising more and more how rare it is to not only like your closest of kin, but to have the privilege of relishing the time you spend together.
In this case, I have hit the jackpot. These last few weeks felt like settling into the most familiar routine in the world. A few jetlagged days spent with my old man roaming the streets of New Orleans and admiring the Mississippi river, a short stop in my hometown catching up with dear old friends, and the crowning jewel of the trip: an entire week spent in the Appalachian mountains in an enormous Japanese-style mountain house.
To get to spend several uninterrupted days of quality time with people so close to my heart was such a gift. North Carolina is so far away, but coming back feels like nothing at all. It’s the people that make it so. Being there was easy- despite the Trump bumper stickers.
We ate, we drank, we rafted in rivers, we swam in mountain lakes and swimming holes. We sang, we yoga-ed, we ate some more and we all cried a little bit about how bloody far away Australia is from everything.
And just like that, it’s over. So much waiting and anticipation, and those precious days are gone in a flash. My mom and sister will here next year and I’m already planning new adventures for us.
One thing I always realise when I come back to Australia is just how high the quality of life is here. I feel very lucky, very privileged to have the calibre of lifestyle I’m afforded by being in this country. To be honest, I could probably be happy in any number of countries, and will hopefully get to experience that as well. But it does not come without cost. There is a lot of sacrifice.
But for now, I am filled up: restored with southern biscuits, Uncle David’s infamous ribs, and the kind of sustenance that only family can provide. Until the next time, there are countless Australian adventures to keep me busy on this side of the world, and my other patchwork Australian family to help me bide the time until I can unite the two.