The city won't change us
We beat to the same drum
No, we won't forget where we came from
The city can't change us
We beat to the same drum, the same drum
And no matter where we go
We always find our way back home"
Back Home - Andy Grammer
I'm home. Four months on the road and I'm home.
Melbourne - Perth - Brisbane - Sunshine Coast - Byron Bay - Sunshine Coast - Vietnam - Perth - Adelaide - Melbourne - home.
I left with one thing in mind: to find out what I really wanted to do. It was an open planned adventure. I didn't know if I wanted to travel and explore new places or if I wanted to live across the ditch. I had planned out the first five weeks and let the rest fall into place. This ended up meaning my time in Byron Bay was extended with a night's notice, a trip to Vietnam was booked three weeks in advance and while I tried to settle in Perth for a bit I woke up one day and thought "I'm ready to go home". People asked me why I was heading back. The best answer I could give was "it's not working". I didn't have any luck finding a job and as I wandered around Perth I lost the desire to live both there and anywhere else in Australia. Perth is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to and I enjoyed my time but living there was another story. I wasn't ready to live away from home.
Along the way I met people with great stories. They came from all over - South Africa, England, France, Sweden and America. They were on youth visas searching for work, or just visiting because they too were not ready to live away from home. I met one girl who had her visa but decided to cut it short because she couldn't bear to be away from home for Christmas. I met a Grandmother from Pennsylvania who was doing conservation work in Adelaide - this was her time in her life to leave her kids behind and travel. It was these stories which helped me develop my own and realise that I just had to do what was right for me.
To be honest, I didn't think I figured out what I wanted to do. I'm back home, unemployed and living with my parents and not sure what my next move will be. But I did figure out what I want to be. I want to be happy. I want to find the good in the bad. I want to be able to trust the vibes of a place or trust what my gut tells me to do without doubting the consequences. I had the amazing time doing what I wanted and needed to do. It wasn't always easy - there were tears and fears and confusion but I always kept going until I knew it was time to come home.
Now I'm back I'll settle for a little bit here then consider my next move. But no matter what sights I saw, and I saw some amazing sights while I was gone, nothing compares to home. A lot of people asked about New Zealand and I always replied with "it's the best place in the world". Before I left I blogged about not forgetting your roots and I held true to that promise. I'll come and go from this place, but I will always call New Zealand home.
Here's a few travel snaps of the best times with the best people
Cycling the suburbs of Perth
On a junk boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam (a beautiful place)
Melbourne reunion with my American contiki mates
This is just a sweet brag of the time I met Andy Grammer (this didn't happen overseas)