Thursday, June 26, 2008


One year ago today, I stepped off a plane and into a world entirely unknown to me. With one American in Sydney and an Australian in Melbourne as my closest connections, I started the process of discovering Australia and myself.

Now looking back a year, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. A new culture, a new job, a new climate, and learning to be by myself. It wasn't always easy, but it's always been good.

Shortly after arriving, I read an article on the difference between "friends" and "mates". Friends you take or leave. You meet, might be friends for the night, or a month or even a year, but the bar is low to become a friend, and it's easy to go back to not being friends. Mates on the other hand seem to take on some meaning from the verb form of the word. Being a mate is more intimate. It takes time. I was friends with people in Cairns pretty quickly, but it took time to really develop into mates. Now, with most of them spread across Australia, I keep in regular touch with them in some cases more than with my American friends.

Coincidentally, today I sent my laptop back to BCG and I received a package from BCG with the remainder of the items I left at my desk in Boston. Now, a year from my arrival, I am completely severed from BCG. And isn't it great!

I looked back at my first post. My predictions. They seem sort of silly now, in light of the fact that Australia is no longer just a trip for me, but it's my life now. Of course I have more shoes, I've read more books, and still have not had a venomous attack. When I moved to Brisbane I still had my four bags, but now I had 3 boxes, and none of them a bike box. And I was ridiculously over the weight limit. Now I own silverware and plates, towels, and sheets. All the little pieces of a life here.

I'm still living a bit of a hybrid life. Still in a mostly furnished apartment, with a lot of my time spent thinking about or skyping to the US. Maybe that's the way it will always be, whether I'm in the US or Australia, always with a connection to the other.


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