It's been 6 months now since I officially said goodbye to that once beautiful life I had back home in Wisconsin. It's been 6 months since wing nights, cheap beer, and lazy days with my very best friends. It's been 6 months since I left job security, a boyfriend, and the place I had come to know and so desperately love. It's been 6 months since I last hugged my parents, and cried my way through security checks, in the waiting area, AND on the plane.
It's been 6 months since I left all of that, for the shot at finding my place again somewhere new.
I remember leaving my parents at the airport and wondering why I always felt the need to be bold, adventurous, and the desire to be free. I liked comfort, stability and the simple life, so why did I want this so bad? And if I did, then why did I feel so alone in leaving? We all know that change is never easy, but especially to this degree. And the level of life changes I encountered that summer was enough to break even the strongest of people. It was a lot to take in, and it wasn't until my last goodbye, that I realized all I was giving up by leaving.
But in so many ways, moving was what I needed. And what better place to spend the year than in the beautiful land of Australia?
So, I hopped on the plane, knowing very well that as soon as I left, I would be completely alone. Alone as in actually not knowing anybody. Not on the plane, not in Perth, not in the entire country. It was all a little unsettling.
But just as easily as the fear and sadness overcame me, it just as easily dissipated. Because for whatever reason, I arrived here and felt instantly calm and at peace. I actually felt very much at home, even if in reality, this was practically the furthest place from it. And now, just 6 months (and half of my time here) later, I'm feeling really unready for the inevitable day that I leave. Because I have come to whole-heartedly fall in love with this place.
I love Perth for so many obvious reasons, and some not so obvious too. Here are a few:
- The weather is beautiful! It's rare that I see a cloud in the sky, the sun is scorching hot, and the ocean just minutes from my house. It's seriously a summer loving girls dream. Probably everything I've ever wanted in a place to live.
- The traditions. Sunday sesh has quickly become one of my favorite things ever. Rooftop bars, live music, cold beer, and my new Aussie friends. Catching up, equally hungover, with often hilarious stories to share. Last Sunday we all accidentally went speed dating. Post on that one to come ;).
- Tim tams. The chocolate coated 8th wonder of the world. Right in line with nutella and connoisseur ice cream.
- Roundabouts. Gosh, they really make SO much sense.
- Concerts on the beach at sunset. 'Nuff said.
- Outdoor movie theatres. Eating sushi, drinking wine, and sitting under the stars in bean bag chairs catching the next new flick. ahhhmazing.
- The friends I've made here from all over the world. They just get it! AND.. now I have that many more places to visit.
- My family. By far the most heartbreaking part about having to leave one day. Lola and Emilie have made my heart whole again. And THAT accounts for so much.
But most of all, I love Perth because of the way it's changed me. Perth did nothing but exist, and yet I feel like I owe this city everything. It's changed me in the way that your forever love does. It reawakened me, brought me back to life, and likely altered the course of my life forever. I've learned to be open, to appreciate, and to see beauty in things I never used to recognize.
I came here thinking a one year adventure would certainly cure my wanderlust, and now I know that it's a lifelong addiction that will probably never go away. Because instead of flying home as originally intended, I now have an entirely new set of dreams, that don't involve 'home' much at all. And it's not that I don't miss my family, my friends, cheese curds, or cheap beer. Believe me, I sooo do. It's just that now is the opportune time for me to be making these new dreams come true, and so I will.
Wish me luck as I so unwillingly enter into the second half of my visa, and have a full-fledged panic attack. And stay tuned for some major life announcements coming soon :)!