The world is abuzz with the news that it’s actually going to happen… Australia is finally talking about opening its international borders. I’ve been hearing murmurings for a while, but when it hit globally the other day, a number of people got in touch to spread the love. It even made it to Austrian news, so you know it’s big.
Except I can’t help but feel a little bit cynical about the whole thing.
Stuck in the middle of a long, cold winter of lockdown (one of the few full winter’s I’ve endured in Austria since arriving), one of my friends (a big thank you goes out to Larry) made a plan to get some of my other Aussie mates together for an online event to help brighten it a little. She’d told me that she was organising something but I didn’t find out it was cocktail making until a few days before.
There are moments in our lives where we feel like rock stars. When I was in kindergarten I took a newborn lamb for show-and-tell one day. My uncle owns a farm and in lambing season sometimes we’d get a few abandoned little-uns to take home and bottle feed until they were plump and ready to survive on their own. On that day, at age 4, I was a rock star.
I began dance classes a year later, and in my early to mid-20s I was still attending the same dance school. This dance school perfectly suited my ‘average’ dancing abilities. Unfortunately it’s not natural talent, but mechanical learning that means I have any rhythm as an adult. It wasn’t a terrible dancing school, it just wasn’t where professional dancers got their start. But that place was where I grew up. I loved the dancing. Sure, there were some not so fun parts: exams could be excruciatingly nerve racking, ditto the concerts where everyone was watching (though in reality, it was probably just my mum).
Because my parents had to cancel their trip to Austria in June, and I never began planning a potential holiday to Australia, my mum announced that she was planning to send me a box of stuff in the mail. Originally I pushed back – Don’t be silly, postage from Australia is ridiculously expensive. Don’t waste your money. There’s nothing I really need. But she was adamant. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s considerably cheaper than a flight. And she was right. I could see that it made her happy to do it, so I relented.
Yesterday was my Dad’s 70th birthday. Happy birthday, Dad. My Dad is a kind, hard-working, fit and intelligent guy who can contribute on any topic and can always fit in dessert, no matter how much dinner has already gone down.
Originally we’d planned to celebrate his birthday when they were in Austria earlier this year. Secretly I was entertaining the idea of being in Australia for it. Obviously neither of those things happened. Instead, we had a group Whatsapp call with the family, a mess of technical difficulties and waving kids and laughing and catching up. My mum and I both had a cake and candles to sing happy birthday – and my brother was coincidentally on his way to a birthday party. It was lots of fun. It was also a little bit heartbreaking.
We’re pretty settled here in Austria – we own a house, I have a passable grasp on the language, and I don’t have much to complain about. But never say never. Because moving back to Oz is always a possibility. So here’s my top ten things I will miss about my life here if or when I move back to Australia.
I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia. If you haven’t heard, Victoria (the state where Melbourne is located), is currently in the middle of a pretty serious lockdown. This was even reported in Austrian news, which means, it’s huge. Melbourne is now in week 4 of a six week planned lockdown, but from the numbers it seems like they’re going to be stuck in there longer.
In a world without COVID-19, this past week would have been very different. On Thursday afternoon, a picture-perfect summer day, I would have picked my parents up and delivered them to our house for their (almost) yearly sojourn to Austria.
There would have been lots of hugs and probably a few tears. We might have had a BBQ on the back terrace, listening about how their trip had gone so far – a cruise from Prague to Berlin – possibly they would have had to deal with colds or other difficulties, but they would be in good spirits because they had finally arrived in Austria.
During our recent trip to Australia, hubby suggested we take some time out for ourselves to see a little bit of the country. When you use up a big holiday period to visit home, it’s often hard to see it as a holiday, as opposed to hopping between the same places and people each time.
The place that came to mind instantly (remembering that we have to be practical, we can’t venture too far from Melbourne), was Halls Gap, a place where I used to go camping with the family as a kid.