Iâ€™m sitting on a plane bound for Perth and trying to fight off the sleep. After two late nights out in Singapore with plenty of beers and five days of extensive travelling Iâ€™m pretty done for. I donâ€™t want to sleep though, I love flying. Taking off being arguably the best part, I usually rave through the in-flight entertainment system and, uhm, check out the toilets. I love aircraft toilets. No really. (Never thought I would this confession). I find it amazing how they can fit everything in such a small space. Aircraft toilets donâ€™t differ much from each other but that doesnâ€™t stop me from going in there a couple of times per flight. Later in the flight, after an embarrassing defeat playing chess to someone else on the plane Iâ€™m done with the entertainment system for a while and quickly succumb to the sleep.
My flight touches down in Perth and is followed a couple of hours later by flight QFXX to Adelaide, number thirteen of trip already.
On my way to Adelaide I think about my family, something Iâ€™ve been doing more and more since this date grew nearer. How was their flight, their stay in Hong Kong, their first day in Australia?? And how will it be when we reunite? Can I even function in a family again? What about my eldest sister? Iâ€™ve had barely any contact with her during my trip as she doesnâ€™t email. Since my departure I have a great relationship with my brother, how will that act out when weâ€™re around each other 24/7 again? A hundred questions are distracting me. Answers will soon come though.
My sister with my backpack
Official plan: make your way from the airport to the city and the hotel, where weâ€™ll be waiting for you. In the plane, however, I suspect that my family (and my mum especially) will come to the airport anyway, and Iâ€™m not disappointed. I spot my mum waiting for me in the arrivals hall, scanning around for me.
She doesnâ€™t see me in the crowd and I walk up to her from behind. I call out her name and we embrace each other. Still embraced in a big hug Iâ€™m assaulted by my sister and brother who bolt in and jump on my back. When my sister and dad arrive weâ€™re complete again. The six of us. Iâ€™m back.
Being cool in Australia
While not as emotional as I though it would be Iâ€™m pretty shaken up with the whole thing. My knees are weak and my voice creaky as everyone fires a hundred questions at me. How do you feel? Search me mate, I have no idea. Iâ€™m feeling like everything. Iâ€™m in a sort of spacy state as we make our way to the rental car and the hotel. I still know the way in Adelaide though. I navigate my dad through the city and weâ€™re quickly at the hotel where we spend some quality family time together, for the first time since eight month. My camera goes round and round, we keep hugging each other and laughing.
I love them so much.
with Mum :)
My aunt Marijke and my niece Alicia (read here) pop by after breakfast and after some quick shopping for shoes we make for the South Australian coast. A nice lunch and a big study or travel discussion later we walk to Granite Island, just of Victor Harbour. Iâ€™m engaged in conversation continuously as thereâ€™s just too much to discuss and talk about. Eight months is a pretty long time my friends. My mum and I get so caught up in our conversation that we forget about the rest of the family that my brother has to run back to the island to snap us out of our mind wanderings.
After my first time in Australia I came home with amazing stories about the continent, the people, the nature and my experiences.
I was over the top, completely raving about Oz; my family listened to my stories, smiled and was happy for me, but my stories didnâ€™t really root: while well travelled, my family had never been to Australia and it was hard for them to make an image of the place. So when I went for my second Australia trip, this time for four months, I was determined that they come over and see the country for themselves, so as to not come home again with stories that they wouldnâ€™t really understand. All well, and after a bit of persuasion they decided to come over. As I was travelling through Asia I thought it all over, and asked myself the question if it hadnâ€™t been better if I wouldâ€™ve taken them round Asia instead.
DaniÃ«l, Marijke, Alicia, me
Now Iâ€™m driving through the glowing hills of Adelaide and see the Australian landscape flowing past me and it feels like Iâ€™ve come home.
Suddenly Iâ€™m a hundred percent convinced of my actions. Yes, itâ€™s better this way, to have them see Australia for themselves instead of Asia. Australia is home.
Complete now :)