I’ve been back to Australia three times since moving to Austria, but it wasn’t until the most recent trip that it actually felt like a holiday.
The first time, triggered by an expiring plane ticket, was spent madly running around, organising documents, throwing stuff out and working out exactly what I would need in Austria for the next x number of months/years (under 30kg). The second time was our wedding, which, while it was perfect, involved quite a lot of time-consuming organisation which I could only do once I arrived in the country.
And now we come to the third time, initiated by the announcement of my brother’s wedding. We decided that not only would we attend, but we would make it even more of a holiday by enjoying a ten day stopover in Sri Lanka. Bliss!
The last few days in Sri Lanka (mostly lying idle, eating and drinking on the beach), I became suddenly snappy and sulky. I was ready – ready to go home. I did my best to enjoy the entire trip but those last few days were tinged with a touch of home-sickness.
We spent the first few days in Australia in a peaceful haze of sun and beach at my parents’ house. I made a roast for mum’s birthday, took her for a massage and had countless walks on the beach with my dog (invariably to a café for coffee and cake).
The weekend was a flurry of activity as I drove around trying to visit all the friends I could, eat my favourite foods and enjoy my favourite restaurants and places.
Then came another few days of relaxing with my folks, before we headed up to country Victoria for my brother’s wedding in Bright. The wedding was beautiful, though unpredictably hot for that time of year (feeling for the guys in suits), and as the sun lost its scorching edge and cooled towards the horizon, I enjoyed great food, wine and dancing with family and old friends.
Then, of course, as all holidays do, our time in Australia came to an end. The last day was spent in an ideal way: an early morning barefoot run along the beach, a long walk along the waterfront, a swim, a necessary trip to the supermarket for what ended up being 15kg of much-needed Aussie food items, late lunch at the local pub and a final, heartbreaking stroll for me and my best mate as the sun prepared to set on my final day in Oz.
But the strangest thing was, this time I was ready. It actually felt like the end of a holiday, where despite the amazing time you’ve had, in the back of your mind you’re mentally preparing yourself for arriving home: hankering for the awesome water pressure in the shower, envisioning yourself dropping onto your own bed for the first time and even relishing the novelty of going food shopping to make ‘regular’ meals.
This time, no one was going to have to claw my hands off the grip I had on Australia, this time I was actually content to go home, to get back to the humdrum of normal life. My other home, that is, my Austrian home.
And that in itself brings with it a tinge of sadness, but having been refreshed from a proper, relaxing holiday, and now heading into the start of summer, I can deal with it!