An Awkward Comparison.
I’m home, and have been for a couple of days. And inevitably, I’m now comparing the home I’ve always known to the place I’ve been living in, and the place I will return to in a few short weeks.
Sydney is gob smackingly beautiful. I lived here for 26 years, and I didn’t think I took it for granted. But I did. The natural scenery is incredible, and only Hong Kong rivals it for vibrancy, landscape and dynamic living.
My friends are here. And I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed them. Slotting back in is bizarre: you feel right at home, but the realisation that so much has taken place without you is humbling, and kind of upsetting. You here stories, and your imagination pictures these happenings as if you were there. You see the faces, the laughing, the reactions, and then you realise: I wasn’t involved. I was in another hemisphere. And it catches you off guard.
My family is here. Being at home, chatting to everyone, just watching the dog wander around the home I grew up in is shockingly powerful. A cold beer late last night, with the dog asleep in my lap and my feet in the pool made me feel calm in a way I haven’t felt for a long time. Stories and anecdotes, warmth and t-shirts and laughing the whole time: it’s just great.
But inevitably, I’ll head back. I’ll walk my suntan into the bitter cold, and the isolation, and the work, and the life. I don’t regret going, and I don’t mind going back. But it’s going to be a tough few weeks upon returning.
Because it’s just where I work. It certainly isn’t my home.