I’ve just never caught the travel bug. Not really. I’m a homebody. I lived in the same house from birth to age 18; I just didn’t know that much about other countries growing up; I didn’t even go outside the state that much. I adore going out and having heaps of activities, so in Canberra, I wasn’t at home a lot at all. But I loved having Canberra as my home base, my place where I felt very secure.
Despite this strong desire for a long-term home base, I feel rather like my life conspires against me to put me in these positions and places where I am forced, and going to be forced, to be overseas, at least sometimes, if I want a particular career.
People who end up in Timor don’t tend to be like me. They tend to be nomads, happy travellers, people who have adventured in other countries with similar bad-news reputations and most of the tamer European countries. People who are quite keen to be away from Australia and who say they definitely aren’t ready to go back. When I admit that I count the days I’ve been away and that I’m counting the days until I’m back in Australia, people often shake their heads at me. ‘Oh no’, they say, ‘it’s too early; that’s really bad, if you’re counting THIS early’.
But, I need to go back to Australia. I’ve been very sick; I’m still mildly sick; I’m not going to stop being sick over here. I need to get healthy. I miss my friends, my family, and there is no such thing as cheap phone calls or easy-access internet over here. I miss seemingly little things, like decent food, which actually have a huge effect on my mood. And, most of all, I just actually miss Australia. Being overseas, even for four days, has always made me dreadfully homesick for and patriotic about Australia. Like every other country, it is not perfect. But Australians do tend to be rather attached to their country, and I am one of those. I think it’s best summed up by an exchange I had with my friend Julia:
‘Everyone thinks their country is the best in the world. Right? But...’
‘Australians *know* their country really *is* the best!’
It sooo is.