My Aussie-versary | One Year in Melbourne

So this week, my Australian life turns one. I’ve survived as an Aussie for one whole year. Yay me! I’ve tolerated temperatures of 46 degrees, cooked on barbecues more than I ever thought possible, developed a weird awkward mini Aussie accent and even eaten wallaby. Oh, and the word heaps is legit part of my daily vocabulary. For this I will be eternally sorry.

So yeah, this time one year ago I touched down in Melbourne with nothing but 27kgs worth of my old life, a working holiday visa and a heart full of hope that I’d done the right thing. If I’m honest, moving to the other side of the world for a BOY wasn’t exactly something I EVER saw myself doing. And by that I mean I was probably more likely to become a Jehovah’s Witness than succumb to that thing people call lurve. 

But somehow, here I am, one year on. And in terms of how the relationship is going, last night I chugged in excess of 6 glasses of champagne at a wedding and sang Horses by Daryl Braithwaite at the top of my lungs with my boyfriend’s entire family into my Snapchat camera, before preceding to adopt a ‘no sitting’ policy and physically DRAG said boyfriend’s dad and sister onto the dance floor because an Australian song I’d never heard had come on and I wanted moral support. So yeah, I think it’s going pretty well.

In all seriousness, yes, I completely did the right thing. Do I miss home? Of course. Did I cry when the song ‘Home’ by Michael Buble was played at the aforementioned wedding? PERHAPS. (No, you’re pathetic.) Do I have weird emotional days near-ish to my period when I get all freaked out at the future and picture us getting deported from every country and wind up living in a tipi in Utah on a ranch with nothing but tumbleweed to amuse us? Sometimes. But really, none of that matters because I know it’ll work out somehow, and even if we do end up in Utah, we’ll totally get an online Kmart order delivered and make it homely with some Pinterest-worthy photo frames and maybe a marble soap dispenser or twelve.

In no way is this meant to come across totally narcissistic, but if you’re ever found asking yourself, ‘do long distance relationships work’?, take a step back. Long distance relationships have such a bad rep, and I really don’t get why. For one, it’s totally outdated. Okay yes, if this was the 1920s and I had had to spend 2014 waiting for a telegram to clarify whether Jess was dead, alive or sleeping with a ho-bag from Uni, yes that would’ve been hard. But nobody has taken the chance to factor in Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Viber and the retained eternal magic of snail mail (hand sent Valentines cards are the best Valentines cards. Just sayin’).

If you really, really want something to work, it can. Sure, you have to live in this weird limbo life that’s just one amalgamation of the loneliness of being single without actually any of the fun parts, with a bit of tiredness from late night phone calls across time zones and a big phone bill thrown in for lols. Oh, and you’ll spend a fortune on postage. Did somebody say £55 to send some Christmas pressies? Oh yeah, those hot figures were part of a sweet December serenade I received from Royal Mail. Thanks for nada!

If you’re willing to commit 100%, your long distance relationship CAN work. And it can even be better than any other relationship you’ve ever been in. That’s right kids, you too could see the look on your friends and relatives faces when you tell them you’re dropping everything to move 11,000 miles for a boy (banter) and YOU TOO could spend $7000 on a visa just to be together. Oh it’s such a magical ride. Soz.

FYI, right before you plonk the $7000 on your MasterCard, it is also 100% okay to flick through all the hot clothes you could buy instead in your head, and all the hot islands you could prance around on, and consider sacking the whole lot in for about a nanosecond (sorry, Jess love you).

But the best feeling, really, is knowing you wouldn’t take any of that. The reality is, that person marks a start in your life, rendering everything prior a distant memory.

Sure, you might have to drop everything and move thousands of miles, you might put flight after flight on your credit card, you might spend money that was earmarked for a house deposit on trips just to be together.

Would I want it any other way? Of course not.

Never ditch someone or something because it seems too hard, or because someone somewhere once told you that they knew someone who knew someone who’s long distance relationship went down the shitter. For every LDR down the pan, there’s a thousand ‘normal’ relationships down there, too. Don’t blame distance for a decision you’ve made yourself, and don’t make distance question anything.

Get yourself a hot chocolate, watch Going The Distance with Drew Barrymore and everyones favourite weirdly-ugly-yet-somehow-still-hot dork, Justin Long, and repeat after me. Fuck. The. Miles.

I’m off to eat vegemite, watch Seinfeld and practice verse two of Advance Australia Fare and pray The Queen and the corgis can one day forgive me.

Toodles xxx

 

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Safe Journey Home

“Next waiting”.

I scuttled up to the border control desk, patted my passport and boarding pass down on the desk and looked up. “How was your time in Australia, darl?” uttered the Aussie-as-they-come teller. “Great, thanks” I replied, choking slightly on my words; the goodbye behind the departure doors still freshly forming that wrenching lump in my throat that I knew all too well. Bleary eyed and puffy as a Pokemon, I looked up and caught Aussie-as-they-come teller’s eye. “Safe journey home, miss”, he muttered, donning a slightly crooked grin on his face that sort of said ‘enjoy the 24 hour flight to freezing winter’.

Home. Safe journey home. As I picked up my maroon passport with those lions so dear to my heart plastered across the cover, I retreated. Home? What a fool that man was. I live here now. And then I realised. No I don’t. There it was staring me in the face. I’m leaving my ‘home’, to go ‘home’ (the somewhat obnoxious inverted commas being the operative and soul defining punctuation in that sentence). Here I was patting myself on the back for making a life for myself on the other side of the world, feeling excitement – albeit sewn with sorrow – to be heading back to the UK for Christmas. I’ve got two homes now – the words I’d been foolishly serenading my days with. It wasn’t until Aussie-as-they-come teller wished me a safe journey home, that I felt like I’d stripped myself of a home. Suddenly neither place felt like the ‘h’ word, and it made me wonder – what makes a place a home?

With the woman to whom I owe my entire existence, my Mum, on one side of the world, and the person I love on the other, I found myself literally torn between two places. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hardly the first time I’ve felt torn. This was inevitable, and a somewhat familiar feeling – but never before like this. My solid allegiance to my home country of England had always reigned strong in these situations. Sure, Melbourne was fine, but it’s not home. But when you’ve been in a place with a person you love for so many months, you create a routine, a day-to-day existence, and a soft spot for the things that make it what it is. Every step closer to comfort in that place, takes away from the comfort of the old place. And so I’m asking, can you call two places home, or does every extra ounce of love for one unstitch a part of your love for the other? You feel like you’re cheating on one of the places by missing the other, yet we can’t go about our lives longing for another place, either. How do we juggle a love of two homes? Is it two homes, or are we actually a wanderer, seeking validation and confirmation of one decision?

A sombre thought to ponder, fellow nomads. I apologise. Upbeat and humorous sequel to this post to follow. Promise. Spoiler alert – I’m going to review an American reality show that I found called Dating Naked. (Don’t panic. It’s clean.)

Love always,

Coco xx

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