Sydney is a State of Mind

The summer that never was finally ended. Never mind that last weekend was exceptionally warm for October, setting records all across Europe. When I got up this morning it was much darker than yesterday, colder, and raining. There are still limits to global warming, apparently.

So sitting on the train, watching my umbrella dry, my mind wandered south. To another world, another hemisphere where summer should now be approaching. A world in which rainy days are an exception, where the wind doesn’t threaten to blow you over, where people smile and welcome you, where everything is beautiful year round, where you don’t exclaim “Oh, the sun!” as if it’s a rare visitor. A world of beaches, surfers, barbecues, friendly people, world-class business and dining, kangaroos and koalas, possums and kookaburras. A world down under, but in most ways coming out on top.

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Walking in the dreary Danish autumn twilight, I can smile and think of that other world. I can relish the hope that lives on in a dream which will never die.

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But Australia is not just a dream world. It is for real, and even after many visits and the extended stay of a year the passion never waned. Does that mean the place is perfect? No, of course certain downsides could be mentioned (long travel times to the rest of the world, poor traffic planning, minor xenophobic sentiments), but only the first one is a real discouragement. Too good to be true? I have still not come to that conclusion.

So often, and in so many ways, I still call Australia home. It has been two and a half years since we left, and we are still in the process of settling in as Copenhageners. I wonder if I will ever settle in, or settle down. Is it just wanderlust? Or is it the frustration of having to choose between two countries with no obvious compromise available?

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Author: Kenneth Mollerup Birch

Living north of Copenhagen, Denmark. MA in Information Science. Interests include communication, internet, sociology, language, politics, religion, theology, travel, music, and food.

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