I go on a lot about homesickness… and I apologise, but I will probably continue to do so from time to time, because… well frankly because I have a damn good life which means that ‘minor’ issues such as these play a bigger part than they otherwise would.
And apart from you lovely folk reading my blog there is one other person who has to put up with a much bigger chunk of my whining.
After returning from my March trip to Australia, I was prepared for the steely-wrath clutch of homesickness. I had attended my brother’s wedding, and with his new bride already knocked up, the whole thing had me weepy and emotional even before I got to Oz!
But wait… where is he? Is he hiding? Is he laying in wait, ready to pounce when I least expect him?
To celebrate my 100th blog post (yay) I thought I’d attempt to answer a question I still get asked a lot: What are the real differences between Austria and Australia? And it’s a difficult one to answer, because it’s a kind of same/same but different thing – all the little factors weigh up to create a big difference.
There are the obvious ones – the language, the food, the location, the culture, the weather… I’m not going to focus on those… I’m going to let you in on some of the more subtle differences between Austria and Australia.
Before we went to Australia on our most recent holiday, I made a lot of lists. I like making lists. Lists of friends I wanted to see, things I wanted to do, food I wanted to eat, places I wanted to visit, food I wanted to buy and bring back… the list(s) goes on.
You see, what I was doing, was trying to organise the perfect trip home.
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.
I love European jet lag. LOVE. IT. If European jet lag was a food, I would eat it daily, if it was a cream, I would lather it all over myself, and if it was an alcoholic drink, I would be perpetually intoxicated. Probably not many people say that they love jet lag, but let me be clear on the type of jet lag I’m talking about here – I’m talking about the jet lag you get when you travel from Australia to Europe, not the other way round (west, not east).
The lead-up to any holiday is exciting, the lead-up to a trip home when you live overseas is something else entirely.
On one hand, you’re super excited to be heading back into familiar territory, to have the chance to talk properly to people who have known you your whole life and understand your subtle nuances … and just the opportunity, to put it simply… to feel less isolated.
On the other hand, you’re just going home. You’ve been there before – many times. You grew up there. It can hardly be called a holiday, right?