Sunday, June 12, 2011

Australia: Home or Holiday?

          As the time has quickly approached for my departure back home with stops in New Zealand, then San Francsico, I have had a lot of time to reflect. When I arrived in Western Australia, I was so excited to meet the people with the funny accents, to see some beautiful beaches and check it off on the list of things to see. After a couple months of gathering an understanding of the culture a bit, I hit the Triathlon season with a furry and my life was consumed to finally put forth the work in order to come out on top at the end of the season at Busso 70.3. Post Busso’s unfortunate happenings after the culmination of hours of sweat, fatigued, pain, and suffering, I have been able to take these last few weeks to reflect on life; life in Australia and the thought of a lifelong stay in Australia.
            Spending much of my time in Australia on a bike, running or swimming, I have met so many unique people, people whom will stick with me until the day I die I am sure.  These unique people sacrifice many of the facets in life that I really appreciate including nightlife, especially hitting the dance floor as many know. One thing we all have in common is the fact that we want to push our individual limits while motivating others along the way. As previously mentioned, I am leaving for New Zealand in less than 1 week time, where I am sure I will meet a few other interesting personalities, but for some reason I am not sure it will top my Australian experience. As Cody began to set up my “Farewell Party” or as Cody calls it “1 Less Bogan” (“1 less redneck” for the Americans reading), it truly hit me that I will undoubtedly miss this place. Thinking about the people I see on a daily basis who approach me with a smile, a handshake, or a hug makes me a bit sad.
            While living abroad and attempting to create opportunities back home in the US, I have realized it is certainly difficult, especially with the time difference for communication. While I have dropped the bomb that I am leaving to many of my aussie friends, they asked me when I was coming back, as in coming back for good.  Hmmm that’s an interesting thought to say the least, live in AUSTRALIA forever? What is holding me back, why shouldn’t I? It sounds like pure bliss sometimes, I can’t lie, but the fact of the matter is that I really miss those people who share my blood line and have the same surname. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to come back to my 2nd home again in the future but for now I am concentrating on arriving back to the states in the coming months. Wait a second, home?
 
           Home where I will be faced with the daily pressure from our corporate society and looked upon as a failure if I choose to enjoy life as opposed to working an infinite number of hours at an office? Wow, I can’t wait to get back to the rat race and worry more about the type of car that I am driving as opposed to opening my horizons with time spent next to my loved ones.
 
            Recently I had a very interesting chat with a couple other “foreigners” who now call Western Australia home and I could just feel how passionate they were about living here. This place just does something to make you free, free in spirit and in mind, maybe it’s just the change that some of us need to reach our state of NIRVANA? Either way, I can see how this very laid back, coffee sipping, cocktail slurping culture can draw people into its web of natural beauty. The people I have encountered make my Australian experience the most grand in so many ways. My friends truly make training apart of their lifestyle in every way and the great thing is that their families/partners openly accept their dedication to improve upon themselves through sport. I have been in relationships myself where my companion just could not quite grasp the concept of leading a life of ambition to push the boundaries of my mind and body, but it appears as if most people are switched onto that notion here.
Northbridge Piazza
             
              As a reference to how ideal this place is for me, I will simply state “NORTHBRIDGE”. Northbridge is the mecca for the nightlife in Perth, as it has more than enough to offer a person who enjoys getting out and socializing to the pulsating sounds of music. Pubs, eateries, clubs, even an outdoor movie area in the middle of the square, this place is what Charlotte’s “The Epicentre” wants to be. Minus the normal weekend occurrence of some drunken fights and a few glassing incidents, this place is pretty awesome; I just wished I had been here when I was about 19 and it would be absolute heaven! One thing I dread when heading home is the guys that sit in the toilet on a stool, bumping gangsta rap and asking for a tip to hand you a paper towel, it just doesn’t happen here. In fact I have recently experienced the comedy scene that Perth has to offer, then several different stops which many of my friends like to call their home base, each one just great and perfectly suited for the area.
             
                Home? Home is where the heart is? Well is my heart here or there, another wrench tossed in my plans of course. Well my decision is final, this place is GREAT, and it’s certainly almost like a heaven on earth in several ways for me, but my heart is with the people who have been an integral part of my life, well, forever, FAMILY. I have been to some incredibly breathtaking places while being abroad and at times it hit me how much more fascinating it would be to have my mother or my little brothers here to share it with. Taking the biggest leap of faith and moving to Australia, even for the short amount of time I have been here, was the best decision I have ever made. Obstacles in my future have been knocked down just that much more, now knowing that I can succeed to the far corners of the world.
            I can NEVER show enough appreciation to those who have taken me in as family since being in Perth. The Angell family has been the guiding light to get me through the dark, pitch black cave of life and out on to the bleached white sands of optimism.  The gang at the Running Centre have been amazing as well, kudos to Raf Baugh for letting me grab some of his extra confidence, Jason Nuttman for giving me just a bit more swagger, Nathan Doig for finally enlightening me to something called style, and the members of Club Helena Valley for flogging me on those 2hr runs through the hills, then degrading me at the IGA for being a soft yank, I LOVE YOU GUYS!.  I could, and perhaps will, write a book about my experiences here, from the amazing dedication that my coach Paul Mackay revealed, to the inspiring words from 2:13 Marathoner Ray Boyd provided me(poof), or perhaps the in depth conversation with Australian 1500m record holder Ryan Gregson about the state of my home NBA team the Charlotte Bobcats. So many memories, so many people; young, old, insightful, on the piss, flogged, and intense, in every fashion thought possible. In closing I can say without a doubt in my mind, I WILL BE BACK!!! I may not be coming back “for good” but expect a visit in the next 2 years. 
Going to miss running along the river daily


IF YOU ARE READING THIS, THANK YOU FOR PRETENDING THAT I AM COOL ENOUGH TO TALK TO YOU WHILE IN PERTH and if you are ever on the East Coast of the US, message me, mi casa es su casa!

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1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to having you back 'home'. Love, Jenny

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